International Ministries

Love on Valentine's Day--or Not?

February 21, 2013 Journal
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Valentine’s Day either reminds you how much you’re loved—or not.  It’s an important day for us to visit the women working in prostitution because it’s one of their quietest days of the year.  The men who usually visit them are with their wives or girlfriends, and the women often want to talk about their lonely feelings.

Once again, I went to visit Thai women working in sex clubs here in Holland.  Most came to live here as the girlfriends or wives of Dutch men.  Most met their partners while they were working in prostitution in Thailand, and thought they were fulfilling their “Cinderella Story”.  The dream of so many of the women working in Thailand is that a western man will fall in love with them and take them to his country, where they will live a good life.  Of course he will have money because in their minds, all westerners are rich.  And most importantly to them, they are sure that he will be happy to give them money to send home to their families in Thailand

 The man, on the hand, may know how important her family is to her, but assumes that once she’s far away in his country, she’ll be content to just take care of him, and the family back in Thailand will fade into the background.  You can imagine the culture clash that ensues—over many issues.  Most of the women I have met here are divorced and are working in prostitution to support their families in Thailand.  They are strong, smart women, but their low levels of education and insufficient Dutch language skills make it difficult for them to get jobs other than in prostitution.  There are exceptions, of course, including those who are in partnerships with their husbands in the ownership and running of these “exotic massage” parlors, as they’re called. 

 Each year on this day, the organization I volunteer with carefully prepares lovely gifts, with messages written in as many of the women’s languages as possible.  I sent the message to Thailand to be translated there into “good Thai”.  This year’s message was about “God’s burning heart of love, simply longing for us to know how much he loves us”! 

 I had a wonderful day with the women.  They are always so delighted when I come in speaking Thai!  In one club, we were served a fabulous Thai meal, so spicy I had tears running down my face—loving every bite!  We all laughed together at my dripping mascara.  The women were so touched by the gifts, and over lunch we had some good conversations.  In another club, I gave the owner a new CD of Thai Christian music that I had brought back from my last trip to Thailand.  I knew that she really enjoyed it when I brought CD’s to her.  She had told me previously that she used to attend church when she lived in Thailand, and that she would play the CD as she was falling asleep at night.  “It brings me so much peace,” she said.  She often says that she wants to get out of this business, but needs to continue making money for 5 more years.  She also said that she copies the CD’s I bring and gives them to 2 of the women working in the club—who also were raised in Christian homes.  She told me about a Thai Bible study group in her city, and we got excited about going to visit it together.  I often pray for her—God has had a place in her heart, and I pray that she will recognize how much He loves her and desires for her to trust Him for all her needs.    

Would you pray with me that these precious women would recognize God’s voice in their hearts? 

Thank you for your love and caring for me through the years!  God knew that I would need a giant community of pray-ers, holding me up, in order to fulfill the Call He had for me. And for those of you who support me financially, thank you.  Because of you, I’m almost at my target support level.  If there are any of you who would like to help me reach the 100% that I need to continue my ministry, you can contribute through this web-site, with an on-going or one-time gift. 

Love and Blessings to all!