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
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.
The 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
The last few weeks and months have been an amazing journey for us. We began the process of preparing for our first Home Assignment to the UK, pulling together everything we had done over the last 2 years; photos, memories and stories.
As we reflected back and remembered what it was first like when we first entered Bangkok, the strange sights, sounds, adapting to the culture, the people, and the countless hours of language learning!
There was one thing that we kept seeing and remembering over and over and it gave us great encouragement and hope in Christ. It was… the courageous women that we have had the opportunity and honour to work alongside at NightLight and the trafficked women we have had the privilege to meet.
I (Sarah) have listened as these women, who have been sexually exploited, have shared & poured out their hearts. Held their hands or held them close as another women in the bar, whispers in my ear “I really don’t want to do this anymore”, “what else can I do?”, “How do I survive to support my family?” Giving the reply there is an alternative, this does not have to be how your life is. There is a way out! I have in my presence a courageous woman!
I have seen when a trafficked woman takes her first steps of courage to seek assistance from NightLight. As she enters the room, her body language & face shows the pain, emptiness, brokenness, low self-esteem, lack of self-worth, every ounce of dignity stripped away. As she first shares her story and for a moment, it seems like she is talking about someone else, until the realisation hits her that she played the lead part; it was her that suffered the trauma NOT someone else. The tears streaming down her face as weeks, months, years of pain and abuse release from her body. I have before me a courageous woman!
The gradual progress as a Thai woman (who works at NightLight) moves forward, through her pain, memories of the past, each step a huge stride towards a new future and transformation. This in turn does not just have an effect on her life but the lives of her child/children or even wider family. As she steps into a job with dignity, she then becomes a strong role model for her own child/children, peers and even community; she gains strength, is able to stand tall. She becomes confident and steps into a role, even leadership, that she did not think she would be capable of doing or leading praise & worship. Armed with a new lease of freedom she begins reaching out with love to others who have fallen prey to a similar fate. Before my eyes I see a woman sharing her courage and transformed life with others!
Each woman has her own story of:- tragedy, pain, struggles, hardship & disappointments. However they have 2 things in common: – 1) Courage and 2) Freedom.
They have all found ‘the courage to step into freedom’. Moving through their pain, growing in self-worth, dignity, confidence, hope and walking tall as courageous & free women.
The Definition of Courage:
Courage is the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. It is also having “heart,” which remains a common metaphor for inner strength.
The most profound thing about women, is that we display courage without even knowing we’ve had it in us all along. If you can rise and face another day in the midst of all your struggles and difficulties, and have not given up… then that’s the most COURAGEOUS thing you can do.
“She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future” – Proverbs 31:25
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