Monday, July 19, 2010

Lady Boys!

Today a couple from Ireland--David and Laura Wylie came by to visit the ministries in Svay Pak. The Wylies were connected to Ratanak through Steve Norman our UK director. They are both school teachers and Dave is a worship leader so he and Laura taught a new song to the kids at the kids club. This is my second time meeting up with the Wylies who have been serving at another Ratanak project ---Daughters Cambodia for the past couple of weeks. Dave is working with the 'lady boys'--- these are young men who dress like women and willingly prostitute themselves to survive. In fact, some of them are better looking than women. As we were heading home together, Dave was sharing of an amazing story regarding one of the lady boys.

Last week one of the boys through translation told Dave that he didn't want to live life as a 'female' anymore and that he wanted to change back to being a boy. Another lady boy agreed as well. The first boy began to share how he wanted to change for a while but he only had girl clothes to wear that he felt he couldn't do it. The next day Laura and Dave went to the markets and purchased new clothes for them to wear and they were so excited. The boys also wanted to have new boys names and so they asked Dave if he could help them choose new ones. Dave suggested Michael to one of them as it reminded him of a very manly guy in Northern Ireland. However when the lady boy heard the name he thought Michael was a girly name and it reminded him of Michael Jackson!

Dave then began to share the story from the bible of David and Jonathan and how they had a deep connection and friendship with each other, supporting one another through hard times and always pointing each other to the Lord. He encouraged them that this was the type of friendship they needed to help each other make this change. The two lady boys agreed and they now call themselves David and Jonathan. The both now dress like boys, have cut their long hair and last Friday, they shared their testimony at the Daughter's church service. They shared how the Lord had helped them to change. David spoke of how he had prayed to God to help him and to give him new boys clothes and how the Lord had answered his prayers. They went to a Cambodian church on Sunday where many of the girls of Daughters attend and were warmly welcomed by the pastor. The boys enjoyed themselves and are looking forward to going back again this coming Sunday.

As I heard this story, I was once again reminded that there is no life so far gone that God cannot redeem or transform from brokenness to wholeness. Scripture reminds us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that 'if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come. All of this is from God. Reaching out to the 'lady boys' is not easy from what I have heard. They are highly sexualized as that is all they have known from a very young age. Yet they too have lived a life of abuse just like the girls who have been trafficked. Their true identities have laid dormant and silenced behind a mask that they have lived with for years. A mask that contributes to further abuse and exploitation that they accept and tolerate because this is all they know. This is such a radical ministry to reach out to these young men yet, they too need to know how much God loves them and values them and how precious they are in His sight. He has begun to do a new work in David and Jonathan, and we pray that what He has started, He will complete in them, that they will daily live out of their true identity as a child of God --- loved, chosen, precious and redeemed for a purpose! Pray that David & Jonathan will continue along this new path, that they will grow in their knowledge of Christ and be strengthened by His glorious power as they discover the freedom of living out of their true selves!

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