Here’s a story I have to share…
Being in Thailand, the past ten days has been quite an emotional rollercoaster…
When I left the last of 4 brothels last night, my heart was racing and my mind reeling. On this trip I decided to just be me and I brought quite a bit of close-up magic to use as a tool to break down barriers and simply let the girls see that we could have fun without any thought of them having to do anything – except laugh and have a good time. Not only did it work, it worked great. The entire rescue team was astounded.
At each brothel, the girl that was “assigned” to me obviously thought “Oh no! I’m stuck with the fat, old, white guy!” Each one of them was very stand-offish at first. The beautiful girl at the last place was called Deeky. She wouldn’t even look at my ugly mug (can you blame her?). She had that look of “oh no” on her face. Then, I reached into my “bag o’ tricks” and thought “let the fun begin.” And begin it did. This was all close-up-in-your-face-magic that was baffling to everyone. I had Deeky hold out her hand and I placed a red ball in it (that she examined), I closed her hand, did a little hand-jig over hers and voila – the red ball multiplied to a red and black ball! She squealed with delight – as did everyone else in the room.
After that I took out my gospel magic coloring book. I turned the pages to reveal nothing but blank white pages. I then told her (through the interpreter) that I was going to make her fingers into magic crayons. First I had her use her pointer finger to scribble all over the outside of the book – voila! I opened the book and there was page after page of black and white pictures. Everyone once again squealed with delight. Then I had her take all her fingers and do the same – voila – all those pictures were now in color. Now, they all went nuts. To top it off, I said I was going to make her hand an eraser – and you guessed it – after she waved her hand over the book, the pictures were all gone. What was wonderful, was this 17 year old girl started to look at me with a gaze that said, “this fat, old guy may not be too cute, but he is really fun and made me feel special in front of all the other girls.” As a matter of fact, some of the other girls who had no one – began to inch their way closer to the fat, old guy that they thought looked like Santa. When they spoke that, I simply said – “Ho, ho, ho!” Then, the girls ordered a plate of deep-fried crickets and worms. I even ate those (surprisingly tasty) little morsels, just because I knew if I did it with some panache, it would add to their enjoyment.
After the brief “snack,” I then did one trick after another and with each one, it built a relationship where the barriers of mistrust were finally gone. Not just for the girl who was with me (in each of the brothels) – but for the entire team – because we were all together. It made the night more fun for everyone. Including me. When it was time to leave, I set up my final trick. The girl you are with gets a tip for spending the time with you (even without sex). I decided to make this moment the most special for her as this is the time where she has to wonder, am I going to have to “perform” for him to get a tip? I asked Deeky for a $100 Baht note (about $3 Thai dollars). With everyone watching intently and hearing what I was about to say, I slowly started folding the 100 note within inches from her face as the interpreter spoke my words: I thanked her for spending the last few hours with me and told her how beautiful and special I thought she was. I said I know that her time was much more valuable than the 100 baht note she gave me. As I spoke I then began unfolding the now miniscule folded 100 note and began to reveal that it was now a 500 note. As I handed it to her and thanked her again, the look of astonishment (and gratitude) on her face was worth more than you could possibly imagine. I also handed the 100 note to one of the girls who had nobody.
As I left, it was incredible as all the girls wanted to hug me. One of the older girls came over to me and in broken English said to me: “You have very big heart. Thank you so much for what you do. You very special man.” I had to leave quickly as tears began to well up inside me. The tears were not from her words. They were from the thought that I had to leave Deeky behind along with several other girls who could not have been more than 13 or 14 years old. I was overwhelmed with emotion.I waited in the car for the rest of the team. It seems they were asking questions (like, who was that guy who looked like Santa)? As a result, what would normally take time (sometimes months) to tell the girls what they do, the team was able to open up and told them last night. Only one girl spoke the following: “I want to come out of this place and come to live at the Safe House.”
It was Deeky.
I don’t think I have to tell you my wordless response.
How many more Deeky’s are waiting for their rescue day? What are you willing to do to help me reach another child?
Tomorrow, I leave Thailand for Cambodia.
Be blessed and be a blessing…
2 John 12