We only have a couple more days here and it’s been an absolutely amazing trip. Thank you again to all of our friends and family who supported us in this endeavor.
In our last post we mentioned that we would be going out to the red light district and that I would update you afterwards…
Well it was amazing!
We started with intercession at 11pm and left the base at 12am. We split into four groups, three going into clubs and meeting with new women or women they’ve met before and one group walking around the district praying and talking with people.
Emily and I were in the group that was walking and praying. Our main focus was to pray over the other groups as they ministered in the clubs.
Before I continue the story something needs to be explained.
In Brasil people like things to be in their own boxes. For example, when you go shopping and want to get decorations for a birthday party, you don’t just drive to one party shop among other shops to get your party supplies. You need to go to the “party shop street” where they’ve put ALL the party supplies shops together.
Seriously. Like 15 of them. Side. By. Side.
They do this with everything except restaurants and grocery stores.
Continuing this thought, we were walking down the transvestite avenue. This is a very long street where all the trans-prostitutes stand at the corners of the streets for several blocks.
As we were walking several would come up to us and give us hugs. The IRIS base here has been working with them for years now and Iris Fortaleza is very well known in the red light district.
It was also interesting to see because many of these trans-women were exposing themselves for everyone to see. Some weren’t wearing shirts and a few were just wearing string thongs. Prostitution and public nudity are illegal in Brasil, but in many cases the police either turn their heads the other way or receive bribes to look the other way.
We would have taken more photos, but but out of respect we could not take photos during outreach times.
While we were out one even came up to us and said “I have a headache tonight, can you pray for me?” and just allowed us to pray for her. She was healed, which was amazing!
Now you’ll see here I addressed this person as a her. A very important aspect of this kind of outreach is respect and love. Without respecting where these people are they will never know the love of God. In some cases we are allowed to address them by their masculine name and pronoun, but only one-on-one and not in front of their friends. In other instances we only know their feminine name and can only (and respectfully) address them by their feminine pronoun.
After walking around for a while we stopped and talked with a man, who has a great relationship with Iris and allows them/us to address him with masculine pronouns. We spoke with him for about an hour. We spoke about the voices in our heads that tell lies about who we are and I was able to share some stories from my childhood and he was very touched. We connected over our brokenness and it was an amazing opportunity for me to show how God can bring strength and healing when we cannot bring those things to ourselves.
This man is so close to leaving his prostitution lifestyle. He has given up drugs, listens to worship and preaching every day, and even gets upset when his friends make fun of us (the Christians from Iris).
The base has been praying and working with him for several months and we hope that he is empowered to leave soon. If you think of him, pray for strength, love, and that the enemy would stop telling lies him lies, and more importantly that he would stop believing the lies and recognize truth and what God says about him.
We will be going out again tonight and I hope to continue growing and learning about what God is doing in this city. We’ve been so impacted and changed and we hope to bring that with us as we return home to Richmond.