I vividly remember my first trip to Pattaya, Thailand in 2006. Our team of 12 ate dinner at a nice outdoor restaurant. Our trip had just begun, so I was still suffering from jet lag. As I enjoyed the food, listened to conversation, my mind tried to comprehend the scene at a nearby table.
About four couples sat at the table. Four western men, middle-age to older, enjoyed dinner with what looked like early 20-something Thai women. All were dressed nice. Something seemed odd though.
Who were these men? Why were these Thai women with them?
I began to look around the restaurant and noticed several other tables with similar clientele. Something here was very wrong. My jet lag turned into an emotional buzz saw. I knew that prostitution existed in Thailand, but was it really this pervasive; this “in my face”?
Over one year later, Danielle and I moved to Pattaya, Thailand. We began to learn much more about the systemic problem facing young Thai women. We learned that Thai women move to Bangkok and Pattaya in large numbers to find a way out of poverty.
These girls hear stories of finding a foreign man who will marry them and take care of their family. Yes, this happens to a few, but for many, they end up caught in a life of prostitution and abuse. An estimated 20,000 girls work at some level in the prostitution scene in Pattaya.
This summer Danielle is traveling, along with nine other women, to Pattaya, Thailand to work alongside the staff of Tamar Center. This team will visit girls working in the bars, teach ESL classes, and throw a party for the bar girls. Each event gives these girls another chance to find freedom from a life of slavery.
Here is part of a testimony from one Thai girl:
We have heard many stories of how God has pursued these girls. Many times it is through dreams like it was for this young woman.
Most times God uses someone like you to reach them.
You can help these young women find a better way:
- Pray for this team. They travel July 8-17.
- Visit TamarCenter.org. You can find out more about this ministry, sign up for its newsletter, follow on Facebook, and give to their ministry.
- Read this blog I wrote a few months ago. Here you can find out about several other organizations working to reach those caught in human trafficking, slavery, and prostitution.
Contact me if you want to learn more about how you can financially support this team or some of their projects.
Also, I am thinking about providing some of their hand-made cards for sale on this website. All the profits will go directly to support the Tamar Center. What do you think about that idea?