We have been in Pattaya, Thailand for the past two weeks doing tons of ministry. We’ve taught english to both kids and women, painted a room for an organization, helped with a slum ministry, and done lots of street evangelism. But our main ministry focus in this location is bar ministry. We really want to reach the women working in the bars in the Red Light District of Pattaya. Many of them were brought there to help provide for their families without knowing what kind of work they would be forced to do. Most of the time we go into the bars, order a soda or a water, and simply have conversation with the girls working. I have personally loved this ministry because it is bringing the women a sense of hope and showing them Jesus’ love simply by hanging out with them.
One of my favorite days of ministry was Valentine’s Day…
Valentine’s Day; a day completely dedicated to love. In places like Australia and America, people are going out to dinner and buying chocolate for their loved one. In Pattaya, some of those same westerners are going to bars and buying women to use for a night. Our team really wanted to show what God’s genuine and perfect love looks like, so we bought 200 pink and red roses and attached Bible verses to them to pass out to the girls working in the bars. We walked down the infamous “Walking Street” (the street lined with bar after bar) and went into bars or handed them to girls on the streets. It was amazing to see their faces light up as they smelled the rose and their demeanor change as they read the verse. We quickly ran out of roses, so we stopped at the end of the street and worshipped God; loud and proud! People stopped and listened to us, some took videos of us, and some simply passed by. We got to have some really great conversations with people walking down the street and got to see God work in people’s hearts.
The simple gesture of giving out a rose on Valentine’s Day has a lot more meaning than I used to think. Tonight, God used roses to show people His love. His love is perfect and casts out all fear. His love covers all offenses, satisfies all, and is the most genuine love imaginable. Many people got to encounter His love for the first time tonight and it was a beautiful thing. The work God is doing in the city of Pattaya is huge.