Day by day or week by week –
Meeting the women who walk the streets at night.
Meeting again to hear their stories – to learn why they come out when it’s dark
Stories of poverty, deceit, betrayal, fear, abuse, rape, an unending struggle to survive
Feeling honored that they trust us enough to let us in where it still hurts
Feeling joy that while they’ve been praying for a way out –
while their families are praying for them to come home –
God made an opportunity for our paths to cross in this moment,
And we trust that He’s made a way for them to leave the streets.
Meeting them many more times as a friend.
Learning more and more who they are, beyond what I first saw.
Childhood stories. First loves. Joys. Dreams. Their own children’s photos.
Buzzing here and there –
Errands and meetings and interviews and doctor appointments and bills
Writing emails, advocating, trying to fit the puzzle together to send them home.
Hoping and praying and looking for opportunities for them when they’ve returned.
Trusting God to cover the logistics and fill in all the gaps…
Checking the details, again.
Making sure the t’s are crossed and the i’s dotted –
Including luggage within the weight limits… yikes!
Trying to keep track of receipts and numbers and transcripts and paperwork
And trying to iron out the budget with my colleagues… in Thai…
Sometimes I’m in a frazzle dazzle fog –
Start speaking in funny accents
Fall off of my chair in the office
Or lock myself out of my apartment
Or… lock one of the women in the outreach center bathroom!
Have to break in and then buy a new doorknob…
(Yes, that’s all happened)
And, often I wake up wondering, “Why again?”
Because we may help a few,
But poverty’s not been fixed
Corrupt systems are yet in place
And since tourists still come here by the planeload to buy sex
Traffickers still have a market to appeal to.
So, neither supply or demand is affected
even if we manage to help another woman out.
But, then, there are those moments
when I speak to a woman’s son or brother after she’s returned home
and he tells me he’s so glad – he’s so happy she’s home safe –
and I can feel his happiness with him.
And then she gets on the phone – and her voice is light and hopeful again –
not heavy like when I knew her here in Bangkok.
And, in those moments, I know it’s worth it.
SHE’S WORTH IT.
Ok. Wake up again tomorrow.
Five women NightLight’s been helping returned home this week!
Two of them received assistance because of the birthday fundraiser to which many of you donated! THANK YOU! They are celebrating their return with their families this weekend. Let’s celebrate with them!