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.' "