Let's go back awhile...shall we.
It's just before Halloween; the bars are decorated with webs, spiders, and ghosts. Let's make this dark place feel a little darker!
After some prayer and worship, a few of us felt called to go out and love the women (ok...I really didn't want to go. I was having strange sharp pains in my back, but knew it was an attack and I needed to go). We walked passed one bar to say hello to our friend. We gave her a bible and a few books to read. After leaving her, we were just about to cross the street and go to a familiar bar. However, God had other plans. In that moment, about twenty rugby men came walking towards us and filed into that bar.
I was in shock. What just happened? God was trying to get our attention. If it had been five or six we may have followed them in, but it was an army. Just as we started to ask each other what to do, three of the men stopped, looked at us, and said, "Ladies, come join us." Ew, gross. NO. We turned and headed towards a bar God highlighted the month before.
In this bar, all the women had drawn pictures on their faces for Halloween. After a failed attempt to speak Khmer with one of the young girls, I noticed something...a cross, on one of the girls' faces. I began to speak to her and she understood me; I understood her. We talked in actions, English, Khmer, and with the cross necklace I was wearing. I told her about an organization that could help her if she wanted it, and she said, "YES!" Before we left, I got to pray with her.
What a great night! The next week, she wasn't even working anymore! Later, she told me that morning she had prayed for God to send someone to help her, and we walked in that bar. YAY, God!
As I sit here to write, I have to remind myself God led us to her and I have to trust He will take care of her. She has decided not to live at the organization after three months, but will continue to study with them. However, she looses a lot of the additional help the organization provides. When she told me her decision, I was disappointed, maybe even a little angry. These emotions are not because of her, but because I can see the prison she walks back into by leaving. My heart is a little broken, but I know God is in control.
Today, as I flipped open my bible, I read Galatians 5:1:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
And later in verse 6b it says:
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.