Bethany Hess        Network 21 Missions
i am thinking back to a few nights that caused such sadness, and so many questions.
as i said before, we are staying at the YWAM base. while here, we are doing some outreach with a team here ...
they invited us out on a prayer walk though town.
first meeting, and praying together, and then going out on The Streets.
so we walked, prayed, and listened to what God had to say ...
a few nights later, we went out to walk and talk now.
We made our way to the famous red light District. I had seen parts of it during the day.
a few ladies standing in the windows ... but i realized now, there is no way to mentally prepare yourself for this!
we walked down a street, took a turn, and stood in the middle of a bridge, looking down at the ladies, the windows, the lights, curtains, and the mob of men.
it was so strange!
we walked the street lined with windows. The best way I can describe it is like a storefront window, only the ladies are what is for sale. the men, taking there pick, asking how much is this and how much is that?
so strange, so far from what the heart of God for His people!
the team we went with had gone many times before, they had become friends with some of the ladies, so I was able to meet a few of the ladies in the windows.
they are women just like me, most of them in the midst of desperate circumstances.
it was such a hopeless feeling to walk by a window where the curtain was drawn (that indicates they are busy).
i went home asking God, what can we do? there is so much darkness. so much hopelessness in that place. so much loneliness. so much hurt.
what can we do?
i went to bed with the question heavy in my heart.
You see, I have realized something about myself ... I am opposed to injustice in any form! Can you imagine what God thinks about this injustice?!?
some women are trafficked in, some women so desperate, with no hope, having to sale themselves over and over again!
men, seeking some sort of pleasure or love, trying to fight loneliness ... out there settling for something that is so much less than what God has for them!
God what do we do?
after struggling with this question, God reminded me of His heart for all of us .......... The affluent, the lonely, the desperate, the self-centered, the religious, the greedy, the poor, the corrupt, the sick ...
He loves us oh so dearly, and He desires for us to be with Him.  
He will burden hearts for different people groups, or countries, or issues. He has not forgotten any of us! 
We must pray, and we must be active ... however that looks for each individual!
and we must always remember, it is not them, or i, it is US..
We are God's people. and we must act accordingly!
on those streets lined with red lights, I saw so many tourist walk by the ladies in the windows saying remarks that oozed with superiority! this is not God's heart.
We are his people, and we must act accordingly.
He loves us, Oh how He loves us.

it is now march, and there is so much to tell you all!
First i will start with where we are staying ...
We are staying at the YWAM (Youth With A Mission) base building called The Gate. it is a massive building that houses people on staff with YWAM, YWAM people in schools and people passing through. We have been here from amsterdam to our second week now. it has been a very nice stay. so many new people, so many lives to learn about new! We continue to hear from some real faith building stories of the people on staff here. I know God has provided and I lukus with our needs, but it is so encouraging to hear of all that God is doing and providing for others in the body!
these last two weeks or so, we have been volunteering with a lady, bianca, here at the base. she is a wife, a mom of four, and she is trying to redecorate some rooms here at The Gate. needless to say, she needed some help. so the three of us painted some rooms for her, built some furniture, sewed some pillow covers, and so on. The base now has a big family room (living room) for everyone to enjoy living here, as well as a bright new dining room. The dining room was a dingy yellow on bottom, and dirty white on top. before being painted ... now it is beautiful! The more I thought about it, i realized how much of a gift it was for her to redecorate .... the families living here in this building just usually have bedrooms, kitchens and shared ... just no place to live. so bianca has provided them with a nice place to eat and live together! there are definitely perks to living in community, but also many sacrifices! so it is nice to see something fresh and pretty for all here to enjoy!