Mary Fordham 4:01 AM: “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
After traveling for two straight days we arrived in Thailand around midnight on Thursday. We luckily made it to the residence we would be staying at before 1 a.m. I say luckily because stop signs, rode lines and other road laws are more of a suggestion than rules to be followed. The only rule in foreign driving appears to universally be—don’t get hit or hit another driver!
The streets of Bangkok are wild and alive at night…We burn during the day and freeze to death at night…Magical bug bites keep appearing all over my body and cause me to itch. I have no idea what is eating me, but I must be quite the delicious foreign delicacy because it keeps coming back for more. Oh the small joys in life! We have a shower too, although the spout is only about 4 feet off the ground!
I am thankful for the evil bed bugs, short showers, cold air and counting my blessings in general. That first night on the way to the apartment I saw so many women with little children just lying on the side of the road. They had little babies sleeping beside them out in the hot, dangerous and un-sheltered night. We are so lucky for our bed bugs.
The food is very interesting and usually great. I have eaten some very strange things. I can’t even tell you what they were. Yes, there were some bugs involved, but no roaches…I think.
In the mornings I teach a girl named Nim English. In the afternoons I go with the other girls to pool halls and play pool and build relationships with the girls. After that I will go every other night around 6 to a GoGo bar and meet and build relationships with the girls there. We will always return from the GoGo bars before 9:30 because that is when the young bucks arrive and things get wild. I cannot even express to you the things that happen here. It is tragic to say the least.
Buddhism has really hurt this country. It makes family ties strong in certain ways and yet makes daughters an easy and more willing sacrifice in another. Everything bad that happens to the girls, abuse and even gang rape, is just a matter of Carma. They earned it in another life and it is not considered abuse. Men beating women is considered a form of communication not abuse (actual words from a Thai woman). If they send enough money to their family through prostitution in this life, then they won’t have to live a life of degradation and shame in the next.
Sometimes it is their husbands and boyfriends who force them into prostitution as a second job for some extra cash. So they are trafficked and prostituted, sometimes willingly for their demanding families. It is their sacred duty. As I look at the sweet girls around me it is difficult to believe they came from the streets and years of abuse and shame.
On Sundays we go to the Thai church and pretend to pay attention to the pastor. (Please people, shed those judgmental eyes. It’s in Thai so I can’t understand a word of it. It sounds like the teacher on Charlie Brown “Wa wa wa wa wa.”) I enjoyed making up my own praise songs to God and singing them to the rhythm of the Thai songs that were being sung. Some of the people probably thought I was singing Thai. It’s better than singing “Watermelon Watermelon” which I hear is the thing to do when you do not know the words of a song. I figured we were in church to praise God, so I was going to praise Him! It was great!