Thailand Missionary Visits Bars to Reach Prostitutes

by | Jul 31, 2004 | Charisma Archive

Nella Davidse says desperate women come to the popular resort town looking for opportunity
Three nights a week, missionary Nella Davidse goes to bars and hangs out with prostitutes.


She lives in Pattaya, a popular resort town on the coast of Thailand, where an estimated 20,000 women work as prostitutes. Most are lured by the promise of big money and the hopes of meeting a rich, foreign husband. Many are raising children in extreme poverty. Most loathe their jobs, but feel they have no choice.


It’s not an easy place to be. But, Davidse says, it’s where God wants her.


“I needed perseverance,” said Davidse, 42, who left her native Holland to join Youth With A Mission (YWAM) in Thailand nine years ago. “For a long time we didn’t see much fruit. I felt like I had my feet in the door, and if I pulled back, it would smash. … I had to say … ‘God, I trust in You and not in people.'”


Davidse first trained with YWAM in northern Thailand. While still taking language lessons, she found herself on a short outreach to Pattaya. She walked the streets and knew God had called her here.


In 1999 Davidse founded the Tamar Center, a downtown mission offering English lessons, job training and discipleship to the bar girls of Pattaya. “We came with an invasion of eight people, all committed for five years,” she said. “After a year, only I was left. That was hard.”


One by one, life circumstances and discouragement took Davidse’s team away. But she stayed, focusing at first on relationship-building and daily intercession, adding English lessons and job opportunities and finally moving the center into an old school building.


From there, she and seven other single women counsel, give health-care advice and teach regular language classes. Lessons are preceded by a short devotional and usually close with worship in English and Thai.


Many at the center make greeting cards as a means of alternate income; the cards are sold on the Internet at www.tamarcards.net. Training in sewing or hairstyling is also offered annually.


“God told us we shouldn’t call this place Sodom anymore,” Davidse said. “We should call it Nineveh because this is the city that will come to the Lord.”


The center joined with an American missions team in March to host two dinners for bar-girls. Almost 50 were invited the first night; on the second, that number more than doubled. Tamar staff reported several healings and say even the local teenagers hired to serve dinner came forward at the evening’s close and asked to receive Christ.


“Revival is on the way,” said Surapon Yuthiwattana, who pastors New Vision Christian Fellowship in Pattaya. “We believe that God will revive Pattaya city–every ministry and church and government and business.”


But things are still hard for Davidse. Part of the trouble is the culture. Thais profess Christ with ease, she says–tell them He is something good, and they want Him. But without a clear understanding of who God is or what He requires, they falter.


“We see girls coming to the Lord and really excited, but to really persevere and be changed–we haven’t seen it,” she said.


Among other things, she’s praying that the Holy Spirit will convict the city of its sin. “They come to Jesus because they want something,” Davidse said. “It feels so different sometimes, me living my life for God, making sacrifices for Him–and here are people who only want something from Him.”


Still, it’s clear God is working here–even in unexpected ways. The U.S. Navy visits Pattaya each year, dropping off 3,000 sailors for a little R&R. When that happens, Davidse and her staff join sailors and local churches in a worship service at a local hotel. Not long ago, Davidse met an American couple whose son had become a Christian in a Pattaya hotel room while there with the Navy.


For Davidse, the incident was further proof that God works in mysterious ways. “When we came here, we felt God saying: ‘Don’t focus on the darkness. Focus on Me,'” she said. “It’s like the seed in the ground–dying to self and trusting God. I just want to be obedient.”
Benjie Hughes in Pattaya, Thailand

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Is the False Prophet Alive and Well on Planet Earth?

Is the False Prophet Alive and Well on Planet Earth?

Note: As the World Economic Forum rolls out the "Great Reset’"—and a new poll shows 77% of the public is concerned "microchip implants will be used to usher in a never-before-seen level of totalitarian control"—an Israeli professor and New York Times bestselling...

Knowing the Character of God When It Matters Most

Knowing the Character of God When It Matters Most

If you have found yourself in the direct path of a searing fire in life, your bravest choice is to recognize who God is and then glorify Him as Lord. If you refuse to recognize the character and goodness of God when the temperature of life is uncomfortably high, you...

Don’t Make ‘Parties’ as an Excuse for Over-Indulging

Don’t Make ‘Parties’ as an Excuse for Over-Indulging

I love a party or any get together where there is food. How about you? However, it is a big excuse many use for not losing weight. I had this excuse. It went something like this, “I can’t lose weight because I want to eat at family gatherings, parties, church carry-in...

Relax and Let the Holy Spirit Work in You

Relax and Let the Holy Spirit Work in You

Here’s an honest confession: I struggle to rest in the Lord. Maybe I’m a bit compulsive, but I find it difficult to be still and know that God is working when I can’t see what He’s doing. When I need the Lord to do something in my life, I tend to “help Him” do it. But...

3 Qualities of Successful Kingdom Leaders

3 Qualities of Successful Kingdom Leaders

If you grew up in the 1990s, you knew Mike. Michael Jordan, that is. It was spectacular to watch him play basketball. He’d make “impossible” shots with only three seconds left on the clock and win the game, It happened … for years! What you might not know is that he...

How to Operate in the Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit

How to Operate in the Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He told the apostles in Acts 1:8 (NLT), “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Jesus promises a gift that would give them comfort, power, strength and encouragement. That gift is the Holy Spirit, and that...

RECENT ARTICLES

Messianic Rabbi: Make the Choice to Be an Outsider

One of the wonderful things about reading through the Bible is that the more you read it, the more things you find within its pages. No matter how many times you read a verse or a series of verses,...
Kingdom Economics: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Kingdom Economics: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress unanimously voted to pass a declaration of independence from Britain. Each signatory was facing death by hanging if the bold experiment failed. The Declaration of Independence declared that all men were created equal and that...

Consider This Unsung Hero of the Bible

Consider This Unsung Hero of the Bible

Sometimes, I think Martha in the Bible gets a bad rap! I am not saying that Jesus labeled Martha at all. Please hear me out. But I think we would be wise to avoid picking up and holding onto some of the dynamics in this potential sibling rivalry between Martha and...

Prophetic Word: We Are Entering the Books of Acts

Prophetic Word: We Are Entering the Books of Acts

On the morning of June 5, 2022, I was praying in preparation for the Arise Women’s Summit I was hosting near Knoxville, Tennessee, when the Lord took me into an encounter. I found myself in the library of heaven standing before a giant staircase made of extremely...

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

During the past two years, I believe the church at large has been in a season of returning to God. Repentance is crucial when it comes to revival. Scripture shows a clear pattern that repentance precedes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (see Joel 2:12-28 and Acts...

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength to overcome obstacles....

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Pin It on Pinterest