“I remember sitting in a church in Wales, a congregation of about 400 were seated. As I looked around I could see this vast army all sitting there with their shiny armor on (like the knights of old) they had there shields and weapons. The Lord said to me “Look at my army, see how shiny their armor is” and I sat their suitably impressed by it all, then He said ” The reason why their armor is so shiny is because they will not fight”, no dirty marks on them, no dents, nothing! “No one has taught them how to fight and no one has led them to the battle field.”
A crucial moment that wrecked me was witnessing the transaction between the hotel boss and the prostitutes. The boss returned the girls I.D. and then pulled out a book that had a list of the 30 prostitutes that work for the hotel. The book kept track of their time in and out as the men are limited to an hour with each girl.
The amount of time determined the amount of money the men had to pay. The hotel boss was paid 250,000 dong by the man and then after the money was distributed the girl was only paid 20,000 dong, which is equivalent to one cup of tea with milk; bubble tea, a typical Vietnamese drink. This is approximately $1.25. This assessment of value and exchange of money filled me with utter sadness. How is one girl’s innocence worth a cup of tea?
Our squad has been praying on the full armor of God everyday since before we arrived in Vietnam in expectation of the spiritual warfare ahead. (Ephesians 6:13-19) Sue Tandy taught me that in wars prisoners are always held captive behind enemy lines. There are no prisoners in friendly territory. Our squad has come together in agreement and has decided to walk behind enemy lines and release the captives that the enemy has stolen (Isaiah 61). A battle has ensued and we are definitely getting our armor dirty.
The battle started the day I met Iris. The night I saw her she walked down the dark corridor of the main floor of our hotel escorted by an older gentleman in red silk pajamas. As the man opened the door to room number 7 she looked intently back over her shoulder into my eyes with this look of desperation and emptiness. Her eyes told a story of innocence lost at the young age of around 15. She didn’t speak a word, but her eyes screamed in broken despair and hopelessness. At this one glance I broke inside. I felt a deep compassionate love for this girl and at the same time a holy anger for what the enemy had stolen from her. At that moment I intended to fight for her restoration.
A few of us gathered in the hallway interceding on behalf of the girls and the men enslaved and trapped in this addictive game. We cried out, we read scripture, and we sang worship songs in front of room number 7. We continued to walk up and down that hallway claiming the territory for the Lord as numerous girls and men went in and out of the rooms.
With every hour that passed we pressed in harder and harder. It was difficult to watch as Iris came out of her room and left the hotel. We smiled at her as she walked down the street.
Then, another man in silk pajamas followed her down the street and beckoned her to come back with him. She came back and was sent into another room with this old man and another young girl. Four of us prayed at the entrance of the hotel as women and men continued to come in and out.
As we stood there Iris walked out of the lobby once again, but this time her face told a new story. She was completely broken and frazzled holding back tears and hurriedly walked passed us and jumped on the back of a moto leaving down the dimly lit street.
After this night of warring I knew that the battle had just begun. I began “Fire in the Night,” an all night prayer meeting where 2 people from our squad would sign up for each hour of the night to combat the spiritual warfare and prostitution in the rooms below. We have intercession meetings in the same place every morning at 6:30am.
And, now we are currently preparing for an all night prayer and worship meeting with our whole squad. We are coming together on Sunday evening with a time of prayer, an hour of worship and different rooms with stations such as communion, meditation, creative worship, information on sex-trafficking and Buddhism. We are renting out a room on the main hallway, which is normally used for prostitution all night long and that room will be a prayer room with candles and prayer for the girls right outside those walls.