<Warning–there are graphic images in this blog>
I’ve never seen anything like it. I stood crippled by disgust and awe. Seconds ago I was strolling the beach, watching as the sun set beautiful yellows over the endless ocean and just like that I am standing on a road swarming with lust, loneliness and sex.
Girls to my right practically naked spinning on poles, whistling for men, waving you in. Women on my left sitting on laps, kissing cheeks.
The streets were full of offers, men and women inviting you to “ping-pong” shows (where you choose what items you wish to see women put in and shoot out of their intimate parts), russians with strip tease signs, bouncers with leather whips and clubs begging your audience.
Men were everywhere, holding girls by waists, wrapping them between their legs, pulling them down dark alleys. But it wasn’t just the men that caught my attention it was the couples, the FAMILIES. I sat in a bar and watched as a man carried his 5 YEAR OLD daughter around, pointing to the women dancing on poles and smiling as he was enticed by arousal.
Caught in Mystery. Lost in Wonder.
Everyone walking around with wild thrill–I could see how lost they were, how long they’d been walking in circles around who they think they are and who they were actually made to be. You’d expect this place to be alive—lights flashing, music blaring, men jeering—but if you really looked you’d only see death.
Bitterness blinds us. Loneliness blinds us. Despair blinds us. Pride blinds us. Loss blinds us.
When you look past the blind wanderers, the lost clients, you will catch a glance of the girls. You’ll see fear, you’ll see despair, you’ll see disgust. They are not laughing as men pat at their breasts, not smiling as they spin around those poles, not delighted standing on top of that bar all night.
Their faces filled with sorrow erupt my soul.
How has humanity come this far, why has desire drove us here?
I was turning circles, trying to catch their eyes—to look love into them.
But I couldn’t see beyond the men…
What a bunch of perverts…animals…despicable monsters…Fathers...scum bags…caitiffs…vile humans…Sons…sleazeballs…revolting excuse for a human being…disgusting Grandfathers…detestable boys.
It hit me. He hit me—“Are they not my beloved?”
Oh how hatred made me wish they weren’t.
This could have been my own father, the one who lost his wife suddenly, overwhelmed by guilt, overcome with loneliness, his whole life falling apart, afraid of where to go no idea what’s next. Broken. Ashamed. Terrified. Praise God this wasn’t him, but it could have been. I fell apart in that street.
These men are fathers and grandpas, that boy is someone’s son. The Father gave me his heart in that moment. These men, these clients are broken and blind. They can’t see what’s happening around them, they can’t see who they are or who they’ve become. They are looking for fulfillment—here. OH how I wish I could grab each one of them and tell them it won’t satisfy. No amount of sex will fill that gaping ache in your life. No number of women will replace the one loved so dear and lost. No “ping-pong” show will give you back the confidence your boss stole from you. Lap dances won’t make you forget your house was foreclosed. Stolen kisses won’t help you through divorce. There’s nothing on this street that will satisfy. You’ll walk away lonelier than you came.
I walked and walked, up and down rows of bars just to be Jesus there, just to let the Holy Spirit roam. His presence is undeniable and uncontrollable, it beckons and invites, evil flees and the enemy quakes.
Girls and Lady-boys (men) poured their hearts out to us in a matter of moments, aggressive bar owners regressed as we walked by, girls couldn’t stop watching us, we couldn’t help but be noticed. We weren’t walking around with tracts, we weren’t circled up praying in the middle of the street, we just walked. We roamed and smiled and let the Spirit do His work, let the Father love through our eyes, let Jesus be the magnet that pulled others in.
Sometimes we just need to be there. To be willing, to be still, to be accessible, we need to be agenda-less and trusting and full of graceful love.
Girls will be rescued and men will be reached.
Bangla Road is one of the biggest Sex tourism destinations in the world. Everyday thousands of girls are sold for sex here, thousands of men come for pleasure. Women have been drugged and trafficked, they’ve been sold by their families, they’ve elected to come in order to protect their younger siblings, and they’re trapped. A mafia owns and runs this entire area, law enforcement is paid off to turn their heads as men walk down the streets with girls under 12. Thailand’s law states that prostitution is illegal yet it’s their largest source of income country wide. In many other areas there are people working to right this injustice but in Bangla there is no ministry. We were Jesus that night. Pray for governments to be awakened, that the blind will see, that women will find freedom, that Thailand will be restored.
———->Stay tuned for the second part to my time in the bars<———-