The Ministry Need in Bangkok Thailand
Dan Hitz, Executive Director of Reconciliation Ministries, went on a short-term missions trip to Bangkok Thailand in September 2010 and presented this vision and need for ministry to the sexually and relationally broken in Thailand and Metro-Detroit, Michigan.
Dan Hitz went on a short-term missions trip to Bangkok Thailand from September 22nd to October 5th, and joined the Desert Stream Ministries leadership team as they conducted leadership training for Living Waters Thailand. Leaders from Thailand and other SE Asian countries received personal healing and were equipped to bring the Living Waters program to others throughout SE Asia. After the conference, Dan met with Chris from The MST Project, an outreach ministry to the customers of women in the sex trade industry, and Iven and Kashmira Hauptman who have formerly run a ministry to male sex industry workers. They now run a neighborhood outreach which includes men and women in the sex industry. You can read more about the MST Project in this newsletter, and on their website. Iven and Kashmira’s blog is here.
Thailand is primarily a Buddhist nation and in great need of the healing power of Christ. Leela Tangnararak, Director ofLiving Waters Thailand, explains:
Thailand is not land of the free as its name means because of the spiritual bondages. People are bound to various types of idolatry and sexual immorality, educated or uneducated are alike. About 85% are Buddhists despite the 175 years of protestant history in Thailand. There is only 1% of Christians in the country. Many people live in darkness by their sins. Different forms of sexual perversion are obviously increasing and more accepted in the society than ever before; gender confusion, gays, lesbians, sexual addictions, prostitutions, etc. It is the thirsty and dry land that needs Living Water from Jesus. Pray that the Thai souls will thirst and long for the One who can truly quench their thirst and hunger.
Although we can rejoice that there are those in Thailand who do know Jesus Christ and are gaining victory over sexual sin, there are still the 99% of Thais who remain in darkness. Many of those are trapped in the sex industry. Kashmira Hauptman writes:
On outreach we walk the streets where men are selling sexual services and present ourselves as Jesus-following friends who care about the guys as people, and who know that their true worth is so much greater than any customer could ever pay. We pray with the men, hear their stories, gain trust over time and ask about their dreams for their future (one man wants to be a social worker so he can help people, another told us he wants to someday own his own duck farm).
Most of the men we meet are between the ages of 17-28, and come from all sorts of backgrounds and education levels – some have college degrees but many others only made it through sixth grade. Though about 95% of the clients are men, only about 50% of the male sex workers we meet would consider themselves “gay” – many have told us that they hate what they do but don’t see any comparable options for themselves: minimum wage is $6 a day, but customers are often willing to pay $15 or more per sexual encounter.
Isolation is a big part of these men’s lives – while spending the day with one guy in his 20’s we asked him what he likes to do with his friends in his off time. He looked at us blankly and said, “I don’t have any friends. The only people I know are clients and co-workers.” Because of the late-night hours these men keep and the neighborhoods that they work and often live in, it is common for many of them to have few significant relationships with anyone outside of the sex industry.
I am thankful to be a part of what the Lord is doing to bring sexual redemption to Thailand, and am well aware of the great need in the Metro-Detroit area. One reason I have met with ministries like The MST Project and the Hauptman’s is to learn skills from them that will be useful in our future ministerial outreach in Metro-Detroit. Please remember to keep Thailand and Reconciliation Ministries in your prayers. We can do nothing without the power of God – but we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We need His leading and His empowering.