Monday, July 11, 2011


As I type this, Anna's team is spending their last night ministering in Phuket, Thailand. Here is a blog post written this past weekend by one of Anna's team leaders, Shannon Higgins:

This is the main road that the small streets full of bars stem off of. This is the street we walk down every other night in prayer. This is also one of the darkest and saddest places I have ever seen. Think of the strips in Myrtle Beach or Daytona Beach that tourist come to and look in shops, hang out, and take pictures. That is Bangla Road plus girls dancing on bars and poles, selling themselves, and Lady Boys who are boys raised to be girls in prostitution, dressed in cabaret costumes.

This was a new sight for me. The bars in Chang Mai did not have many of these things. They also did not have tourist families with their children of all ages exposed to this. It did not have groups of women my age on vacation hanging out in the bars. It did not have them standing and videoing the “entertainment”.

The families with children who took pictures of their 6 year old daughter dancing on a bar with a ladyboy or the father with the 10 year old son staring at the girls dancing on the poles broke my heart and incited my anger. How is this a good idea? Why do these parents not see how wrong this is? Bangla Road is not just about buying women for the night but it is a tourist sight for all to come and watch.

This is when I get overwhelmed with the depravity of mankind. I do not understand why we are okay with women being sold and used for others entertainment. Why aren’t other foreign women appalled by what they see? Instead I see them with their cameras and phones capturing the “entertainment.” I see the women in the bars and on the street and my heart breaks for the life they have to live. Their families have groomed some of the women for this job, some have been trafficked, and some have no other way to provide for their families. They deserve so much more in their lives than being objects for another’s pleasure.

I walk down Bangla Road with my team of four girls. We do not go into the bars or down the side streets of bars. Our main goal is to prayer walk down and up Bangla Road. We listen for the voice of God and obey. I’ve never spent so much time praying in my life, but it has been incredible how God has spoken to us and guided us in our time down there.

My team of girls has built relationships with one of the girls in a bar, an Indian women who works in a shop on Bangla, and an American guy who has been living and working in Phuket. It has been a privilege to go behind these amazing young women and support, encourage, and guide them as they hear God’s voice in obey. I wish I could put into words how powerful prayer can be and important it is for us to be out there praying and interceding for the groups who do go into the bars each night.

Tonight is our last night on Bangla Road. It will be hard to say goodbye to the people we have gotten to know. Pray we finish strong.

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