As we stood in the reception area of a local parlour, we patiently waited for a lady to greet us. Often in parlours, there are two doors: one that lets you into the building and a second that lets you into the hallway where all the massage rooms are kept. The music was loud and the parlour had the faint smell of weed. As we waited, we had an unexpected visitor enter the parlour just after us. He was a middle-aged john (a buyer of sexual services), and he didn't seem at all phased to see us standing in the reception area. Usually, when we interrupt a service transaction, the johns get cold feet and immediately leave; this man, however, did not. The reception area is so small in this parlour that we were literally standing shoulder to shoulder with him. What an opportunity!
Knowing that the ladies could hear and see everything we do (through the cameras), I had to act wisely. I knew I had about 30 seconds to interact with kindness towards this guy, before the ladies greeted him. Sounds weird, I know! But if we were to greet him with hostility, we would risk damaging any potential relationships with the ladies inside. So I introduced myself, shook his hand and asked him how his night was going. He said, "Good! Sounds like the ladies are having a party in there!" Within seconds a lovely lady greeted us very awkwardly. She said she didn't want any flowers, and looked anxious to get us out of the parlour. We respected her choice and wished her a good night.
Shame and embarrassment were riddled all over her face, but we keep coming back because she has worth. Although the john never left, we prayed that God would wreck his heart that night and convict him to stop buying women's bodies. To some, this doesn't look like much of a victory. But to us, we know that any encounter is worthwhile because it is an opportunity to show Christ's love and allow the Holy Spirit to bring the conviction that is needed towards those who exploit. God can move mountains even if it feels like all we can do at the moment is stand in dark places and pray.
“Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the Mediterranean Sea.”
- Deuteronomy 11:24