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Giving roses to prostitutes

Karen and I are turning in after a long day out here in California. What a crazy week! We returned from Cambodia on Monday and watched Wall St. tumble into chaos. We know a number of friends in the financial world who have watched the fortunes of their customers crumble. If you’ve struggled, …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Karen and I are turning in after a long day out here in
California. What a crazy week! We returned from Cambodia on Monday
and watched Wall St. tumble into chaos. We know a number of friends in
the financial world who have watched the fortunes of their customers
crumble. If you’ve struggled, I pray that God gives you grace to trust
him more and to go to him with whatever may trouble you most and to get
a fresh revelation of his priorities for your life.
 
Now we’re in Sacramento at the Youth Specialties conference. The
talk today went well. Afterwards it was good to meet Shane Claiborne
for the first time back stage.
 
As I review the week, I just want to share this excerpt from racer Tara Stephenson’s blog while she and her team were in Viet Nam:


Never would have thought I would spend a Saturday night handing out roses to prostitutes.

Attached to each rose was a
message in Vietnamese. It read “Jesus, Lord of all Lords, loves
you. You are more precious than rubies, more beautiful than
diamonds. You are the apple of His eye.”

It was on that night that I
saw faces light up with a glimpse of hope. They accepted the rose with
joy and delight. They quickly retreated to the expression they are
accustomed to but something was different. They were carrying what
symbolized God’s heart for them. They were carrying a symbol of beauty,
worth, and hope. It had the fragrance of innocence. It carried grace.

Oh to see and know of a Savior that wants to wash you white as snow; that wants to pour His grace on Vietnam. Was this Savior’s blood not shed for all?

“Therefore,
there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because
through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free for the
law of sin and death.”Romans 8:1-2

It was on that night that I
saw a young girl drive up on the back of a “mot”o with another man. She
quickly jumped off in front of the gate where Jessie Miller and I were
praying. She had a smile of purity yet uncertainty. I asked her what
her name was and she answered with excitement. She was wearing a white
button up blouse and a navy pencil skirt to her knees. She appeared to
be about 15.

I stood watching for her next
move.She turned to the man on the bike who was motioning her to go
into the hotel. I, with a sense of force said, “You do not want to go in
there.” I quickly went into the lobby and grabbed a rose. I came back
out and handed it to her. There it was, that glimpse of hope.She
leaned over to let the man read the message. For the first time since
they pulled up, the man looked me in the eyes. Out of his mouth he
said, thank you. So the girl looked back at him and he motioned her to
get back on the bike.

I can’t quite explain the joy
she had in her face.  It was like a young girl walking into a Barbie
palace. It was innocent.It held excitement.It was alive.

As the moto left the hotel
(headed down the dark street), she waved hastily. The last picture I
have of her is looking back down at the rose and unfolding the message.

Lord, I pray for that
girl.You know her by name.I pray that she would grab ahold of who she
is and what she can be. She is more precious than rubies. She is more
beautiful than diamonds. She was designed for greatness.
 
She was
designed to be loved.You love her more than any earthy being
could. Lord I pray that she would enter into that love and come to know
her purpose and worth. Have compassion for those men.Grant your mercy.
I plead that you would not harden their hearts. Take away their heart
of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh.Humble them. Convict
them Holy Spirit. Be a presence there in the hotel.Where you are there
is freedom. They need not just taste it but to drink big gulps from the
cup of life. River of life, flow down. Rain down your love. Drench
their hearts with grace. Bring more people to harvest and water these
seeds. I proclaim the 30 prostitutes and the men that walk in that
hotel are yours.

Pursue them.They do not know what they need.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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