He Went to Asia Looking to Buy Women. Instead, He Found God

While on a Passport trip to Thailand, Meredith Jamail met Vernon, an American man in his 50s who went to Asia for sex tourism. Feeling empty and alone, he randomly met a World Race team on the beach. They told him about a local church, and he decided to check it out.

Turns out, Vernon found what he was looking for in Asia after all: God’s unconditional love for him.

It’s crazy our first month in Thailand draws to an end and our trip is halfway done. ‘Flown by’ is an understatement. But what blows me away most is how much I’ve seen God move; very little has been how I expected it to be.

Our ministry looks different everyday. It has been a lesson on being flexible and trusting God in everything.

I went to Thailand with the idea we were going to go into bars, ask women if they wanted to leave their jobs dancing, take them to a safe house, and teach them about the freedom in Jesus.

But that was not God’s plan. 

Instead, my team started ministry by doing Bible studies with people from many different nations including Pakistan, Iran, Burma, Nepal, Thailand, and the States. We got to know Yaya, a woman with a story of incredible redemption through Jesus. We played with kids, talked about Jesus often, taught English, scraped paint off of floors, painted walls and ceilings, prayed, cried, laughed, and smiled often.

It’s funny how God changes what you think something will be like to remind you He is in control—and that His plans are always the best ones of all.

On Sunday after church, we went to a pool in the lush green mountains overlooking the Indian ocean. We talked with a member of the church, an American man in his 50’s who originally came to Thailand for the same reason most men come here: sex tourism.

While I’ve been here and witnessed Bangla Road, prostitution, and the selling of women, I have prayed for eyes like Jesus—not only for the girls who are chained in modern day slavery, but for the men who purchase them.

I have realized the men are also captive by sin and pain, and I’ve prayed for compassion for them. So I wasn’t surprised when I got to chat with this man, who I will call Vernon.

Vernon said he originally came to Thailand for girls, but felt empty and alone within a short time of his arrival. One night, we met some World Racers on the beach. They told him about a church, and he began to attend after the Racers left Thailand.

Vernon started coming often to hang out and talk to different members of the church. He learned about Jesus, even attending Bible studies like the one we had that morning. Vernon asked us questions about what it looked like to obey follow God, why did we leave the comfort of life in the States for a missions trip, and ultimately, why we say “yes” to God with our lives.

Then he told us he is going back to the States to join a church, get his friends connected with a church, and live in community for the first time in his life.

This man who came to Asia to purchase women has found himself right in the middle of the unconditional love of God.

You can join other college students like Meredith Spring 2017 on 3 month trips to Latin America, Africa, and Asia! CLICK HERE to find out how you can join a team—and where you can GO!