Let me share two conversations from the red-light district this week.
“I am Buddhist and I go to the temple. I leave money there so the Buddha will help me,” one woman explained.
“You know what?” my friend, Janet said. “You don’t have to pay God to help you.”
The woman looked surprised. “Really?” she asked.
“Really,” Janet said.
A second woman told us that she has a Bible in Thai and English that she has been trying to read. She has a hard time praying, though, because her English isn’t very good.
“You know what?” Janet said. “You can pray to God in Thai. God speaks Thai.”
Again, the woman looked surprised. “Really?” she asked.
“Really,” she said.
As we talked further with both, I realized that these two women had never heard this news before. It gave them something to think about. I could see on their faces that this was “Good News.”
“Do not let your hearts be troubled,” Jesus said. “Trust in God. Trust also in me.” In the margin of my Bible, I’ve written, “Trust is relying on someone else to see what you can’t see.”
I find myself relying on Janet “to see what I can’t see” in our visits, and I’m praying that God will open my eyes as we walk. In the greater sense, I understand that our team is also relying on God “to see what we don’t see” in the places we visit.
In Genesis, Hagar, another oppressed woman, recognized God as “the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13). In Exodus, God told Moses, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers and I am concerned about their suffering” (Exodus 3:7).
We don’t understand “why” he has called us to the red-light district but we trust that He “sees” the needs there. He has heard their cries and He is concerned about their suffering.
I’m thankful that we are not in this alone.