The three words that come to mind when reflecting on this summer are: indescribable, redeeming, and bittersweet. I went through Adventures in Missions Passport trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand to serve with Lighthouse in Action Ministries, which works to restore, empower, and pour God's unconditional love into past and current victims of human trafficking. I encourage everyone to go listen to Emmi's testimony, the founder of Lighthouse in Action, and see the amazing faith she has instilled in her along with an incredible grasp of forgiveness and grace. It was such an honor to work alongside her this summer and learn so much from her.
|My team and I at the village of Chiang Dao helping paint|
and restore a children's home called Fountain of Hope
We spent our days in Zion Cafe, bonding with the staff - our new, dear friends who have been rescued out of the red light district or have been prevented from entering. We participated in monk chat, prayer walks through the red light district (which we did twice each day before we headed out to bar ministry), visited and played with the sweet children in the slums, taught English to preschool, elementary, and high school students, team time (bible study), worship, then some headed out into bar ministry while some would stay back and intercede for the girls going out.
I truly had my faith strengthened in so many ways; I discovered a new understanding of God's grace, and love for ALL His children. We weren't just there to minister to the girls, but also the pimps, johns, bar moms, and men and women we encountered on and off the red light district. We prayed continuously to see through God's eyes and have God's heart. Through Christ alone, we were able to love like Jesus would; unbiasedly, gracefully, and unconditionally. My team and I were able to comprehend that God's heart was not only broken for the girls, but all involved. It was not easy to keep this mindset, but we constantly prayed and reminded ourselves we are also imperfect and broken; God takes our brokenness and makes it beautiful.
It truly is an indescribable feeling to explain walking through the red light district at night and feeling an overwhelming wave of emotions: a sense of security, anxiousness, hopefulness, and lots of heartbrokenness. Every night when we arrived back to our hostel, we would debrief and pray together; there was never a night we didn't feel hopeful because we know the ending to the story: God. He's the finisher of all things unjust. He always has been. We are all pieces of the puzzle. All of the pieces are needed to complete the masterpiece and wants us to help one another, our brothers and sisters through Him.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). This verse was one of my many mantras this summer and everyday.
While we were in Thailand, we were able to see one of our dear friends walk out of the bars, and accept God's unconditional love for her. I ask for prayers for my friends that our still in the red light district and the friends that are are out and are still healing many wounds through God's truth and love for them.
I'm so grateful for the support, prayers, and encouragement throughout the summer.
God is forever faithful and good. Follow your calling!! I'm sure glad I did.