“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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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 –
*Names have been changed to protect their identity
Lots of love
Paul & Sarah
BMS World Mission partnered with NightLight International
2016 for us, has been filled with witnessing lots of great and wonderful things! The one we witnessed recently was no exception, it was an absolute privilege, it was the most humbling baptism we have ever seen!
There were no huge crowds of people, no church building, no projector for worship or songs, no drums, no piano, no microphones. There was no baptism pool, swimming pool or the sea. It was held in a small back room next to a small kitchen and cooking area with a largish black plastic bucket, the kind you use for carting rubble, holding ice for drinks or in our case washing lots of dishes at a time!
A small crowd of us gathered to witness with 1 person playing an acoustic guitar.
The young lady getting baptised *Humble, is a lady we are assisting through our anti-trafficking program along with her children.
Whilst in our care, she had been asking lots of questions about Christ, He became real to her and made Himself known to her in her dreams. We were in the process of assisting to help get her repatriated back to her home country, and she wanted to get baptised before going home (which was due to happen a few days later). With such a short space of time, there was not enough time to arrange a formal baptismal service. The quick preparation and thinking – “What can we use to baptise her in?”turned it into the most humbling baptism ever.
She shared her testimony, made her declaration of faith and expressed her great love for Christ.
As *Humble stepped in to the black bucket, and knelt down. The water was poured over her head…in name of the Father…. in the name of the Son… in the name of the Holy Spirit. Tears of joy rolled down everyones cheeks as we rejoiced with her!
As her children looked on – In the small back room next to a small kitchen and cooking area; in that largish black bucket for carting rumble, holding ice for drinks or in our case washing lots of dishes at a time, an amazing ‘New Life’ was born. Her humble baptism, symbolised her ‘Re-birth’.
And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. – Luke 2:7
The way this baptism took place, is a great reminder of how Jesus came into this world. There was no big fanfare, no luxury, no mansion and to parents with very little. We can only but image what the stable was like, there was probably the smell and noise of the animals, the uncomfortableness of the hay and the trough for feeding animals used as His bed. With witnesses that were one of the lowest classes in society – the shepherds. In all the simplicity and humbleness came our wonderful Saviour, Joy & Hope to us and the world. His birth, was the humble beginnings of our new life and re-birth.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. – John 1:12
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ – John 3:5-7
*Humble and her children’s faces have been blurred and her name has been changed to protect their identity.
For *Humble as we continue to help her get back home. Challenges with corruption, injustice, lack of understanding and sympathy within the system, has made the process very difficult and caused many obstacles that have delayed the process of getting her back home. Please pray for officials hearts to be softened and for understanding. Please pray urgently for a breakthrough.
Hopefully if all goes well *Humble and her children are due to go home shortly after Christmas.
Thank God & Thank you:
Christmas is not celebrated in the same way in Thailand and this year is even more different since the passing of the King, with a very sombre mood. The Christmas decorations went up very late this year. People will still give each other presents, however with no real understanding of what they are celebrating.
- Thank God – This a great time for us to share with the Thais. We have had the opportunity to witness to some of the local Thais we know well near our house and have been able to give them a book about the Nativity of Jesus in Thai.
- Thank God – For a trafficked woman from Uganda that NightLight assisted, was able to return home last week after many years absence and many health challenges. It was such a victory and joy to send her off at the airport and know that she was reunited with her child finally.
- Thank you – For all your support and encouragement throughout the year. We have received Christmas cards, gifts and messages from many of you.
We hope you all have a blessed Christmas and a peaceful New year! May you know Christ’s Joy, Hope, love always.
BMS World Mission partnered with NightLight International
NightLight is a busy place and with new activities and projects launching, we have a lot of updates to share. We hope you will enjoy catching up on the news and will also be aware of how much your prayers and support contribute to all that is happening.
NightLight’s Outreach Centre Activities
We have been hosting medical clinics every couple months out of our outreach center in the red light area. The last few clinics have averaged around 40 women and ladyboys (transgenders) coming in for HIV testing and medical attention. The clinics are a great way to build trust in the neighborhood. On March 24th it rained a lot, but we still were able to receive 15 clients. It was a good opportunity to hear their stories and offer assistance. We are grateful to Dr. Katherine Welch of Relentless and a great team of international volunteers.
In February the outreach team made over 724 contacts with women from Thailand, Africa, Central Asia, and South America in the red light area. We gave gifts on both Valentines and International Women’s Day to bless the women and let them know that they are seen and loved. nail salon Three of our Thai women have now joined the outreach team as well.
English classes take place every week in the outreach center for women still in prostitution. We also open the center for hairdressing and nails once a week. As a result of these consistent events, the staff is able to build relationships and gain trust among the women in the community.
CityLight Coffee Shop
We were excited to celebrate the 1st year anniversary of CityLight Coffee in March. The Baking Project made personalised cookies. The coffee shop is a safe and welcoming space in the red light area. We are exploring ways to increase revenue so it can become profitable as well. If you are in Bangkok, come by for a great cup of coffee or non-coffees drink and a Panini sandwich!
Employment and Job Training
Jewellery and Shirts
Sales were better in February and March, in part due to high number of visitors and teams. Due to the low sales last year and the financial stress we moved many of the women out of the business and into the foundation. We now have 8 employed in NightLight Design Company and 36 employed in NightLight Foundation. We need more sales, jewellery parties, and retail connections to increase revenue and allow us to hire more women.
The Baking Project We are excited to have recently been granted additional funding we needed to make this project successful. The women are in the middle of a 12-week training program learning food & hygiene, health & safety, sugar crafting, and baking skills. So far what they are doing is beautiful and excellent in quality.
Child Care Center
We are averaging 17 children during the school year and closer to 25 during school breaks (happening now, which is their summer holiday’s). This month the children are going on a special outing to the Aquarium with a school group from an international school in Korea. The following week they will have an English camp. This is a really good opportunity for the children who live in the rural areas. School will start up again in May and funding will be need to provide tuition assistance for around 35 children ages 3-19.
Thai New Year
NightLight closes over Songkran (Thai New Year) so the women can go home to their villages and participate in the family blessings. After a day of blessing gently with water it turns into a 3-day water festival (the worlds largest water fight!). It is a lot of fun, but there are also a lot of accidents. Please pray for the women’s safety and for the time they spend with their families.
We have had three women from Uganda enter the Transition House since the New Year. A mother and baby went home in January and a second woman went home in March. The stories are both horrific and amazing and the women continue to impact us as we assist them in transition and repatriation. The process is complicated with a lot of roadblocks and the team needs continuous prayer covering.
We are in immediate need of house mothers and volunteers to cover shifts at the house and help. The burden is heavy on the residential staff, which works overtime. Please hold them in prayer for endurance and strength, but also pray for the right people to come forward to help. There are many more women who need assistance, but at the moment our limitation is due to not enough people to help.
Repatriation and Assistance
The anti-trafficking team is visiting several trafficked women in the immigration detention center. We hope to advocate for them and accelerate the process for them to return home. Our Spanish-speaking team member has been working with a woman from Colombia and we hope she will return home next month. A big concern we have, is for a woman from Central Asia who is in a pretty serious medical condition and at high risk of dying here if she doesn’t cooperate with the necessary treatments. Please pray for wisdom and for her to understand the necessity of accepting assistance.
NightLight’s NeedsNightLight has expanded its work into new areas and we appreciate so much your prayers, supports, donations and pledges, which makes it possible.
In celebrating Easter Sunday, we also celebrate the new life we see in the women and children and the hope they have for their future. Thank you for being part of this transformation!
Annie Dieselberg CEO / Founder of NightLight & Volunteers of NightLight
God called Moses to rescue His people from slavery in Egypt. But Moses felt his lack of speaking skills disqualified him from pursuing God’s plan.
God saw it another way.
Called to Rescue
There have been many times, during our time serving in Thailand when we have questioned God, about if we are qualified to do what He is calling us to do? We often see many of the NightLight ladies who often feel that they are incapable of completing or doing tasks for the same reason.
God has been faithful in His reminders, that He has shown us. He generally choses people who have nothing to bring to the table. He doesn’t need perfect vessels to carry out His will, He uses broken ones!
God does not hire based on qualifications, He doesn’t care what credentials you hold, how many times you have failed, how little you have to offer or how much you make. What He cares about is your willingness to do what He asks. He chooses people based on their inabilities. If we could do everything He asked on our own, where would faith come in? If we were confident enough to say what He tells us to say, we would think we were doing it in our own strength. If we had the credentials and expertise, pride would swell up in us. Instead, He finds broken and chipped vessels to put together to do His will so He can get the glory.
Let us tell you about one of the beautiful ladies at NightLight, who was once broken; but she allowed God to work in and through her life –
*Yim – Is still very young in age (24), however she has been through a battlefield, suffering what many may not experience in a lifetime. Armed with little education, a child to support at 16 years old, a mother to look after and no money. Yim’s prospects seemed bleak. Leaving her son with her Mother, she arrived in Bangkok, with the hope of earning enough money to support her family, she took a job in a massage parlour in Bangkok. It was a massage parlour with a difference and unfortunately she found herself working in the sex industry. Very quickly it stripped away at her dignity, self worth and confidence. Leaving her with shame, anguish and pain, she began to self-harm to cope with her situation. Feeling there was no way out, she accepted what she though was her portion. One day she met a lady, that told her about God. She had heard about Him, but coming from a Buddhist background, what could God do for her?
On a particularly low day Yim decided to call out to God and asked Him to take her out of that massage parlour. She wasn’t even sure if God had heard her desperate cries for help. A few day later invited by the same lady, she found herself in Church, a new experience that made her feel loved and over whelming joy. It was made even better by the fact that, someone asked her if she wanted a way out of the massage parlour; an opportunity to do an alternative job that she could do with dignity. Yim accepted the job at NightLight and has never looked back!
Almost 4 years on and even though she was diagnosed with HIV, Yim is walking in hope, confidence, growing in Christ, has her son living with her, leading Praise & Worship, has learned to play the guitar, is currently learning to play the bass guitar, has a heart for serving in Africa! She now regularly goes on outreach nights to the bars; building friendships, offering hope, a hug and a smile of love to women who are still on the path she once trod.
What the enemy meant for bad, God has turned around for good. Yim once believed that she had nothing to offer was unqualified, poor, weak, lacked courage, and was afraid. With God’s help Yim is now pouring love, forgiveness, grace and mercy into other’s just as Christ has shown her. Joining Him in rescuing those, who are unable to speak up for themselves.
Just as God equip Moses; even today God provides us with exactly what we need to accomplish great things.
If you don’t feel qualified, remember: When God calls, you can because it’s not about you. It’s about what He can do through you. All you need to do is make yourself available.
God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.
* Yim’s name has been changed to protect her identity. The word ‘Yim’ is Thai for ‘smile’.
Please click 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
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
The time has gone so quickly since we wrote our last blog, thank you for your patience. Our first Home Assignment in the UK, has also gone by in such a flash.
It was great to see our family and friends and also visit so many churches. We did about 19 speaking engagements, clocked up over 3,ooo miles visiting churches mostly in the South of England from Bristol – Norfolk and stayed in numerous houses.
We were blessed & greatly overwhelmed by the wonderful hospitality we received. It was great to see and meet up again with some churches we got to visit before we first came to Thailand, but also extra special connecting with some new churches and building some lovely friendships. We would like to say a big thank you to you all, you made us feel so loved & welcome.
It was strange coming back to the UK after being away for almost 2 years, it did take us a number of weeks to re-adjust to the British temperature, which was much cooler when we arrived in the early part of May and we had a few alien moments adjusting to the British culture again! Somehow, we both struggled to eat with a knife & fork, preferring the Thai way of using a spoon & fork! Some of you noticed this and was very accommodating to our needs.
We got to celebrate Sarah’s Mum’s 70th Birthday a few days after we arrived. We were kindly given national heritage member cards, so we managed to take the timeout on a few days, to visit the beautiful and breath taking surrounding of quite a few British national heritage manor houses. Including for our wedding anniversary visiting the Thai restaurant in Windsor where we had our first date! Topped off with seeing War Horse at the New London Theatre for Sarah’s birthday. England has some spectacular locations, scenery, theatre, manor houses and it was all made even better with the lovely weather that kicked in while we there. We really did enjoy our time in the UK.
We left the sunny isles of the UK (leaving you all basking in glorious sunshine) on Tuesday 15 July. Even though we enjoyed our time in the UK, coming back to Thailand, felt so much like home. As we stepped into our apartment the feeling of home just engulfed us, it was quite emotional.
We have come back to Thailand’s humid torrential rainy season, the large group of frogs that bellow joyfully after a heavy rainfall, Bangkok’s gridlock traffic, the howling serenade from the stray dogs at night, loud Thai voices and the consistent all day into the wee hours of the night, banging of drums from the students over at the university behind us – it is a large cacophony of sounds… but we would not have it any other way!
We have been spending the last few weeks getting back into a routine and took a much needed break before going back to work at NightLight. We had the wonderful opportunity to visit Hong Kong for 1 week; a great lively city with lots to do. With accommodation being expensive in HK, according to our budget we stayed in what can only be described as the smallest room for 2 people ever! It didn’t spoil our time though. We managed to pack lots in, even with time out at 2 beaches.
The highlight was visiting ‘Kowloon Walled City Park’ – ‘Kowloon Walled City’, where some of you might know that British born Jackie Pullinger (author of Chasing the Dragon) began her ministry, ministering to the many drug addicts, Triad gangs, homeless & prostitutes via her charity the St Stephen’s Society for many years. Many of these people & Triad gang members are now believers or Pastor’s. It was a great reminder of the work we do with NightLight and continued insight into God’s great grace and redemption for all.
On our return to work, we were warmly greeted and welcomed back with open arms. We missed the women at NightLight so much and we spent much of our first day back, catching up with many of them. Sarah also went straight back into teaching baking on her first day and was super proud to hear about the continued achievements that the baking team have been doing in her absence. It is great to be home and we are ready for the next chapter in our journey.
Next week Tuesday 12 August is Mother’s Day in Thailand, it is a day that is highly revered as it also falls on the same day as the Queen of Thailand’s Birthday. It is celebrated with a 2 day public holiday on Monday 11 August & Tuesday 12 August, giving many Thais the opportunity to go home to visit their Mother’s for an extended weekend. On Friday 8 August NightLight will be giving out gifts to the many Mother’s that work in Nana’s red light district. Please pray that the gifts will be well received and for the conversations that take place.
Please join us in:
Thanking God for –
– Our time in the UK on Home Assignment. The precious time we spent with our family & friends and the many churches we visited.
– Our safe arrival back in Thailand.
– The holiday that we had before going back to work
Please pray for –
– This next stage of our journey, as we undertake various projects & continued outreach. Paul will be starting to teach Bass lessons to the ladies in Thai, pray that he will be confident to use the language and for the women that will attend the lessons. Pray as Paul continues to do the financial reports for NightLight. Sarah will be continuing to teach baking, write grant proposals for the project and begin the process of looking for possible locations for the baking project to operate from, please pray for the baking team that their motivation to move forward with the project continues.
– For an increase in jewellery, t-shirt & flower sales, so the process of paying the women’s salaries and benefits continue.
– For Sarah’s Mum’s health – Her Mum has Parkinson’s, pray for her mobility and for the care she receives. She has recently been in hospital for physio rehabilitation and other health issues.
– For our health, strength & emotional well being.