Do you ever have those moments where your heart hurts so much you can surely feel it breaking? I had one of those moments watching a meeting taking place at the Samaritan Creations workshop. One of the women we rescued from trafficking is HIV+ and the rest of the group was very nervous. They are concerned about how to protect themselves and a wall is starting to go up. Do I really blame them? When we don’t understand, our 1st reaction is to draw back. That was what was happening. Our artisan was starting to feel isolated her 3rd day after joining the group. We brought in a nurse and she was explaining how we can all protect ourselves and work together safely. I felt for our artisan as she explained how her mom kicked her out of the house. You see, her mom wanted her if she could make money, now that she couldn’t she was just another mouth to feed. She started sobbing quietly. I looked at her and my heart shattered. She is 25 years old, the age of my daughter. This is something that she will have to manage the rest of her life and she felt so alone. God, I just can’t. Then Marisa do something about it. I got up and walked across the room, sat on the floor next to her, and rubbed her back. You see, I know how you contract HIV/AIDS and I couldn’t just sit back and watch her feel so alone. As the meeting progressed, the other women asked questions and then I saw the mood slowly shift from exclusion to inclusion.
Later I sat with her and wanted to know her story. So many mouths to feed in her family, she went looking for a job. She saw an ad on Facebook, yes Facebook. It was in Bangkok so she scraped together some money and got a bus ticket. When she got there the legitimate job turned into a job of selling herself. No money to get home and no place to stay, she took it. “My legs shook so bad the 1st night. I did it for 7 months and then I couldn’t take it anymore. I ran away and went home. I never forgot Kay and I called her.” Kay the Director of Samaritan Creations goes into Red Light District week after week building relationship and giving out her number. “Call me if you need anything.” Let me just say Kay’s phone pings more than mine and mine pings a lot! So many women reaching out who are trapped and just need a safe place to land. “I called Kay and she offered me a job and a place to stay. I got my brother to drive me up here.” With that she looked at me and smiled. Kay could only offer her a job because of everyone who donated to the One Woman Campaign While there were many hard moments on my trip to Thailand, there was much celebration. Before I left, she accepted Jesus into her life. Sometimes I can hear my heart breaking but then sometimes I can hear it being put back together.