For The Love of Siam

Posts tagged “Bangkok

Pass It On…

I watched as the bakery ladies buzzed around the bakery, with *P Mon giving gentle directions “…*Noon have you checked that the following items are packed in the case, from the check list – weighing scales, mixing bowl, recipes, cupcake tin, cupcake cases, buttercream, palette knife, piping nozzles, piping bags… We don’t want to forget anything for the workshop!…”

I (Sarah) could hear the excitement in their voices, and sense the tension and nervousness in their body language as 3 ladies of the bakery team, prepared all the equipment needed to take with them to teach their first ever external bakery workshop!

I took a moment to remember how far they have all come from, not just learning in the Freedom Bakery, but the total transformation that has and is continuing to happen in their lives – they are definitely not being defined by their past.  God is an amazing miracle worker!

The Freedom Bakery ladies wearing the white hats; teaching others from difficult situations, bringing hope & joy.

I was further reminded about the gifts & talents that God has given to all of us.  When God blesses us with gifts and talents they are never just for our own benefit.  He doesn’t bless us with talents and skills so we can look brilliant or  be selfish with it!  God wants us to steward those gifts for Him!  To bless others and build His kingdom.

When we unwrap what God has given us, use it well and remember that even though the gift has our name on it, it doesn’t mean it is all for us.  God uses our obedience and stewardship in wonderful and spectacular ways to bless others, with hope and joy in a way that we just can not do in our own strength.

As I watched the beautiful bakery ladies that 2 years ago had no bakery skills (many Thai homes still do not have an oven), that were fearful of the oven, frightened of the mixers and insisted the microwave was going to blow up…  move so confidently around the kitchen.  I thanked God for providing me with the privilege of using me to be part of their lives; yes teaching them baking and cake decorating has been part of it, but most of all God has given me the opportunity to pray into their lives, for trust to be built so they are able to share some of their most deepest life experiences, to pray with them when they feel all hope is lost, to laugh and cry with them and tell they can, when their confidence takes a knock.

On many occasions I questioned God, what am I doing this for?  I can’t do this, my brain is exploding from trying to teach in Thai, can I give up now Lord?  How am I supposed to win souls with baking & cake decorating?  When my own confidence took a blow, life and spiritual struggles caused me to be discouraged or forgetting that I don’t need to do this all in my own strength.

To hold onto God, and remain obedient with the gifts and talents He has given me has been well worth it!  On Friday 6th October, I witness 3 ladies of the bakery team confidently lead and teach their first external workshop (outside of NightLight at another organisation), teaching ladies making the decision to leave the sex industry.

Bakery team wearing white hats. Giving a guiding hand, practicing how to pipe buttercream. *Face has been blurred to project her identity.

When we got to the workshop, I had a brief wobbly moment, that they couldn’t do it and would need my help, so I proceeded to put on my hat and apron ready to help!  I immediately heard *Noon say to me in a firm voice… “What are you doing?  Take it off! We can do this!”  That’s when the tears of joy began to sting my eyes, when I gained further understanding of how God is using me and the gifts His has given me to fulfil His purpose in their lives.

I am soooooooo proud of the bakery ladies, on their first workshop I cried with joy and smiled so hard (my cheeks hurt!), I even jumped up and down praising God! I watched them teach with such professionalism, giving advice and answering all the questions.  They taught all of it by themselves with very, very, very very… did I say ‘very’ minimal assistance!  I just stood in the background and took pictures, feeling like a spare part… Which was fantastic!!!  They are all teachers in their own right!

God receives the praise and the glory since none of this has been done in my own strength… Trust me, I would have given up ages ago if it was left down to me!

Jesus gives us two commandments: to love the Lord and to love others as we love ourselves. – Matthew 22:37–40.  So when we steward our talents to honour Him and to bless others, we are doing just that.

Pass it on…  God wants to use your unique role in the body of Christ.  So, if like me it is baking, then bake, singing, then sing. If your talent is a little less conventional—maybe you’re good with numbers, computers or play the bass like Paul (who teaches bass lessons, advises on computers and computer skills) — then find a way to translate that into a job to glorify God.  Use your God-given abilities to reach those who don’t know Him—and give God the praise for all He has given.  Pass it on…

* Names have been changed to protect their identities

Thank God for:

  • The bakery ladies confidence and courage to lead independently a bakery workshop to reach out to others.

  • The bakery team taking ownership of the Freedom Bakery. 

  • There are 5 extra external workshops lined up for the month of October, that the team will be running. 

Pray for:

  • For conditioned confidence, growth and development of the bakery ladies.

  • For the extra 5 external workshops being held in October at 2 different organisations.

  • Pray for the women that will attend these workshops, that they will be impacted by them and good conversations and relationships can be made. 

BMS World Mission partnered with NightLight International 

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5 years!!!

Time has flown past so quickly, that we can’t even believe it!  It has crept up on us, without us even realising!  On the 29th June we noted that we have been living and serving in Bangkok, Thailand for 5 years!

We have been looking back and recapping the last 5 years.  It has been a time that has been filled with crazy moments, challenges, confusion, spirit filled, hot, humid, rainy, flooding, stormy, emotionally driven – fun, happy, sad, tearful and fearful journey that God has led us on!….but we wouldn’t change it for the world!  We  have had the honour of working with many amazing people of God, who are serving, loving, learning and teaching others outside of their comfort zone.

In 5 years we have walked alongside and worked with woman coming out of sexual exploitation and human trafficking, it has been super hard, but in this time we have been so blessed and privileged to have met, some of the most strongest and courageous women in the world!  Women that have stood tall and taken brave steps into freedom and transformation.

In the areas of the sex industry and trafficking that are dark and spiritually heavy.  In 5 years, we have had the joy of seeing God’s light and hope break through the darkness and seen God’s hand at work –  as women have gained their self-worth, value, dignity, a new life, and their God given purposes unfold, breakthrough’s of women delivered from evil spirits, brothel owners asking for prayer, listened to men confess that were about to use the sex industry for the night – but felt compelled to come into the coffee shop and share their heart, watched some of these same men give their lives to Christ, witnessed some of the most amazing baptism’s ever, watched God’s power of love and grace help trafficked & exploited women overcome extreme trauma and God’s justice break down walls of corruption!…. Phew!!!… this is the short list!  There is so much more we could add!

In 5 years, we have embraced Thailand – the people, rich culture, food, heritage, language and seen God’s face in every single Thai person or other nationalities we have met.  We have built strong relationships with many Thais that speak little to no English, a true testimony to how God has enabled us to embrace and learn the Thai language. We have been welcomed by Thai families that shows a bond of trust including Buddhist families allowing us to pray for them.

Most importantly, even before arriving to Thailand, during our time in Thailand and now, God has been with us ALWAYS, providing us with the strength, encouragement, giving us nudges to take steps into the unknown, providing us with the words to support others, providing us with the wisdom to make the right decisions.  God’s hand has been unchanging, we have relied on His guidance throughout this whole journey and this will not stop.  We are reassured that He will be with us always.

 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. – Deuteronomy 31:8

We want to say a ‘big thank you’ for all your support, prayers and encouragement you have given us over the last 5 years.  A ‘huge thank you’ for all your letters, cards and presents that have surprised us for New Year’s, Easter’s, Birthday’s & Christmas’.  Thank you to our Church Partners for the great relationships and friendships that we have formed with you, your warm welcomes, kind hospitality, food and cakes whenever we come to visit your Churches.  Some of you have been with us, before we left the UK 5 years ago and that support from you has been greatly appreciated.

We don’t always get the time to answer every single email or letter, but please know that each one has been up lifting.  Many have come right on time, when we have needed a boost of encouragement.

Thank God for:

  • The number of transformed lives that have happened during this time – those that have made the decision to leave the sex industry, trafficked woman that have been reunited with families in their home countries and men that have had their hearts transformed and touched by God.

  • For our 5 years in Thailand, the people we have encountered, the lives that God has allowed us to make an impact on.

  •  The growth in our journey and walk with God.

Pray for:

  • Please continue to pray for the all those, that recently got baptised.  As new believers, the enemy uses many situations to pull them back.  Pray that they will stay strong and remain close to God.

  •  Us, as we continue to live and serve in Thailand – God’s guidance, direction and wisdom for serving others and our personal lives.

  • *Noon & *Ma – 2 Ladies that were working at NightLight but left recently.   Ma has sadly gone back to work in the sex industry and Noon has got caught up in a bad situation and has been contemplating suicide. Please pray that God’s truth will break through the lies they are been fed.  That with God’s help they will have enough courage to come back to NightLight.  That they will understand that they are beautiful, precious daughter’s and princess’.

To help you understand how much God loves and cares for us, here is a poem that some of you may know or have read already.  Please click on the poem title to take you to the poem link – 

‘My Precious Daughter (A love letter from God to His Daughters)’

*Names have been changed to protect their identity

Lots of love

Paul & Sarah

 

BMS World Mission partnered with NightLight International

  


His Birth = Our New Birth

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Baptism in a large black bucket – Just before being baptised

2016 for us, has been filled with witnessing lots of great and wonderful things! The one we witnessed recently was no exception, it was an absolute privilege, it was the most humbling baptism we have ever seen!

There were no huge crowds of people, no church building, no projector for worship or songs, no drums, no piano, no microphones.  There was no baptism pool, swimming pool or the sea.   It was held in a small back room next to a small kitchen and cooking area with a largish black plastic bucket, the kind you use for carting rubble, holding ice for drinks or in our case washing lots of dishes at a time!

A small crowd of us gathered to witness with 1 person playing an acoustic guitar.

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Baptism in a large black bucket – During the baptism

The young lady getting baptised *Humble, is a lady we are assisting through our anti-trafficking program along with her children.

Whilst in our care, she had been asking lots of questions about Christ, He became real to her and made Himself known to her in her dreams.  We were in the process of assisting to help get her repatriated back to her home country, and she wanted to get baptised before going home (which was due to happen a few days later).  With such a short space of time, there was not enough time to arrange a formal baptismal service.  The quick preparation and thinking – “What can we use to baptise her in?”turned it into the most humbling baptism ever.

She shared her testimony, made her declaration of faith and expressed her great love for Christ.

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Feeling happy and joyful – After the baptism

 As *Humble stepped in to the black bucket, and knelt down.  The water was poured over her head…in name of the Father…. in the name of the Son… in the name of the Holy Spirit.  Tears of joy rolled down everyones cheeks as we rejoiced with her!

As her children looked on – In the small back room next to a small kitchen and cooking area; in that largish black bucket for carting rumble, holding ice for drinks or in our case washing lots of dishes at a time, an amazing ‘New Life’ was born.  Her humble baptism, symbolised her ‘Re-birth’.

And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. – Luke 2:7

The way this baptism took place, is a great reminder of how Jesus came into this world.  There was no big fanfare, no luxury, no mansion and to parents with very little.  We can only but image what the stable was like, there was probably the smell and noise of the animals, the uncomfortableness of the hay and the trough for feeding animals used as His bed.  With witnesses that were one of the lowest classes in society –  the shepherds.  In all the simplicity and humbleness came our wonderful Saviour, Joy & Hope to us and the world.  His birth, was the humble beginnings of our new life and re-birth.

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. – John 1:12

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ – John 3:5-7   

*Humble and her children’s faces have been blurred and her name has been changed to protect their identity. 

Please pray:

  • For *Humble as we continue to help her get back home. Challenges with corruption, injustice, lack of understanding and sympathy within the system, has made the process very difficult and caused many obstacles that have delayed the process of getting her back home.  Please pray for officials hearts to be softened and for understanding. Please pray urgently for a breakthrough.

  • Hopefully if all goes well *Humble and her children are due to go home shortly after Christmas.

Thank God  & Thank you:

Christmas is not celebrated in the same way in Thailand and this year is even more different since the passing of the King, with a very sombre mood.  The Christmas decorations went up very late this year.  People will still give each other presents, however with no real understanding of what they are celebrating.  

  • Thank God – This a great time for us to share with the Thais. We have had the opportunity to witness to some of the local Thais we know well near our house and have been able to give them a book about the Nativity of Jesus in Thai. 
  • Thank God – For a trafficked woman from Uganda that NightLight assisted, was able to return home last week after many years absence and many health challenges. It was such a victory and joy to send her off at the airport and know that she was reunited with her child finally. 
  • Thank you – For all your support and encouragement throughout the year.  We have received Christmas cards, gifts and messages from many of you.

We hope you all have a blessed Christmas and a peaceful New year!  May you know Christ’s Joy, Hope, love always.

BMS World Mission partnered with NightLight International

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Waiting on God Purposefully

It has been a while since we published a blog, however our busy work load and schedules mean that writing for a blog has taken a back seat.

Slide1The last few months have been difficult, since we have been working through issues in our personal and working lives.  Things that have made us totally depend on God and require us to wait on Him.  Waiting is an inescapable fact of life.  It is not about if we will have to wait for something, it’s about when we will have to wait, and crucially how we wait.

The thing about waiting is that, no matter how tough it can be, it helps us to understand that God is sovereign.  Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

When the trials come, we often want to step or jump right over them, shut our eyes or pretend they are not there.  However through these trials God has been preparing our hearts and giving us the ability to grow in faith.  God’s picture for our lives is way bigger than what we can imagine.  Obviously when we are in the period of waiting we often forget this, when we are rocked to the core, we know that God can and will come through, but you are left with the wondering of when.

There are two ways you can wait. You can wait actively or passively – active waiting is best.  It does not really matter what you’re waiting for; Joyce Meyer says it well, “Enjoy where you are, on the way to where you’re going”. In other words – wait well.

Whenever we are going on a particularly long trip somewhere, we always have something to read or some music to make the journey more enjoyable.  It may sound simplistic, but that’s exactly what we need to do while we are waiting on God.  Having a parallel project doesn’t make the waiting always enjoyable all the time, but does make it easier.  We are trying to have thankful hearts, drawing closer to God while waiting, resisting being passive.  It has been wonderful to find ways to add value to someone else’s life, by serving and helping them to reach their goals.

We understand that waiting is a godly act.  The enemy would rather we forfeit the wait in favour of a counterfeit lesser option; he doesn’t want us to access the power and strength that are developed within us when we wait.  We both love the scripture, They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint’’ – Isaiah 40:31

In the waiting, it puts us right into God’s hands and at the centre of His will for our lives.

“God grace is sufficient for us, for His power is made perfect in our weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

We would appreciate if you would keep us in your prayers.  We have received emails from some of you, and they are greatly appreciated.  We don’t always get the opportunity to reply to them all, but please know they are valued.

Thank you for your continued support & prayers.

We would appreciate prayers for:

  • Sarah’s Mum health
  • Both of us to continue to grow in faith for God’s provision
  • God guidance on work & life matters
  • Sarah’s health

 

BMS World Mission partnered with NightLight International

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Celebrating Freedom

freedom image 1The time of our visit to the UK came and went so quickly!  We arrived safely back home in Thailand on Wednesday 29 July and now settling back into a routine.  We are taking some time off before going back to work at NightLight.

It was good to visit Churches we knew already and see some familiar faces, however it was also wonderful to link with some new churches and build new friendships; and spend time in worship with you all.

We hope that what we shared was encouraging, it is always a blessing for us to share how God is working in people lives, the transformation taking place, the hope and Good News being spread.

We are grateful for your role in bringing freedom to these women as well as the prayers and support which enable them to stay and thrive in freedom.

This is an update of some of the work that was continuing whilst we were in the UK.  It is amazing how much happens in your absence.

  • NightLight’s work with trafficked women continues to bring us face to face with amazing women with horrific stories who are overcoming and walking into freedom. Since April we have assisted 2 Ugandan, 1 Liberian, 1 Uzbek, and 2 Columbians in returning home. These women and their families have been greatly impacted by your prayers and support. We are presently assisting three others from Uganda and Colombia as well.

  • A young trafficked woman from Morocco is presently in our care. Please pray for her as she suffers from post traumatic stress and tries to walk through a difficult process to return to her country. 

    A Central Asian woman, in our care who was seriously ill. We were able to get her home safely where she could reunite with her family and receive medical treatment.

  • One of our women who has struggled to get off the streets and free of addictions for over 10 years agreed to enter a rehab centre in July.  NightLight will be visiting with her family in the northeast and then taking her to the centre up north. Please pray for her to have courage for this difficult journey.

  • The bakery completed their 12 week training course and in June had a graduation ceremony and celebration. They often doubted themselves and their abilities, but persevered and made some incredibly beautiful cakes. In the Autumn they will open for sales locally.

  • The outreach centre has been very busy with beauty salons twice a week, English class once a week, outreach parties, and a medical clinic. Women from the red light area come for care, conversations, and hope. As the women share their stories with our staff, they ask about Jesus. Four women have come to Christ through these visits.

  • On the June, 25 women and their children were treated to an outing at Safari World by the Evangelical Church free-birdsof Bangkok. For their missions service weekend they also partnered with us by playing live music in our coffee shop at night, and joining us on outreach. It was wonderful to have their support and presence.

    There is a lot of discouraging news around the world and we face challenges, which often seem impossible. We are so grateful for your prayers and support and we celebrate the goodness of God in bringing freedom and hope to so many.

The Spirt of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.

Isaiah 61:1 (NLT)

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BMS World Mission partnered with NightLight International

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Graduation Celebration

Unfortunately we haven’t managed to update our blog as often as we would have liked.  However both of us have been extremely busy setting up the Freedom Bakery, the budget, business plan & business strategy.  Setting up and overseeing a new project takes up a lot of time, coupled with setting it up in another language and cultural differences that adds to the many challenges.  Sarah also had to come to terms with seeing 2 women leave about half way through the training, however it is hoped they will take the opportunity to come back.

Designing their finale cake for their graduation ceremony.Designing their finale cake for their graduation ceremony.

Paul has been busy beavering away on the budget for the bakery and over seeing the financial aspects of the project on a daily basis. He is also still budget monitoring for the jewellery & t-shirt area and doing statistical monthly reports for outreach, childcare, transition home/trafficking in persons, song sawing church, the coffee shop, playing in morning worship and still teaching some of the women how to play bass guitar every week.

Sarah has also been wearing many hats; Handling marketing, material & ingredients sourcing, teaching the 12-week intensive bakery course that she also had to prepare as well, including a Food & Hygiene and Health & Safety course that all had to be delivered in Thai. She has been teaching the course every day (Mon -Fri) from 10.30 – 17.00. It would be tiring teaching it in English, so teaching it Thai has been very tiring indeed. At the end of the working day, her brain is frazzled! Quite amazingly during the training we were also taking in customer orders as well; for the month of May we had 2 orders every week!  The word about the bakery is starting to spread.  The last day of the bakery training course was on the 29 May.

Graduated bakery team and finished cake.Graduated bakery team and finished cake.

Sarah organised their final training project and all of the elements for their graduation ceremony and celebration.  On 5 June we saw the ladies graduate in a full graduation ceremony in gowns & hats with their final training project cake the centrepiece of the ceremony.  All of them accomplished so much whilst training.  When they first started in February this year, they were so scared.  They were unsure of the techniques, not confident, even the oven produced fear and fear sometimes pushed them to complain about the new techniques they were going to learn for the week or the crazy cake design/flavour order we had undertaken for a customer.  However they always managed to learn what was being taught and far exceeded their own expectations.  They are all so proud of their work and overjoyed with their new skills and abilities, which has opened new opportunities for them.

 It was a wonderful, precious and proud moment seeing them graduate.  There were tears of joy all round!

They worked hard during the 12-weeks and achieved standards of excellence which we are confident will continue.  Sarah has been privileged to watch their confidence, courage and skills grow.  She has enjoyed every moment of teaching and working with them.  

The bakery team and the ladies at NightLight have so much potential to achieve so much.  The graduation gowns and sashes were made by the NightLight sewing department and the flowers arrangements and bouquets by a very talented lady that works in the jewellery department.  Amazing abilities from the ladies at NightLight!  

During our time in the UK the bakery team will be taking the time to improve on all the skills & techniques they have learnt on their own and then go onto work into the feeder/partner bakery linked with the project in August/September.    

Thank you so much to everyone that has sent us emails of support and has supported this project financially through BMS & NightLight.  Your support is  making a tremendous difference of transformation in in the lives of these women.  

We are really excited how God will use and move this project forward.

 

Graduated bakery team cutting their final project cake. Graduated bakery team cutting their final project cake. 

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 BMS World Mission partnered with NightLight International Nightlight logo


Baking, Cake Decorating, Freedom & The Gospel… What?

“Lord why have you opened my eyes and heart up to such pain & suffering? Thanks for the gift of cake decorating, but how am I supposed to help & win souls with cake decorating?”

I had been earnestly seeking for about 2 years, for God’s guidance on how He wanted to use me and the creative skills He had blessed me with.  Little did I know how the Lord would un-package an amazing new skill; plus the journey & adventure He would take me on.  As they say, when you ask God for something, be prepared for how He will answer it!

I am not formally or professionally trained as a cake decorator, my education & career background was firmly in fashion design, business & production.  

In 2006, whilst working as a Fashion Production Manger, I was randomly asked to make & decorate a baby shower cake. I knew how to bake, but decorating was completely alien to me.  At the baby shower, some people thought the cake I had done came from a specialist cake shop in London! What! I couldn’t see what they could see.

It was not long after that orders began streaming in! About 6 months later, I sensed God’s timing to step out to start my own cake decorating business! Was I crazy? Possibly! Leaving the security of a well-paid job to start a business in something I knew little about or never received training in.

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Bakery team sugar crafting for the gravity defying cupcake tea set.

Reading the bible one morning I stumbled upon Exodus 31:1-5 – “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts”.

It confirmed that God cared about the creative gift He had given me. I discerned that God wanted me to do more than just build up a business empire; it was about something much bigger.

I began to do wedding cakes, sculptured cakes and model full size shoes and handbags out of cakes all with no training. I began to use it as act of worship and prayer time as I found myself reflecting on God and The Word as I created these cakes. Each time I finished a cake, I would stand back in amazement and wonder how I had produced it!

I then spent about 1 year, turning down opportunities to teach individuals and small groups (about 5-10 people at a time) the art of baking, cake decorating & sugar artistry. “Me teach?” Was my instant answer “How can I teach something I haven’t been taught?” I was petrified at the thought of teaching others.

I believe that God got tired of me saying no, and set up a divine appointment, that left me stunned.  I some how managed to agree without realising, to teach cake decorating to 120 people over a 2 day period! Aaaggghh! The first day I was shaking like a leaf, as I tightly gripped the piping bag, microphone strapped over my ears. I began to pray “ Lord, This is not what I do? I’m in the fashion business. How did I get to this point? How Can I teach these people, when I haven’t been taught?   God wasted no time in replying, I heard a small voice respond  “Who say’s you haven’t been taught? I’m your teacher”.   A sense of peace swept over me and I relaxed into teaching cake decorating skills.

Bakery team, modelling flowers for Autumn cakes

Bakery team, sugar crafting flowers for Autumn themed cupcakes

God opened the doors of teaching opportunities; within a month I took on board a 16 year old student with learning difficulties as a 6 month work placement.   The women’s group at Crisis SkyLight homeless organisation heard about the work and asked me to run classes, a women’s hostel housing over 100 women heard about the work I was doing with Crisis invited me to teach.  Each time the 6-8 week courses finished, the women requested for me to come back.  I began working & walking alongside women that were broken – some were prostitutes, suffered physical abuse, were battered, had mental health problems and drug addictions.

“Lord why have you opened my eyes and heart up to such pain & suffering?  Thanks for the gift of cake decorating, but how am I supposed to help & win souls with cake decorating?” This became my hearts prayer.  I now understand that this was my training ground, God setting the foundation, for the work to come.

As time went on the women began to ask about why I came to teach them, and mentioned that they there was something different about me.   This was my ‘Oh’ moment, as I saw God open the doors for me to share my faith story, God’s love, grace & Jesus. Doing this in a creative workshop setting made it less threatening, as they shared their life stories, poured out pain, they were  seeking freedom.

Teaching a skill that I have had no formal training in still seems strange.  Recently I reflected and had to laugh, I was so scared of teaching in English, but fast forward about 7 years and now I am teaching baking & cake decorating in Thai!

Working & walking alongside Thai women that have endured horrific treatment, bound by the sex industry.  I am now watching them walk in freedom as they are given an alternative job opportunity out of the sex industry.

NightLight Bakery team, making & decorating Autumn cookies

Bakery team, making & decorating Autumn themed cookies, using edible food colours.

This is what the newest venture at NightLight will do – ‘Thailand Freedom Bakery’ – the aim is that NightLight, will be able to offer more jobs to women leaving the sex industry, providing them with employment with dignity & a skill.  I began teaching some of NightLight’s women in September 2013, over 1 year later, the women are thriving, their confidence is continually growing and their cake baking & sugar artistry skills are improving.

In mid-September renovations to the kitchen at NightLight began, to provide the bakery team with a professional space.  From February 2015, 5 more women will join and I will begin teaching a full-time training program, covering – hygiene, essential business skills, along with baking, decorating & sugar artistry.  This will enable them to produce beautiful, celebration cakes, wedding cakes, delicious baked goods and run a bakery with dignity.   The name for the bakery will be unveiled soon.

God may not be asking you to leave your job, sell all your possessions or go overseas,  but at some point He may ask you to follow Him into the unknown.  What He will ask of you may stretch you beyond your resources. When He asks, say yes. Your “yes” will prepare you for a later time when you will need greater faith to say yes.  Then, you will find fulfillment in doing His will, laying down your life, and knowing that you are pleasing your Father.

If you would like to support NightLight’s Baking Project, you can do so through BMS’Thailand Freedom Bakery Appeal’. Please call BMS directly on 01235 517700 or click on the image below to take you to the BMS’ website for more details about the appeal, the work of NightLight and how you can donate.

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Dignity image - BMS

CMYK logo (2) BMS World Mission partnered with NightLight International.

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