Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality


Sex Workers and Going to School

posted by Cheryl Petersen

The sex trade in Thailand is noticeable. My daughter and I worked at an orphanage where girls were attending school instead of working the streets. However, volunteers soon learn to drop all delusions that going to school is saving these girls.

Image from OnlineOriginals

It was a mental battle for the girls. While they were eating rice 3 times a day and wearing donated clothing, they had old friends who were wearing cute clothes, using cell phones, painting their nails, and not doing homework.

To promise the girls success through school was so arguable that we instead concentrated on the true success of overcoming fears and the unknowns. And, we didn’t act as though sex workers were evil or bad or unsuccessful. They were people just like us. And like many of us, we desire something different or more meaningful in life and will struggle to make a change.

The change becomes practical, and more lasting, when we focus on overcoming fears and the unfamiliar, rather than mulishly forcing a human accomplishment. I’ve always marveled at Christ Jesus, who never tried to convert people to a particular human lifestyle. Jesus saw the spiritual good in others and encouraged them to expand on that good.

The substance of our being is wisdom, patience, honesty, and the confidence that we all have a right to more meaning in life. We all have the ability to help our self and others in a way we understand. Put in another way, it is self-righteous to force what is best for me on someone else, and I will only hear repeated what Christ Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people, “The prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.” (Matt. 21:31, NIV)

A few decades ago, Thailand had a horrendous epidemic of HIV/AIDS and only until a Dr. Wiwat helped the prostitutes admit, and defend their right to health, was the epidemic stopped. The seasoned workers trained the young girls how to insist the clients use condoms. A confidence was gained. A unity was strengthened.  And benefits were recognized and felt.

It is the confidence and strength that carries us all to the next level of change. Even though I’ve never worked in the sex trade, I still need a confidence in health, unity, and spirituality to experience the kingdom of God, whereas a confidence in my line of human work is useless.

From Science and Health, “Jesus perceived in Science the perfect person, who appeared to him where sinning mortals appeared to worldly thinkers. In the perfect person, the Savior saw God’s own likeness, and this correct view of man and woman healed the sick. Consequently, Jesus taught that the realm of God is intact, universal, and that person is pure and holy.”



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Bill Herod

    Thanks for this! Having lived and worked in Southeast Asia for more than 20 years, I am well aware of how young people get trapped in the sex industry and how very difficult it is for them to get out. I have helped several escape only to see some of them voluntarily return as the options for them on the outside were not acceptable. One big problem was the social stigma they suffered – and that is a problem of our attitudes, not theirs.

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