This past week as MST Project staff we went out on a prayer walk, which also happened to be my first prayer walk. I was surprised by how each district had it own “theme” to entertain a certain cliental. Each one unique in it’s own kind of way to attract a certain interest. For example, Nana Plaza is set up to bring out curiosity in a person and then keep you. There is one way in and one way out, three different levels, all offering a different kind of “service”. The first level reminded me a lot of Hooters, a place for people to go, have a beer, listen to music, and look at half dressed girls. But also leaving to you wonder, “well this spots not so bad, I wonder what is up stairs?”. The second level is a lot more open to the eye and the third level is where you can rent rooms by the hour. Everything is behind curtains, so that curiosity that got you up there, nudges you a little more to see what is behind the curtain. “Love Rooms” are available and it takes 3 flights of stairs and a walk through the bottom bar to get out. You are overwhelmed by your senses of sight, sound, and smell with a long path to escape.
The second stop was a sight I had never seen before, the ‘fishbowl’. Women sat behind glass waiting for a man to come, point, and choose. This place affected me the most, for the women did not have a choice, for the men it allowed them to continue to perhaps “hide” in their act. Not having to go out in “public”, walk into a noisy, crowded bar, but to simply walk through a hallway in the hotel they are staying at and say you! The third stop was boy’s town. It was designed or catered toward men seeking men. I feel if you were on that street you had one purpose in mind. You definitely “knew” where you were at and what you were looking for. The forth stop was speechless. A red light district right in the middle of a night market, venders set up selling goods, men and women sticking cards in your face to sell you a service, taxi’s waiting for you to take you somewhere “special”. I felt very confused! I can easily see how someone could be innocently shopping and fall into temptation. It felt a lot like shopping at 4 AM in Wal-Mart on Black Friday.
Although they were all set up differently, to meet a certain need, they all had some common factors. They all have a heaviness over them – prostitution, loneliness, slavery, immorality, and lies. But along with all these strongholds they also have HOPE, LOVE, VICTORY, TRUE LIFE, RESTORATION, and the most powerful JESUS! We cannot save but Jesus can. He loves these men just as much as he loves you and me. Through Jesus these streets can be replaced, transformed, and rebuilt into coffee shops, flower stands, restaurants, phone companies, you fill in the blank. Join me in prayer for these red-light districts, praying Ezekiel 36:33 this is what the Sovereign LORD says: On the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt.
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