For a few days this week we were joined by a team of three married couples from Australia were visiting Abba House hoping to learn more about the trafficking and prostitution going on in Thailand. Each of them had been drawn to this cause in one way or another and as a small group joined together to come and see just what was going on here and to begin praying into how they could help. They were with us for several days and spent time with the girls, the guys and even were able to join us in ministering to the young girl's drug rehab this Thursday!
When we arrived at the rehab center the lady at the gate would not let us in, saying she did not know who we were- although we'd been approved and confirmed the day before. As we stood outside praying and waiting as Joyce, founder of AHF, sorted things out we got to spend more time praying into the ministry we were about to do. When they finally let us in we went to an open pavilion where about 30-40 girls that sat before us. After introductions we played a name game that was a hit with the girls as the pavilion erupted into shouts, laughter and squeals of joy! Afterwards two of my teammates shared their messages and testimonies and we worshipped for them- trying to get them involved was much more difficult. The girls were mostly in their middle teens and so image was everything to them; while we were sharing the girls would be fixing their hair, reapplying make-up, and looking at themselves in their pocket sized mirrors that several of them had and were passing around. This broke my heart as they were practically crying out for God's love and just to know that they were beautiful. While ministering to these girls the couples from Australia sat behind us in prayer - something we all felt and so appreciated!
We also performed our "Everything" skit, the girls were very interested in what we were doing. The intense drama is about a girl who loves Jesus, and is tempted by many worldly things such as lust, addictions, insecurities, and greed. She cries out for Jesus but is being spiritually attacked by these temptations. At the end, Jesus takes the burden from her and she breaks free from those things and accepts Jesus into her life. After the skit, Gulya (a team member from Tajikistan) asked the girls who wanted to receive prayer to come up front and the response was wonderful! We had the opportunity to pray for about fifteen of these girls and for a new path for their lives. It was incredible to see them hold onto our hands as we prayed individually for them and then speaking with some of them, via our wonderful translator, hearing more of their broken and emptiness. One girl was saying how alone and hopeless she felt and how she just didn't know what to do anymore; our translator was so moved to tears as she got to directly minister to this young girl for a time and pray with her to receive comfort and peace. They were so spiritually hungry.
Before leaving, we shared snacks with them and had a great time of fellowship. It is so important for these girls to have this positive influence and steady relationships during such a pivotal time in their lives and we found out later that a group of missionary women from America come to teach english every week. However, the authorities there sometimes won't let them in, though they've been going for nearly two years; and when they do get to go in it has not been uncommon for them to stand over these women as they teach - making sure they are not "teaching Christianity." This has been a very difficult, but incredibly rewarding ministry and I urge you to keep them in your prayers as they minister and disciple these girls - as much as they can under the keen eye of the authorities there who have been very difficult and closed to their teaching the Bible.
Praise God for His restorative Spirit and for the comfort He brings to those without hope!