We approached a woman sitting on the sidewalk who seemed to be trying to hide herself under her umbrella. She hesitated a little and then responded, “I am writing about my life. I have sold my body for many years now and in the beginning I made good money – now I have almost no customers and sometimes get offered as little as 100 baht ($3). Everyone in my family is gone and I live alone. I am so sad, I cry all the time and sometimes just want to die. I have nothing left to do but write.” This is just one woman’s story, from one conversation we had this week. We had never met her before and though we are working to set her up with another organization that can help provide some job training and get her another form of income, there is no guarantee we will ever actually see her again. This is the reality of our neighborhood. We spent time listening to her story, asking questions, bought her some food since she said she had not eaten that day and had only 5 baht (about 20 cents), shared with her about how there is a God who knows all of her story and sadness and cries with her, and prayed for her. We gave her our numbers and talked about how we could find her again – her response was, “I think maybe that if you are able to help, God will bring you back across my path.” A week later we bumped into her again – this time while trying to do “church” with a few of our neighbors who “used to be” Christian. She readily joined in praying out loud to Jesus – and revealed to us that she had grown up in a Catholic School. A few days after that we got to spend the morning with her visiting some different social service and job retraining options. She wasn’t very excited about any of the places that we visited together – but we will continue praying that God opens up a new door for this new friend.
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