Thursday, August 30, 2012

Captured Frames: Thailand

Enter Thailand.

 Land of smiles, bright colors, Thai pants (think Aladdin style pants), Thai chili peppers, pad thai, endless amounts of delicious, cheap street food, and countless other unique qualities that make Thailand an amazing place.

But beyond all of the excitement, enchantment, and mystery in Thailand, there is a heavy darkness. Human trafficking is a reality here. Sex slavery, exploitation, prostitution and trafficking are all very real issues in Thailand.

Thailand was "manistry month" for the guys of our squad, which meant all of us girls were on our own, as well! I headed south with my team of girls to Phuket, Thailand. If you were to Google Phuket, countless pictures would show up of pristine beaches, bamboo bungalows, and picturesque sunsets over sparkling waters.

And while Phuket is undoubtedly a sparkling gem of Thailand, and the world, it is laden with darkness. The heavy darkness of human trafficking. Our team worked with SHE (Self Help and Empowerment) while in Phuket. This ministry reaches out to women that are trapped working in the bars along the beaches, who inexitably get caught in prostitution, and in sex trafficking.

Tourists flood the beaches and bars along the beaches of Phuket, and the infamous little place called Patong. We ministered on one of the most notorious roads in Thailand, Bangla Road. In just a few blocks, they managed to cram over 200 bars, filled with girls wearing next to nothing, and full of men and women that have come to drink, party, and some find "love" for the night.

But it is far from love, what the girls that work in the bar experience. Our mission for the month was to go in and show them real love. Christ's love. By just talking with them. Finding out who they are, where they come from, and what they really want out of life.

It was tough, going into that environment almost every night of the week. But we were able to build some relationships, and share God's love in that dark place, and I know that we did make a difference.

Check out the video of our month in Thailand!

Also...this is the month that I drove everyone around in a crazy little truck with seats in the bed! Did I mention I was driving manual? On the wrong side of the road? Up and down a crazy, windy, mountain? Yup. It was an experience that I learned how to lean on God for strength in even the seemingly mediocre things like driving!


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