NightLight is a busy place and with new activities and projects launching, we have a lot of updates to share. We hope you will enjoy catching up on the news and will also be aware of how much your prayers and support contribute to all that is happening.
NightLight’s Outreach Centre Activities
We have been hosting medical clinics every couple months out of our outreach center in the red light area. The last few clinics have averaged around 40 women and ladyboys (transgenders) coming in for HIV testing and medical attention. The clinics are a great way to build trust in the neighborhood. On March 24th it rained a lot, but we still were able to receive 15 clients. It was a good opportunity to hear their stories and offer assistance. We are grateful to Dr. Katherine Welch of Relentless and a great team of international volunteers.
In February the outreach team made over 724 contacts with women from Thailand, Africa, Central Asia, and South America in the red light area. We gave gifts on both Valentines and International Women’s Day to bless the women and let them know that they are seen and loved. nail salon Three of our Thai women have now joined the outreach team as well.
English classes take place every week in the outreach center for women still in prostitution. We also open the center for hairdressing and nails once a week. As a result of these consistent events, the staff is able to build relationships and gain trust among the women in the community.
CityLight Coffee Shop
We were excited to celebrate the 1st year anniversary of CityLight Coffee in March. The Baking Project made personalised cookies. The coffee shop is a safe and welcoming space in the red light area. We are exploring ways to increase revenue so it can become profitable as well. If you are in Bangkok, come by for a great cup of coffee or non-coffees drink and a Panini sandwich!
Employment and Job Training
Jewellery and Shirts
Sales were better in February and March, in part due to high number of visitors and teams. Due to the low sales last year and the financial stress we moved many of the women out of the business and into the foundation. We now have 8 employed in NightLight Design Company and 36 employed in NightLight Foundation. We need more sales, jewellery parties, and retail connections to increase revenue and allow us to hire more women.
The Baking Project We are excited to have recently been granted additional funding we needed to make this project successful. The women are in the middle of a 12-week training program learning food & hygiene, health & safety, sugar crafting, and baking skills. So far what they are doing is beautiful and excellent in quality.
Child Care Center
We are averaging 17 children during the school year and closer to 25 during school breaks (happening now, which is their summer holiday’s). This month the children are going on a special outing to the Aquarium with a school group from an international school in Korea. The following week they will have an English camp. This is a really good opportunity for the children who live in the rural areas. School will start up again in May and funding will be need to provide tuition assistance for around 35 children ages 3-19.
Thai New Year
NightLight closes over Songkran (Thai New Year) so the women can go home to their villages and participate in the family blessings. After a day of blessing gently with water it turns into a 3-day water festival (the worlds largest water fight!). It is a lot of fun, but there are also a lot of accidents. Please pray for the women’s safety and for the time they spend with their families.
We have had three women from Uganda enter the Transition House since the New Year. A mother and baby went home in January and a second woman went home in March. The stories are both horrific and amazing and the women continue to impact us as we assist them in transition and repatriation. The process is complicated with a lot of roadblocks and the team needs continuous prayer covering.
We are in immediate need of house mothers and volunteers to cover shifts at the house and help. The burden is heavy on the residential staff, which works overtime. Please hold them in prayer for endurance and strength, but also pray for the right people to come forward to help. There are many more women who need assistance, but at the moment our limitation is due to not enough people to help.
Repatriation and Assistance
The anti-trafficking team is visiting several trafficked women in the immigration detention center. We hope to advocate for them and accelerate the process for them to return home. Our Spanish-speaking team member has been working with a woman from Colombia and we hope she will return home next month. A big concern we have, is for a woman from Central Asia who is in a pretty serious medical condition and at high risk of dying here if she doesn’t cooperate with the necessary treatments. Please pray for wisdom and for her to understand the necessity of accepting assistance.
NightLight’s NeedsNightLight has expanded its work into new areas and we appreciate so much your prayers, supports, donations and pledges, which makes it possible.
In celebrating Easter Sunday, we also celebrate the new life we see in the women and children and the hope they have for their future. Thank you for being part of this transformation!
Annie Dieselberg CEO / Founder of NightLight & Volunteers of NightLight
Another UK Summer has come and gone, the kids are going back to school and the UK Autumn is fast approaching. Time does not stand still and neither does the work at NightLight. There was a lot that happened during the Summer and in the period when we were in the UK on home assignment.
We invite you to read and discover the many different aspects of the work going on here in Bangkok and to join us in prayer.
There were four Ugandan women who were in the NightLight transition house during May, they have now all received assistance home.
In June NightLight were able to assist an Uzbek woman and invite her into the transition house. Please pray for her as she will hopefully return home shortly.
There was an African trafficked woman who contacted NightLight for help from India; she was assisted by an NGO in India. After waiting 8 months for her baby to be born, she finally returned home. She called at the end of August to say thank you for all that NightLight were able to do for her.
Sadly, over the summer, one of the African women NightLight was assisting died before we could get her home. It was very sad for all of the staff that were involved with helping her, it was good that she was able to spend her final days in a community of love and support rather than die alone on the street.
NightLight’s anti-trafficking team currently has 11 cases in various situations who are receiving assistance. Pray for those in the immigration detention centre and for those who need to be in shelter, but are too afraid.
Pray for the laws concerning the women and the immigration process. The red tape and ignorance we encounter, concerning the trafficked women we help, it is a real obstacle and challenge to provide safe and just repatriation.
English classes for Thai women; these are Thai women that do not currently work at NightLight, but are still in the bars. Classes are beginning to grow as women learn of the opportunity to study.
The class for trafficked women has been a little more challenging since those who really want to study have been denied by their controller. Pray for wisdom and breakthrough.
Two more successful health clinics in partnership with an organization called “Relentless”, were held during August. A total of 44 people came over two nights. One night was held in NightLight’s outreach centre and the second night was inside a brothel.
The NightLight outreach teams continue to reach out twice a week in the red light area. We build relationships with many, but please pray for breakthrough in finding the ones who are desperate for an alternative.
We are excited to have three of our Thai NightLight women (who work at NightLight) join the outreach teams once a week. Their passion is contagious. Pray for them as they return to the red light area but with a new purpose.
CityLight Coffee Shop
CityLight is a real beacon of light in the neighborhood of the red light area. The addition of a food menu brings in more customers so the revenue is growing along with our opportunity to build relationships. Pray for the team that serves in the coffee shop and for the relationships they are building.
NightLight now has more children from the community in the 2-5 year program than children of NightLight employees. It is continuing to be a great opportunity to build healthy foundations for children and families. NightLight is currently seeking funding and a new location so that the children have space to play outside and thrive.
Jewellery sales increased slightly over the summer as staff travelled (including us) and shared about the work. However, sales are still short of what is needed to sustain the employment of the women and staff. Please pray for an increase in sales so that NightLight can flourish and grow.
The silk-screened t-shirts have been selling well as we have added new designs and introduced them here and abroad. We are excited at the potential of markets for the shirts.
Please pray regarding acquiring documents from the landowner on the building we currently using to screen print. If these documents are not handed over, the silk-screening equipment will have to be moved. This will have to be set up in a new location and will require funding to set up with correct electricity and building codes.
Sarah is continuing to teach the women how to bake and decorate in preparation for our newest venture. We are grateful for the funding we have received to date, which covers half of what we need to really set it up and launch well.
Pray for funding, set up, planning, location, and contacts for marketing.
Saa Paper Flower Project
NightLight is trying to discern whether to continue this project or not. The cost for export is high and we lack the right staff to really market it well in Thailand. Please pray for discernment. There are 5 women employed under this project.
In the middle of September, Paul will begin teaching some of the ladies at NightLight how to play the bass guitar. With the aim of them being able to play in worship during weekly morning devotions & at NightLight’s link church Song Sawng.
Jeff Dieselberg (Annie Dieselberg – CEO founder of NightLight husband) and his team continue to teach the women and guide them in their spiritual development. Pray for the leaders as well as the women who are learning more about who they are in Christ and how to live life in freedom and dignity.
Song Sawang Church (Church affliated with NightLight)
The church is maturing as the women have grown into positions of leadership. It is such a joy to see them lead worship every Sunday afternoon.
The men continue to come and once a month have a men’s night out for discipleship and fellowship. Recently someone from outside commented on the big change she noticed in one of the men since he had come to Christ. He plays drums in the church now and is reaching out into his community as well.
Please pray for staff needed for a number of full-time volunteer positions
Transition House Case Managers, Transition House Mothers, Coffee Shop Manager Assistants, Media and Communications, and Marketing as well as Thai staff in the area of Business manager, Silk-Screening Project Manager, and Administration.
NightLight is also in the process of moving forward to do a website re-vamp. Please pray for wisdom as we research to find someone to do the work and for the strategic planning required for the layout.
It is easy to get discouraged when our hearts are big, and many areas are overwhelming. God has been providing, growing and strengthening NightLight and we are grateful. Your prayers are a big comfort and encouragement to us; it is a great reassurance to know that we do not stand alone in doing this work.
Thank you so much for all your prayers and support. We value you partnering with us in bringing freedom to women, men, and children in the red light areas of Bangkok and providing them with opportunities for holistic transformation.
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)
Please click here or on the ‘dignity’ image below to find out more information from the BMS website about the new Dignity initiative.
BMS World Mission partnered with NightLight International
A ‘Beacon of Light’ has now appeared in the heart of the red light district of Nana, Bangkok. As you walk along the road this ‘Beacon of Light shines bright, since it is so different from all the other establishments on that road and is sandwiched between 2 beer bars! The long awaited NightLight coffee shop, is completed. It has been a long time coming; the once white walled plain room has been transformed into a relaxing oasis, set over 2 floors, filled with the aroma of fair trade coffee and the sounds of swishing sophisticated coffee machines. The volunteers that will work there have received barista coffee training to learn how to make the perfect cup of coffee! A Thai manager who will oversee the day-to-day running of the shop has now also been hired. Even before the official opening, there were men looking in and stepping through the doors to see what was happening. With open arms they were invited in for free tester coffee and a chat. We have a real sense of hope that the men who frequent the red light area, will come for a coffee, relax with a possibility of opening up for deeper conversations. We are praying that God’s hope & love will plant a seed, that they may reflect on their actions or visiting the red light district. For them to be able to come into a coffee shop, where they will not be condemned or judged. There is also a small section at the front of the coffee shop to host a live band, doing worship music for event nights. The soft opening of the coffee shop started on Wednesday 12 March 2014, with opening times from 10am -4pm and over the next few weeks the times will be extended up to 12am.
The NightLight outreach centre will become a hive of activity: The ground floor & 1st floor – hosts the NightLight Coffee Shop, 3rd floor – the counselling/Prayer room, 4th floor – the conference/meeting room, 5th floor – 2 rooms if someone needs somewhere to stay & finally the 6th floor – the 24/7 Prayer Room. In the outreach centre we will also be teaching English, having worship nights & medical clinics etc.
During the most recent medical clinics set over 2 nights (using the 3rd & 4th floor), the Coffee Shop was a buzz with people, from all walks of life. The volunteers were getting their practice in making coffee and mastering the coffee machines and handing out free coffee. While women, street walkers, children and on this occasion also men – a mix of Thai & Foreign, were receiving free medical checks, from our volunteer medical team. It was a wonderful insight to how God will use the outreach centre and a reminder that it is for His Honour & Glory.
We would like to thank you all for your prayers and emails of encouragement. We have mentioned before we do not always get the opportunity to reply to every single one. However we really appreciated your thoughts and prayers. February was a very difficult month for Sarah & I, emotionally & physically this also included some hospital visits for Sarah. As hard as it has been over the last few weeks, it has given us a new sense of perspective & growth. It has also allowed us to see that we have a good support network of friends & Thai family around us in Bangkok. We are leaning on God and supporting each other to take us through. Please keep us in your prayers.
If you are an individual and would like like to support us financially, you can do so through BMS 24:7 Partners. Clicking on our BMS 24:7 Partner link page.
If you are a church and you would like to support us financially, you can do so through BMS Church Partners. Click this link to take you to the BMS Church Partners page
We are so blessed by the amazing ways that we are seeing God at work here in Bangkok & Thailand in NightLight and other projects around the city; Lives being transformed, open doors of opportunities – new projects, outreach and God’s justice prevailing.
We are so grateful for all your prayers for us and the work of NightLight. Knowing we are being lifted up by brothers and sisters in others parts of the world sustains and lifts our spirits. Please know we are truly thankful.
- A piece of land in the northeast of Thailand (Issan) has been offered. We hope we will be able to set a prevention program there. Many of the Thai women that work in the bars in Bangkok come from this area. Please pray for favour from the government.
- For funding for several trafficked women that NightLight is assisting to return home.
- For NightLight shelter staff as they begin to care for the women who have recently moved in.
- Three women recently left NightLight for family reasons or work elsewhere. Please pray for protection over them in their new communities.
- For funding for the Baking Project, for equipment i.e ovens etc. & all the training involved in teaching the women.
- The continued construction of the CityLight Coffee shop, that all plans will run smoothly. For the right staff & volunteers to come forward to work in the coffee shop.
- A Business Manager to assist with the operations at NightLight.
- God has opened up a door for deepening relationships with women trafficked from Central Asia. Please pray for continued favour with them and their manager.
- For the Jewellery sales to increase, this provides more opportunity for more women to be employed by NightLight. Giving the women a chance of a new life and transformation. All sales from NightLight jewellery contributes to the women’s salaries.
Praise God for:
- Three African women have recently moved into NightLight’s aftercare shelter.
- NIghtLight assisted with the repatriation of some of the trafficked women in our care – 1 Central Asian women, two African women and one baby back home.
- NightLight’s newest empolyee recently accepted Christ.
- The Baking Project – Some to the women are learning to make bread, cakes & sugarcrafting skills. We have been the opportunity to sell our baked goods at an International School in Bangkok.
- 16 staff and volunteers were recently able to attend a training course on trauma.
- Construction of CityLight Coffee shop is continuing smoothly. NightLight is hoping it will be ready to open in late January 2014.
- NightLight has been given the opportunity to partner with World Vision and sell NightLight products at several of the local Bangkok shopping malls every month.
- We hosted a party for the trafficked African woman we are assisting. It was a joy to see them laughing and dancing to songs from their home countries.
We greatly appreciate your prayers, support, encouragement and emails. Unfortunately we don’t always have the chance to reply to all the emails we receive, but we do love hearing from you. Thank you.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. – Philippians 4:6 (NLT)
It has been all systems go since we started working full-time with NightLight on Monday 1 July. We have hit the ground running and been involved with so much, no 2 days have been the same.
We attended the annuel TBMF (Thailand Baptist Missionary Fellowship) retreat at the beginning of August. It was a wonderful time of spiritual & physical refreshment and also great to catch up with so many other mission workers from around Thailand. This also provided some much needed rest for Sarah as she managed to slip in the shower 2 days before the retreat; causing a minor fracture to the third toe on her right foot! We are please to report 6 weeks later, it has healed well and she is walking around with no problems.
The NightLight coffee shop that we have being requesting prayer for; finally on Monday 9 September, during our regular Monday volunteer staff meeting, we began to hear the sound of banging hammers. Waiting for
the building work to start has been a long time coming, so the sound of crashing bricks, clanging tools were the best sounds in the world! We all started to cheer and clap! The coffee shop which will be called ‘CityLight Cafe’; is situated in the heart of the red light district in Nana. It will once finished be used to reach out to the many men that frequent the red light area, we are hopeful that men will use it as a safe place to think twice before going to the many bars in the red light area. In the run up to this happening, we reported on the monthly outreach parties that we held and the surprising number of men that came to these parties; this was even when, the space was just an empty room void of furniture etc. just white walls!. Thank God that building work has now commenced, we continue to pray for wisdom on how the space will be used and for the many lives that will be transformed there. Besides the coffee shop on the other 4 floors, the outreach centre also houses the prayer room, conference room and a 24:7 prayer room. Once the coffee shop is finished Sarah will be involved in running regular workshops to teach the women to make cakes, bread, sugarcraft etc. to supply the coffee shop and expat community. Paul will be involved with reaching out to the men that come to the coffee shop.
God’s timing is perfect, with no idea when the coffee shop building work would start. On Monday 2 September, we decided to take a leap of faith and start teaching the women how to make bread.
Sarah is working with another volunteer on this and the “Baking” project is evolving. The women are having a great time & lots of fun. Many of them making bread for the first time; the types of bread we are teaching, the Thai’s class them as bread for foreigners, so this is all new to them. They are so proud of the bread they are producing, they have a right to be, they look fantastic, taste delicious and are excellent enough to be sold! From October we hope to start supplying an International School in Bangkok and the Expat community. We already have orders lining up. It is amazing that God uses all gifts & talents for His honour & glory. Yes! Even ‘Baking!’
Please pray that it will be a smooth process for the building of the coffee shop. On Saturday 14 September. One of our neighbours (a beer bar) to the construction project filed a complaint because the noise was disrupting her sleep at 1:30pm in the afternoon! An inspector came and now he wants a bribe to let us continue. The enemy trying to put a spanner in the works! We will not be paying the bribe, please pray for no further trouble. We hope that through our actions and words, we will be an example of Christ to our neighbours and the builders.
With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord – “He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever.” And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. – Ezra 3:11 (NIV)
Join us in thanking God:
- For the spiritual & physical refreshment we had at the TBMF retreat.
- That Sarah’s fractured toe has healed well.
- For the building work that has now started on the coffee shop.
- For the new bread & cake making project that has recently started.
Join us in praying:
- For Paul to finish off the annual financial report accurately (he is translating a lot of it from Thai to English!).
- For the new NightLight jewellery collection being launched at the end of end of September. For production to finish on time.
- For the jewellery sales to increase. The sales from the jewellery provides the monthly salary for the women who have been helped by NightLight from sexual exploition.
- Wisdom to know which projects to undertake.
- For the smooth process of constructing the coffee shop. For understanding from our neighbours (which are both beer bars). That we as Christians will act wisely so that our actions will be a witness to them.