Monday, April 26, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Yesterday I got a real hug. Not one out of sexual desire, not one out of pity, not an obligatory hug, just a love hug. It was tight and innocent and followed by a sigh and a "I love you soooo much." I thought my heart was going to burst right there. As I reflected on this I thought back to my new friend Twee I wrote about earlier. I thought back to the hug I received from her after our dinner in Pattaya. There are differences, there are similarities-- both speak of childhood and both spoke to me. Both hugs were essentially from children, both hugs were pure and real. Both sought to be received honestly by me and were embraced with the faith that I could be trusted in an intimate moment. The differences were profound though.
Monday, March 22, 2010
In our last team debrief time I told the story of our group taking six women from the bar out to dinner. The "woman" who struck me the most was actually a girl, maybe 15 years old. Her name was Twee. I'm a horrible judge of age but Twee most certainly was young and most certainly was not 18. She was a girl missing her childhood. This thought struck me when a friend and I were explaining to the rest of the team how it felt to be hugged goodbye by Twee. She had been so quite and shy all throughout dinner and this attitude was reflected in the way she hugged at first. There was much space between our bodies. I can't at all blame her to be on guard. Then something changed, she let down her adult front. She stopped playing the act of "bar girl". She was no longer held a prostitute's title. Twee reverted back to CHILD. She wanted to be held. She wanted to be loved on. She wanted to be comforted. She needed it. Holding her head to my chest, nothing in me could bare to let her go. I swayed a little, ushering a few extra prayers over her, asking for her protection and that God would hold my emotions for just a few more moments. My gut wanted to scream, my eyes were ready to unload, breath had long escaped my lungs, but what was it like for her? What was it going to be like to have this encounter of hope that was so foreign (and not just because of our nationality)? How would she feel when she walked back in to that bar? Would she have to take a customer tonight? Would the next words said to her be out of love. What would HER next words say? What would her heart say?
I can work so hard at reclaiming my own childhood... but who's going to work to reclaim hers?
If you're in the Seattle area and are interested in learning more about the issue of sex trafficking please attend the following this Saturday:
OCC STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING INITIATIVE NIGHT
Saturday, March 27
7 - 9 PM in the OCC Small Auditorium
Come hear reports from recently returned teams from Thailand
See the images and lives impacted who have been rescued
Learn about OCC's vision and partnership with others
Discover ways you can be involved locally and/or globally
There will be a time to connect with specific team leaders working towards specific initiatives around human trafficking:
Business Team - Developing and empowering alternative living for rescued victims
Women of Purpose - Join other women raising awareness and investing in key projects
Local Team - Opportunities to respond to needs locally
Potential Housing - A fact finding group exploring the requirements for responding to the dramatic need for victim housing in the greater Seattle area
Fair Trade - Educate and promotion of using our purchasing power to make a difference
Questions? Contact Servetheworld@occ.org.
Friday, March 19, 2010
conclusion: I hate evil and God is love.
We walked up to a bar where two teammates were hoping to find some
girls they spoke to earlier this week. As we walked we wondered if we
would be able to spot the women in such a crowded bar. That was no
problem. As soon as we neared shouts were heard from the new Thai
friends. "Oh sexy ladies, you came back!". Our group was easily
remembered by them. The rest of the evening was followed by bar games
(we rarely won), invitations to dinner, laughter from language and
tears from universal communications of love. Personally I was able to
talk mostly with three girls. One 42 one under 18 and the third
somehwere in the middle. Each woman had their own story, their own
spirit, their own dreams and fears. Even finishing this post the next
morning I can still feel the physical brokeness of my heart.
As I shared a bit of my own life's story with the girls the dynamic of
our chatter changed. We moved from positions of "bar worker" and
"tourist" into a dialogue of women bonded by a desire for freedom and
joy. They began to share real moments of their life with me and I was
so very honored to hold those stories close.
The tight hug and slight tears from the shy, young girl was what
captured my heart the most. Jesus is alive and working in this place.
He just hasn't introduced himself by name too all who live here yet. I
can't wait for the day when He does. To God be all glory!
Thursday, March 18, 2010
the sweet souls living there. One lady asked for us to pray for her
specifically because she wanted to become a Christian. (Praise God!)
Evil continues to loom but also loose! The HIV house will be moving
locations within the year and is currently fundraising for their new
building. Desperate needs here...
In just a little bit we will be heading back to a bar where a few of
our teammates started meaning conversations earlier this week. We hope
to reconnect with these women and allow them to share more of their
hearts with us. There are such great possibilities here! Please pray
that we respct their stories; that we will have dicernment as to what
to say and when. Also ask with us that the Lord brings relationships
and meetings together. May we be sensitive to where He's calling us
and how. To God be the glory.
I was again inspired by Isaiah 62. I'm praying these words over the
city if Pattaya... May this place be now called Hephzibah (my delight
is in her) instead of "Deserted"... "they will be called the Holy
People, the Redeemed of the Lord; and you will be called Sought After,
the City No Longer Deserted."
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
amazing our God is! There is so much evil walking these streets; it's
just hard to describe in a quick post. In all the darkness however-
our Lord is victorious! It's refreshing to see the few ministries here
working TOGETHER and thriving. There's sustainability and purpose. A
lot of work left to do and many holes to fill. Please pray for wisdom,
strength, energy, health and discernment as my teammates and I finish
up our time here.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
flesh, ariving in Thailand. Instead, I see it as we arrive in the
Pattaya area; grace is arriving in flesh to us. There are thousands of
young women caught in the bondage of a sexual hell, but you can see
that from an easy search on the Internet. Of course now pictures and
videos accessed through Google will show smiling faces and painted
lips who appear wet with desire to go to bed with a man three times
their age for a little cash. I know the truth though. I know what's
wanted is freedom and what's expected and hoped for is sadly far less.
What you can't see so easily through a "www" porthole though are the
girls I get to meet this week-- girls thriving in redemption. They
are the flesh of grace walking into my life and I can't wait to meet
them. To God be the glory.
Friday, March 12, 2010
I'm straying away from my Reclaiming Childhood drive and updating on
another kind of journey. In a few hours I'll be leaving for Pattaya,
Thailand to meet, talk with and pray over some precious people.
Pattaya is a huge hub for the sex trafficking industry-- an industry
that with all of my heart I want to fight to end. It would be my
pleasure for you to join me as I go...