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karaoke and goodbyes.

Good byes are never easy. Yesterday I had to say goodbye to *Jill, A girl I have posted about earlier in the trip. Austen and I had planned a beach date with her, our last date; I was going in with high expectations… I wanted it to be perfect, like a girls day in the movies, filled with laughter, maybe get a better tan, eat crap food, tell stories, and just be girls. But when we got to the mall to meet up with her, and walked to the beach it was raining… and she had a customer with her. My heart was completely broken. Jill* always told us, I get paid a certain amount of money (more than average) and I don’t have to go with men.  I knew better, but part of me wanted to believe that she didn’t have to sell herself, that she didn’t have to have sex with strangers. But I sucked it up put and put a smile on my face. Satan wasn’t going to ruin my last date with one of my best friends and God wasn’t going to let “yuck man” be a distraction, our friend Phil (He is a part of the awesome MTS at SHE.) joined and kept him distracted! So we all played pool, afterwards the guys went and played games in the arcade and Jill*, Austen, and I did karaoke. It was exactly what I wanted; all the songs were in Thai so it was funny, listening to Austen and I try to sing the songs, and Jill* was just as goofy as ever, laughing at and with us.
Then it was time to say goodbye, I hugged her a million times, and told her I loved her, and Jesus loves her.  And as I walked away, leaving her with the customer, I started to cry… Thinking about how she is around our age, being forced by her family to sell herself, for more/extra money. Is she ever going to find a real love? Who is going to speak truth to her? Who is going to tell her how much Jesus loves her? Who is going to tell her she is beautiful, when she is wearing a dress that covers her body, not the “shorts” that look like underwear, not the “shirt” that looks like a bra? Why do people think it’s just their culture? That they choose to do this, and men taking advantage of them is something that doesn’t hurt them?

BUT, as I was crying Austen took me into her arms, and held me, until I stopped, and when I looked up my team was there hugging and rubbing my back. And at that moment, God gave me peace. Me leaving doesn’t mean she will be alone, He is with her, and is watching her, and that is more than enough. He comforted me by showing me how He is with me and comforting me, He just happened to use my beautiful team to do that.

Please pray for us as we continue to say our goodbyes, to our family in Thailand, Our contacts, the SHE staff, the MTS, our friends around the community, And lastly, each other.

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