Friday, February 19, 2016

Safe House 3

Drawing by my roommate, Trish Dagle
Located in yet another part of Bangkok, this safe house had a more homey feeling.  Along with their women, we crowded into their coffee shop.  Shoulder to shoulder, we sang sweet songs to the voice of a guitar.  Women scurried around, taking our orders and serving us our favorite drinks.
Their team leader got up and shared the story of this home.  It's the first place we've visited where the man is as integrally involved in praying the streets and giving the women an alternative.  He recognizes that very few men can do this ministry that he shares with his Thai wife.  I saw the blessing in this type of ministry as the girls have a father figure and see the living example of a husband and wife.
This is one, big family.  They live community in a bit different way than the other safe houses, and the result is that you can feel and see the close dynamics between the girls.  Children were passed around from one set of arms to another.  It was more of the village or tribe concept with everyone pouring into one another.  Although professional counselors are used, they told us the majority of conversation and healing comes from the girls helping one another.  Spending so much time together, it's simply natural for the most difficult things to come out with your sisters, and as you are encouraged in your own growth to help others, healing begins.  This is the way I think the church should be.  When we are in our deepest pain our sisters in Christ should wrap their arms around one another and share that pain.  I think professional counseling is a vital part of healing, but I also think that with the birth of the counseling profession, the church took a step back in relational healing.  We've forgotten how to walk with another person through the dark valleys to find healing and peace.
We ended our time with prayer for the couple that began and serve this safe house.  Personal challenges that take a lot of their time has begun to drain them as they continue to build relationships with these women and carry out this ministry.  As we were praying, the wife broke down.  I could feel her tears of mourning as her sobs turned to wailing.  Sometimes, the road is so difficult we don't know if we can continue on.  She was at that point, completely drained and depleted from everyday life that she didn't know if she had anything left to give.  The pain went deep for her.  I sorry that we were only able to encourage her for a few days, but it is a vision that will direct me in prayer for a long time to come.
Something I have seen here, among the workers in the road to freedom of the sex trade, is that is that the battle is more fierce than in other ministries I have been involved in.  Satan has a strong grip in this field.  He does not want light to enter his dark hiding places.  To walk as a lone candle, shining a beam for those who want out, is very, very difficult.  The oppression is present around every corner and you have to work hard to protect the light from flying away in the breeze.  Each step is purposeful, with God's hand protecting the flickering flame.

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