Promise of unconditional love

Americans wear rings on their left hands, right? To show you are married?

Last night I went down to the red light district to visit my friend John.* His grandmother wants him to get married and have children so she can have great grandchildren. John is gay and I don’t think his grandmother knows this. We haven’t had a talk about it yet and I am praying for wisdom when we do.

John’s grandmother’s wishes sparked a conversation on wedding rings, husbands/wives and marriage.

“Are you married?” Hannah,* asked,  pointing to my ring finger. I just met Hannah last night.

I explained that my dad gave me this ring as a promise for my future husband and I’d give the ring to him when I married. Natasha,* a man who underwent sex reassignment surgery to become a woman, listened in.

I asked Hannah if she had a significant other.

“I have a son,” Hannah told me. “But no husband.”

Her boyfriend left her and now the responsibility of raising their son rests on her.

“Is your son in Chiang Mai?” I asked.

“No, I am not able to care for him,” she said sadly. She pulled out her phone and showed me a picture of him. He’s living with family in her hometown. She came to work in the red light district to make money to send back to him.

I’m discovering that many Thai women who work in Chiang Mai’s red light district have boyfriends or husbands who’ve left them. This also happened to Angie,* my friend who recently became a believer.

Many times women will meet a guy in their teens or early 20s and see a future with them. The girls are “all in” emotionally. They invest everything, but the guy isn’t as attached and when the responsibility increases, sometimes with the birth of a child, they leave. Their love was conditional. The girls are hard-pressed for money to care for their kid, so they head to the place that guarantees quick money: the red light district.

Red light districts attract hundreds of Western men who’ve come to Thailand specifically for the sex trade. Some “stumble upon” it. The red light district also lures Western and Asian men who travel to Thailand on business trips.

It makes me sick. And sad. And angry.

My heart hurts for these women. I want so badly for them to leave this industry. I want them to know they are fearfully and wonderfully made and God loves them. I want something better for them. I want them to know unconditional love, God’s love.

I want them to know promises aren’t always broken.

*name changed


6 Comments Add yours

  1. heartweavers says:

    Thanks Tessa. I posted this at

    1. thaitessa says:

      Thank you! Thank you for sharing the story

  2. Sam Chen says:

    Your post today reminds that God’s salvific work does not end, but only commences, with a ticket to heaven, because life is not a destination but a state of being (it is, in fact, “to be” itself–it is not a coincidence that the one whose name is “to be” is the only one who can give life). I am reminded of the great work that we, as His Church, are called to in reconciling His Creation–in setting right what has been corrupted. I continue to pray as the great I AM continues this magnificent work through you in the red light district: praying for you as you seek reconcile His Creation–whether from the lies of promiscuity, homosexuality, transsexuality, or whatever else the evil one may use to rob God of His glory; praying Christ’s prayer of protection and sanctification for His disciples (John 17:6:19) over you as well. Keep running the race. Carpe diem coram Deo, dear friend.

  3. thaitessa says:

    Thank you so much for your prayers Sam. They are felt. Thank you for your encouraging words!!

  4. Michael says:

    I do not think I could handle what you do. PTL that you can.

    1. thaitessa says:

      It’s only through Him that I can.

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