My friend Sorin started work at a hotel about a month ago. He’s a dedicated Christian and a man of God, and he shares the gospel with zeal. We ‘hired’ him as our translator when Jake Martin came to Bucureşti for two weeks of evangelism. Anyhow, he got a job working at a hotel now as a bus boy. He loves the work. The pay is more than enough for him ($2/hour) and it includes one free meal every day and a couple tips here and there.
The biggest tippers are the foreign visitors seeking prostitutes, and they are certainly plentiful. Sorin told me that every night he sees many prostitutes come into the hotel, and it’s normal for a guest to ask him to find him one. They offer him 150 RON. 150 RON is only $45 US, but to put it in perspective, that’s almost a week’s pay for a public school teacher or two 12-hour shifts for Sorin or 10 trips to the theater or half a month’s rent for a college student (cockroaches included free of charge, of course). So you don’t want to say “no” to a guy offering you 150 RON for 5 minutes of work and a phone call.
Of course, although the laws are not always enforced, prostitution is very much illegal in Romania. (And, just like in the U.S., if a man is caught paying a woman for sex, she pays the fine. No, it doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?)
And my friend Sorin is a Christian and has always turned down the offers, stating bluntly, “I am a child of God. Why do you think I would do this thing? No, I will not find you a prostitute. And do not ask me to find someone else who will, because I will not help you in this.” Amen! I pray Sorin stays bold and the Lord blesses him so much that the other workers get jealous because of it.
But… something isn’t sitting well with me.
Of the 2 million people in Bucureşti, Sorin is one of at most 10,000 who are born-again believers. And of those 10,000, how many work at hotels? And of those, how many are willing to stand up for what’s right? And of those, how many refuse to give their co-workers the job?
And Sorin works in a small hotel. Imagine how many women are trafficked through the large ones. And add all those up throughout all of Bucureşti…
Yeah, you’re starting to feel what I’m feeling, aren’t you? A little sick to your stomach?
Pray for Bucureşti. There are many here in this city who are held in bondage to lust, and prostitution is just one of its many tentacles.
Pray for a release of godly, joy-filled holiness. Pray for men and women to become so captivated by Jesus that the idea of selling or buying sex would not even enter their minds. Pray for men and women who are whole and satisfied in Jesus, free. Pray for conviction to enter the hearts of the men who come here to abuse the law and human beings. Pray for conviction to enter the hearts of the women who use their bodies to manipulate and control men.
Pray for Bucureşti. We need it.