Walking to the bars, I didn’t know what to expect. In the red light district, the bars are the only places to go to meet people. I knew there would be men, alcohol, and many things going on that would be hard to see.
During the day we went prayer walking through the bars, since it is typically a bit emptier and easier to navigate at that time. As we prayed, my heart continually focused on seeing people as individuals and not what they were doing or why they were here.
This prayer stuck with me all day and even into the night as we walked to the bar that evening. I didn’t feel like I was going into a bar at all. I felt like I was going into a place to be with friends. My friends and I met a woman named Bee, and we became friends with her instantly.
We exchanged a quick “SawadeeKa” (which means “hello” in Thai) and a smile. We played a few games together such as Connect 4 and Jackpot, and Bee laughed at us as we tried to play pool.
I learned her age, where she was from, her family, how long she had worked there and many other things during our time. Towards the end of the night, we were teaching each other dance moves.
This night I truly saw someone as an individual. I didn’t see Bee as a woman who was working in the red light district, but as an individual, a woman, and a new friend. I can’t wait to go back and see her again this week.