“I’ve never [even] had a boyfriend give me roses!” she said cherishing the single red blossom next to her heart. The spa we found “Amy” and friends working at is one of so many that offers hour long pedicures or “whole body massages” for under five dollars. Unfortunately spas in this area are notoriously known for selling the illicit services of young employees to international male tourists. But, like many others, “Amy” is still a girl.
Only a few months ago our team would weekly spend time with “Amy” and the other children who are forced to beg at the busiest intersections. Sets of siblings often work together at the traffic light. Little ones reach up to tap on the window of stopped vehicles while their slightly older sister carries the youngest, still learning to walk, in a sling around her chest. Few tourists, if any, would be equally sympathetic to a begging adult so their handlers watch hidden in the shadows.
These are the streets that “Amy” spent too much of her childhood. But once little girls start to show the hint of becoming young women compassionate concern can transition to interest of a more nefarious nature. “Amy” told us that she only recently started working in the spas. She said some of her co-workers offered “extra” services to male clients, but she didn't want to.
The thirty minute “foot reflexi” massage Joy purchased for under three dollars became a legitimate excuse for us to spend quality time with “Amy”. Even her coworkers were excited to let us practice language as we explained how we had been praying for them. We explained [with some translation help] how we believed that God saw them as beautiful and precious, just like these roses. Joy shared the story of how Creagon pursued her, first as a friend, and then fell in love, and the godly characteristics of a healthy, biblical, relationship.
The thirty minutes became over an hour and still they hung on every word we shared. The spa remained empty the entire time we were there. It was both God’s provision for us to have their full time attention, as well as a reminder of how little they earned each day. We were told they are only able to take home a tiny fraction of the money paid to the spa so many are tempted to provide extra service to make ends meet.
At the end we asked if we could pray for their families and for their business. We boldly prayed for them to know who Jesus is and how much He loves them.
--Will you pray that we have the chance to share more of the Good News with “Amy” and the other young women working in the spas of Asia?