As I prepared for this trip, I consistently prayed for God to change my heart so that I would see the red light district as He sees it. Admittedly, God’s response to that prayer was embarrassingly simple-Jesus Christ died for all. And Scripture confirms this truth, “The Lord is …patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.
Personally, the reality of this biblical truth has redefined my understanding of the scope of the mission. God is patient towards us-very few, if anyone, will meet us and feel compelled to accept Christ while we are here. We are planting seeds, but it is God who causes the growth and we may never have the pleasure of seeing the fruits of our labor.
Second, the Lord does not want anyone to perish, but he wants all of us to come to repentance. The “all” puts us on notice that Jesus Christ loves and died for you, dear readers, and me, just as much as he loves and died for the sex workers, the Johns, the ladyboys, etc. During our short stay, we have had the pleasure of meeting Thai missionaries who put this scripture into practice-Cori and Jub at Breakthrough Thailand have a ministry for youth at risk of joining the sex industry, Jim and Judy at The Well assist women transitioning out of the sex industry, Celeste at Dton Naam counsels and encourages ladyboys. We have learned that as Christians we have a responsibility to meet people where they are, and to love them even if their sin looks different from our sin. We thank these ministries for hosting us, and we thank God for their faithfulness and obedience.