Saturday, April 7, 2012

So much to say!

Where do I even begin?  God has opened so many more doors in the last 3 weeks!  I think the best news is that my friend, Honey, accepted Christ as her savior 2 weeks ago!!  I paid her bar fine on a Thursday night for her to join me at a concert Bethel Church was putting on at a bar.  I told her that some of the songs would be about God.  After that concert we went to the normal Thursday night worship I attend at Pattaya House of Prayer.  She asked me at one point what the song meant so I explained to her that we were singing about God's love raining down on us.  Her English is really good so she was able to listen closely and understand.  She was given a rock with the word cherished on it.  We explained to her that she is cherished by God.  That she is his daughter and he loves her and cherishes her with all of his heart.  She began asking questions and 2 Thai ladies were able to answer her questions and share the gospel with her.  She told them and me that she wanted to know our God.  It was a very emotional, but beautiful time.  Praise God for a new sister in Christ!!  Unfortunately she is still working in the bar for the next 3 months, but will join the Tamar Discipleship Training in July and will live and work with them.

                                                  These 2 pictures were taken that night.

On to the next thing!  My dinners!!  Pu and I came up with the name KWAM RAK MAI.  It means NEW LOVE.  We are showing these girls a new kind of love every week.  Two other American missionaries serving here are helping with the dinners also.  We are showing them God's love with no strings attached.  We are loving them and expecting nothing in return.  It is wonderful!  I think I have had 2 dinners at my room since the last update.  I had 4 friends from the bars come to the 3rd dinner I had.  The girls actually made all the food.  All I did was buy it and cut a couple pieces of garlic.  They are awesome!!  The 4th dinner I had, which was last Sunday, was for 6 girls from the bars.  One of the new girls  is Nam.  She works at Spider Girl Bar, which is right next door to where I work every day.  I have been praying for her and trying to get to know her for about 5 weeks now.  I have walked over to play pool with her a few times and I ask her a little more about herself every time.  I invited her to the 3rd dinner, but I don't think she was comfortable enough with me yet.  I was so excited when she said she wanted to come to the 4th dinner!!  She asked about what time she could go back to her bar and I said whenever she was ready I would bring her back.  I asked her at 9:00 and she said she was not ready to go back and she would let me know if she wanted to go back.  I ended up bringing her back at 12:30 after everyone else left too.  The other new girl was On.  She is a friend of Honey and works at her bar.  She is hilarious!!  We played cards and laughed for hours.  They all had a blast!! Pewah is coming tomorrow! She is the 15 year old that works across from me.  Two more girls from outreach and English are coming too.  Their names are Champoo and Apple.  I will have 8 girls for sure, but possibly 11 for Easter Sunday.  We are making it special for them.  I will tell all about it next time!!
P.S. Last Sunday during the day I took 5 of the girls for a day trip to an island about 30 minutes away from Pattaya.  We had a full day together!!!

Dinner #3

Toon, Niky, Raya, and Honey

Dinner #4

Maegan, Courtney, Honey, On, Niky, Toon, Raya, and Nam

This past Wednesday 3 friends came with me and 2 others came to meet us at a Christian concert at a huge ladyboy show place.  Basically it's a big fancy music venue with a huge stage where they have ladyboy/dragqueen shows every night.  But...Wednesday we were worshipping Jesus and they were talking about God's love to many many lost people who needed to hear about His love for them.  The girls that came were Honey, On, Nam, Apple, and Champoo.  They really enjoyed it. 

Pu, Nam, Apple, and Champoo

Nam and On

Ok so even with so much greatness lately, the last 3 days have been very hard on me.  God is either wanting to completely break my heart for these girls or toughen me up to make me stronger.  Either way...I don't like it.  Thursday after English class, Niky stayed for a while and we had a good visit by ourselves.  During this visit I told her that it makes me sad that she works in a bar and has to go with men.  She told me that it makes her sad too and that she hates it.  Through this conversation, Niky shared with me some very personal information.  3 months ago she was a 26 year old virgin working at a store similar to Walmart.  She has to provide for her mother and that job was just not providing enough.  So now she is a 26 year old bar girl who is sacrificing herself by sleeping with different men every day to take care of her family.  When I heard what she said I felt like my heart literally broke.  I was speechless.  All I could do was hold her arm and put my head on her shoulder.  It took all I had to hold back the tears.  She then said ok no more serious talk.  She had to leave anyway, but I hugged her and told her that I pray for her protection every day.
Friday was tough too.  Just put it this way.  It is getting very difficult to see my friends get looked at and bought every day sometimes 3 or 4 times a day like they are a product on a shelf.   The closer I get to the girls working next to me, the harder it is for me to see.  I couldn't fight the tears yesterday. 
This afternoon I was planning on meeting Niky at her bar (Raya and Toon also work at this bar) because she is going home to Isaan for 3 days and I had a bracelet to give her before she left.  I got to her bar and was told she was with a customer.  My heart dropped.  At that point I wasn't sure if she left with a man or if she was upstairs with him.  I really did not want to see her come downstairs with a customer.  Before I could ask any questions my phone rang.  It was Niky's number, but a man was on the phone.  I hear...hello Monica this is ____ from Denmark.  Niky is with me.  We are sitting at the beach.  Do you need us to come back to the bar?  Once again I was speechless, but I quickly said no you don't have to.  I asked if she would be coming back to the bar or if she was staying the night with him.  He said she was staying with him.  So I ended up meeting them on the side of the rode and giving her the bracelet.  It was very awkward, but he was friendly.  I left with a very heavy heart. 

Now for some more good info!!  The 2 other American missionaries and I have started a fundraiser for our dinner nights.  We are crocheting bracelets and painting a bar name on the button.  The bars we have used so far are either on Soi 6, which is the street I work on or it is a bar that a personal friend works at.  The bracelets are called Kwam Rak Mai Prayer Bracelets.  We have sold 5 so far to a California mission team that was here last week.  That $50 paid for 4 of the girls to leave the bars last Sunday night and come enjoy a night with us.  Courtney has made a website and a blog for the bracelets.  I will share more info on them next time.  These bracelets are meant to remind you to pray for a specific bar.  There are 5 different prayer points we are focusing on.  If you are interested in buying a bracelet or just making a donation toward our dinners to help pay for food and bar fines, let me know!!  Here is a picture of Niky wearing her new bracelet.  She asked me about them when a lady was buying one from us last week so we made her one that says Rau hearts kun (We love you). 

Sorry this post is so long, but I had a lot to say!  I hope you enjoyed it.  Please pray for my friends!! I love them dearly and I want them to be open to God  and for him to change their lives so badly.  Thank you!

Love, Monica

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