On my way in to Rahab Tuesday night, I considered which bar we should visit that night. I hadn't been to Firecat for a long time and there was a girl there I had been talking to for over a year. At Rahab, the other girls asked me where I wanted to go. I mentioned Firecat, but suggested we ask God for direction. We prayed together and the girls asked if God had spoken to me? I laughed and said I didn't hear anything directly-but that Firecat was the only name on my mind. They said, "Okay let's go to Firecat then." I smiled at their child-like faith. They really believed and took it for granted that God would speak directly to us. Inside, I felt confused. I wanted to go where God wanted us to be and again I prayed and asked that God would make it clear where we should go. Then this word jumped into my head: "lipstick." I was puzzled. "Lipstick?" Was that a bar? I couldn't quite remember. I decided not to say anything to the girls. We headed toward Firecat and were almost there when I looked ahead and spotted a big sign advertising a bar named "Lipstick!" I quickly called the girls over and explained why I thought God wanted us to go to Lipstick. We passed Firecat and went to Lipstick. The place was totally dark – shut down! Now I was really confused. Suddenly a woman came over and said, "Lipstick has closed down- everyone moved to Firecat!" "Bingo!" my co-worker said. We laughed and went back to Firecat where God had wanted us to begin with.
It was an amusing event but we were now sure that God wanted us at Firecat. We went up into the showbar and prayed and prayed. Nothing seemingly significant happened. A foreign man walked in and sat down. I prayed for the strengthening of his will that he would get up and leave. When I turned he was gone. We chatted a little with a couple girls but mostly we prayed. I didn't get to see the one girl I knew but I prayed for her as well.
A few days later, I got a call. It was Ko, the girl from Firecat I had hoped to see on Tuesday. She was hysterical and crying. She said she was scared and lonely and had no one to turn to. Did I really think there was a God? She sounded hopeless and I assured her of our support and told her to come in and see me immediately - that I would be waiting for her at Rahab. She finally agreed. When she came in she cried and cried. She said she was exhausted and tired of it all. She wanted a new life but she said she is too much of a sinner. I noticed scars all up and down her arm and I touched them. She said, "Sometimes, I'm not sure I'm still alive and so I cut myself. When I see my blood, then I know I still have life." She was hesitant to accept our help but we finally convinced her to allow us to pay her bar fee and bring her to our shelter so she could get some rest. We prayed for her and assured her of our support and that there is a God who will help her if she will let him. Ko stayed at Rahab that evening until she felt much better.
Last week Ko went home to leave her diabetic aunt with other relatives. She had been caring for her single-handedly and covering all the expenses. The doctor had told her the aunt might go into shock any day and it was too much for Ko to handle.
She will come back sometime this week (May 9th). We have been praying that in this time she has been gone she will find the strength and courage to leave the bars and come to us at Rahab. She wants to but she believes she is not good enough and that she has to have the money from the bars to support her family. Please pray with us for Ko's will to be strengthened and that she will break free from that bondage and find the healing love and salvation of Jesus.
Now I know why God wanted us to go to Firecat. We didn't know at the time but we obeyed what we believed was God's direction. Our prayers that night were answered and God sent us a young woman who desperately wants to know God's love and mercy. God knew all along. Sometimes, it takes me a while to catch on!