Moments of Impact – Monique Beuglet

Monique’s reflections about  training at ISM and internship at NightLight. Re-blogged with permission

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MOMENTS OF IMPACT
March 25, 2014 
“The moment of impact provides potential for change. It has ripple effects far beyond what we can predict.” – The Vow

A single moment has the power to change your life. It can change your future, your present, and even your outlook on the past. I have been so blessed to have had many moments like these over the past seven months. I thank God for opening the doors for these moments, moments that I will cherish in my heart for years to come. As my time in South East Asia is coming to an end, I thought I would share a few of my most cherished moments.

Prison Ministry, September (ISM)
Doing prison ministry at Bangkok’s Immigration Detention Centre was one of the most powerful experiences of my entire life. It was humbling, challenging, eye opening, and made me question my faith. I walked towards the fence lined with refugees, the fence separating freedom from captivity, with an attitude of superiority. Superiority in the sense that I was expecting these refugees to be hopeless and alone, in need of my help and encouragement. I was going to walk up to that fence and share the love of Jesus with people who needed it the most. God had other plans. As I walked away from the fence an hour later, my attitude of superiority had been replaced with humility, respect, and amazement. I was left speechless. For the duration of the entire visiting hour I did not serve, but was being served and ministered to by the prisoners. From spontaneous worship to prophetic words and prayer, it was one of the most impactful experiences of my life. All of the refugees were full of such joy and happiness. They had an unwavering faith that I was envious of. They had nothing. They were separated from family, persecuted for their faith, indefinitely imprisoned in a foreign country, yet were more trusting in God than most people in North America, including myself. I will never forget the faith of the IDC refugees.

Christmas at NightLight, December
Christmas. It was a time of sadness, but also a time of joy. I was missing my family, our traditions, the snow, singing Christmas carols in church, and the holiday spirit at home. There was Christmas music playing in the malls downtown Bangkok, some Christmas trees and lights hung around the parts of the city where most Westerners and tourists flock to, but other than that it was as if it was mid August, 30 degrees and all. However, being away from the consumer centred holiday in North America allowed me to experience the true meaning of Christmas. Instead of shopping for gifts for my friends and family, I helped put together hundreds of gift bags which we later handed out to the women working in the go-go bars of the red light district. Instead of singing Christmas carols in church, we sang Christmas carols inside of a brothel, and then walked across the street and sang on the steps of another. Instead of giving gifts to my family, we went into slums throughout Bangkok and handed out gifts with the Thai women employed by NightLight. Instead of celebrating Christmas with family and friends, I celebrated Christmas Thai style with the NightLight family. December was a month of many blessings and joy.

The Critical Shift, January 2014
7 months living in South East Asia seems like a long time. That turned into what I thought was an eternity during my first 3 months in Bangkok. I went through my daily routine dragging my heals, being irritated by cultural differences, and complaining about the heat. But then there was a shift. I didn’t realize it for a while, but when I did it was one of the most important moments of my time here. I had stopped checking the weather in Ontario, I had stopped looking at the weekly worship schedule at my home church, I had stopped wishing I could eat Western food. Instead of counting down the days until I was home, I was counting the days before I had to leave, not wanting my internship to be over and shocked at how fast the time was flying by. This shift in thinking changed everything. The things I had done before with a poor attitude now gave me joy, new doors began to open with new opportunities, I began building deeper relationships. I stopped mentally living at home, and instead I began to feel at home here. And what a difference that made. I am so thankful that I was able to discover the joy that God had for me here.

Outreach
I will never forget my first night on outreach. My past experience walking through the red light district was full of anger and a feeling of defeat, but walking into the bar and coming face to face with Bangkok’s notorious sex industry for the first time on outreach I was surprisingly filled with joy and hope. Joy and hope that could only come from God. I have seen and experienced so many things on outreach that I will never forget. Every week I have the privilege of going into the go-go bars and talking with women, women who wear numbers and are chosen by men as an item for sale. We have handed out invitations to medical clinics, given roses to women on Valentine’s Day, and given gifts to women on Christmas. I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of NightLight’s outreach team for the past seven months.

Art & Worship
I brought my violin with me to SEA thinking that I would need it for my first month of school, and then it would collect dust under my bed for the remaining six months. I am so happy to say that that has not been the case. Twice a week I have the privilege of being a part of “The NightLight Band” in morning chapel. I watch women worshipping God, women whose lives have been completely transformed, rescued and set free by Jesus. For the past six months I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to serve NightLight through art as well. From painting a wall mural to designing an eight panel chalk board menu, and all kinds of small projects in between, it has given me so much joy to be able to use the gifts God has given me for His Kingdom. What has given me the most joy though, has been teaching an art class to a handful of the NightLight women. Our Friday afternoon class is the perfect end to the week. Being able to share art with them, paint together, and see their creativity flourish is such a beautiful thing.

 

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Creative Life Foundation is now in partnership with ISM! Interns wanted!

Creative Life Foundation is looking for ISM interns.

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Purpose: Creative Life’s mission is to respond to the poor, marginalized and displaced people of Thailand with holistic educational, therapeutic and creative projects to address their mental, physical, emotional and spiritual needs. They do this through the creation and management of: Creative Life Education projects, Soul, MINAS, Palanjia and Re- store.

Internship Details

Creative Life Foundation is located in the heart of Bangkok.  There are many options in this ministry for intern to use their education and skill sets.  Possible Activities: (please note that the details of your daily schedule may vary depend- ing on current ministry needs): Depending on your skills and talents, you may help with teaching refugee children, Minas (pesto and peanut butter making and sales), Soul art therapy and counselling (if qualified), urban gardening, and a variety of other activities

Hours (please note this may vary depending on ministry needs): Mon-Fri 09:00-16:00, possible evening and night teaching to children in a red light area, possible evening and weekend activities.

Street Outreach establishes and deepens relationships with families who beg on the street mainly in the notorious red-light district, putting children and women at great risk for sexual exploitation. In valuing relationships we consistently visit our friends on the streets where they beg to offer encouragement, prayer and service.

To apply please go to www.ismsea.com

“I’m passionate about missions” – do I really need on the ground training?

onthegroundBefore opening ISM in 2012, I personally had 16 interns come and intern with me through NightLight International.  I began working with NightLight in 2006 and I had the privilege of being the volunteer co-ordinator there for 5 plus years along with coordinating interns, volunteers and short term teams.  The  interns often lived with me and I spent quite a bit of time helping them understand working in Thailand, discussing do’s and don’ts, walking them through culture shock,  role loss, homesickness and understanding missions life.  I knew that if I didn’t handle these questions, the ministry would have to.  I also showed them how to navigate the city of Bangkok.  Some of the interns prepared by reading books, talking to other short termers but books and chats cannot replace on the ground training by long term missionaries.  Short termers have some experience in missions but without living on the ground your understanding of missions life is limited.  In 2012 I opened ISM so I could send interns all over South East Asia to intern.  So many ministries (25 working with ISM) are looking for trained interns.  During the training phase of ISM students are taught by a variety of missionaries and ministry leaders with missions experience from a few years to 30 years.   So why do you need on the ground training?

  1. You will learn from people who are fighting issues like poverty and slavery that tackling these problems have little to do with Facebook likes, tweets, and instagram photos.   Most of us come from a western understanding of these huge and famous problems in our world. These issues involve corruption at every level in countless nations around the world, organized crime and many cultural push factors.  Awareness and fighting slavery must be a priority and it’s a God given mandate, but jumping on a band wagon without realizing the complexities surrounding the problem it isn’t the way to combat such massive issues.  Training on the ground will give you insight and an educated understanding of how to move forward with intelligence.
  2. Cultural Sensitivity – When you come to another nation to serve you have to learn the basic do’s and don’ts in order to open people’s hearts.  As an intern its really important that you come as a learner and not as a tourist. It is crucial to get training from people who live on the field.  Years of experience working, loving and serving as a missionary is invaluable.    Reading stories, getting a degree, while important cannot begin prepare you for this.  Hands on training does.
  3. To learn that missionaries are just imperfect people.
  4. To learn how to deal with culture shock and culture stress.  Serving short term is an amazing and often a life changing opportunity but it isn’t easy. To uproot your life, be away from friends and family and learn to live another way with different cultural rules and norms is  challenging. Training helps you notice the signs of culture shock and stress and gives you helpful tools to cope and thrive.
  5. To learn that the way we do things in our home nations isn’t always the best way, its just different.
  6. To learn how to depend on the Holy Spirit.  The spiritual world is as real as the physical world. Without the Holy Spirit you are helpless.  “For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  Ephesians 6:12
  7. To learn how to die to self and kill your inner diva by actually having to give up some things.  Things other than chocolate and social media.
  8. To learn that loving people into the kingdom is really hard work.   Mission trips look nothing like living on the mission field. Internships are not missions’ trips.  A mission trip schedule is what missionaries do when teams come.
  9. To meet a variety of missionaries who have been living on the field for years.  You get to learn from experts who have made mistakes, and also have some great stories that will inspire you.
  10. So you are a blessing to the ministry hosting you.  After being on the ground for a month your eyes are starting to open to how things work in another culture.   You also have learned how to serve with excellence and what ministries need and want from interns.  You have learned to cope with living with other people that you don’t know, what the language barrier really means,  that your internship is not about you and that your primary role is to hold up hands of the warriors while they do battle.

We are honoured to have some of our  hosts  telling us that ISM interns are some of the best they’ve ever had.   Why?   On the ground training.

To apply go to http://www.ismsea.com

Sandra McIntosh
Director, ISM

Our new partner Global Connections Centre in Korat Thailand is looking for interns!

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Global Connections Centre

Global Connections Centre is a business as mission project that runs a cafe and teaches English. Their goal is to facilitate church planting in communities where there are none through making natural connections with the community and creating financial sustainability. They’d prefer to have interns for 6 months or more, but will consider a 3 month commitment.

Kevin and Jeh Sie Chan are the Directors of the Centre.  They come from Singapore and Malaysia respectively, but lived in New Zealand for over 10 years before moving to Thailand.

Internship Details

Possible Activities (please note that the details of your daily schedule may vary depending on current ministry needs): You may be involved in teaching English and building relationships with local people, playing board games with students, working in the coffee shop and taking Thai language classes if you are coming for more than 6 months.  

Hours (please note this may vary depending on ministry needs): mostly evenings, all day Saturday, possibly other times as needed.

Korat Thailand is a very safe city located about 3.5 hours from Bangkok.  

If you’d love to serve this growing ministry please apply for your internship at www.ismsea.com