Trying to define why I've been struggling with this ministry (by ministry, I mean going out every night and attempting to let the Thai girls know they have other options besides prostitution to provide for their fam's.)
When we go out at night I don't have this "tearing down the gates of hell Braveheart" kinda feeling, but more of an "ugh" feeling (not the boots)
Aye, here's the rub with Bangla Road
This place=such a concentrated section of humanity at it's worst. It's like taking every small lust,fantasy,and sin known to man+magnifying it to the most horrible extreme of filth and depravity. My eyes have been opened.
The same exists in America,but it seems more hidden. Prostitution's there, but not all up in my grill, ya dig?The sins are less obvious, less blatant. They're embedded, hidden, and not as ugly on the surface. They appear normal and comfortable. Lust in America might be in Cosmo and Desperate Housewives, not the Banglafied version of masked girls in a glass case pole dancing. American vanity might be in Botox and tanning, not the Banglafied "lady boys" here that are on parade for shock value. Greed at home might be in401K's+ comfort,not the Banglafied open selling of women.
Here the sin is in your face- ugly, gross, and twisted. At first glance during the daytime you might be tempted to think "party on wayne," but that fades as night sets in+Satan's playground is open for business.
I get disgusted by all the aloof tourists, but then I see the same nast in me as I see in them(at least I'm not a wearing speedo)
Seriously though, it's seeing where my sin would take me+recognizing where I've let my sin take me in the past in these seemingly carefree foreigners.
Stumbled upon these verses+they rang a bell or two/defined Bangla Road dead on:
"Don't be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God…"-2 Timothy 3:1-5ish
(that's The Message version because I think it's hilarious that it says "bloated windbags"-yes please)
Bottom line- this whole gig boils down to faith. Do I really believe that God is good, that God is love, that He loves us, and that there's hope in Him?
When I don't feel it, as I'm staring at a drunk European groping a 17 year old stone faced Thai girl, I have to choose to believe truth over my emotions.
"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure."-Hebrews 6:19
"God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope"-1 Timothy 1.
I do believe Jesus=hope. So do the seven other girls(usually more readily than my cynical self) I'm living the Thai life with. We're building friendships, despite our lack of Thai communicashe,+letting a bunch of Bangla girls know what hope is too.
Here's to hoping- for not only the Thai girls, but also myself+ to turning that 2 Timothy "windbag" chapter into something like this: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."Galatians 5:22-23