For The Love of Siam

Posts tagged “love

God Came Near… The Greatest Gift

“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son”.  John 1:14 (NLT)

Christmas is a special time of year, not because of the sights, smells, and sounds, but because it is at this time that we recognise and celebrate the day that ‘God came near’.

What is it that you place the highest value on at Christmas?

Bangkok Christmas Decorations 2017 – Hot air balloons & Winter Wonderland

Bangkok Christmas Decorations 2017 – Mr Men Christmas & a Christmas theme we are still trying to work out!

There is no official celebration of Christmas in Thailand, with many places open for business as usual on the 25th December.  However, the shopping malls of Thailand are all in full swing, selling gifts and adorned with spectacular Christmas decorations, and the twinkle of Christmas lights; with many of the malls trying to out do each other!  Large illuminated hot air balls at one mall representing the journey of Christmas, another mall bringing the fantasy of a Winter Wonderland… in the middle of one of the hottest cities in the world – Bangkok!  The bizarre, but funny shopping mall with Mr. Men Christmas!  Lastly, one mall, we are still trying to work out what their decorations represent!!!

Looking around Paul & I have wondered through each mall – the smiles, laughter, happiness, hundreds of photos /selfies being taken, a medley of Christmas music and gift buying fills the air.  It is so easy to get drawn in!…but a strong realisation kicks in, that all of this is nothing compared to the greatest and most amazing gift that came into the world! 

“The noise and the bustle began earlier than usual in the village.  As night gave way to dawn, people were already on the streets.  Vendors were positioning themselves on the corners of the most heavily traveled avenues.  Store owners were unlocking the doors to their shops.  Children were awakened by the excited barking of the street dogs and the complaints of donkeys pulling carts…

…Meanwhile, the city hums.  The merchants are unaware that God has visited their planet.  The innkeeper would never believe that he had just sent God into the cold.   And the people would scoff at anyone who told them the Messiah lay in the arms of a teenager on the outskirts of their village.  They were all too busy to consider the possibility. 

Those who missed His Majesty’s arrival that night missed it not because of evil acts or malice; no, they missed it because they simply weren’t looking. 

Little has changed in the last two thousand years, has it?  – Max Lucado (click here to read the full sample of God Came Near)

This gift is the largest and most expensive, it has no monetary value, it is a gift that brings much hope, love, peace, grace, mercy, atonement, forgiveness and ever lasting life (to name but a few).   We are sure that if many people knew the great significance of this gift, they would reach out to receive it with all their hearts.  Pass this wonderful gift on.

 “After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child”.  Luke 2:17 (NLT)

NightLight has been sharing God’s gift and presence in the red light district and local community.  December has been a hive of activity reaching out to Thai women / men and international women.  

  • NightLight successfully run a number of medical clinics throughout this year and ran the last one before Christmas at the beginning of December.  The medical clinic, provides much needed medical assistance to Thais and international women from the sex industry or those that have been trafficked.  It also provides continued opportunity to pamper the women with nail painting, a listen ear and prayer.

  • Thank God that 1,900 Christmas gift bags were hand out to women and mamasan’s (mamasan = A women who manages women in bars and brothels).  With each woman being told they were remembered, loved and how precious they are. 

  • Christmas caroling in the brothel of International women.  Some listened with tears in their eyes.  Many are Russian Orthodox and far from home in a foreign country at Christmas.  For them to be seen and thought of at Christmas (or at any time) is no small thing for women in prostitution.

  • On the Anti-trafficking side of things – To date NightLight has sent home 45 International women this year!  The anti-trafficking team has worked hard with many women that are now walking in freedom, and have been repatriated back home to be reunited with children and families. 

     

NightLight ladies performing traditional Thai dancing to Christmas Thai music

As part of one of NightLight’s Christmas party morning activity, we were split into about 5 groups, to visit various hospitals around Bangkok.  We visited the Veteran’s Hospital, to visit the patients, hand out gifts and pray with them. 

The afternoon activities continued with games, Christmas carols in Thai, dance performances and of cause an array of amazing Thai food prepared by each group.  

Freedom Bakery Update

Many of you have asked about the ladies from the Freedom Bakery.  They did an amazing job during the month of October, confidently leading and teaching baking & decorating workshops at 2 external organisations. They taught and brought hope to vulnerable women making the decision to leave the sex industry and those that have been internationally trafficked to Thailand.  They taught a total of 6 workshops.

* Freedom Bakery ladies teaching at the International Programme Centre

It was incredible to see the bakery ladies that over 2 years ago had no bakery skills, were fearful of the oven, frightened of the mixers and insisted the microwave was going to blow up, move so enthusiastically and with purpose. They are all teachers in their own right!

November saw, the same women from the Freedom Bakery begin learning soft business skills.  The ladies have expressed a desire to hopefully in the future open their own business.  Therefore, Paul and I, felt it was very important to ensure they received the right business training to guide them.  They have completed 2 modules in product development, marketing, packaging, how to start a business, finance and funding.

The training has been well received by them.  In the new year they will decide, whether they wish to continue with further training to be mentored in exploring setting up their own business in the future.  It has been excellent see the ladies’ progress and development reach new levels.

We would like to say a big thank you for all your continued support, prayers, emails, cards and letters and gifts we have received for special occasions.  We really appreciate them all.

We will be taking a break for the Christmas period, to recharge our batteries, before heading into the New Year 2018. 

We hope you all have a blessed & joyful Christmas and a peaceful New Year 2018.

Please note: We will be in the UK on home assignment from May 2018.  If you would like us to come and speak, please contact BMS, who will be organising the dates on our behalf.

*Faces have been blurred to protect the identity of the ladies from the International Programme Centre

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

  


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)

Dignity image - BMS

 CAKES_web_header

BMS World Mission partnered with NightLight International

Nightlight logoCMYK logo (2)


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


Events

We have had various events that have happened over the last month.  In mid- January, we had the wonderful privilege of welcoming 2 new BMS mission workers to Bangkok from the UK.  They are living in the same apartment building as us and will be staying in Bangkok until about mid-May to study Thai.  They will then move onto to Mae Sot to work with an organisation called Compasio.  It has been great having them around and has enabled us to see Bangkok again through fresh eyes.

NightLight staff wedding - February 2014

NightLight staff wedding – February 2014

On Sunday 2nd February Peter Dunn BMS Director for Missions visited and stayed with us for a few days; we greeted him at the airport and with no time to spare whisked him straight off to a wedding!  The wedding was for one of our NightLight ladies who got married at NightLight’s church plant ‘Song Sawng’.  It was a lovely wedding and we were very happy to have been invited to be part of her special day.  As a gift Sarah made and decorated the wedding cake, the day before, it was a full weekend!  Sarah is very hopeful that by the next NightLight wedding coming up on 3 May 2014, the wedding cake will be completed by the baking team.  Teaching the ladies cake baking/decorating is going well, please continue to watch this space.

On that same Sunday the long awaited General Election in Thailand took place.  The run up to the Thai election has been surround by lots of activity; on the 13 January, Bangkok was shutdown!  7 major intersections in Bangkok were closed off and are still to date closed.  At this stage both sides seem to be at stalemate and unfortunately since the election took place there is still no resolution.  We are near one of the closed down intersections, however we are safe, we do have to do detours on a daily basis to get around.  This is an area where your prayers are still greatly appreciated.  

At NightLight we have had much to thank God for.  We welcome you to join us in praising God and ask for your continued prayers for the work, women and staff at NightLight:

PRAISE

  • Praise God that we have been able to hire back 2 women to work at NightLight.
  • Praise God that one of our Thai staff got married at Song Sawang Church on 2 February.  Both of them are believers, please pray the Lord keeps them committed to Him and one another in their future together.
  • Praise God that the coffee shop is nearing completion. There have been many challenges in getting this project operational, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
  •  Praise God for on going partnerships with other organisations here in Bangkok. We are grateful that MST (Men and the Sex Trade) has begun their outreaches again to the men, based out of our outreach centre in the red light area.
  • Praise God for skill-specific volunteers who have come to regularly offer and be part of  the cake baking/decorating classes, sessions to equip NightLight women to be good mothers, prayer ministry, and English classes.
  • Praise God for a great team of volunteers ready to serve at NightLight’s transition house for trafficked women.
  • Praise God that we are currently assisting 2 trafficked women from Eastern Europe and 2 from Africa back to their home countries.
  • Praise God for how He has been taking care of  a total of 87 employees, staff & volunteers lives at NightLight.

PRAYER  

  • One of our full-time volunteers at NightLight has recently had major surgery.  Please pray for a speedy recovery and healing to her body.
  • Please continue to pray for the political situation in Thailand.  Since November, there has been lots of political division, which has led to city-wide protests in Bangkok and some violence. Pray for resolution to this tense situation, the protection of lives, and for God’s Kingdom purposes to be fulfilled in Thailand.
  • Many of the single mothers at NightLight have been tired and discouraged lately.  In Thailand, it is not uncommon for mothers to leave their children with relatives in the village while they work in the city, but this trend has led to family breakdown over generations in Thailand. Pray that these women at NightLight will be encouraged as they care for their children. Pray that they understand the importance of their role in their children’s lives, and that God will give them perseverance to mother their children.
  • Pray for the ministry of CityLight Coffee – construction is just about complete, and we are praying to be able to have our grand opening at the beginning of March.  Please pray for the construction to be fully finalised soon and for responsible Thai staff to come alongside this shop and ministry.
  •  Pray for orders for the various business projects at NightLight (jewellery, screen printing t-shirts, and paper flowers).  Since the New Year, 7 women have requested to return to work at NightLight, but we could only afford to take 2 back. Pray for orders to come in so we can provide work for these women.
  • Sarah along with another volunteer has begun the process of writing grants and doing general fund raising for the baking project.  Pray that God will provide them with the wisdom to know which grants to apply for and what to write.
  • Pray for Paul as he takes on a new financial project at NightLight.  Pray that God will provide him with knowledge and guidance.
  • From 19 February – 21 February all NightLight’s employees & volunteers will go on a spiritual retreat.  Pray for God to do a lasting work in each of our hearts.

We thank you greatly for your continued support, encouragement and prayers.  We appreciate all your emails and love hearing from you. 

BMS World Mission partnered with NightLight International

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Sawatdii Phi Mai (Happy New Year)

Happy New Year!

We hope you all had an enjoyable Christmas.  Thank you to everyone that sent us cards and Christmas messages.  It is always very encouraging hearing from you, we really do appreciate it.

December & Christmas has come and gone so quickly.  With our day-to-day roles, a 2 day staff retreat and the addition of Christmas activities, we were very busy indeed; however it was a good busy providing us with a continued reminder of what the season is all about, what it means to imitate Christ.  Reaching out to others and the amazing gift we have every day, not just at Christmas time ~#Jesus – life, light, love, freedom, peace, joy, hope & grace.

With NightLight Thai church plant ‘Song Sawang’ (Thai word for send the light).  We had the privilege to spend some time with CFBT (The Christian Foundation for the blind in Thailand) a school for orphaned blind children with multiple disabilities. Slide2 It is always incredible to see the women of NightLight whom God has transformed & blessed, now reaching out to all these precious children, as they gave gifts to them, held them, sung to them and prayed over them.  A beautiful reminder of our God’s abundant amount of grace, our God of forgiveness and God who waits patiently for us and gives the gift of second chances.   This school reaches out to each child with love and care, knowing that even with their disabilities each child is teachable, each child still has hope.  As we looked around the room at so many children abandoned and remembered that God knows each one of these children by name, they are not forgotten.

On the night of Tuesday 17 December, NightLight International did a Christmas outreach. To women who are sexually exploited & have been trafficked in the Nana area – we sang Christmas carols in a brothel! We watched the faces of women lit up with joy and sing along with us. To women in the bars, and street walkers – 725 earrings + Christian tracks were given out. About 59 gift bags were given to women in the brothel & African women on the streets. To see God’s light & love pierce through and change a dark atmosphere is incredible. To witness women who generally have blank faces, when working in the in the bars and on the streets; receive a simple free gift and a smile break through and conversation with them that develops – it is not just a smile that bursts through but something has also touched their hearts.

Friday 20 December, all staff at NightLight reached out into the local Bangkok community visiting 2 hospitals, the homeless & the slum areas of Bangkok. Split into 6 teams, we again joined with women who were once victims and are now transformed; give back love, joy, hope & pray for the elderly at Bangkok Police Hospital; holding frail hands, smiling, speaking words of encouragement to the patients, carers & staff.  We watched them see weak eyes fill with tears from being touched by receiving their gift – with tears filling up in their own eyes. The team that we were in gave 62 gift bags, which touched 62 hearts. The reason for the season – #Jesus.

On the same Friday 20 December in the afternoon, we had our first time of celebrating Christmas Issan style (Issan is in the North East of Thailand and is where most of the women who work at NightLight come from).

NightLight Issan  Christmas Celebration

NightLight Issan Christmas Celebration

The Thai staff at NightLight organised everything.  We were all instructed to wear traditional Thai or Issan costume.  With ‘Luk thung’ (traditional Thai music) & a ‘Mor Lam’ (traditional Thai singer) singing vibrant & lively Issan Christian songs, the women of NightLight taught us how to ‘Ram thai’ (Traditional Thai dancing) we were ready to party.   It was a truly amazing experience and definitely lots of fun.

After this busy period we were very grateful to be able take a much needed

Relaxing by the Christmas  tree in Hua Hin

Relaxing by the Christmas tree in Hua Hin

break to Hua Hin (about 3 hours south of Bangkok); to relax by the sea and reflect on our year with NightLight and another year in Thailand.

To top off the end of our year, Sarah’s brother, sis-in-law & nephew came to Thailand.  It was lovely seeing them and spending some quality time with them; it was made even better by the fact that we will get to see them all again in 5 months’ time!

Yeah! In 5 months’ time, we hope to be back in England from the 8 May 2014, on our first Home Assignment.  We will spend the first few days settling in and time with our home church, we will then be available on request as BMS Speakers from Sunday 18 May to Sunday 6 July 2014, including weekdays (we will be unavailable during the weekend of 14-15 June 2014).  Churches wishing to request us as BMS Speakers should use the Speaker Request form online at http://www.bmsworldmission.org/speakers Please note your request will need to be submitted by Monday 17 February 2014.

We thank God for all of our experiences in 2013 and really thankful for those of you who have prayed, emailed, written, brought us mince pies & Christmas pudding or supported us in any other way.  We look ahead excitedly to all that God has in store for us for 2014.  We hope that 2014 is a year of fruitfulness, peace and blessings for you all.

Please continue to pray for peace in Thailand in the midst of all the political protests; elections are due to take place on 2 February 2014.

CMYK logo (2)Nightlight logoBMS World Mission partnered with NightLight International


Transformation

For those of you that receive the BMS prayer guide this week 3 – 9 March is taking the time to pray for those, who remain vulnerable to abuse, sexual violence and exploitation.   

If you don’t receive the prayer guide please click on the below link to take you to the BMS website:

Praying against sexual violence – 3 – 9 March 2013 – BMS Prayer Guide

Please know that your prayers do make a difference.  Please read this account witnessed from one of the women currently working at NightLight:

How do we cope with the sad stories we hear so often?  This is question that is repeatedly asked.  We do encounter tragic stories, but we are also receiving the privilege of hearing and seeing lives transformed by God’s persistent love.  This is what compels us to reach out into the darkness over and over.

On Valentines Day we had a party in the NightLight outreach centre in the heart of the red light area (similar to the party held at Christmas time).  Eleven Nightlight women joined to help with the party.  Some painted nails, some taught women how to make jewellery, some did artwork with children, others played the guitar and sang, one gave facials, and others served food and greeted people as they entered.

We was sitting near to where *Minni  (a NightLight worker) was doing the nails of a young streetwalker.  We noticed the woman wiping tears so leaned closer to hear what Minnie was telling her. “Most people don’t care about women like us.  How many do you know who love streetwalkers?”  *Minni began to share – “But God loves us.  God doesn’t care about what we have done.  My life has totally been changed by God’s love.”  *Minnie was sharing her story of transformation from the streets into God’s family. She paused her nail painting to give the woman a hug and told her, “I didn’t used to care about other people. I was selfish, but now I find I really care about other people and when I see them hurting, I just want to hug them.”

*Minnie told the woman that if she needed prayer for anything we would be happy to pray for her. The woman said she had never felt this kind of love and when *Minnie spoke about Jesus she felt something warm that spoke to her heart.  We prayed for her and she cried. She said she felt lighter and more at peace.

*Minnie’s testimony comes from her life experience.  She was orphaned at a young age. She ended up on the streets when she had no Slide1way to provide for her child and grandmother.  As a streetwalker, *Minnie sought pleasure and significance through the men and the pleasures that their money can buy.  As she became addicted to a lifestyle of drugs, alcohol, and sex, *Minnie began to feel desperate.   Someone told her about Jesus. She prayed to Jesus asking him to get her out of this lifestyle and soon after she was directed to ‘NightLight’.   Now *Minnie is passionate about Jesus and longs to share Him with the women who are still on the street.  Watching *Minnie’s face light up as she shared about Jesus brought joy to our hearts.  Hearing her passion and vulnerability in sharing her life transformation spoke deeply to our hearts.

It’s women like *Minnie that make it all worth it. *Minnie was once one of these young girls at risk on the street but now she is a powerful witness for Christ.  Eleven women whose lives have been transformed came to the outreach party to serve and be a light to the very darkness that once exploited them.  The love they now know compels them.  The same love compels us and not only helps us cope but fills us with joy in the journey.

*Minnie – Her name has been changed to protect her identity.

Please remember that your prayers into these situations makes a difference.

“By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice and received what God has promised them” – Hebrews 11:33 (NLT)

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