Friday, May 8, 2009

an old email.

So my friend steve and shannon kept this email that i sent out around spring about 5 years ago. its about this crazy experience i had in nepal. it reminded me of who i am and all i have to do is be available and Jesus moves. I ministered to myself so i figured it must be God.

Hey everyone,
I am sorry for all the e-mails I haven't written back to yet. I haven't had consistent e-mail access in Thailand and the area of nepal I was in it is so slow but I have to write you and tell you some amazing stories.The retreat with the staff was so good. The island was beautiful and the time with the staff was so good. I had to say good-bye to Josh and that way, way sucked. I think that I am going to be a little lost for a while with out him in Calcutta. I will write more about all the changes later...but I wanted to tell about how God sent me into the darkness of the thai sex trade.The sex industry in Thailand is huge....not for Thai people but for forgein men coming to sleep with Thai girls, or boys, or both. At the beach we stayed with probably 1 out of the six couples were older men with young Thai girls. It was rather sickening to see. I had read some about the sex trade in different books but really could believe that I was seeing this right in front of my eyes on my vacation. Their stories are so similar to the girls in India....rape, beatings, desperation, poverty, shame. bangkok is renown for its sex trade and people actually just come to thailand to purchase sex. is how Jesus let me minister to the people not in the sex trade this time.....but the men themselves.
Let me start this story off. I left the beach two days earlier than the staff b/c I had to fly to nepal to meet the servant team. So i left the beach last saturday the 25th. I took the boat back to the mainland and ended up meeting these two guys from Germany who were going back to bangkok. Their were both 25 and studying in China and were on holiday. Their names were Thomas and Andrew.WE ended up getting a taxi b/c the bus wasn't coming for another two hours and we wanted to have some time in bangkok. So the whole three hour cab ride we chatted....about so much stuff. Communism, germany, american, china, living overseas......But within the first 30 minutes Thomas says to me "Yeah China girls are so easy. all you have to do is say Hi and they are yours". Then he asked me if I knew any dirty jokes...mind you Andrew is in the back of the cab dying of embarassment. We got our rooms at our hostel. I had to catch a cab at 4:30 in the morning and realized that I did't have alarm clock. They guys said I should just not go to bed and stay out all night....I never do things like that anymore but I was kinda like...what the heck. These guys had made me laugh, I have enough money in my pocket for a cab ride home, and I was up for some I went.
We first went to this outdoor market and sat and listened to a thai band sing Britney spears, the beatles...and a lot of other random music. Thomas started to tell me about this bar that he knows in the red-light district in bagkok called goldfinger. I told him if it was anything like I had heard about them I wasn't going in. He reassured me that it wasn't...they have bars in this area that aren't "sex bars". I told them I was a tad scared...images of the red-light district in Calcutta came racing to my mind and they reassured me that I would be okay.So we hopped in a touk-touk (like a golf cart type thing) and headed toward the red-light district that I had heard so much about.
On the way there a strange holy spirit thing happened in my heart and I started to pray for them and somehow I knew it was going to be okay and that i was actually supposed to be here in this moment.So we end up in the red-light district right smack dab in the middle of the action. It is so different than India.....there are tourist every where!!!! The street in the middle is lined with shops that sell tourist things (normal tshirts and purses) and the sides of the streets are lined with bars...some "sex bars" and some normal (i think) bars. I am propositioned (along with the guys) to come inside this one bar and they have a menu of "sex acts". that you can purchase. It makes me so sad.
WE find this bar called "goldfinger". Thomas had heard about it from a friend and it was supposed to be the best bar around. So we go in.I walk in and the first thing I see is girls on top of the bar dancing in bikini's and that is it. So we sit in the corner some and they get a beer and then I end up meeting the owner. He is american!!!
And i begin to notice the whole bar is filled with old american men!!! I ask how and why he started this. I think now he is around 48 years old and he said that 25 years ago he moved to Korea after his divorce and had worked for ITT for 5 years there and wanted a change so he came to this area and bought this bar. He said that he is married to a thai woman. He met her when she was fifteen!!!!! and the day she turned 18 she moved in with him!!! and now they have been married for 6 you do the math. He says this bar is strictly for drinking only and the girls.....well they just happen to be there.
So we move on. We finish walking down the street and it is filled with dancing bar girls and some of the names of the bar are really explicit....really different from caluctta.So....we get to the end of the street and ended up playing some pool and then going to mcdonald's!!! It was really, really fun.
So we go back to the tourist area. WE end up at this bar that they had gone to the other night. SO i once again begin to look around began to notice...not old white men with thai girls....but young men....guys my age....I mean in this bar alone I saw about 20 different men with thai girls.So I start to talk to thomas and andrew about this when we get interrupted by this waiter who says these men who know thomas and andrew want us to join them for a drink.So we move tables and I am with six men now...four older french men and thomas and andrew. I start to ask thomas more questions and find out that two nights ago he hired a thai girl for the entire night for 800 bhat (about $20). I just kinda sat there for a little bit.THen the french guy was looking at some pictures and I made the mistake of asking who they were......he then showed me a picture of thomas with a thai girl ( no big deal), then andrew sitting at a bar with a thai girl, and then a picture of the thai girl that I won't even tell about here because the image still haunts my mind.Then the gross french men starts talking about tahi girls and how he wants to marry me and they are just so gross and creepy.
So thomas and andrew and I start talking again and I end up telling them what I do exactly in Calucutta....I work to get girl out of the sex trade.thomas is silent.The french men get up to leave and the french man whispers in my ear something that makes my body twinge with disgust and hate and I wondered what vile acts he has done to they get up to leave I turn to andrew and say "I am sitting at a table of men that I hate. I am sitting here with the very people who are doing what God wants undone". He looks at me and says "I know. I think it is wrong to"
the french men left and I start to ask my two friends questions. WHy? lonliness? pleasure? they tell me it is all of the above.
SO then I get to tell them (actually andrew already has a basic knowledge of how bad the sex trade is) about how these girls get to the streets here. I get to tell them about how its not a choice. I get to tell them my dreams for the girls. It was awesome.And then somehow Thomas ended up asking me how many people I had slept with....when I said no one they about fell out of their chairs. They could believe it. So that led in to this whole other conversation about marriage, and commitment, and God. I wish you could of seen the way, specifically Thomas, looked at me differently. I think that is possible the most beautiful I have ever felt in my life. I think something connected with Thomas that night....for the first time he saw past his own lust and started to see the girls and where they come from.
I asked thomas how many people he had slept with. HE said before China....six...but since he went to china he had slept with at least twice that many. His goal was to sleep with a woman in every county he went to. When I look at this man I could so clearly see the stronghold of lust over his life. He was so obsesses with sex and what he called "fun times" that it was almost like an additicion and sex and pleasure was all he could see. I actually felt sorry for him.So we then started to talk about marriage and it was just so good.The french men invited them to go to this hotel and get some girls but instead they wanted to hang out more and we went to this other bar and ended up meeting other really cool travelers and just talked about life and culture until 4:15 in the morning and it was time to go.As they walked me upstairs THomas gave me a hug...I wish I had words to describe the was honoring to me in so many ways but also so desperate in some. I knew that his heart was hurting and craved something pure and craved to be loved. This night was so huge for huge...
I was in the midst of the darkness but yet I have never felt like such a light. I realized that I am not just waiting to have sex till i am married for my husband but for guys like Thomas and anderew and the girls in Sonagatchie and the girls in Thailand. IT made me see how obedience to Jesus makes me beautiful. I have no doubt in my heart those men saw Jesus in me. Jesus is the only reason that I am waiting and the only reason I do the work I do....and I felt like I was oozing Jesus. And the most amazing thing is that this whole night just came from being available.....from trusting the Spirit. It wasn't planned or manipulated.I just got an e-mail yesterday from andrew saying how it was really impactful to meet me and apologized again for thomas. and said that he couldn't believe he took me into those places and that he is rethinking what commitment is......Isn't that amazing???? JEsus rips my face off.
But the thing that stayed with me the whole night is that i knew that Jesus was in the red-light district. I knew that he was in that bar goldfinger and at that table amongst those men. He is there b/c he loves both the thai girls and those dirty french men and me and thomas and andrew. I didin't have to be afraid.
I was blown away that in thailand the problem are not the uneducated men of thailand or the poor or the is the average white college educated man. It is us...the westerners capitalizing on the poverty of the young women. It is us....not them. This night in bangkok brought this issue home for me. In India it is easy to blame the indian man....but I see just a glimpse in the gatch of the power of lust. It made me so clearly see that sexual sin permeates us all....all cultures, races, is not just india's is ours.
So...on a closing note. Men ( and women). IF you are caught in lust. Tell someone. Confess to your friends and your church family. Get free. I see to many men whose lives are destroyed by it and too many young girls whose lives are forever destroyed by it. I know there is freedom. Jesus wants to give it.So if you could say a prayer for thomas and andrew. I will write another mass e-mail soon and catch you up on things in sonagachie.....sorry this was sooo long. if you read to the end thank you. love in Christ,