Hello there! My name is Tristen Banales and I will be attending ISM January 2014.
I feel so privileged to be a part of a program that is a catalyst for missionaries. My heart’s cry is to see hope restored to the Thai people. I want to be in the darkness, understand the environment and bring forth His light into the hearts and minds of the people there. I am honored to serve for six months at Dton Naam Ministries where they reach out to the gender confused involved in the sex trade. Dton Naam also runs a café which helps to support their ministry.
I was born and raised in California, grew up in a small town on the Monterey Peninsula. Deep down I knew I wanted God to lead my life and without even realizing it, I began to search Him out. I journeyed up to the Bay Area to attend culinary school and studied baking and pastry.
He led me straight into the arms of an incredible church family who helped me to grow in my awareness and knowledge of God. The more and more I experienced God, He went from being my creator to my Father.
Over the past two and a half years my life has radically changed. I want nothing more than to live my life discovering His love in every situation and circumstance–from the workplace, to the streets and within households. I am on a journey of love to see His heart revealed to others in the most vulnerable way. I want to build close authentic relationships with other people because I have experienced that kind of relationship with Him.
At the beginning of this year the Father gave me a sudden passion to help those involved in the sex trade, specifically in Thailand. I found ISM through NightLight International. With much excitement I found that there were other internship opportunies through ISM. I stumbled upon Dton Naam and was excited to know that my education and skillset would be of help within their café/bakery. I am honored to be a part of such an influential organization and cannot wait to see what God does with my time there!
I am anticipating and preparing for this next journey to Southeast Asia with much joy. I pray that everyday He shows me something new about His love so that I may reflect Him, represent Him, demonstrate Him, and love more like Him. I am not sure what lies ahead or even what to expect. But one thing I do know is that God’s love changes everything and I will carry that the rest of my life.
Here we go!”
Hello! My name is Sandra Wiebe I am 17 years old, I was born in a little town called Blue Creek in Belize, a small country in Central America.
I lived there until I was nine which is when my parents decided to move my three brothers and I to Leamington, Ontario.I’ve been living here for almost nine years. The town I live in is also small, however it’s huge compared to what I was I used to. I’ve grown up in a Christian home my whole life with a loving family, and although they expected me to be young forever I will be graduating high school this year.
Hi, my name is Monique Beuglet and I am from Guelph, Ontario. I was born in the busy metropolis of Toronto, but have lived in Guelph since I was 2 years old, enjoying this beautiful city that I call home. I have a younger sister who is 14 and two incredibly loving and supportive parents. I grew up in a Christian home, being actively involved in church for as long as I can remember and loving God with a servant’s heart.
I graduated from high school last June and decided to take a year off to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Throughout high school I had become interested in business, and decided that that is what I would study at University. In my mind, the University I attended would determine my future success as a businesswoman, so I was determined to get into some of the highest ranked commerce programs in the country. I went back to school for a semester to take a few additional classes and increase my average, my dream to receive an offer of admission from the University of Western Ontario to their elite Ivey School of Business. Well let me tell you, since then God has completely transformed my dreams and ambitions, my priorities being entirely rearranged.
Last summer I was in Europe with my Mom for 3 weeks. We stayed in Holland with family for most of our time there, venturing to Paris for a week. In Bible College my Mom had done her internship in Holland, doing some ministry in the red light district of Amsterdam. We were in Amsterdam a few times, and on one of our day trips there we decided to walk through the red light district at around 6 o’clock. As we walked through the streets, seeing women selling themselves in shop windows like an article of clothing, my heart broke. I knew then and there that I wanted to do some form of ministry to women who were involved in human trafficking and prostitution. My plan was to study a year abroad in Holland during my third year of University, and during that summer get involved with a Christian organization or church in Amsterdam which ministered to these women. However, since then God has changed yet another plan of mine.
A few months ago Sandra McIntosh and her husband came to my home church as special guests. Sandra briefly shared a little bit about what ISM was doing in Southeast Asia and how young people could get involved. As I listened to her talk about the ministry I brushed it off, thinking that’s not for me, I have this plan of doing missions work when I go back to Europe. The next day my Mom asked me if the opportunity to work with ISM had peaked my interest, and I decided to go online and do some research. I immediately saw that there were several opportunities in both India and Thailand to work with victims of human trafficking. I began sobbing, feeling so convicted by God that this was what I was supposed to do, and immediately filled out an application.
Starting in September 2013 I will be in Bangkok, Thailand for seven months, interning at NightLight International, being used by God to bring His unprecedented love to women who have been victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking. Putting off school for yet another year was not in my plan. Nor was going to Southeast Asia to do missions work in a city’s whose economy is driven by its world renown sex trade industry. However, I know that this is God’s plan, and pursuing Him with everything you are means letting His desires become your desires and being willing to step out of your comfort zone and surrender every aspect of your life to him. I can’t predict what God has in store for me throughout my internship at NightLight, but I am expecting Him to reveal Himself in amazing ways, knowing that I will grow closer to Him as I put complete trust in His purpose for my life. I am so excited to see how God will use me and the gifts that He has given me for His glory in a city filled with darkness. A verse that comes to mind as I prepare for this incredible adventure is one that I have been reassured by time and time again. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Hello! My name is Julia Eger.
I am currently a senior at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and will be graduating in May with a degree in business – marketing. I was born in Canton, Ohio, but moved to High Point, North Carolina when I was 2 years old and have lived there ever since. I have an older brother and an older sister, an amazing mother and father, and two adorable dogs. My family and friends are truly a gift from God and I would not be the person I am today without their love and support.
I grew up in a Christian home, went to a private Christian school K-12th grade, and attended church every Wednesday and twice a day on Sundays. This had both its positives and negatives, but looking back on it now I see how much of a blessing it truly was. Around 8th grade I had decided that I wanted to go into fashion merchandising to become a buyer and had my heart set on this goal. When graduation approached in 2009 I had only one school in mind – Florida State University. I visited it, loved it, applied, and got accepted! However, out-of-state tuition prices sent me in a different direction and forced me to apply to in-state schools. So, I figured if I had to go to school in NC I might as well be at the beach and that’s how I ended up at UNCW. Fast forward to my junior year, I quit my glorious job at a doggy daycare to pursue a job at a boutique in order to further my fashion merchandising dream. Absolutely hated the job, about 3 months into it left, and realized that the retail industry is NOT for me! So, now I began to ask God where I am supposed to be?
I went to the Passion 2011-2012 conference in Atlanta, GA where the theme was slavery and human trafficking. I had already started to feel God tugging at my heart towards missions, but honestly thought this would look more like playing soccer with children in Africa, which was another dream of mine. But, after this conference I had this love for India that I could not explain and started to pray and seek God’s direction. Exactly a year after consistently praying for guidance, I was in my bed reading over my Passion notes since I could not attend it this year. I saw a list of organizations that I had written down and one of them was NightLight. After clicking around I somehow came across Jewels in a Crown and just started crying (which is very unusual for me!). Immediately I knew that this is where God wanted me and I applied the next morning.
I have no idea what all God has in store for these 6 months, but I cannot wait to find out! I am so humbled that he has chosen me to shine his glory in such a dark place, and realize that I am but a vessel of salvation chosen by the grace of God! I pray, first and foremost, that he will be exalted higher than our words or actions or even our adoration because he is the King of Kings and Lord of all. I also pray that these women will be healed from the inside out and will be able to see how beautiful and loved they are by their Father. Ultimately, I pray for slavery and for human sex trafficking to be completely abolished and know that this is possible through the powerful name of Jesus in whom we live and move and have our very being.
“Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise!” -Psalm 96:2-4
My name is Hartley Hutchinson. I am 18 years old, and will be attending Impact School of Missions in September of 2013.
In truth, I’m from a lot of places. I was born in Chiang Mai, Thailand (I love saying this—it’s always a source of great conversation!) to two devoted followers of Christ. I guess you could say that I was destined to return at some point! I lived in Thailand for my first year before moving back to Canada – where I have been for my last 17 years. I’ve lived in Beaverton and Peterborough, but currently reside in Parry Sound, Ontario. I live on a small lake, and absolutely adore being outdoors. I am finishing my final year of high school at Parry Sound High. It’s a small town, but I love it here! I always feel close to God while out boating on Georgian Bay, or spending time with my horses. These are only a few of the breathtaking gifts that God has blessed me with.
I’ve visited Thailand on a few different occasions with my father, but never really felt that God was calling me to go out and make a difference. As I was filling out my university applications, God gave me the sudden desire to go on an adventure fueled by faith. He was telling me that it was time to become one of His true disciples. As I am now starting to understand…God certainly works in mysterious ways! He had an important plan laid out for me all along! Now here I am, writing about my exciting plans for the future. I feel closer to God now than I ever have! It’s truly a remarkable feeling when God gives you firm assurance. It’s His way of letting you know that He will be with you every step of the way.
When my parents lived in Chiang Mai, they started a youth program/English centre, called The Centre. Close friends of my family have selflessly dedicated their time to running it today. After I complete my training with Impact School of Missions, I will be heading out to The Centre! I am planning on staying in Asia for approximately nine months, and who knows what wonderful things God will reveal about my life in that time.
Writing is a gift that God gave me, and I am very passionate about it. God is also giving me this time to go out and become a better writer—a writer with a story worth telling. God has affirmed that my time is now. I am fully prepared to surrender to Him and His will for me, knowing that it will be the most fulfilling future that I could ask for.
Thank-you and God bless!
Hello there! my name is Lauren Grams and I am from Southern California but am currently spending my last year of high school in the north woods of Wisconsin, where I am simultaneously overwhelmed by the beauty of God’s creation and the possibility of an atmospheric temperature in the negative digits.
I live here with my great-uncle and family, as well as a plethora of delightful critters which at last count entailed 3 magical horses, 6 dogs, 2 cats (with whom i am unabashedly in love), and a wild rabbit that lives in the barn beneath the bales of horse feed.
I grew up in a home that was fundamentally Christian, yet i spent much of my adolescence tossed in the tumultuous and roiling sea of environmental and internal strife. Even as i was drowning in sorrows and sin, however, God encountered me, plucking me up from the puddle I was thrashing about in and setting me safely and wonderfully in his arms. By his grace i have fallen utterly, desperately in love with him, the one sketched by C.S. Lewis as, “the hunter, King, husband”, the Lover of my fickle soul, the relentless, glorious, holy, faithful Abba. the love he has lavished upon me has spurred my spirit to madness, and i desire nothing more than to respond with absolute surrender to the beat of his heart.
For so long i have desired “to help people” in a sort of abstract, unguided way. The Lord has taken this hope and begun to refine it, setting my gaze to the nations and calling me to serve his beloved. He has put upon my heart the cause of the oppressed and the enslaved, whom i will be serving in india at Jewels in a Crown and At the Well Ministries following my training in Bangkok!
My greatest hope and joy is the revival and establishment of the kingdom in the nations, that the glory of God would fall upon this parched people and break the chains of physical and spiritual bondage. I hunger to see the church drenched in Holy Spirit, to dance in the rain of his presence, to move freely in the Spirit, and to see the supernatural culture of the kingdom invade earth!
I am a born and raised Hoosier and have lived in Indianapolis pretty much my entire life. I am 21 years old and am currently studying Philanthropic Studies at IUPUI. I work at UPS and a small fair trade store called Global Gifts. I also help with Sunday school at my church Brookville Road Community Church.
I first heard about human trafficking when my church hosted an event to raise awareness about the problem before Indianapolis hosted the Super bowl. I was touched by the cause and felt that this was something that God wanted me to be involved with so I got an internship over the summer with an organization called Women At Risk, Int’l. It was through this organization that I first heard of NightLight. When the idea of serving overseas was first introduced to me I dismissed it. I had never planned on serving anywhere but the United States. However, the Holy Spirit worked on my heart before confirming that He wanted me to apply with ISM and NightLight.
Even in just the few months since I applied and got accepted God has caused me to rely on Him so much more than I ever have before. I am excited to have my relationship with God grow so much more during the time I am in Thailand as well getting to serve and to be used by Him.
I am going to be attending ISM in September 2013 before going to work with NightLight in Bangkok for a year. I will be working with human trafficking while I am there.
I have two verses that mean a lot to me. One I have known for years and the other God has given me through my application process. The first is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The second Bible verse is Psalms 18:1-2 “I love you, Lord, my Strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, my deliver. My God is my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
I don’t know where this mission will lead me or what my future holds beyond my time with ISM and NightLight but I know that God will lead me and He will protect and strengthen me and I can’t wait to walk my life with Him.
I am currently in my last year of high school, and I have been looking forward to my gap year for ages. I had been looking around at different bible colleges and long-term missions trips throughout high school, but nothing seemed to really jump out at me. I was looking for something that was approximately the length of one semester, didn’t have an overwhelming amount of academics, and was somewhere new and exciting that wasn’t one of those cliché places that everyone goes to for a missions trip, like Mexico or Africa. I had been told so many times to just forget about finding something that fit all my “requirements,” and to stop being so picky. But I knew in my heart that there was something out there that would fit me and what I felt God was calling me to do, I just had to find it.
I was browsing the Vanguard Bible College website a while ago, and I had noticed a little advertisement about Impact on the side. As soon as it had sunk in that this program fit in perfectly with my “requirements,” I was ecstatic. I’m pretty sure I exhausted my parents with my constant, “Look, look! IT’S PERFECT! I NEED TO GO THERE!” I applied almost instantly, and soon found out that I had been accepted I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off, telling everybody about it (and exhausting them as well, I’m sure).
I have never been more excited/terrified/happy/nervous about something in my entire life. After my month’s training in Thailand, I will be heading off to the Philippines to intern at an organization called Noah’s Ark, where I will be doing something I have always been passionate about: working with kids. I really feel that God has been slowly pointing me towards this experience throughout my life, and I know that whatever He wants to happen will happen. This gap year could not have come at a more perfect time in my life and in my constantly growing relationship with God, and I’m overwhelmed with excitement for what lies ahead of me.
I am coming to ISM in January 2013, and it already is something that I look forward to with great anticipation. For the placement period of the program I will be working with The Centre in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand.
I learned of ISM through Sandra McIntosh, when she came and spoke at my school. It was not the beach scene on the advertisement card that gained my attention, but the idea of living 4 months on the field doing what I was made by God to do.
This for me is very exciting. I went to Chiang Mai in March of 2011, and will be returning there in a few weeks (March 2012). I have learned throughout life that God has placed a passion in me to help people discover their purpose that God intends for their individual life. By working with The Centre I hope to gain new skills in the area of building relationships cross culturally, while still building an intentional relationship. I am looking to be challenged, in such a way that my growth will be something I cannot fully see coming. Overseas missions has always been of interest to me, it was not until my first year of college (2011) that I went overseas, before that all the STM work I had done was inside of Canada, and the United States. I do not know all that God, has planed for my future, but I am confident that ISM is part of His plan and something that will leave me changed, with more passion for missions.
I can remember a moment when I was sitting in a hotel room with a friend in Sanpatong, Thailand. At this point it was about 4 weeks into our 7 week mission trip throughout Southeast Asia. My friend was playing his guitar and I was praying and journaling a daily class requirement for the trip. I started to laugh and when my friend asked I explained that I could not believe a year before I thought of just going to school for motorcycle repairs, to think I would have been satisfied with that, I expressed that I cannot see myself doing anything but missions. It feels so right, a fulfilment that comes from God, from walking out his will.
ISM is a program that I am very excited to be apart of, and I challenge you if missions is something God has placed on your heart, seek God and maybe ISM is something for you.
Go out and walk out His will.
I am approaching graduation from my high school in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and I can’t wait to move forward into the plans God has for me. For the longest time, I’ve had a desire in my heart to do missions, but there was always something telling me I wasn’t good enough, or wasn’t equipped enough. But this past fall, God was really speaking into my life and I felt the calling on my heart to go for it. As I was discerning some options for my first year out of high school, I stumbled upon ISM’s website completely randomly. Immediately my heart started pounding. I knew this was the right place for me to be, and after spending time in prayer about it, I sent in my application.
I didn’t grow up in a Christian home so I have never been allowed to go on any missions trips throughout my faith journey because being a minor, I couldn’t go without parental consent. Now, as I enter into adulthood, I am ready to experience freedom to fulfill God’s calling on my heart. Although it was terrifying breaking the news to my parents about my acceptance, God strengthened me and I felt confident sharing with them.
It was hard for me to choose my serving preferences on my application, because all of the ministries on the list would be amazing to work with. I have a big heart for injustice and human trafficking, but I also love working with youth and children. So for my serving phase, I will be working at Noah’s Ark Children’s Home in the Philippines. I am ecstatic to be the hands and feet of Jesus in another part of the world and to love the kids there with my whole heart.
A passage that has been a theme for me during this process is Ephesians 3:14-16. “When I think of the wisdom and scope of his plan, I fall down on my knees and pray to the Father of all the great family of God-some of them already in heaven and some down here on earth- that out of his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you the mighty inner strengthening of his Holy Spirit.
My name is Tanya Land and I am 21 years old, born and raised in Windsor! This January, I will be starting my journey with ISM.
I just finished my third year of university, where I am studying Christian counselling!
I have an amazing home church, Parkwood Gospel Temple, where I have been attending my entire life. I’m involved in many different ministries, and have gone on six successful short-term missions trips to Deer Lake, Ontario (a Northern Ontario native reserve).
I will be in Bangkok, Thailand for three months interning at NightLight, which is a ministry for sexually exploited women through it’s operation as a jewelry business. I decided to apply to partner with NightLight, because I’ve always had a passion for women’s ministry. I will be serving in many different areas of the ministry all the way from helping make and sell the jewelry, build relationships with the women and their families, ministering in the bars once a week, and I’m sure much more!
I know this experience will stretch me in so many ways and I cannot wait to see where it takes me!
I am a 24 year who lives in Mississauga Ontario, 2 years ago I graduated with a degree in information security. For the past year and a half I have been working as a Systems Engineer at an online gaming company. Now I am off on an adventure around the world. Part of this adventure will take place in Thailand with ISM. I have always felt a desire to do missions work and Thailand felt like one of the places I should go. Severalmonths ago Sandra McIntosh came and spoke at my Young Adults group at my church Portico. It sounded like a great opportunity to do missions in Thailand. Since I was already planning on being in that part of the world it seemed like an opportunity not to be missed. After praying about it and looking into ISM more I felt it was where God wanted me to go. I applied, I got in and now it looks like its all going to come together. First I will be in Bangkok for a month to receive some training which I think is a great thing as I will be more prepared for going into the mission field. Also it will be a great opportunity to grow further in my faith. After the training I will be heading off to Chiang Mai where I will be volunteering at Abundant Love. Which is a childrens home which gives hill tribe children the opportunity to go to school. Here I will be given an opportunity to show these children God’s love and help them in a number of ways including helping them with school work and teaching them english, hopefully they can teach me some Thai. —– Later Days
I will be graduating high school this year from Napanee and after ISM, I plan on attending either a Christian university or Bible College to study counseling and theology, with the hopes of attaining my Master’s in counseling to eventually work with teens and more specifically teen girls.
A couple years ago, if anyone were to ask me if I’d be interested in going on an overseas missions trip, my answer would have been absolutely not! Not because I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ but because I was not always the most outgoing person, in addition, I was and still am a germaphobe, and quite honestly, it terrified me! However, it has been over this past year that God has really been working on me and as a result, I have grown greatly in my spiritual walk with God and in many other ways as well. He has brought me through many great challenges and tests over these past few years, all of which have been used to get me to where I am now, which is a place where I can say with absolute certainty that I am 100% willing and ready to go out into the world to show Jesus’ love, just as He commands His children to do in Matthew 28:19-20.
I found out about ISM through Sandra McIntosh when she came to speak at my church during our missions convention and it was during Sandra’s presentation of ISM that God first placed the idea in my head and heart. After talking to her about the school and the opportunities available, I knew right away that God wanted me to do this! Over the following few months I wrestled with God quite a bit about going because I was still a little uneasy about taking such a big step like this, but I finally gave in and decided to apply and my excitement has been growing ever since!
The hopes that I have as I embark on this journey to Nightlight to work with exploited women in a jewelry business and have opportunity for bar ministry is to not only gain some amazing missions experience and get the opportunity to experience another part of the world, but to also have the opportunity to fully engage in a totally different culture and see how these women live, what they go through, and to just open myself up completely as I allow God to do His will in my life and use me to serve Him and be His hands and feet in the most darkest of places.
It has not always been an easy road for me throughout my high school years, however, it was through those challenges that God really showed me just how awesome He really is, as well as His amazing grace. It was also through these challenges that the Lord really placed a passion on my heart for young women and girls. All this to say that I am beyond excited for this experience and I look forward to seeing God’s will unfold not only in my life but in SEA. I know this is an experience of a lifetime and one that I know will be a major eye-opener for me and will change my life!
A big thank you to my Heavenly Father for providing me with such a fantastic opportunity to serve Him as well as a big thank you to Impact School of Missions for allowing me to come and for guiding me along this wonderful journey with such great support.
I have just completed my high school education in Drumheller, AB. I do not have any set plans for my future as far as a career goes, but I do know that I want to strengthen my relationship with God and have Him work through me to help others. I feel that ISM fulfills all of these hopes. Mission work has been on my heart for some time and when I came across ISM on the internet it seemed to click (no pun intended) and I wasted no time in filling out the application. Along the way the Lord confirmed for me that this was the right choice.
After my four weeks training in Thailand I will be traveling to the Philippines to intern in Noah’s Ark for approximately two months. There I will help provide care and support to the children and young adults that live there, I am thrilled to be a part of this. Matthew 18: 3 reads “Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.”” This is part of the reason why children are so important to me and I am ecstatic to be serving in an area in which I can be near them, learn from them, and help them.
I am generally a reserved person so this experience will be a leap of faith for me. I am learning to trust in the Lord and I have faith that He will walk with me through this adventure and will shape me into who He wants me to be. I am excited to be apart of this enterprise and pray for the best.
I’m excited to start my training at ISM and internship at NightLight in Thailand! So here it goes… For those of you who haven’t read the story leading up to this decision, here it is:
It started when I watched the documentary “Furious Love” for the first time and saw how the love of God is freeing people from strongholds all over the world. One of the places featured in the film was Thailand. There is an organization there called NightLight. NightLight’s mission is to build relationships and provide hope, intervention, rescue and assistance to women and children exploited in the sex industry by offering alternative employment, vocational opportunities, life-skills training and physical, emotional and spiritual development to women seeking freedom. (Sidenote: You can buy their jewelry on their website http://store.nightlightinternational.com/ if you are interested. The more jewelry orders, the more women can have the option of employment at NightLight.) When I saw the film “Furious Love” my heart was broken for those individuals who are in mental, emotional, spiritual and physical captivity. God awakened a love for them and a passion in my spirit to set the captives free. “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives.” Isaiah 61:1
Another thing that some of you may not know is that I have been to Thailand before, Bangkok, in fact, and didn’t know at the time about this issue. (I was ten or eleven.) But I knew that I wanted to go back because it was one of the most beautiful, lush places I have ever been. I attempted to go on a study abroad to Thailand, but it was a no go because I felt like God was saying the timing wasn’t right. After watching “Furious Love” it all clicked. This is why I have a passion for Thailand and Southeast Asia. This is why I shouldn’t have gone on a study abroad program before. God had a different plan for me. I contacted the director of ISM the day after watching the film and asked if they have any internship or volunteer opportunities available. She responded that they did in fact, starting in September of 2012.
After having multiple forms of confirmation that I am called to get involved in the abolition movement for human trafficking, I was still struggling with the “when.” Timing and decision making aren’t the easiest things for me and God knows that. So when I got peace in my spirit in the beginning of April about going to Thailand I decided to just go for it. I knew that if it was right, God would work out the rest. I found out the day I started filling out the application that there was one intern spot left for the September session. I flipped out. Then I filled out the rest of the application quickly. After an interview with ISM, I received a letter of acceptance on April 27, 2012. To top it off, on April 30, 2012 I got an offer for a Research Analyst Internship for the months of June and July of this year!
What God says is true. “All things work together for the good of those who love God.” Romans 8:28
To start I guess I’ll tell you a little (or a lot) about myself.My name is Jael Stewart. I’m a missionary here in Bangkok Thailand, helping out with whatever I can. I became what I consider a missionary at a very young age. When I was 7 years old my family and I started working with and showing the love of God to prostitutes, drug addicts/ dealers and the homeless. Being around “the outcasts of the world” all my life, and my experiences with them, has really impacted me and my decision making. In the future I would like to pursue a career in psychology and medicine so I am able to help those suffering with mental disorders.
I’m proficient in four martial arts (Aikido, Youn Wha Ryu Tae Kwon Do, Karate, and Muay Thai Boxing); I also enjoy RPG games, drawing, cosplay, (yeah, I know I’m a geek) studying pagan religions, and, as stated above, studying psychological disorders.
I learned about ISM through Sandra Mcintosh while I was at her house for dinner and I thought it sounded like a great way to learn more about what I believe in and to grow my faith. I’m looking forward to meeting all of you and very I’m excited about auditing the ISM course.
Hello my name is Janohah. I would describe myself as a very outgoing person; I love to meet new people and make as many friends as possible. I also enjoy drawing, swimming and martial arts. I have been involved in missions work since the age of 7 and have been traveling my whole life; living in many countries and visiting many more. I have volunteered at homeless shelters in the United States, crisis nurseries in Malawi, Africa, and most recently I have been volunteering at Antique Café, a coffee shop that helps transgender sex workers develop new skills for the workplace.
I have spent my whole life looking forward to what will happen in the future, when I am on my own and able to make life decisions by myself. After high school I plan on going to medical school to study to be a plastic surgeon. As a plastic surgeon I hope to continue my missionary career by traveling overseas with Doctors Without Borders and helping burn victims and people born with cleft palate. I believe that God has given me the gifts of healing and attention to detail and with these gifts I would like to make a difference.
I also have a large heart for people who aren’t generally accepted in the Christian community. The kinds people who have influenced my life the most are the transgenders, the prostitutes and the homeless communities. Because I have lived in so many different countries and have been exposed to their lifestyles at a young age I have grown to love the outcasts and the people who aren’t generally looked upon as “people”
I found out about ISM through Sandra McIntosh who enabled me to enroll in the program. Given that I am not of age to enroll in the ISM program I am extremely thankful for the opportunity which was given to me. I’m excited about being able to Audit the ISM program, meeting the other students, and furthering my knowledge of the Christian faith.
I have currently just completed a double major in Family Studies and Community Development from Western University in London, ON. Throughout my undergraduate career I felt like God was calling me to something bigger, but I did not know what that was. ISM was mentioned at my church one Sunday, and I felt like the Lord was telling me to go. I kind of put it off thinking I couldn’t do it and that I needed to get my carrer started in order to pay off my debt. However, a few months later the Lord spoke to me again telling me to go. This time I filled out my application and sent it off right away. Everything has been falling perfectly into place after making this decision, so clearly it IS the Lord’s plan for me to “go!”.
I am super excited for this upcoming adventure! I have already been to Ukraine, Guatemala, and Africa. I have not been on a mission’s trip on my own, so this is a whole new ballpark for me. The first four weeks I will be in Bangkok Thailand receiving some bible teaching. Then I will be serving at Noah’s Ark in the Philippines for eight weeks. Here I will be working with children ages 0-18 helping to provide care, and whatever else the Lord would have me to do.
I really believe that this will be a tremendous time of growing in the Lord and continuing to discover who I am in Christ. I am SO excited to see how the Lord is going to use me, change me, break me, and mold me during this next season!
Maria Gambone DeJesus
I am soon to graduate with degrees in International Business and Marketing from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC, USA. Here is my story of how I came to find out about ISM:
As a Freshman in college I felt a passion and dream grow in my heart for the possibility of becoming a business woman doing international non-profit work. After a broken and stressful end to my high school years, I had finally fully surrendered to the truth that placing any priority above the pursuit of an intimate relationship with the God who created me and the Savior that died for me destroyed and confused so much of my life and emotions, and so many of my relationships. The next four years after that decision led to an adventurous, challenging, awe-inspiring and sometimes excruciatingly painful path. But through it all, this powerful, constant, faithful and loving God beautifully restored my heart and transformed the desires I have for each day of life.
During one particularly painful period, while clinging to God’s promises of change, restoration and healing, I got the opportunity to serve as a leader in my old high school youth group’s summer mission trip. There, in the middle of a tiny town, in the basement of a small church, our leader announced a group of special guest speakers. Annie Dieselberg, founder of NightLight, and her family, proceeded to passionately describe their work combating the sex trade, their heart for the women they serve and some of the powerful things God had shown them throughout their time in Bangkok. Afterwards, I went up to talk to Annie about her experience in this line of work and for career advice. That day in 2010 God planted a little seed in my heart, a little inkling of curiosity, which continued to grow in enthusiasm and power over the next year and a half.
Even if I tried, I couldn’t stop thinking about the possibility of following God to NightLight to serve Him with the passions, strengths, education and heart He had given me. It was like a dream that continued to grow in ever increasing fervor. I began to pray without ceasing for God to guide me to His will, to the right decision. Time and time again He answered those prayers with opened doors: that year I met and developed a meaningful friendship with an exchange student from Bangkok who will graduate and return to Bangkok with me; He also connected me with the Dieselberg family again through awe-inspiring circumstances; He placed me as an intern in the Digital Marketing department of the international headquarters at one of the world’s largest non-profits; the list continues.
Over that year and a half period I contacted NightLight two or three times to learn about opportunities to serve them. They even told me they couldn’t offer an official internship and that I should wait until December 2011 to apply as a volunteer. I waited until August before my heart couldn’t take it any longer. Then, the night before I had planned to fill out NightLight’s Volunteer Application, I read on the bottom of their website that they now offer official internships through the Impact School of Missions starting in September, 2012. Convenient, since that’s when I was planning on starting! I thank my Savior so much for the awesome journey He’s taken me on so far and more for the things yet to come. I also thank Impact School of Missions for enabling someone as young as me to follow Him where He’s sending me, knowing I don’t go alone. If you would like to follow this journey with me you can on facebook! Check out my page: http://www.facebook.com/nightlight! If you want to follow God on a journey of your own, apply!
Thanks for all your support!
Maria Gambone DeJesus
(Psalm 139:7-10; Ephesians 3:20-21)
I am currently enrolled in my final year of high school in Napanee, Ontario, and it is my hope to attend Humber College, after my ISM experience, to become a Funeral Director. For as long as I can remember, I have always had a passion for Missions.
I grew up in a home where a relationship with Christ and His work was of utter importance. Missions has always been a priority for my family, so it has been a part of me since infancy. I love sitting and listening to the stories of what people have experienced and, more importantly, what God has been doing in their area of ministry. It always gets me excited when I hear about what God is doing in the lives of others in and around the world.
My father recently came back from a missions trip to Africa and that really opened my eyes to how blessed we really are in North America. It always amazes to see how, even though people are less fortunate in the physical aspect of material goods, they still give their all to God and worship Him with nothing holding them back – most times with more abandon than we do in North America; when we have every comfort one can imagine at our disposal.
The first time I heard about Impact School of Missions was when Sandra and Peter came to our church in Napanee, ON. It intrigued me so much I thought right then, “I am ready to go!” However, I was only 14 years old. I now realize that it wasn’t just in my physical age that was too young, but my spiritual age as well. So, I tucked the desire away in my heart and continued growing with God. I knew if it was His will for me to attend ISM, He would open the door for me in His time.
Then, a few months ago, I was reminded of ISM when Sandra ran into my dad at a conference. I knew this was my time! I prayed and talked it over with my parents and we were in agreement that this was the next step in my journey with the Lord.
After my 4 weeks of training in Thailand, I will be moving over to Chennai, India to intern at the Living God Church with Sarah and Christo Emmanuel. I am so excited to meet their family and work with them in their city. I know they will be a blessing to me, as I endeavour to bless them and help with their efforts in reaching souls for Christ in India.
I know there will be trials and times when I will feel discouraged; I hear life in India can be challenging. BUT I’m putting my full trust in God! Expecting that my life will be changed through this experience!