Same Same But (a LOT) Different

How do we go back home and be the same person we were? That’s the question that has been on everybody’s mind since we started our ministry here in Phuket. The answer is a simple one, but it is far from easy. The truth is we can’t. There is no possible way you can see the things we have been seeing for the past two months and not be changed by it.

Going into this trip, part of me knew that I wasn’t going to be the same person when I went home. I think that’s part of what made me so hesitant in the weeks right before this trip. Not that change is a bad thing, (in this case the change has been a GREAT thing) but change is always scary. There is no way I can go back home and be the same person I was before I left for Thailand. I have been wrecked for every single one of His children walking down Bangla.

I can talk about my experiences when I get home, but unless a person has seen it for themselves they won’t fully comprehend what my team and I experienced this summer. Even some of the tourists passing by don’t really understand what is going on in Phuket. They see the girls in the glass boxes above the bars and laugh at them, not knowing how trapped those women truly are. Parents bring their children down Bangla where they see half naked women dancing on the bars, not realizing how it is going to affect their kids.

We have been exposed to the harsh realities of Bangla Road. My eyes can’t unsee any of the things I saw this summer, no matter how disturbing they were and how badly I wanted to forget at the time. But we have also spent the summer diving deeper into our relationships with the Lord, becoming confident in the promise that He is going to bring complete redemption to this place in His own time. Our hearts break yes, but we know better than to look at Bangla as a place of hopelessness. We know that our God is who He says He is and that He will continue to pour His love out on Bangla until His work there is done.

In a few short days I will be heading back to the Midwest to try to get back into the swing of “normal life”. I’m not really sure exactly how that is going to look. But I know one thing is for sure, I am not coming back as the same person. I will be forever changed, and eternally grateful.

Lord, thank you for loving us enough to not let us be complacent with where we are. Thank you for completely wrecking us for your glory when we are willing to follow you where you lead. Thank you for all you have done, and all you have yet to do on Bangla Road. Thank you for who you are and how you love us. You are faithful and sovereign, and I will be eternally grateful for that.

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