Love in the Thai Bars

On my World Race journey, I spent the month of October 2013 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. My team worked with a ministry that fights for the end of sex slavery. Now, February 2015, I’m blessed to be in partnership with this same ministry and see the continued fruits of their outreach as I squad lead.

Prayer and intercession encompass a large part of the ministry. We prayer walk through the bar streets for several hours throughout the day before going out again at night to build relationships with the women and men working (trapped…) there.

During the first prayer walk of the first ministry day, memories flooded my mind and spirit as I walked through an open bar area I’d walked in almost daily a year and a half ago. I remembered seeing, in this certain bar, a hand written note taped to the leg of one of the brown wooden tables. I recalled that it said, “You are loved,” written gingerly in reddish orange marker. Pushing aside any notion that it would be absurd, as a year and a half had passed, I felt pressed to find it; this little love note.

I walked among the tables and didn’t see it. But I knew I had to keep looking. Then, as I got to the last table, I saw it:

You are loved.

The tape had peeled slightly and the paper’s edges showed wear, but the message clearly remained:

You are loved.

And His love, indeed, remains. Always. Even in deepening darkness, His love remains.

As true as it was in October of 2013, now, February of 2015, no power has departed from this statement.

You are loved.

How beautifully deep is the truth that anyone who reads it, “you are loved,” whether labeled a “prostitute,” “john,” or “missionary…” is the “you.”


the note in October 2013


the note in February 2015


4 thoughts on “Love in the Thai Bars

  1. Wow.
    Through the darkness, through the fire, through my wicked hearts desire Your love remains.
    Though I stumble, though i falter, through my weakness, you are strong, Your love remains.
    Oh my, my soul it cries out.

    So good. So beautiful.


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