The last few weeks and months have been an amazing journey for us. We began the process of preparing for our first Home Assignment to the UK, pulling together everything we had done over the last 2 years; photos, memories and stories.
As we reflected back and remembered what it was first like when we first entered Bangkok, the strange sights, sounds, adapting to the culture, the people, and the countless hours of language learning!
There was one thing that we kept seeing and remembering over and over and it gave us great encouragement and hope in Christ. It was… the courageous women that we have had the opportunity and honour to work alongside at NightLight and the trafficked women we have had the privilege to meet.
I (Sarah) have listened as these women, who have been sexually exploited, have shared & poured out their hearts. Held their hands or held them close as another women in the bar, whispers in my ear “I really don’t want to do this anymore”, “what else can I do?”, “How do I survive to support my family?” Giving the reply there is an alternative, this does not have to be how your life is. There is a way out! I have in my presence a courageous woman!
I have seen when a trafficked woman takes her first steps of courage to seek assistance from NightLight. As she enters the room, her body language & face shows the pain, emptiness, brokenness, low self-esteem, lack of self-worth, every ounce of dignity stripped away. As she first shares her story and for a moment, it seems like she is talking about someone else, until the realisation hits her that she played the lead part; it was her that suffered the trauma NOT someone else. The tears streaming down her face as weeks, months, years of pain and abuse release from her body. I have before me a courageous woman!
The gradual progress as a Thai woman (who works at NightLight) moves forward, through her pain, memories of the past, each step a huge stride towards a new future and transformation. This in turn does not just have an effect on her life but the lives of her child/children or even wider family. As she steps into a job with dignity, she then becomes a strong role model for her own child/children, peers and even community; she gains strength, is able to stand tall. She becomes confident and steps into a role, even leadership, that she did not think she would be capable of doing or leading praise & worship. Armed with a new lease of freedom she begins reaching out with love to others who have fallen prey to a similar fate. Before my eyes I see a woman sharing her courage and transformed life with others!
Each woman has her own story of:- tragedy, pain, struggles, hardship & disappointments. However they have 2 things in common: – 1) Courage and 2) Freedom.
They have all found ‘the courage to step into freedom’. Moving through their pain, growing in self-worth, dignity, confidence, hope and walking tall as courageous & free women.
The Definition of Courage:
Courage is the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. It is also having “heart,” which remains a common metaphor for inner strength.
The most profound thing about women, is that we display courage without even knowing we’ve had it in us all along. If you can rise and face another day in the midst of all your struggles and difficulties, and have not given up… then that’s the most COURAGEOUS thing you can do.
“She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future” – Proverbs 31:25
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