From Bangkok we then rode a bus 12 hours south to the Island of Phuket. Here we are working with a ministry called S.H.E (Self Help and Empower), a ministry directly involved with the women in prostitution, providing them a way to get out of their lifestyle and into one of freedom.
The ministry S.H.E. was birthed in Mark & Sharon Biddell’s hearts while they served on the coasts of Africa. S.H.E. began in October of 2006, so a little over a year ago now. The ministry has really grown since then, and in June of 2007 they hired 6 former bar workers! And since we have been here in Phuket working with them, they have gotten two more girls!
Each week Mark and Sharon make their way to the Red light district where they have so many relationships with the women and with the managers of the bars. They pursue the women so hardily and faithfully until they choose to make the decision to come to S.H.E. and leave their broken lifestyle behind.
Once the women decide to leave the red light district, they are able to begin working right away with S.H.E. Each day from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm they work doing devotions, learning english, cooking, and mostly making jewelry to sell.
Mark and Sharon then send the jewelry in bundles back to England where they are originally from. And people from their churches and friends and family buy the Jewelry to help support these women here.
Right now I am sitting at a table where the girls are working hard making beautiful jewelry. They are taking their time, and making sure everything is perfect to be sold.
(At the Well in Bangkok there were about 30-35 women working! I’m sure soon the S.H.E. will be filled as well! How awesome is that!! God is moving ALOT here and it’s encouraging to see!)
When I walk the streets of the Red light district, knowing that there is more going on than that which meets the eye, I feel so burdened. There are so many women working in prostitution on one street alone, its almost unbelievable to think that there are 2 million women in Thailand working in this “industry”.
I walk the streets feeling overwhelmed, then I remember how impacting it can be to speak to just one or two women, just being there to listen as they share. The language can be a hinderance somedays but as I saw in Bangkok, God moved us past that and really impacted the girls’ lives and ours. I can feel God’s glory showing throughout all of this despite where we are. He is victorious still!! And THAT is what keeps me moving forward in pursuing these women.
They need love that is pure, unbroken, and true. They need the Redeemer, to know they are loved and free. He will pursue after them even when we are gone, and THAT encourages my heart.
Please pray for movement in Thailand, and the surrounding nations that deal with this very thing. Please pray for truth to spread farther than the deciet. God is more powerful than anything, and even death which I learned this year.
I’ll write again soon with another update, and hopefully photos!!