Walking distance from our house is a brothel that sells woman desperate to provide for their loved ones. Women who had no other option but to sell their bodies to men who care nothing for their circumstances.
The other night, I went there with Meagan, Shear Love’s new lead beauty educator. I have driven passed this brothel hundreds of times in the two and a half years I’ve lived in Pattaya. I’ve always wanted to go there but never seemed to find the time.
Shame on me for waiting until now…
A sweet girl served us soda water and we shared a short conversation with her. Same story as every other man and woman we’ve encountered in the red light district. She came from an extremely impoverished village and was sent to make money so her family can survive.
Then she introduced us to her co-worker. A cute smiley young girl in a Hello Kitty shirt… who was deaf.
I was able to communicate with her with what little sign language I remember from learning with the disabilities ministry from my church back in high school. She was so bubbly and was happy to communicate with someone who could understand her.
I tried calling Rachel, a good friend from home who visited Thailand in years passed, who knows sign language fluently.
It was getting late, so we told the sweet bubbly girl we’d visit again soon. I made a promise to her that I don’t often make. One that is in our rules and contracts that we are not to make promises to anyone we meet in the red light district. These girls have experienced so much abandonment on their lives and broken promises continue to solidify their story that no one will keep promises to them. However, this is a promise I will keep.
On our 1-minute drive home, Rachel, my sign language fluent friend called. I told her about the girl we met and she was speechless. She had met women working in the sex industry who were deaf almost 2 years ago. She has committed to helping me brush up on my sign and next time we go to the bar to visit, she will be on FaceTime to talk with her.
The majority of our classes at Shear Love are demonstration. How incredible would it be to have a girl who has had zero opportunity to learn join our program? How amazing is it that I learned sign language 20 years ago and was able to communicate with someone now who needed it now? How awesome is it that I had a friend fluent in sign come to Thailand almost 2 years ago who understands the crucial need for women stuck in the sex industry to have freedom AND how important it is for those with special needs to have opportunity?
Never in 9 bajillion years did I think I’d need sign language in Asia. And never did I think I’d be signing to a sweet vulnerable girl in a back alley brothel about her hopes and dreams. I guess 9 bajillion years ago, God knew.
Never doubt that there is very real and tangible purpose for your life. My prayer is that you seek that purpose and live it with everything you got!!!