There are days when I wonder if what I do makes a difference. I feel small and insignificant in the face of the overwhelming number of women and girls that are being exploited in Patong. I walk the streets of Patong and see shop after shop full of massage girls waiting for customers. I spend time on Bangla Road and see teenagers dancing on poles and and thousands of men who don't care enough to ask themselves if it is good and right to purchase another human being for their own pleasure!
I am only one person! What good can I possibly do in the face of such a massive problem? I'm not that talented, I don't have a PhD. There are days I feel ill equipped for the task at hand!
But, what I have is a willing and compassionate heart. My heart breaks when I see the women and girls in the bars and massage parlors. It aches when I see the conflict on their faces; the hope that a stranger will buy them so they can send money home and the fear that a stranger will buy them and the unknown terror that brings! My heart tells me I must continue trying to offer hope and love in every way possible!
And some days you realize that maybe for one you have made a difference. Last week I was visiting with one of our younger students. She had been away for several months and had just come back to English class. She was expressing how happy she was that she could come to our class again.
"This is my home!" she exclaimed.
And my heart was filled with joy and hope. She thought of this small classroom where she was loved and valued as HOME. This is where her life can be changed! This is where she will come to understand that she is cherished! And I can play a part in that! You don't need a PhD to offer love and acceptance. In our classroom she can begin to write the story of a life full of hope and meaning! She will understand that as the main character, she is strong and intelligent and that she has gifts and talents to offer the world! She will understand that she is more than a object to be purchased for someone else's entertainment. In our classroom she will find safety and joy and love and laughter! Because isn't that what you should find at HOME!