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.
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