Journal.

Rescued from Shame

Rescued from Shame

Fon was born in the village of Trat, Thailand. Her home life was unstable and there was regular violence within the family. During her teens she was raped in the village by a stranger. In Thailand, when a young woman is raped, people don’t show compassion to her because she brings stigma and shame on the family. 

Fon ended up marrying a man shortly after this. She wasn’t in love with him but thought he could be a way out from the village and the life she was living in. Unfortunately the violence in her life continued. She had two children with him, but Fon shares, “The longer we were married, the more he drank and the more fights we had over just about anything.” He began to gamble and his drinking often led to more violence and rape. 

Her youngest boy then became ill, and she knew she needed to take him to the hospital but her husband’s temper flared and he began to beat her so badly she was bleeding. That night she knew she had to leave as soon as possible or she risked death. 

She made the decision to leave her husband. Her friend had advised her to go and work in Pattaya as the money was good. Fon knew the kind of jobs in Pattaya, she would never get involved in the sex industry!

As time went on Fon reached the end of her rope. She needed to escape this nightmare she was living in. She knew she had to do something in order to save her sons. Fon thought that if she had more money she would have more power over her circumstances. She decided to go to Pattaya after all. She said to herself, “Just do it! It’s for my children and if I die, I die!”

She began working in one of the bars, trying to avoid the men, hiding out the back and washing dishes. The pressure from her new boss was relentless and she recognised the time had come for what she dreaded the most. If she refused to get involved with the men she would lose her job. Earning money this way was unbearable. She began drinking to numb the pain inside. Fon often drank so much in order to blur out what the men wanted to do with her. During the day she couldn’t go out as she was so ashamed and was frightened she would run into men that she had been with that night. The drinking got worse. What kind of life is this? Everyday she doubted that life was worth living. The only thing that kept her going was the thought of her two sons. 

One evening some women came into the bar she was working in, and began to talk with her. They told her about a centre in which she could take free English classes. They also invited her to a special party. Fon thought this was odd and perhaps there was a catch? Nevertheless, Fon went to the party. She was intrigued with everything and couldn’t understand why these people were showing her so much love and were genuinely concerned about her. 

At the party Fon heard one of the women say, “If you do something wrong, God can forgive you.” Fon didn’t fully trust them. The next night Fon went back to the bar, and she continued drinking to numb the pain. Suddenly, in amongst the chaos she cried out,  “God, You know I don’t want to drink like this! She shared, “For the first time in my life I started to talk to God, and I felt like He was actually there. I sensed that He was really listening to me and understood all the pain I was going through, up until then I had no hope.”

Overwhelmed by her feelings she went out a walk in the pre-dawn hour. Following yet another attack by a man that evening during her walk, and in total despair, she thought the only way out was to take her own life. As she was wading into the water, she suddenly heard a voice saying, “Stop! Stop hurting yourself!” To this day she doesn’t know where the voice was coming from, but it made her stop. Suddenly the kind lady from the centre and the party she has been to a few days before came into her mind.  They had given her a telephone number telling her she could call them anytime she wanted. Seeing them as her only lifeline at this critical moment she gave the centre a call.

Fon poured out her feelings of despair. The women’s first words were, “God loves you.” Those words touched Fon’s heart. Even so, she still asked herself, "Is there anyone who still loves me?” She had to find out! So she accepted the invitation to go the centre.

“As soon as she got there she felt embraced by love. They told me Jesus promised, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11.28)

The women in the centre began to help Fon. They had a daily Bible study together and slowly worked on addressing her drinking problem. Day by day Fon became stronger and found a peace she had never known. Fon went on to accept Jesus into her life saying, “Jesus took all my shame away. Through his love, I now have value and strength, and want to share his love with everyone!” 

Fon went on to to share the love of Christ with her family and her eldest son went on to also accept Christ! 

Fon now works in the centre, training new arrivals and teaching them how to support themselves in dignified and safe work. Fon encourages the women to fully trust God. Her light is now shining into the lives of the many women who feel forced into this degrading lifestyle. 

At “Hope and Light’ we focus on the plight of the world’s centre for human trafficking and exploitation in Asia. We aim to shine the incomparable light of Jesus upon these people’s suffering, give them a path out of darkness and provide them with a profound hope for the future. 

Hope and Light is a ministry set up to help vulnerable women in Asia. We rely on the generosity of people supporting our outreach projects such as the one in Pattaya. If you would like to help women like Fon then please donate, or consider setting up a regular gift towards our work.

If you are interested in reading Fon’s full story and other true stories that will leave you forever changed, you can purchase a copy of our book online - For Their Tears I Died, Patricia King. All proceeds from the reissue of this book will assist Hope and Light.

To donate click here.

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