For The Love of Siam

Archive for April, 2013

A Few Good Men

 This is taken from a series of stories titled “A Few Good Men” on the NightLight Blog

At NightLight we believe that men are part of the solution in regard to the issue of sexual exploitation.  We are committed to reaching out to the men who come to Bangkok to participate in the sex industry.  These following stories will highlight “a few good men” that we work with or encounter in the Nana red-light district in Bangkok.
 This week we are featuring a journal from Paul Brown.  He and his wife, Sarah are from England and recently joined the volunteer staff at NightLight.

It was not too long after we arrived in Bangkok that I went on my first outreach night in the red light area of Nana.  Nana’s appearance during the day is a far cry from its much darker and seedier face during the night. I joined the ladies for prayer prior to them going on outreach. On this occasion, I was able to accompany them around the area but not into the bars.

My attention was particularly caught by the men I saw. I remember seeing one woman chatting to a man, and as I passed, I overheard their conversation. He proceeded to tell her that he felt he was not an attractive man, even though she was trying to make him feel like he was. Some of the men who were old enough to be many of the ladies’ fathers were trying to impress them with their life achievements. These men came across as lonely and probably hurting individuals more in need of ‘love’ than ‘condemnation’. As I looked on many of these men with compassion not condemnation, it made me think of the scripture – For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. John 3:17 (AMP)

There seemed to be no doubt they were looking for love or companionship, but under these circumstances, it would not be of the lasting kind. I began to think about what these guys had left at home? Loved ones who were completely unaware as to what their husband,friend, father, brother or sons were getting caught up in the city of Bangkok? What were they jeopardising at home for something so fleeting?

What really struck me about the atmosphere around the bars and clubs is how comfortable the men seemed to be with everything that was going on around them. It was if this was just another form of amusement, like being at a fair ground, choosing which rides would provide them with the most pleasure. It was quite frightening how this was taken to be the norm.

Just before Christmas, NightLight hosted an outreach party in the outreach building in the red light area; hoping to reach out to the many men who frequent the bars, the women including those that work in the bars and the children. It was good to see the women but great to see some men come in for the free food, a chat, a listening ear and listen to us belt out some carols! Many of the men that came stayed right until the end, enjoying the company, and I am sure it provided them with an alternative to spending their time in the bars. We don’t know what effect we had, but I believe that we have shown love as Jesus did, not expecting anything in return. Some asked us, and no doubt themselves, why were we doing this? I believe a seed has been planted, which God will faithfully water.

It is encouraging that in some ways the outreach centre is already functioning as an alternative safe place, especially for the men. My hope is that the coffee shop which is planned to be opened later this year will have a real impact in that area, particularly on the men. That they will see it as a welcoming place, a safe place to come and chat, and we will let God do the rest.

Pray for the success of the coffee shop and the work of NightLight and perhaps similar work in your area to help NighLight with this fight.

Paul Brown
Volunteer Staff – NightLight Bangkok

BMS World Mission Partnered with Nightlight 
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