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Suay.

Her name is not known. Every single day, she roams around the red light district.
Deranged. Distraught. Lost.

She wears the same long, brown dress. Her skin is engrained with dirt, her nails haven’t been cut in a while and her wrists show scars of self harm.

You ask around about this woman and you’ll hear a million answers…

“She’s crazy.”

“She doesn’t speak.”

“She’s a ladyboy.”

“She’s mute.”

“She’s been here for years.”

“Her life is sad.”

“No one knows her name.”

“It’s so sad, what happened to her..”

“She used to work at the bars and then something happened.”

“She used to travel and then something happened.”

“She used to talk but something happened.”

“She eats what she can get.”

“She used to have a boyfriend.”

“She’s just crazy.”

When you meet her eyes, you’re overcome with emotions that are not yours. You begin to feel the deep pain and brokenness that lies within her soul. Her eyes have seen many things and her heart holds open wounds from the past. You see the spirit of Shame. Rejection. Depression. Fear. Anger. Sadness. Apathy. All hovering in and around her, tormenting her thoughts every second of the day. It becomes so much harder to break your gaze.

The enemy has such a stronghold over this woman and I desperately desire to see Jesus break the chains. Destroy the bondages. Set her free and bring her into a place of supernatural peace and rest. My heart begins to race when I imagine her encountering the explosive, deep, and indescribable love of our God.

Lord what do I do? Do I cast out those demons? Do you want her to go through deliverance? I’m not even sure if she understands English, so how do I go about casting out those demons? Do I bring a translator? What am I supposed to do?

“Ariana, I want you to love her just as I love you.”

…so that’s what we did. Tiffany, Katie, and I made it a mission to love on this woman throughout the week. During our morning prayer walks through the district, we would stop at 7/11, buy her a juice, and sit on the ground with her.

Some days we would patiently sit in silence as she stared at each of us with curious eyes.

Some days she wouldn’t even look up at us.

Some days she managed to smile. SMILE at us!

One day during our usual encounter, God gave me a vision of myself washing her feet. As we walked home, I began to think of how to bring up the idea to my friend Katie, but before I even mentioned anything, she looked at me and said, “I want to wash her feet. I would love to wash her feet.” Needless to say, I freaked out and told her how I felt the same way. As soon as we arrived back at Zion, I sat down in front of Tiffany and out of nowhere she says, “So I have a suggestion…. I think we should wash the woman’s feet.”

Alright, Jesus. We get it.

We continued to build on our relationship with this woman and we ended up buying her a blue dress. Washing her feet seemed a bit intimidating because in Thai Culture, feet are seen as the dirtiest part of a persons body. The act of even pointing your feet as someone is seen as extremely disrespectful and highly offensive… but Jesus.
Jesus Himself washed the feet of His disciples. Imagine being in that setting as the King of Kings got up from the dinner table, removed His outter garment, knelt down in front of you and washed your feet. The room probably fell silent as He moved from one disciple to the other. The way Jesus served His disciples by washing their feet became alive to me in a new way. It became real. It became humbling. It became powerful. It became beautiful.

Not exactly sure how it would go, Tiffany and I knelt in front of this woman with a bottle of water, napkins, a bar of soap and extended hands.

To our complete shock, she removed her sandals and extended her feet to us.

In the middle of the red light district in Thailand, where feet are seen as the worst part of a persons body, as people stopped and stared, we sat there washing the feet of a woman who is labeled as crazy and is looked down upon and it was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. Afterwards, she even extended her hands for us to wash. 

The same night, a few teammates came home from bar ministry and told us they saw the woman wearing the blue dress we bought her! And she was smiling. She radiated joy.

Until she shares her name with us, I’m going to call her, “Suay.” It means beautiful in Thai.

God is doing something absolutely incredible in Suay and the fact that He is allowing me to be part of it, leaves me in awe. I want to know Suay on a deeper level. I don’t just wanna look down at her and offer a helping hand, but I want to get down on her level and help her reach the place God is calling her to. Freedom is on the horizon for Suay. I can feel it.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” (John 13:12-16 NIV)

 

 

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