It’s been one week since we left New Zealand for Thailand. We started by flying straight into Bangkok and spending a day there with one of our other teams before coming to Pattaya. Pattaya is a tourist town on the coast about a 2 hr drive south of Bangkok.
We’ve been working with a ministry called the Tamar Center. It was started in 1999 by a YWAM team who got a heart for the girls in prostitution here. They come from all over Thailand to “work” for various reasons. Some come to escape extreme poverty or have been left by their husbands and need to earn money to support children from that marriage. The girls line the streets, outside the bars every night. “Sex Tourism” is the major industry here. I have never seen anything like it.
Today, it’s hot and humid outside but I am in a nice little a/c coffee house run by the Tamar Center. Two of the girls on my team are gearing up for an English lesson. One of the best ways to be marketable here is to know English, so we are teaching it. This coffee house is a place where the girls can eventually come to work. The trouble is that most of them have no marketable skills or way to earn a living. The Tamar Center is working to solve that problem. They offer work here at the coffee shop along with a card-making center upstairs where girls can make greeting cards that are sold for a profit. They have
another location they call Soi 6, named after the road it’s on. It is right in the heart of the bar district. I could hardly believe we had a prayer and worship session right down on the street the other night. The bar music was blasting and the night life in full swing. A big part of making headway is through prayer and worship. We have spent time praying over the city from high points and walking from one end of the town to the other praying God will push back this oppression that’s is destroying so many lives.
We have barely been in the country a week but it seems like we’ve been so many places and done so much. I am grateful and trusting God to continue to lead our little team of 6 on this journey.