My name is Yana. When I was 25, I was under enormous pressure to provide for both myself and my blind mother. With only a sixth grade education, my options were limited and paid very little. One night, I was deceived by a customer at the restaurant where I was singing. He had visited often and told me he was a veterinarian, and shared my love for animals. He offered me a ride home, but instead of taking me home, he took me to his hotel and forced himself upon me. When he was finished, he paid me 500 baht, the equivalent of $14. I was nervous that my mother would find out how I was making money and tried to hide it. Yet as I started coming home later and later, my mother figured it out. The pattern continued for several years as I worked to provide for us.
When I was 31, my mother passed away, leaving me with nothing. During the next few years, I struggled until I attended a church and met a man whom I thought I loved. I became pregnant with his child and was hopeful his family would be kind to me, but I was sadly mistaken. His family told me they were going to take my baby and forced me to be a slave. I ran away to live with my step sister when I was six months pregnant, but my stepsisters household was HIV positive, which made life there hard. Later, when my son was a year old, I went to the red light district to find a job. I was denied many of the best jobs because I couldn't speak English and was considered too heavy. I took medicine to be skinny enough to dance on stage.
I danced for one month before I realized I was pregnant for the second time. I knew I couldn't dance while pregnant, so I left the bars and became a freelancer. I became a woman on call, which means I would sit in a room and have multiple customers come in and have their way with me. Sometimes, I would have two or three men in one night, and sometimes none at all. Sometimes, in order to get home, I would pay my taxi driver by sleeping with him. It was as if my body had become my currency. One day, I felt the need to go to church because I hadn't gone in a long time.
That very same week, my cousin, Kay Killar was deeply burnt out from the ministry and was considering quitting Samaritan Creations all together. Kay cried out to God, pleading with him to rescue me. She asked God for a sign, saying if I would come to church, Kay cried out to God, pleading with him to rescue me. She asked God for a sign, saying if I would come to church, Kay would know God wanted her to continue on in the ministry. The next day at church, God answered her prayer. I was sitting there with my two children. That day, Kay asked me to leave my current lifestyle behind and come live at Samaritan creations.
I came to Samaritan Creations, but I would not pray or hardly speak for two years. Slowly, God worked in my heart and called me to be His own. Two years later, in April of 2016, I began to pray, thanking God for His love for me and my children, as well as bringing me to Samaritan Creations. Now, I sing songs to God for my children. I like being at Samaritan Creations because I have a job that I can be proud of and financially I can earn a living by making beautiful things. I have dignity and when I tell my children how I make money, I feel proud of myself. Samaritan Creations has created a new family for me.