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My daughter, the streetwalker

In the past I’ve written about my suite mate from college, Jim Larson. I love his incarnational ministry. He doesn’t just minister to prostitutes in Bangkok, he invites them into his home as his daughters.  He doesn’t patronize them; he stands in as a father.  Here he shares a story abo…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
In the past I’ve written about my suite mate from college, Jim Larson. I love his incarnational ministry. He doesn’t just minister to prostitutes in Bangkok, he invites them into his home as his daughters.  He doesn’t patronize them; he stands in as a father.  Here he shares a story about one of them, Bpuu.  Go to his blog for more stories like this one.

I haven’t been able to do much outreach lately.  Our programs have been
pretty much full, and up until recently others were going out at least
weekly.  The other night I got to go again with a visiting World Race team.

We have known Bpuu, 27, since our family exploratory visit to Thailand
5 years ago.  She still works the same spot on Sukhumvit Road that she
did then–night after night, waiting for a customer.  Bpuu is quite
pretty–we like to say she has a the face of a china doll.  But she is
fairly simple-minded, as best as I can tell the result of environmental
deprivation more than natural unintelligence. 

For a long time, even years, Bpuu seemed convinced that she would one
day land me as a customer or maybe even a boyfriend.  It didn’t help
that being on the street, she didn’t always see me with my wife, and
occasionally when I was out on an errand I would run into her alone.  

A couple of years ago Judy and I enlisted a few students from The
Well to take Bpuu to dinner for her birthday.  Since I spoke better
Thai at the time, I arranged a meeting spot with Bpuu by phone, in
the entry way of a Walmart-like department store.  We all got there
ahead of Bpuu, but since it was crowded, could not sit together on the
waiting benches.  Meanwhile Judy ran in to get a cake and candles. 
Bpuu came in, saw me and beamed, then her face promptly clouded when
our students came over to meet her.  The rest of the night she barely
communicated despite everyone’s best efforts, until we got out the cake
with candles.  “Put them all on,” she requested.

Over time however I began to get through to Bpuu that I loved her
very much, but as a daughter.  She stopped the flirtatious smiles and
whispers in my ear.  Seeing her on Thursday for the first time in a few
months, I felt no qualms about giving her a genuinely warm, one-arm
hug, and offering to treat her at the nearby McDonald’s.  She accepted,
along with a ladyboy friend.  

As usual, Bpuu had little to say so I talked mostly with her
friend.  I simply repeated everything I have said many times to
Bpuu–she is beautiful, lovable, precious, and doesn’t need to be doing
this.  She looked away shyly.

Her ice cream finished, Bpuu tried to get up.  “I’m afraid I will
miss a customer,” she complained.  “You’re not going to spend any more
time with your dad?” I lightly objected.  She hung on for two more
minutes, then made another attempt at escape that I had to allow.  She
made a beeline for the door.  I followed her outside and asked to pray
with her, something she usually accepts, as she did this time.  I kept
it short, asking for her protection, for God to get through to her how
much He loves her.  She bolted for the street on my “amen”, and
immediately ran into a guy she knew.  I didn’t want to stick around.

I have no idea how long it will take Bpuu to give up her lifestyle, but
I plan to be here until she does.  She claims to use protection, but so
does everyone, until they trust you enough to tell the truth.  One way
or another she will stop someday.

Comments (5)

  • Wow Seth! I can so identify with Bpuu and this story! It reminds me of an intense story of when I was on the streets. I will share it with you through email. It’s pretty amazing to look back now and see the hand of God on my life – even then!

  • Often, when I am discouraged in ministry, God reminds me of my friend, JoJo.

    When JoJo was a toddler she saw her mother killed with a shotgun. She was later molested by her uncles, one of whom introduced her to heroin. She became an addict and prostituted herself to pay for the drugs.

    It took years and years of loving JoJo before she came to Christ, but she did. She fell in love with Jesus, even dreaming of marrying Him.

    She was HIV positive and had an enlarged heart from heroin. Her death was sudden. Her heart just gave out and Jesus took His bride home.

    Man, it’s good for me to tell this story. I tend to get discouraged when time goes by and I don’t see changed lives. But I know that God’s unconditional, perfect Love never fails! This is the patient Love that rescued JoJo and the same Love that is calling Bpuu. God is so good!

  • Gosh…I can relate to Bppu and I never walked the streets.

    Because of my childhood stuff I grew up seeing all men as conquests. If I didn’t walk in the room and get male attention (for the wrong reasons) I was devastated. I was convinced that was all I had in this world and anxiousness would overwhelm me if it didn’t work. This continued on even after I was married. I could rationalize away what I was covertly doing because I wouldn’t do anything with the attention…but I still craved it and wasn’t happy until I had received it…even the attention of my friends husbands…and I figured out that with enough coaxing even married men will give you the attention that you want…and then I was disgusted with them afterward.

    I can relate to Bppu seeing your friend as a conquest. I can even see where she needs it for her own psyche because of the bondage she is in…but not getting for long enough will be the bondage breaker. Your friends real love for her with integrity doesn’t make her feel good in the only way she knows how to feel good because she doesn’t know how to rcv it…real love is a foreign language to her that she can’t understand…and the deception that goes so deep is that she thinks the love that demeans her as a human being is the one that she likes…satan truly does steal, kill, and destroy and he uses us to do it…he is the embodiment of evil and that reality sinks in more and more everyday as Jesus reveals it to me.

    Satan is the one who has her trapped in this…it is not even her…and once she crawls out from under it…which she will, because she can’t fight the overwhelming love of God…she will live in tension for a while with who she really is because she wont know how to live in the skin of this person that God created her to be especially with the memories of who she was still attached to her. All of that is very disconcerting.

    Your friend is being God with skin on and that has the most amazing returns…in this life and in the spiritual realm.

  • I see you being a Father to Bppu . But you really don’t quite get it , or maybe you do . Sure she is looking for father and Love .

    But women are looking for a husband , that is like a father to take care of them . A true Father would take care of her financially .

    The only way you can win someone Like Bppu , to to meet what she values most and wants most . To be taken care of .

    Can you be a real father and send her to college , help pay her bills till she can make it own her own ?

    I know you can’t do that , but maybe you could .

    She will not value the Jesus you preach , until you meet her needs .

    Love is good , but she wants what ever girl wants , and really ever Christians to be taken care off , by someone who has the power to do that .

    I have lived in sin for 14 years . So I know a lot about it .

    Men sleep with women not just for sex , but connection and intamacy . And I know that Christian look at sexual sin , and think it so bad .

    But my friend sexual sin did not murder Christ , the church murdered Christ . Religion murdered Christ .

    The heart of the church murdered Christ . What was in their hearts ? Hate , Jealousy (which cause the first murder of abel ) Pride of the church , that loved the respect of man , and the honor of men , being praised Like gods from the common man .

    That is what murdered Christ . So what is real evil . A man comforting trying to get love from a young women in the strip bars , or the evil of the Chrurch and what exist in their hearts .

    A man going for sex in a strip bar , has lust in his heart , but he also is seeking love and intamacy .

    And God looks on the heart , and know the true evil and what it the greater evil .

    I am not in any way saying that this is right . Sin is sin . It just something that is outside of Gods will for man .

    I just wish the Church would open up it eyes and see what God sees .

    Jesus is the truth , and he sees perfect truth , and knows the hearts of men and even Bppu .

    Can’t you see what she wants . She wants someone to take care of her . Until you can convince God the father can take care of her , or demenstrate that God the father , (not you the the father ) can enable you to take care of her and be a real father , can you really win her .

    Is her life worth , you taking her in as a real daughter and not just loving her , but taking care of her .

    Can your father give you the mean , for you to be a real father to her , that is the question .

  • So one more note , she believes in her heart , being taken care of by a man , is what happiness in life is .

    Even men who seek the sin they do with her , are doing that , because that is happyness to them , and they believe that with all their heart .

    Eve believe eating the apple was what would give her happyess and even make her a god .

    Jesus knows why we do what we do . And the things we seek and believe with all our heart to find happyness is not the way .

    Satan lures people to do these thing and they take the bait , believing with all their heart this is the way of happyness .

    Your Job as a Chrisitan is to enlighteen . To show the truth , in such a powerful way , that they follow another way .

    To do that , you have to change what they believe , or it will never work .

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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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