Originally posted by ykim1993 on 7/13/2015
What defines kindness? We can experience kindness in many different ways. Whether it is through the thoughtful gift of a friend or through words of affirmation and love, we have all experienced some form of kindness. But how do we define it? Henri Nouwen defines kindness as treating another person as your “kin” or close relative. To be kind is to love and care for one another as family.
God reminded our team about what kindness means through our experience with the ladies at Rahab Ministry. Rahab Ministy has been serving the women of the Red Light District for 26 years now, and they were the first organization to combat against the sex industry in Bangkok. Founded on a mission to share Christ’s love, Rahab Ministry is located in the heart of Patpong, one of the major Red Light Districts in Bangkok. One of the goals of this ministry is to provide women with other alternatives for work and to provide opportunities for them to achieve their dreams. They do this by teaching the women various vocational skills such as hairdressing, jewelry making, and sewing. They also provide English lessons so that the women may have the skills needed to achieve higher education. In addition to providing employment opportunities, Rahab Ministry also supports women spiritually by hosting Bible studies and weekly fellowship events. Rahab believes in supporting women holistically, and strives to empower women in all aspects of their lives.
The ladies who serve at Rahab were such a blessing to us. These women have also been victims of the sex industry earlier in their lives, and they now have committed their lives to serving Christ in this community. On our first day, we were able to share a meal with the ladies and they took us in as their own children. They showed us so much love through conversing with us, laughing with us and being genuinely interested in our lives. It was almost as if we were eating lunch with our grandmother, not only because it felt so comfortable and warm, but also because they kept telling us to eat more and more. Through all of these things and more, our team felt true kindness from them. We also learned kindness through our interactions with the women of the Red Light District. Rahab sends an outreach team every Thursday night to the bars of Patpong and during this time, the team focuses on building relationships with the women. By buying them a Coke, the team has opportunities to talk to the women and to get to know them. The ladies of our mission team were able to assist Goy and Wan of Rahab Ministry in one of their weekly outreach events. Though the conversations were short and broken, the experience of building relationship with the women brought some of us to tears and filled our hearts with love. Whatever past conceptions we had about the women of the Red Light District were shattered and God opened our eyes to see them as simply His children. Hearing about their different stories and talking about what food they liked, reminded us that we are all human, broken and yearning for relationship with our Heavenly Father. Through this experience, we were united with our other sisters and the reunion reminded us that we are all one family. On the last day at Rahab Ministry, we assisted in hosting a fellowship party with food, games and testimonies. Some of the women we had met the night before came, and many of them were there for the first time. Through food, we were able to share conversations about our lives and dreams. Through games, we were able to share laughter and work together as a team. Through testimonies, we were able to find common ground on our deepest struggles and find hope in knowing that God desires to be in relationship with us. Though on the surface these may seem like simple things, it was the simplicity of it all that made the relationships made even more genuine. At the end of the night, we had the opportunity to pray for the women and despite the language barrier, it was a moment of unity through Christ’s love. Through prayer, true kindness was shown as we loved each other as one big family. God taught us how to see people through His eyes, through kindness and intimacy. Through our experiences with Rahab, we learned the true meaning of kindness: to love and seek one another as children of God and to be unified in God’s love for us.