For The Love of Siam

Posts tagged “NightLight

Precious Moments

In many of our blogs over the last year, we have mentioned about the many baptisms we have seen and the many lives we have seen transformed.  God has been at work in the lives of those that were at the brink of despair, those that felt helpless, bound, not able to walk in freedom, where the enemies lies had blurred the truth, those that felt all hope was gone, those that didn’t feel they had any ability or worth.  

NightLight is known as NightLight ‘International’.  This years retreat, definitely lived up to the ‘International’ status .  A total of about 90 – 100 staff, volunteers, employees, survivours of trafficking from all corners of the world – USA, Australia, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Brazil, Thailand and the United Kingdom came together, to fellowship, worship, rejoice together at the baptisms and unite.

We have now lost count of the number of baptisms we have seen, whilst in Thailand.  They have been a true testimony to God’s power and all that He is doing. Every baptism we have seen has been as beautiful and as precious as the first. 

Awaiting To Be Baptised

The most recent baptism at the retreat were made even more special, with 11 women from different countries in Africa attending from NightLight’s International Anti-trafficking programme.

Baptised – Hallelujah!

 

Over the months the Thai women of NightLight have welcomed and embraced these African women with such great unconditional love, compassion, acceptance and understanding.  We have watched as the Thai women took  care of the babies of the African women, allowing them to enjoy and have time for themselves during the retreat.  There was definitely no shortage of babysitters!  As the babies were passed around and lovingly cared for.

Number of women baptised 6 African women & 1 Thai woman.  We rejoiced with the angels as each life was set free in Christ.

All the nations you made will come and bow before you, Lord; they will praise your holy name. Psalm 86:9 (NLT)

‘Precious Moments’.

It is an amazing moment when you watch those you have been teaching and working with over the years, rise like phoenix’s from the ashes.  When God uses people and situations that were broken and brings them to restoration, fullness, hope that brings Glory to His name.

We have shared in several of our last blogs, about some of the bakery women who had become confident enough to enter into business training.  It was a breakthrough, because they requested they were ready for this type of training.  I (Sarah), didn’t feel I had the Thai business language skills to train the bakery women to the standard they deserved.  So after months of praying (over 1 year to be exact!),  and searching for a professional Thai company that could run the business skills course, I almost gave up since we didn’t have a large budget to pay for the training either.  Thank God, He never gives up on us, just when I thought all was lost,  Paul & I were introduced to a Thai Christian Business Coach, that completely ticked all our boxes.

The Thai business teacher was fantastic and was able to teach the women with such grace, patience and understanding.  The women had nothing but praise for the teacher and the information they were learning.  

2 of the women after completing the first 2 modules of the business training, decided to take it to the next level and wanted to be enrolled on the individual business mentoring programme.

Successfully Completed – Individual Business Mentoring Programme

 I was over joyed, especially since 1 of the women in 2016 was adamant, she never wanted to do any form of business skills training EVER!  I am not sure what changed her mind, but I watched her flourish with each session as she come up with the most original ideas… I could see that she was even shocked at some of the ideas she was coming out with.  They learnt all aspects that will enable them, to start up their own business in the future, should they wish to do so – business planning, financial planning, designing their own logo/brand, marketing and presenting their businesses on video.  

The bakery has been a foundation for these women to step out, grow and realise their own potential, to let them know that God has a plan and purpose for their lives and that they have great ability to put their minds to anything not just baking/sugar crafting but anything.

Paul & I was proud to witness these women, who once didn’t think they could achieve much.  Successfully complete the Individual Business Mentoring Programme . 

In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 1 Peter 5:10 (NLT)

‘Precious Moments’.

We truly thank God for these many precious moments.

BMS World Mission partnered with NightLight International 

 

 

 

 

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Lost & Found

Here is an account from the Founder & CEO of NightLight – Annie Dieselberg

“Recently, my laptop was stolen at the airport.

I had left it accidentally at the security gate, and someone decided to help themselves to it. Thankfully, airport security personnel immediately checked the cameras and were able to locate the man who stole it. Within a half hour—and with only two minutes to spare—I got my laptop back and caught my plane.

I recently shared this story on Facebook and was struck by how many people “liked” the post. I realized that the fear of having something stolen or lost is a feeling most people can easily relate to. Hearing that my laptop was returned so efficiently gave people just a little bit of hope.

Maybe that’s why Jesus told the parables of the lost coin, the lost sheep, and the prodigal son. The theme of losing something valuable and searching to find it resonates with people around the world, in every era. When what was lost is not just a coin but something of our very own, the intensity and emotional connection with this experience grows. It’s a fear every parent understands.

It’s not as easy to relate to victims of human trafficking and exploitation. Yet every night in Bangkok (and around the world), lost daughters walk the streets in hopes of being found. Their parents do not know where they are and sometimes have not yet even realized that they are lost. These daughters cannot find their way home from this foreign land. They stumble around in the dark; their vulnerability being exploited night after night. The immediate terror and panic of being truly lost eventually gets pushed down beneath layers of coping strategies, but it doesn’t take much to trigger the fear, the trauma, and the alienation. Their dignity, their freedom, their lives have been stolen from them.

**Anna was hired to work as a maid for a family in the Middle East. Once there, however, she was enslaved and forced to work for no pay under a cruel boss. Her employer brought her to Bangkok, where she was beaten and thrown out on the streets with no documents and no means of taking care of herself. Suddenly on the streets, alone in a foreign land, Anna realized she was hungry, desperate, and very lost. Anna had to turn to prostitution for survival. Soon after, she was picked up by the police and thrown in the immigration detention center, where she stayed for 4 months and had no way to access help or family. She did not know if she would ever find her way home.

One day, however, our help line number was given to Anna. Calling us from the pay phone inside the detention center, she begged us for help. Recently, Anna was finally delivered from the jail with a ticket to go home. The immigration truck brought her to the airport the night of her departure, and we were waiting there to celebrate with her. Anna could not stop thanking us, though she said she had no words to adequately express what she was feeling. She had been lost and was found. She was now on her way home.

“We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way,” wrote St. Francis of Assisi. When a child, mother, sister, or daughter is found and returned, even the angels celebrate. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. We celebrate this love which compels us to join in the search, to set the captives free, and to help those who have lost their way to find their way back home. For these women, this is a demonstration of love they will never forget”.

**Anna’s name has been changed to protect her identity.

Praise God for:

  • The number of women that NightLight has assisted and repatriated back to their home countries, through the anti-trafficking programme.

  • The amazing restoration, transformation, confidence building and counselling, to help women walk in freedom, that come into the NightLight International Programme Centre.

Pray for:

  • The many women that are still lost hoping to be found.  Pray that NightLight’s help line number makes it’s way safely to the women who need us to help them.

  • Pray for NightLight to be in the right places at the right time, to reach out and help those that have been trafficked.

We are looking forward to seeing many of you, when we are in the UK during May – July 2018.

BMS World Mission partnered with NightLight International


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


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

  


Return Home

welcome-homeIt has been a while since we have written a blog, so we will be spoiling you all with 2 blogs in a very short time frame.  Please keep posted!

It has been nearly 3 months since we returned back from the UK on our 3rd Home Assignment!  We also marked and celebrated several dates in June – Sarah’s Birthday, our 5th wedding anniversary and at the end of June, noted that it has now been over 4 years since we have been serving and living in Thailand! Where has the time gone!

For us coming back to the UK for Home Assignment is always bittersweet, since we really miss the ladies we work with, friends and family we have formed in Thailand and now regard Thailand as home.   However it is always a joy to see family, friends and visit the Churches in the UK.

For Sarah, it was good to see her Mum, since whilst in Thailand she has been very concerned about her health. Unfortunately last year November her Mum fell and broke her hip and coupled with late stage Parkinson’s her mobility has suffered.  Thank God, she looked much healthier than when we saw her last year.  Her mobility is still not great, but she still has all her faculties, she loves to sing even though her voice is sometimes affected by the Parkinson’s and is still a strong prayer warrior.

We would like to say thank you to all of the Churches for your amazing hospitality, support, encouragement and prayers.  It always overwhelms us to know how much support and generosity we receive.

We were warmly welcomed back to NightLight with gifts and hand written notes on our desks.  It was wonderful to see all the women.  While we were away 4 more women joined NightLight.  However 1 of the women unfortunately left and went back to work in the sex industry, we are hoping she will return.  The rise in the number of women coming forward so far this year, is amazing, since this means more women are feeling encouraged to leave the sex industry and walk in freedom.  Please keep these women in your prayers, we will explain more about these women in a future blog.  In the meantime please keep them in your prayers. 

Bakery Miracle

minion-work-in-progress-no-logo

Bakery women working on a customer order – Minion Cake

A wonderful miracle has happened in the bakery!  Sarah and Julie (who assists in the bakery) had been praying since the end of the last year for extra help.  It was very specific as to who the person needed to be, with Sarah being the only Thai speaking person in the bakery, so she had to do all of the translation.  We didn’t even get round to advertising for the post, we just kept praying!

Here is what we were praying for – Job Spec:- Someone who is a Christian, a Thai national that speaks English well, someone that comes with all the skills and elements of baking and sugar crafting (since there is no time to teach a new teacher, with time taken up teaching the women and completing customer orders), someone who would be able to help Sarah with the admin and marketing, with management abilities and someone willing to accept a very low salary!

At the time our prayer request seemed like a tall order, since there are not many Thai Christians in Bangkok, many of the Thais that speak English well, generally choose to work with bigger companies that pay generous salaries.  Baking and sugar crafting is still fairly new to Thailand, so to find someone with these skills was going to be hard and if they did have these skills they would probably either go to work for a top hotel or open their own business!

mioion-cake-no-logo

Finished cake by the bakery women – Minion Cake

Well… Our God is the God of impossibilities!  During July whilst we were still in the UK.  A young Thai lady in her early 30’s, walked into the bakery to say that she had been living in the US for the last 15 years; she explained in excellent English that someone at her Church had told her about the work we were doing in the Freedom Bakery at NightLight.  She explained that she is the only Christian in her family and has been a Christian for 6 years.  She then went onto explain, she has just in the last 1-2 years made the transition from being an Accountant to training in bakery (patisserie) and sugar crafting skills and only just arrived back from the US in June to relocate to Thailand.  Would we be able to use her in the bakery?…

Sarah received the information about her whilst in the the UK.  Paul & Sarah begun praying about it and felt a sense of peace about it.  We arranged to meet her when we got back to Thailand.  After 2 lengthy interviews and happy to accept the very low salary that we could offer!  The Freedom Bakery is please to introduce a new member of the team called Panita.  She started on the 1st September and is already becoming a great asset in the bakery and administration.  Having another Thai speaker especially a Thai national is a huge weight off Sarah’s shoulders and a great help.  The women are also warming to her well.  

In September the bakery successfully showcased their cakes at an an expat event.  It was wonderful to see the women at the

One of the bakery women, proudly exhibiting their cakes at the expat event

One of the bakery women, proudly exhibiting their cakes at the expat event

event, interacting with the Thai visitors that were taking an interest in their spectacular cakes; with the women confidently answering their questions.  This year has seen the women skills and abilities climb to a new level and as teachers we are having to assist much less.  They are even now telling us how to do many of the techniques!  Which is a great testimony to how God is working in the bakery.   

On the 21st November, the bakery will welcome a new trainee, she will join the bakery as an apprentice.  She has just recently left the sex industry and is determined to move forward with a new start.  Please keep this in your prayers as we prepare to teach her, walk alongside and help her step into a transformed life

The Freedom Bakery has again this year, been nominated by Entrepreneur Now Asia in the Social Enterprise category.  We have been invited to attend the award night which is due to take place on the 23rd November.  Even if we don’t win an award, we know that the ladies have achieved so much and beyond.

NightLight Ladies Growing in Confidence

Niim playing for the first time in the International Church to a congregation of over 800 people

Niim playing for the first time in the International Church to a congregation of more than 1000 people

We had the wonderful privilege to witness recently one of the NightLight women *Niim play with the band at in the International Church we attend.  The International Church has a congregation of more than 1000 people with about 50+ different nationalities (over 2 morning services).  *Niim plays and leads worship at NightLight’s Church plant, which normally has a congregation of about 30!  So a much lower numbers than she is used to.   This was a first time experience for her playing in front of such a large number of people, but she approached it with such confidence and grace.  God really used her.  It made our hearts smile!

 

Give Thanks For:

  • Our time spent in the UK.  It was a blessing to be with family, visit Churches we already knew and make links with new Churches.

  • The bakery women that coped so well on their own, whilst myself and Julie were away over the summer period.

  • The women that have made the decision to leave the sex industry and come to work at NightLight.
  • The new Thai member of staff that God has provided for the bakery.

  • The Freedom Bakery successfully exhibited their work/cakes at a expat event.

  • The Freedom Bakery being nominated again this year, for the Entrepreneur Now Asia in the Social Enterprise category.

  • God giving *Niim the confidence to play in the International Church.

  • God’s continued guidance in the bakery.  None of what has been achieved has been in our own strength.  The honour and glory goes to God alone for what has been achieved so far.

Please Pray For:

  • The new women that have started at NightLight in the last few months.  Pray that God will provide them with the strength and encouragement to move forward to step into freedom and transformation.  For God to give us the abilities to walk alongside them and support them.  For God to help us love them unconditionally especially when things get challenging or difficult.

  • The new trainee due to start in the bakery on the 21st November, pray against fear or doubt that may creep in for her and that we will be able to support and teach her to the best of our abilities.

  • Sarah, who has been having problems with her left foot and needs to have surgery.  If all goes according to plan the surgery is due to happen on the 19th October.  She will be away from work/bakery for 1 month to rest her foot.  Pray for speedy healing and recovery.

  • Sarah’s Mum – please continue to keep her health in your prayers.

Then he said to me, “This is what the LORD says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. – Zechariah 4:6


*Niim’s name has been changed to protect her identity.

CMYK logo (2)

 

BMS World Mission Partnered with NightLight International

Nightlight logo


Breakthrough

breakthroughThe year is 2559!  The Temperature is 40+ degrees Celsius and on the 13th – 15th April, was the start of Thai New Year!  So Happy New Year 2559!

13th – 15th April is when Thai New Year is celebrated, it is called Songkran, also known as the Water Festival. When the temperature hits 40 degrees Celsius and above, it is the perfect time for Thailand’s Songkran Water Festival, to cool down!  The festival starts off on a serious note, importantly by honouring the elders, pouring fragrant water & flowers in their hands…and then… It’s time for the largest water fight across the whole of Thailand for 3 days! 

There are are 543 years difference between the Buddhist calendar and the Gregorian calendar.  With Songkran being the start of the New Year.  So 2016 in Thailand the year is 2559!  

There have been many highs and some lows along the way, but through it all, we are still Thanking God for His continued guidance.

Slide1At the beginning of February, the Freedom Bakery, welcomed on board a new trainee.  The new trainee wanted to have a trial period in the bakery to find out if, it was an area that she would like to work in.  It was great for the ladies that graduated last year, to have the opportunity of helping to teach the new trainee.  

Slide1

Freedom Bakery – Finished Work

It made the graduates realise how much they had learned  since joining the bakery last year and how much they were capable of doing and teaching.  At the beginning of April, the trainee took the decision to not continue in the bakery.  This is sad, however it was wonderful to see the graduates from last year step up and see how much they have grown in confidence, ability and skills.  Orders for this year are gradually coming in.  Since the start of the year the bakery team have completed, over 400 cupcakes, a 2 tier character birthday cake, royal iced fruit cakes, a gravity defying noodle cake, cookies, cakes done as presents, amazing realistic sugar flowers, several wedding cakes and a  jewellery box cake with edible jewellery to name a few!


Slide1In March, NightLight had its annual retreat.  62 adults and 17 children travelled to a beach location about 3 hours outside of Bangkok.  It was a time for the women to escape from the busy bustle of Bangkok, spending quality time with their children, work colleagues, to worship, team build and have fun!  The women use much of their finances to support their families, therefore many of them don’t get  the opportunity to travel out of Bangkok apart from returning home over the holiday periods, such as Songkran.  So the NightLight retreat is really important to them.

The theme for this years retreat was ‘Breakthrough’; this is the same subject that we have been following in NightLight’s morning devotions for the last 5 months.  The guest speaker was from Scotland, she was not initially in Thailand for our retreat but God orchestrated for her plans to be changed, an answer to prayer since up until about 1-2 weeks before the retreat we had no speaker!

The speaker had no planned message, but God impressed it on her heart to speak to the women about

Group - NL Retreat 2016

NightLight Retreat 2016 – Group Photo

‘Breakthrough in Forgiveness’.  The message touched many of the women and on the last day of the retreat many of them share the impact the message had on them.  *Yim shared about her years of unresolved forgiveness with her Dad, she thought she had forgiven him, but on hearing the message realised she hadn’t.  She felt encouraged to make the move to contact him.  

A lesson for us all to remember: When you reach forgiveness, you break through.  The order is forgive, then break through, because the forgiveness itself is the breakthrough.  

Another wonderful breakthrough that happened during the retreat – 2 women gave their lives to Christ on the second day of the retreat!  We rejoiced so much!

There has also been breakthrough in other areas at NighLight:

  • 2 more women (sisters) accepted Christ in mid-April.  One of the women shared that a man dressed in white came to her twice in her dreams!

  • NightLight has assisted with repatriating trafficked women back home.  One woman, who was from Liberia was repatriated after a long journey of loss including losing family to Ebola. Returning home for her was bittersweet, but the reunion with her children brought her much joy.

  • The outreach centre with the weekly beauty shop, has had a real impact and breakthrough, with women making the decision to leave the sex industry.  Some of the women have come to work at NightLight – since January this year, 6 new women have joined NightLight.  The outreach centre has also helped other women to get job roles with dignity outside of NightLight.

  • The Freedom bakery team, have been given the opportunity to attend 2 day training programme at the beginning of May.  The training programme is geared towards reaching emerging entrepreneurs from vulnerable backgrounds.  Enabling them to become trainers and leaders of others.  When I (Sarah) shared the information with them, they jumped at the opportunity and were really excited!  This for me (Sarah) is an amazing breakthrough as they are beginning to take initiative and steps towards self development.  Please keep this in your prayers.

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    NightLight Retreat 2016 – The women doing a skit about ‘Breakthrough’.

* Yim (not her real name) Name has been changed to protect identity.

Please continue to keep the many ministry areas of NightLight in your prayers – Jewellery, t-shirts, sewing, bakery, coffee shop, outreach centre and the transition home assisting trafficked women. 

We will be in the UK from mid-June – end July 2016.  We will be visiting Churches from the end of June – end July 2016, our schedule is as follows:

27th June – Our Home Church – Aylesbury

29th June – Chipping Sodbury BC

3rd July – Epsom BC & West Watford BC

10th July – Kensal Rise BC

17th July – Cheltenham, Gas Green & Swindon, Gorse Hill

24th July – Hainault, Franklyn Gardens & Bromley Park Road

For the Churches we will be visiting we will be aiming to contact you all, nearer to our time of visit to the UK.

 Thank you all for your continued support and prayers.

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BMS World Mission partnered with NightLight International


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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