Searching For Love In Darkness

As I look over my right shoulder, I notice a tall white man, easily over the age of 60, pacing rather quickly towards the now closed mall.  While I watch him move amongst the locals,  I have trouble not feeling ashamed or even a little hate towards what he is about to do.  This man, who could possibly have a daughter of his own, is going to purchase one of the hundreds of young girls standing outside the bars displaying themselves as “products”.  However, what I didn’t realize is that he is probably staying for a couple months and each night will choose his new “product”.   I wish I could say he was the only man I saw, but unfortunately that would be lying.  I saw plenty of white men.  Enough to where I literally had to send a prayer to heaven, so I could heal my quickly hardening heart.  


Then on the other side of this dark place is the girls.  All standing in front of the bars talking to each other while wearing their “not covering anything” costume.  It seemed as if nothing was wrong with this picture for them.  The flashing lights, the skimpy costumes, and the old men walking around didn’t seem to phase them.  It was just another night.  I wondered though, what was really going through their mind.  Are they scared of the possible beating that could happen to them?  Do they have a family?  If so, where is their family?  How did they end up there?  All these questions, and I didn’t know any of them.  I simply wanted to talk to just one girl.  Find out her story.  Thats it!  Just one!   Then it happened.  


One girl no older than 20, when she saw us America girls riding by in the van, immediately jumped up, smiled a beautiful smile, waved, and yelled hi!  For that split second, we made eye contact… we connected.  Even though I didn’t get to talk with her, I do know one thing about her… She doesn’t belong on the streets.  She should be hanging out with her friends and stressing about her up coming college exam, but instead she is trapped.  Just like the millions of other girls trying to find a little piece of hope.  While she still had that small hope in her eyes, I saw a lot of girls sluggishly moving down the side walks with no purpose and no hope.  


That was where I was… The red light district in Manila, Philippines.  Even though I only got a glimpse of it through the windows of the van.  The short scene I watched unravel before my eyes was just enough to break my heart.  I wish I had some magical solution to fix the problem, but I don’t.  All I know is that I can pray.  I can pray for the old man, who is lost, hurting, and is finding relief in purchasing young girls for one night.  I can also pray for the girls trapped, who don’t know how to get out.  And lastly for the missionaries at work in the bars.  It is overwhelming to look at the problem as a whole, but if I step back and pray for that one girl or that one man, God really can make a difference. 



He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.”  Psalm 147:3


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