This is the third in a series of articles as part of the WorldCraftssm Set1Free campaign. This campaign highlights WorldCrafts artisan groups working to end sexual exploitation and human trafficking among the world’s poor.
A perfect storm of greed, gossip, adultery, and addiction plunged Jo, a young Thai woman, into despair. Already in desperate straits, Jo’s circumstances took a sudden turn for the worse. She was used and exploited until staff from The Well reached out a caring hand. She tells her compelling story below.
I had a life just like other village people—a family, a husband, and kids. But I was greedy and craved neighborhood approval, so I collected funds to start building a house. Shortly into construction the money ran out, so I took out a loan for about $12,000. To help pay for the loan, my husband worked abroad for about three years.
The distance between us caused our relationship to deteriorate. Then a rumor began to circulate that I was cheating on my husband, which made me distraught. Mistrust entered our relationship, and I stopped caring for my family. I started drinking and sleeping around. My husband slept with prostitutes abroad too.
I left my now broken family and passed the next year in a drunken stupor drifting from guy to guy. Finally, I decided to work in a bar in Pattaya, a resort city infamous for its sex industry. Alone, friendless, and directionless in a new city, I spent my remaining money on a hotel room for the night. I met two guys in the lobby who volunteered to take me to apply for a bar job. Instead, they raped me numerous times over several days.
Eventually they dropped me off at a bar, where I started work. I stayed with three other women, who were using amphetamines and marijuana. Working from 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. was exhausting, and daily I scanned the beach for a Buddha idol to pray with. My life had no hope.
I could not earn enough money in Pattaya, so I went to work in a bar in Bangkok. But there I had even fewer customers. Since I had no money for food and rent, my landlord kicked me out.
One day some people came to my bar and told me about The Well, an artisan group that provides women training in traditional Thai arts. I quit my job and joined The Well. I started following Jesus and repented from my past. God has changed me. The world forgot me, but now I have a new life with Jesus. I love to work with Him, study His words, and pray to Him. Old Jo has died; I’m a new person. Thank God for His cleansing love. I would like to go back to my village and share Jesus with them.
Your purchase of these items from WorldCrafts allows for the expansion of The Well’s ministry among the sexually exploited in Thailand. As WorldCrafts orders additional jewelry and Thai textiles from The Well, this artisan group can employ more women on the path to freedom. Please check our Web site for more products from The Well coming soon! For a free catalog, call 1-800-968-7301