Friday, May 21, 2010

Every New Thing

Pattaya - May 21, 2010

I woke up feeling new. Last night, we had a sleep over/slumber party with the prostitutes. We went to gather the ladies at their bars, paid the bar owners 300B to take each lady out of the bars. Once out of the bar, you negotiate with the girls as to how much you will pay for their time and serve. Fortunately, TAMAR, a ministry that works with prostitutes explained to the girls that we wanted to celebrate them and offer a fun night - no sex required. I can honestly say I have slept next to a prostitute.

We had dinner with the ladies, played games, sang karaoke, swapped stories. At the end of the night, they asked for prayer and for healing. I prayed for a woman who had a lump on her back. I felt she had unforgiveness and she repented of that. I then prayed over her and literally, I mean literally saw her lump shrink. It was not 100% gone, but it shrank about 50%. It was no illusion because my friend stood there and watched the lump. She was jumping up and down when she saw it shrink too. Then another girl came over to touch the lump. She said that it was hard in the beginning and now the lump was soft.

Yes, I woke up a new person. Every new thing you do become a part of you. As Christians, we have wealth of supernatural resources, and this wealth itself is intoxicating. We kept wanting to pray for every sick person so we could experience the sensation of having the Holy Spirit move through us.

God is so cool. And following Him is so much fun when you are living the life you were made for.

The Lucky Ones

Pattaya - May 20, 2010

Last night, after we heard news about Bangkok burning, the government placed an 8 o'clock curfew. This is a good thing because it shows that the government is protecting us. They are saying they will not let it get out of hand.

We also believed it was a blessing. God heard our prayer to shutdown the sex trade and God used the government to make this happen. Last night was the first time Walking Street was totally shutdown! Total darkness. Walking Street is the number red light district for Pattaya.

An organization from Cambodia shared during our meeting this morning. I thought I have seen and heard all the evil there was to know, but I was wrong. Cambodian Hope Organization (CHO) was founded by a Cambodian refugee, Chomno. He rescues children from the ages of 8 through 10 and placed them in a community he started called "Safe Haven". The kids in Cambodia, the same ages as my niece and nephew, are rescued from being drugged each day. They were drugged by the traffickers so the children can endure sitting in the heat begging for money. They were drugged to endure their limbs being chopped off so they will get more money when they beg. They were drugged each day so they can tolerate the rapes by foreigners. They were drugged so they can work 12 hours hard labor on the farm. The ones who met Chomno are the lucky ones, because CHO provides vocational training such as sewing, fish farming, motorcycle repair, computer skills and English. The rest are not so lucky. They are still out there-drugged, raped and abused.

Chomno asked for us to pray concerning a rich and extremely powerful soldier who contracted AIDS. He went to a witch doctor, and the witch doctor told him that he will be cured of AIDS if he slept with 500 virgins. He has raped 100 girls already and is looking for 400 more victims. Pray for this man to be stopped. Only God knows how. We need a miracle.

We heard about the Buddist temples disappearing. It turns out that when the people go to the temple for prayer or for purification, the Buddist monks were raping the young girls, so the villagers stopped going to the monks and started going to the churches for help. Cambodia is a totally different world from America.

The Cent One

Pattaya - May 19, 2010

There is so much to do, yet so little help. Our only way to get much done was to start our day interceding for Pattaya. We blessed this nation and prayed for God to breakdown the strongholds. We cried out to God for more of Him in this land. After an hour of praying, we gathered our groups and head out to face the darkness once more.

Our team leader was Kim. As we walked to the beach of Pattaya to do our outreach, Kim found a penny on the group. As she picked it up and held it to the sky, she declared, "You are the cent one." We are the sent ones. She reminded us that as children of Christ, we are righteous, which means we bring blessings to every land we set foot on, every employer we work for, every household we enter, every friend we make.

Serving God is not difficult. Disobedience is harder to do. God wants to bring fulfillment to our lives along with our full potentials.
I apologize, but there was so much that happened today. I will list them rather than crafting an essay:

- We prayed for a tourist guide on the beach for his bad back. He told his friends that he felt something and his body felt lighter, then he jumped to prove that his back got healed.
- We met a ladyboy and she asked for us to pray that Jesus would take away the bad karma. She closed her eyes as we prayed for her to know Jesus and that He would bless her. At the end of the prayer, she got goosebumps. We asked her what happened. She said, "I saw Jesus with His arms spread out on the cross and He was right in front of my face. He told me He loves me." Later on that night, Kim saw the ladyboy at the bar and she made Kim pray for everyone at the bar. Kim said, "It is great when they start the rival for you." On a side note, my roommate asked the ladyboy earlier if she had any children. The ladyboy turned to Janette and said (in English), "I am not a woman." I thought that was so funny.
- Ryan, Chuck's younger brother, prophesied over a fortune-teller. She had tears in her eyes.
- An ice-cream seller had an ear ache. I got the privileged to pray for her and the pain instantly went away.
- We saw a demon possessed woman take a bath in the water fountain. We said hi to her, but she gave us a scary face and walked down the beach and started cutting her hands. We couldn't help her, though that would have been cool to cast out demons.

Mercy Me

Pattaya - May 18, 2010

Today, we spent time with the orphans from Mercy Center. It is a safe place for the Thai children to learn English and Thai. It is a safe haven from the drugs and poverty of Pattaya. The veracity is that if Mercy did not exist, these children, ages of 5-13 will be placed in brothel, sold as sex slaves and left for dead if they contracted any STD or HIV. Yes, there is such darkness here.

Mercy center is understaffed so we all went to help clean, garden, fixed motorcycles, computer issues, whatever is needed. After three hours of hard labor in the humidity and bright sun, we were exhausted by the constant heat hovering around us to the point of seeing white spots before our eyes.

Our reward came at 4pm. The children charged in after classes with their flirtatious smiles. They are very hard to resist. The glee in their eyes broke my heart and resealed it when I handed them cookies. These precious ones make me want to place a tent outside the center just to be close to them. We enjoyed dinner with them and waved our good-byes as we hopped on the back of the song-tao. A song-tao is a pickup truck, a cheap taxi, about 10 baht (B), though I was tricked into paying 150 bahts my first day. FYI, 31B is equivalent to one dollar.

Our next adventure was the street outreach. We went to the open bars, where all the prostitutes are just starting out. They are behind the counters. We just buy them drinks and share about God`s love. The closed bars (Go-go bars) are for girls who have been in prostitution for so long that they have become addicted to drugs and alcohol. It is understandable that the ladies have an addiction - they can only do such work while they are high. I guess the close bars are like the strip joints in America except you actually touch the girls without the bouncers punching your lights out.

We were able to speak to two bar girls. One was 19 years old and she never heard about Jesus. It saddens me that this beautiful girls has to go through life trying to find love from a buyer. She had a boyfriend for two years. When she got pregnant, her boyfriend left her after 4 months. Another lady was 31 years old and she was on the fence between Christ or crime. Last year, one of the missionaries told her about Jesus and she said she felt much better about who she was and left the bar scene. Then, after 6 months of no visits from a Christian, she went back to the brothel. She said that now another Christian is here, she knows that she is supposed to follow God.

I have always found Christian women so beautiful and Christian men so attractive. I was wrong. It is really the Holy Spirit in them that makes them so attractive to me! One of our younger men, Chuck is 22 years old, has the most appealing heart. You can literally see his heart smiles when he looks at you. I am sure the bar girls see this, too. Chuck tried to say, "God loves you" in Thai to one of the bar girls. She gave him a curious look. Chuck instantly looked at the interpreter and said, "What'd I say, what'd I say?" The Thai interpreter said, "You said, 'animals love you.' "

Monday, May 17, 2010

Girls Behind Bars

Pattaya - May 17, 2010

Extreme Love taught us the Thai culture and some Thai phrases. They warned us that we will fall in love with the bar girls and want to help each and every one of them. The girls` main dream is to find a foreigner to love and marry them, to find a man who will take care of them for the rest of their lives. Though I am female, I do have a heart for the bar girls. My compassion for the prostitutes is/can be overwhelming that it hurts sometimes - because that is how I love; fiercely. I thought, that fierce love is what it means to live, to make life mine. But it is not. To live is to love deeply for God`s people the way God love you.

Today, we learned about intercession. It means to have a relationship and communion with God. It is a privilege to intercede, not a burden. We then prayed over Thailand concerning the cu and blessings over the people. Bangkok is burning right now - in the natural and in the spirit. The Thai people believe that something is seriously wrong. There has been many cu`s, but not like this for over 20 years.

Towards the end of the day, we paired up in twos for our prayer walk. My partner, Carol (God`s Christmas Carol) and I walked down Soi 6. It was hard to feel in my spirit the darkness, my heart being ripped by a huge dull hook as I saw bars after bars with girls in nothingness letting their bare buttocks and breasts hang out. Girls dancing on bar tops, trying to hide their shame behind alcohol and drugs. Our hearts and minds could not fathom the vile things that went on in the bars. Children being sold for their virginity. Seeing a man in his 70`s wooing a 13-year-old. All we were able to do was pray in tongues. That was the only way we found strength to walk down that strip without fear and tears. It was the only way to fight indignation and judgment. These men`s presences manifested in the perversion, the lust, the emptiness. God reminded us that these are broken people and God loves them still.

We followed the streets back to our hotel, feeding the Holy Spirit with praises and worship, blessing the people of Thailand with a new land, a new life. A life without prostitution, a life filled with redemption and righteousness.

Fish Spa

Pattaya - May 16, 2010

I keep thinking "I am going to Thailand, God`s going to do something big in my life. There will be some changes. I need more of Jesus," but my thoughts have nowhere to settle and stick.

Maybe I am forcing too much on myself. My expectation might be too high. The hunger for more of God, more of an extraordinary life has its own rules, I cannot control it, I just have to go with it or I will never be fully satisfied. I am afraid of what God has for me here in Pattaya, Thailand. I am afraid if He does not.

The streets are crowded with tourists, mostly older men with Buddha bellies with young Thai girls at their sides. Young as in 18, if not 15 years old. It is an intense spiritual environment here. The thickness of darkness, lust and sin slap you at every turn. My heart hardens, I do not want to see the ugliness in the men. I do not want to see the desperation in the beautiful faces of the Thai girls.

My roommate, Janette, is from Australia. She is soft spoken and accompanies me to see the beach and the shopping malls. On our walk, we see a T-shirt stating, "Good boys go to heaven and bad boys go to Pattaya."

Our orientation for Operation Extreme Love- Thailand does not start until 5pm. The weather is extremely humid. It is 95 degrees and we sweat while we window-shop for a foot massage. What we find, a fish spa. A tank filled with water up to our knees. A tank filled with Nibble fish (Garra Rufa fish) from Turkey.

You put your feet/legs into the tank for the fish to suck the dead skin from the outer layer of the body. I have always been afraid of fish. Ask my younger sisters. They will tell you how I refused to swim out to the fish unless they held my hands during our snorkeling trips in Maui. Today, I will overcome my fear of fish. Holding my breath, my thoughts and feet up, I dip my legs in - screaming!

"I am not scared," I tell myself. "Well, not so scared." The sensation of tiny mouths scraping my skin brings micro-electrical shocks to my nerves. It is the real thing since my last day in Palo Alto. I think my body and mind have been numbed during the 20-hour-travel. Why? I do not know.