Rescue–The Beauty of One
As I sit here from my hotel balcony in Pattaya watching the ships sail off the coast, my heart is so full I feel it may explode. The last couple of days has been both glorious and eye opening. I cannot even tell you how much I love my team. We are all so different, yet we function as one. We are so unified in our purpose and resolve while we are here, and I adore each one. I have also, not surprisingly, fallen in love with the founder of the home, Bonita Thompson. Her relentless pursuit of these girls and the incredible impact she is having blows my mind. Ann, the director of the Home, and Punn, her assistant, possess such beautiful spirits and have blessed us in so many ways. And Ann’s mother, beautiful Dolly, kept us in stitches, laughing the whole time we were around her. I asked to be one of her best friends. I should be so blessed. She and all the others I will hold in my heart forever.
Such as one of the girls that was rescued from a bar here. To respect her privacy, I won’t share her name, but her smile lights up a room. Her story depicts perfectly the impact of rescuing one girl. Coming from Laos, she got her visa to “work” in Bangkok, in the bars there. But God rescued her from that situation when she attended a Christmas party given by the Home of New Beginnings 10 years ago. She heard about Jesus, made him her Lord, and pretty much became an apostle Paul. When Jesus got hold of her heart, the transformation was radical. After sharing with her 12 siblings about the rescuer of her soul, they all became believers and have started a house church in her home city where 18 of her family members now worship. Because Laos is a communist country, Christianity is illegal. But the church is growing in spite of opposition. 4 policemen visited the church for a number of weeks to monitor what was taking place. This girl believes Jesus sent them there to hear the message of salvation. It’s like a story straight out of the book of Acts. After a few weeks of attending, the police stopped coming, and the church was never harassed in any way. All of this because of the rescue of one girl. The story of the power of one. Whole generations and cities in other countries feel the ripple effect. The love of God will rend the Heavens to reach the one, and this girl is such a one. And now her young son is being instructed by his precious mother about that love. And the story will go on.
And there are more stories. One girl now works for Carnival Cruise Line; one is completing an MBA program; one works in HR for a big corporation here in Thailand, one is studying to become a social worker, and there are more. One particular girl came to the Home and had no idea how old she was. Ann took her to the doctor and dentist, and through dental records found that she was somewhere between the age of 10 and 12. She is now at the University in a medical engineering program. Girls with no hope, no identity, and some with even no citizenship anywhere in the world are becoming successful, healthy, functioning women of God. Girls that once wore a number around their neck like cattle, tagged and sold to the highest bidder, have learned that their identity is in Jesus, their citizenship is in Heaven, and their value is infinite because of the price Jesus paid for them long ago. They have been unimaginably redeemed.
And it’s all because of the vision of one angel named Bonita and her fierce love for these broken girls of the night. When they come to Bonita and the Home of New Beginnings, they are taught the most basic things: their own body parts, hygiene, their age, their alphabet, and most of all… their great worth. They are taught the English language; they are taught how to sew; they are taught how to cook and bake; they are taught how to read; and most importantly, they are taught about a Savior who loves them and gives them hope and value and eternity. And I am honored to even be around them and watch them smile, and listen to them giggle, and watch them figure out how to say words in English to me, and to hug them, and touch them and love them. And I know I will never be the same.
And some of you sent me here to find one more of them. And many of you are praying and watching and hoping and trusting that we will find the one or the two or the ten or the hundred in this city of Pattaya. And when we do, each one will have a story of brokenness and despair. But that’s the beauty of this whole thing. God transforms beauty from ashes. And these girls are a royal diadem and a crown of splendor in His hand. And I can’t wait for them to know they are a princess and they deserve to be treated like one. And some day they will meet their King, the King of Glory, and he will reveal to them sights unimaginable, and they will know they are home in peace forever. It all begins with one. Just one more.
And that is why I am here in Pattaya.
“‘In that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘I will break the yoke off their necks and will tear off their bonds; no longer will foreigners enslave them. Instead, they will serve the Lord their God’…” (Jeremiah 30:8-9a).