Friday, March 5, 2010

Thailand - March 5,2010

Hi Family and friends, I wanted to send you some updates from Thailand and remind you to continue to pray for us. I will post more details on the blog later with pictures but wanted to keep you posted. Mikki here on the trip has been typing synopsis of the trip and we all because of jet lag have not been able to post regularly. So I give her credit here for most of the info here though I modified it to add my own thoughts. :)

Day 1 March 5,
We had a busy day in Pattaya today. Sarah and Jason kept us busy so that we could ward off going to sleep and hopefully sleep tonight.
It is such a contradiction. Modern highways, a beautiful new mall, Starbucks, and streets with one bar after another after another after another. Thousands and thousands of young girls, women, and ladyboys sitting on the streets and beaches waiting for a taker.

We spent time at the Tamar Center. They have a building right in the middle of the bars, offer free English classes, job training skills, and much more.
Most of the girls speak limited English but only have a grade school education so the center offers to teach them a skill so they can have an opportunity for another way of life. It seems most of them are from a region about 9 hours away. For many, it is a way to survive and help support their family which is of great cultural importance here. Some are slaves and work in closed bars. We went into the bars this afternoon. I sat and drank a Orange drink with 3 young Thai girls, some who already had children. We played Connect Four. As long as you are paying for something, they will talk to you. I can't tell you how sad it was to see them. They didn't seem "evil" at all. Just lost and lonely. Although it is certainly a dark place, I didn't feel the darkness, only love and compassion.
They are caught up in this vicious cycle. As we learn more of the Thai thinking it only proves that the enemy has totally distorted their culture. Unlike China, girls are valued here because they can bring in money to the family through prostitution. Boys are a lot of times groomed to become ladyboys so they too can bring in money.

Later, we had a worship service led by a 30 year old woman who is devoting her life to this ministry. We sang and prayed over the city. More than once today, tears have filled my eyes. I have tried to see what Jesus would see and ask him what he would do.

We walked the beach tonight and looked for opportunities, open hearts, and prayed with one young woman and prayed for many as they walked by. As I walked I prayed over each girl I passed. Sarah knew we were looking for treasure and finally we found her. God said, "She's the one." We stopped and talked to her and prayed for her. She accepted it readily. "God , we ask that that seed be watered and that your love explode into her heart!"
Tomorrow morning we will visit in the prisons. Many children are there because their mothers are incarcerated.

Blessings and Love Melissa

Mikki unpacking her suitcase
Sarah, Jason, Lillie,Jane, Sanyaa, Anna being presented with a check form our church Gracehouse
Sarah got so excited over the Girl scout thin mints I brought her.
Out the front of the window of the car
Most streets looked like this
The beach area. At night, hundreds of prostitutes line up here hoping to get picked. It really is sad to see.
A food cart. She was making a fresh cabbage salad for the girls
The fruit cart. This was some of the best pineapple in the world! Even better than Africa. The big green things were guavas and the long green things were mangoes and the white things, I din't gind out. The watermelon was beautiful, but I don't like watermelon, so I can't tell you how it tasted.
Mikki and I
Sarah and Sarah
The girls eating their salad back at home
A spirit house. Most properties have these.
Typical street scene

One of the bar streets in the daytime

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