I sat across from one of our artisans in the Samaritan Creations workshop in Bangkok and listened as she shared her story. Do you have any kids. “A son.” She looks down and keeps making jewelry. “I don’t get to see him.” When was the last time you saw him? “6 years ago. He is now 9.” I just sat there speechless. I heard her story and it just angered me. She became pregnant by a guy who she met in the bar. He constantly belittled her and then took their child and went to live with his family. They blocked her from seeing him. Why? You can’t support your son working in the bar. After she cleaned her life up, she went back to try to see her son. His family said no. Why? You will always be a bar girl.
Imagine if we are defined by our mistakes, I mean truly defined by them. What would be the reason to change? I thought about my time in Bangkok and how when a woman is a bar girl she will always be that. Let’s not even delve into the fact that he met her in the bar. Why isn’t he defined by that? One thing I am truly thankful for is that my mistakes don’t define who I am in Christ. Creating relationships is key in the red light district. Why? What is the motivation for a woman to leave this lifestyle behind if it truly will never become her past and will always remain in her present and future? As we build relationships, we build trust. That opens the door to share why we are here. Because of Jesus. Who is this Jesus? You see in the Christian faith you are not reincarnated and have to pay off your past sins. You lay your sins at the foot of the cross and you become a new creation. You get a clean slate. Samaritan Creations will be the 1st to tell you that they don’t heal the women, Jesus does. They just offer a safe place to let Him do His work.
Really thinking about this scripture in light of my trip to Bangkok makes me glad that we walk alongside ministries that are truly changing lives.