Thailand has looked a lot different than I imagined. In my naive ways, I pictured a glorious movie scene. Where we would be running into bars filled with sad, hopeless women who were eager to find freedom. I imagined that my team would be the warriors that God brings to share his victory, justice and freedom.
If could describe the whole red-light district in one word it would be numbness. People there just don’t seem to feel anymore. The women, ladyboys, bar moms, pimps, and john, have lost all sensitivity to the value of a human. They don’t recognized how lovely, divine, and absolutely priceless a human being is.
We walk the roads of the red-light district day and night with prayers and pursual. The women we meet are intricate, beautiful, pool pros, and all have distinct divine personalities. We walk into these bars each night and we see smiling faces. Yes, they are all smiling. They seem so dearly happy. As you can guess, they aren’t. We start friendships we these women. We talk with them, we listen to them, we play games with them, we pursue. They begin to trust us and we just love. They begin to share their pain. How they view their sense of worth. This “choice” to work in the bars begin to look less like a “choice” and more like a option-less duty. It breaks our hearts. These girls have become numb. They have lost sight of what true love looks like. The value they have placed onto themselves doesn’t shy close to who they truly are and they are stagnant. These lies have become their identity.
I’m learning the beauty of patiently loving and waiting until he bridges a way to the Gospel. Jesus waits and loves me with such consistency, and allows my once hard heart slowly soften enough for His grace to seep in. So that’s what we do. love, pursue and wait. We aren’t going into these bars and proclaiming the how-to-steps to a “better life”. We are here to show them a better love. Slowly we allow each conversation, each date out with the girls, radiate the True Love that will bring awaking to their hard hearts.
Let me tell you the waiting game isn’t easy. It’s hard at times, we have fallen in love with these women. They are special to us and we value them as the true sister they are. They have shared their burdens and pains with us. They are priceless and loved. Yet they don’t see it. They have become blind to their own worth. But the truth of the matter is that they aren’t blind. They’re just convinced they are. It shatters my heart to be in a bar and see a sister that you have loved so hard and pursued with upmost intention to be taken away in the hands of a strange man. It’s discouraging to say the least. It never fails to reveal to me how God feels every time I run to lies over truth. His heart must ache magnitudes more than my finite heart ever will.
All we can do is love , knowing full well that we are desperately in need of His love as much as they are. So we prayerfully wait in faith knowing that His love is limitless, so we too love ceaselessly.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58