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