I was having dinner with friends the other night and I mentioned that I had recently met so-and-so.
“Oh yes! Isn’t she wonderful? How did you meet her?”
“I met her at Brandi’s the other day. We were on an outreach”
“Where? Who’s Brandi?”
“Ha Ha! Not a person – it’s a strip club down on Coliseum Boulevard.”
“Huh? Oh yeah, well, I’ve never heard of that place. I guess that’s a good thing.”
“Yeah, well, I guess you could say we met on the job, but that just doesn’t sound right.”
laughs all around
Wherever I am I like to join groups that go out visiting women working in “entertainment establishments” as a ministry of presence. Usually the deal is that we sit, order food (if available), and invite women to join us. When I’m at one of these places in the States, my friends like to point out to the women that I do this kind of outreach to women in Asia. The women often get enthused about that and ask a variety of questions from what it’s like over there to why do I do this? All good stuff.
The situation of these women in different countries, on different continents isn’t terribly different. Many have children, most have a boyfriend. Nobody sees this as their “dream job”. Most just see this kind of work as the best way to make ends meet for the time-being. They don’t like it, their boyfriends don’t like it, and they keep it from their children. Many have goals and dreams to be doing something else. Some of them have definite plans, others are just stuck. “For the time-being often gets dragged out much longer than they ever anticipated, and the work is often much harder (to put it lightly) than they anticipated as well.
“Well, then why then don’t they just leave?” Is a question I often hear. One thing that I want to impress upon people is that while some of these women are not trafficked, they are still in bondage. Bondage economically, socially, emotionally, and to a false identity. These are also cross-cultural similarities among the women that I meet.
One last thing: bondage to a false identity can be true of every human being, not just them. Living true to your self-in-Christ, will enable you to help them break into freedom.