This update is brought to you by the letter A, as in Annemarie.
On Thursday we went down to one of the red light districts in Bangkok to visit a mission called Nightlight. This mission focuses on helping Thai women get out of the sex trade by giving them a job with a stable salary, like sewing, making jewelry, or baking. They also work with foreign women who have been trafficked into Thailand, helping them get back to their home country, or if it is not safe there, to another country as a refugee.
As we talked with our host at Nightlight, we quickly realized that human trafficking and the sex trade in Thailand are overwhelmingly big problems that seem to have no good solution and contain depths of evil that we just cannot comprehend. Millions of foreign men come to Thailand to buy women each year, and around 80% of Thai men also use prostitutes because it has become ingrained in their culture. Sad facts like this coupled together with hearing some of their stories and seeing the women standing in the bars waiting for a buyer or walking with a white man who has purchased them has broken my heart on so many levels. It leaves you feeling hopeless and helpless. So it is a very good thing that we serve a God who is bigger than the biggest problems, a God who can find solutions where all seems hopeless, a God who shines his light into the depths of the darkness and overcomes it, a God who can heal broken hearts, and a God who reaches out to the helpless and takes them in his arms.
There are so many things that can be done to help these women, and many things are being done by organizations like Nightlight, but the only way this society will see reform is if there is change on a global level, which requires a God given level of power. So please pray for the women who end up working in the sex trade in order to make money to support their families, that God will help them to find other work. Pray for the women who are tricked into coming to Thailand and are trafficked here, that they would be found and their traffickers would be prosecuted. Pray for the men who buy the women, that they will realize the effect their choice has on these women, not to mention themselves, and that they would put a stop to this systemic habit. Pray for the traffickers, that they would feel convicted about what they are doing, and that they would leave that profession. And pray for all the organizations, especially Christian ones, that are working with these vulnerable women, that they would reach as many women as possible and that they would walk with them through their struggles and show them that there is hope in Jesus and that the women would know that God loves them even in their brokenness and that they can have new life in him.