I want to sleep off these emotions.
I could fall asleep in an instant and pretend like I didn’t see what I saw or hear what I heard tonight.
That would be quite nice actually. The comfort of sleep would be a cheap escape from the heartache that has beset me.
I also want to throw up. I would love to be able to detox this gnawing sickness from my system; this churning in my stomach from watching foreign men run their hands over young “dancers” near-bare bodies.
I am undone.
Human Traffiking: it was always this injustice I heard of from afar.
But not tonight.
Tonight there are names and faces and personal stories attached to it.
Tonight everything I have ever complained about pales in comparison to the reality of these girls situations.
Tonight was our fourth night of evangelism in the red light disctrict of Olangapo, Philippines. For ministry our team breaks up into a couple groups and heads into the clubs. Inside, the dancers are up on stage dressed in crop tops and tiny skirts, moving their hips back and forth to the music blaring over head. Luckily, they dont dance nearly as raunchy as regular club goers back home and this helps make it bareable for our guys to be there. The dancers are on 15 to 30 minute shifts, so we talk to the ones that are standing around. We introduce ourselves and then ask them simple questions to get to know them. How old they are, how many children they have, whether they like working there. If they have time and you ask the right questions they may open up about their families and their dreams for the future. And we dance with them! Haha! I have actually had a blast the past few nights just dancing goofy with some of the girls. I really believe our team has brought a huge amount of joy with us in each club we enter, and by carrying the presence of the Lord with us we shift the atmosphere from darkness to light.
In the first club we entered tonight it was really hard to meet the girls because the “mamasan” or pimp mother was glaring at us the whole time. Eventually she turned her back for a bit and i went and sat down by some girls. Roslynn was 19, and when asked if she had any children she exclaimed with pride, “No! I’m a virgin. I’m a cherry girl.” I was struck by the fact that Roslynn would not remain a virgin for much longer, eventually the mamasan would receive a high enough bidder and she would either have to sell herself or loose her job. I can only imagine the fear there is each afternoon as Roslynn goes to work and wonders if this will be the night. I pray she will escape.
After getting to know them, we invited all our new friends to come eat with us at a local restaurant this weekend. I am excited for our team to get to share with them their potential and the plans their maker has for their futures. Then the leader from this base will invite the girls to co
me spend 3 months free of charge here at the YWAM home. If they wish to continue on, they enter into a two year discipleship program. The women have times of teaching, worship, prayer and intercession, work duties, and small groups. They also receive practical skills and secondary schooling; t hat way when the girls complete their time here they have new skills or a vocation to provide for themselves and their families.
We have been living here at the Ywam base for just over a week. Most of the women we live with are ex prostitutes themselves. Through various teaching times we have gotten to know them personally and have heard their testimonies of how God saved them from the exact same situations as these girls we meet in the bars. Hearing them share and seeing the joy they have in the Lord gives us the motivation to go out each night.
Tonight my heart aches, yet there is hope!