Representing Jesus in the Red Light District

women-at-ransom-ministriesOne of my friends that comes to the English class, waved at us tonight as she sat at a bar. It just really hurts when you start to care for them as a person, and you get to know them up in a more personal way. Keep praying for us. We see so many disgusting sights everyday, and its not unusual at all to hear girls or “lady boys” calling out to the men. I think people on our street are getting used to us, yet we still get stared at a lot.

The lady boys are so different from the women, in that they are much more bold and aggressive. They are usually not nearly as friendly or receptive as the women, and therefore they are harder to reach. I have had to think so much about how to refer to them…is it a he,or a she? I know they were created to be men, but because of how they are living, they are “women”, and many have gone through very painful surgery that changed them. They look very much like beautiful women, but when they talk, their voices are never as high or as feminine. They think of themselves as women.

My highlight last week was an evening where we were able to go into the bars and “pay” for girls to come back with us to a banquet at a ritzy hotel organized by the Tamar staff. It was an incredible experience to see all these broken, hurting women come for an evening of refreshment, singing, prizes, and testimonies by the Tamar staff. God was at work as girls listened carefully to stories of how they had been saved from prostitution. Hands went up all over the place when they were asked if they wanted prayer personally. I was incredibly blessed to be able to pray with two different women that were sitting close to me … we cried together about their pain and all they have suffered because of many years of working in the bars. L

ast night seemed especially dark and raw out on the streets for “bar” outreach. One foreigner looked at us and said, “Go home! People look at us and just instinctively know that we are NOT the type of people that belong in wicked places like this. It’s exciting to show them the desire that Christ has to reach all people in all places, no matter how dark. Sai told some of her story … both of her parents have died, her husband has left her, and she recently got pregnant and miscarried. This has all happened within the past year. She is struggling and has reached the end of her rope. Pray for Sai that she will take to heart what was shared with her. I feel so low tonight. A guy called out to us, “come in beautiful ladies” in a demeaning sort of way. Then the guy that told us to “Go home!” last night, made faces at us again this morning as we sat in a coffee shop. I was having a good conversation with some really interested girls today as we were handing out tracts and invitations to the English classes, when another man came up and just started talking to me. He asked questions, yet didn’t seem too interested to hear my response, as he went on about how he is here to help the women and on and on. I think I made him feel guilty without even doing any thing, because he seemed to feel the need to explain to me why he was here and how he has been helping them. When I told him what we were doing, he told me exactly what we were doing wrong. It felt like another attack from the enemy and a distraction to the reason why I was there. Tonight one of the older women at the bar I went to was crying on my shoulder, and it just broke my heart, to see and feel her pain. It’s just so incredibly dark and evil and sometimes it just really hits me hard again! There is nothing like going and spending some quality time with God especially after these times. He is the ONLY answer to all of this pain.

– Quotes from Melanie and Sharilee

(I Witness News/Winter 2010)

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