Meet Joybelle Barlow coming to ISM 09.16 – internship, NightLight

Hello! My name is Joybelle Barlow, and I’ll be working with NightLight International in Bangkok, Thailand this fall!
image
About four years ago I attended a missions conference where I heard about modern day slavery for the first time. Today’s world houses more slaves now than ever before in history, and that fact alone broke me then as it does now. This brokenness has pushed me to co-lead an anti-human trafficking organization at my university for the past three years, walking the campus praying for victims, raising awareness about the magnitude of this issue, sending petitions to our local government, and fundraising in order to shed light on the darkness. With graduation approaching, I began to voice these passions with a professor, who put me in contact with an alumna who interned with NightLight, and so the journey began.
NightLight’s mission to bring hope and restoration to people negatively impacted by the sex industry stirred me. For years I have wanted to be on the field fighting in person, and have finally been given the opportunity through ISM. I graduated from the University of South Carolina this past May in International Business and Marketing, and am hoping to apply my business acumen, skills, and passions to NightLight’s mission and business. I believe the Lord places passions in each of us, and for the past few years it has been mine to fight human trafficking in whatever way possible. Isaiah 61:1 writes, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”
I know this journey will be hard, but I truly feel it’s what I’ve been called to do — to set the captives free and bind up the brokenhearted. Thank you for walking this road with me. I’m exited to share where it takes me and the lives I come across.
Advertisements

ISM has a new partner – MST Project (Men and the Sex Trade)

MST Project, (men and the sex trade) is located in Bangkok Thailand.   They seek to mentor men into a pursuit of sexual purity and greater wholeness.”  There are specific positions available.  Please go to http://www.mstproject.com/jobdescriptions/  You will need to apply through Impact School of Missions.  (www.ismsea.com)

box1

The MST Project is committed to achieving the above vision through focusing on these 3 avenues:

1. We are committed to engaging in ministry to men who visit red-light districts in Thailand and in pursuing follow-up meetings with these men when possible.

2. We are committed to seeing men walk in freedom through our HOPE Campaign purity course in 1-on-1 mentoring and group sessions. 

3. We are committed to partnering with the local expatriate church in running Real Men Pursuing Purity events and conferences.

If interested in doing an internship with MST Project you need to fill out the ISM application form and the MST Project application.  We will send you the link once we receive your ISM application. You will also be required to fill out a personal information document.

Their HISTORY

In 2007 I felt that God gave me a heart and vision to extend His grace and His love to men who visit red-light districts. On the night of November 1st I, along with a friend, went out to several of Bangkok’s red-light districts to see if this would work out on the streets that are world famous. The first red-light district we went to was bustling with normal activity and the several men we talked with was normal, but not necessarily a confirmation that this was the beginning of something divinely inspired. The second red-light district we went to was much like the first with a polite conversation or two. However, I begin to think that this may not have been anything more than a random nighttime thought. Before we called it a night we head over to our third red-light district of the evening. As we enter the area my friend notices a man that is sitting on a step outside a bar with two bottles of beer by his side. We walk over to him, introduce ourselves and begin a conversation.

This particular man begins to open up and share very personal moments from his life, moments of loss and hurt and a longing for something dear to him. We ask him if we can pray for him and in the midst of the noise and activity, we bow our heads. At one point during the prayer I look up wondering if the man has silently left leaving only my friend and I praying to ourselves. As I look up I see this man wiping away a tear or two and at that moment is when I sensed God speak to my heart. I sensed Him say that He sees the immorality of places like this, but He also sees the brokenness of some men who wonder its streets. I believe I saw what God saw that a night, a man who in the midst of that area was unable to stow away the loss and hurt in his life and heart. That night was confirmation to me that we are to be an extension of His grace and love to those who were willing to hear about it, and to be an example of redemption and restoration to men wherever they may be found.

Christian Lenty
Founder and Director

Meet Amy Kobelt -coming to ISM January 2016 – internship – NightLight.

Hi! My name is Amy Kobelt. After training in January 2016, I am excited to begin volunteering at NightLight in Bangkok for 5 months!

amy

I’m from Langley, BC (which is about an hour outside of Vancouver), and just this past April I graduated from Trinity Western University with my undergrad degree in Honors Psychology. I love the ocean, and anywhere outdoors. Singing and song writing are two of my favourite hobbies, as music has always been a huge part of my life.

I grew up in a Christian home, and have always been surrounded by family and friends who share my faith. Though I always believed, it wasn’t until my first year after high school that I realized I needed a personal relationship with Jesus to get me through life. By trusting and listening to what his plans were for me, I ended up going to Haiti for a month after my second year of university. This trip opened my eyes to what foreign missions looks like, and I learned more about how to rely on God daily, for the things that I need. He showed me how much he loves all of His people, and my heart was broken by the many dimensions of poverty I experienced there. At the end of the trip I knew that I wanted to try going on a longer-term trip, as one month wasn’t nearly enough time to effectively invest in the local community and learn from them. Throughout the next two years at school, I studied more about the complexities of social issues including gender inequality, poverty, prostitution and slavery around the world. This served to stir up a God-given passion in me to learn more about these issues firsthand, which led me to seek out missions opportunities targeted at sex trade workers. Cue my discovery of ISM and Night Light!

This past winter I began working at Mercy Ministries, first as a counseling intern, and then as a full-time residential support worker. Building relationships with these broken, but brave women has been such an honour, and I am excited to apply and refine my current knowledge-base through my upcoming trip with NightLight!

ISM/Internship helped open the door for a dream job in Canada – Jannelle Dyck

In her book Birthing the Miraculous, Heidi Baker writes, “The Lord is looking for those who are so in love with Him that they will say yes when they are wooed and still say yes when great sacrifice is required”. When I said “yes” to ISM and to 6 months serving in Cambodia, I was filled with excitement and anticipation. When I said “yes” to quitting my job, spending most of my savings, and packing my bags for a place unknown, I was also filled with some fear. I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know why God had called me to this place at this time, but I was certain that he had.

jannelle

My month of training with ISM in Thailand was incredible. I felt prepared for ministry in Cambodia and excited for what was to come. My “yes” was certain and palpable. In Cambodia I served with Daughters of Cambodia, an NGO that empowers survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation through alternative employment opportunities. My role with Daughters was as an Assistant Operations Manager for one of the restaurant/spas.

My first few months in Cambodia were difficult. Although I loved Daughters, I was sometimes frustrated with my role as I felt like I was essentially managing a restaurant and doing customer service, something I did not like to do. Another of other factors left me feeling discouraged and frustrated. My “yes”, while still there, was losing its heart and meaning. As the halfway point of my time in Cambodia neared, I decided I had to make a choice. I could choose to just get through the next three months, or I could choose to fight for joy and thrive in the plan that God had for me. This wasn’t easy- I truly had to fight and struggle some days. Some days my “yes” had a bit more grit to it than sparkle. However, the more I fought for joy, the easier it became. God filled me with a deep love for Cambodia, its people, and specifically the girls I was working with. God showed me that my role managing the restaurant gave me an opportunity to live out each day with these girls and to encourage and support them in such practical ways. I started to see how I could use my skills and experience as a caseworker on a daily basis, and was even able to help train the Khmer manager with some of these skills as well. By the time the 6 months were up, I didn’t want to leave. God had truly transformed me and my heart for Cambodia was full.

Coming back home, I felt a bit lost. It was difficult to translate the things I experienced in South East Asia back here in Canada. I knew I had to get a job, but I didn’t want just any job. I didn’t want to settle. God started a good work in me in South East Asia that I knew wasn’t supposed to just end upon my return to Canada. But I had no idea what that looked like. When I was still in Cambodia I started to make a mental ‘wish list’ of the type of job I wanted. It was very specific. For starters, I wanted to work with a non-profit, but I didn’t want to be doing front-line work. Specifically, I had hoped to continue to work in the area of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. I am also interested in potentially pursuing law in the future, so I wanted to be exposed to that environment as well. Not to mention I had to be qualified for the position and it needed to be somewhere close I could commute to. Honestly, I didn’t think this job existed. But God is faithful and He provides! A mere month after coming back from Cambodia, I found a job that was exactly as I had hoped for, down to the smallest of details.

I am now working as a Project Manager for an organization that works to prevent human trafficking and sexual exploitation of youth and children in British Columbia. I am coordinating the creation of a manual that will equip youth-serving agencies to recognize and report human trafficking of youth and better support victims as they go through the criminal justice process. The one difficult thing about this job is I sit at a desk most of my day. It can sometimes seem a bit separate from the work on the ground, but the end result of my work will hopefully help to rescue and support victims of this terrible crime. When I am lacking motivation, all I have to do is look at the wall behind my desk and see the photos I have of the girls I worked with.

When I applied for this job, I initially thought I was under-qualified. However, even though there were other qualified applicants, it was my experience in the field that tipped the scale in my favour. I had no idea that my experience with ISM and Daughters of Cambodia would directly tie in to my work once I returned. Clearly God had a plan: all I had to do was say “yes”.

Jannelle Dyck – ISM 09.2014

Meet Kaitlin Hicks coming to ISM 09.16 – internship at NightLight.

My name is Kaitlin Hicks, I’m coming to ISM September 2016 and I’ll be interning with Nightlight International in Bangkok.

Kaitlin

I’m from a collection of small towns across Missouri and Kansas in the United States. I grew up in a Christian home, and for the majority of my life my dad was my pastor. I received Christ as my savior when I was five years old but through the course of growing up and life I became very complacent in my faith and apathetic towards church and the word. Through missions trips, church camps, and youth conferences I would rekindle my passion, but it would almost always die away quickly. Thankfully during high school I really began seeking God, without the urging of my parents, and my faith began to grow into my own. After high school I completed a two year internship at Honor Academy of The Ozarks and through this program I became grounded in my faith and matured as Christian, person, and leader.

During my junior year God awakened a passion in me to help people in human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking. Instead of fading like so many things in my past, as I grew older the passion inside of me for this cause only strengthened. God gave me Isaiah 61:1-3 as the passage to stand on for my future and, as I prayed about it I knew God was calling me to this type of ministry. I currently volunteer with Nightlight Branson and I love it. I am so excited to come to Bangkok and intern there; it will be challenging, eye opening, and rewarding.

I also love Jesus, my siblings, my parents, serving in youth ministry, serving at Nightlight, and hanging out with my friends. I enjoy reading all kinds of books, writing, singing disney songs, watching Tangled over and over, and gummy bears.

Sarah Hayton ISM Class of Jan 2014 becomes the Daycare Manager at Daughter’s of Cambodia.

A Journey of Many Choices

sarahhayton

About this time last year, while I was in Cambodia I was already seeking the next step. Return to my old job in the UK? I had a couple of things that God said, one was to study His word and in a year from now I’ll know. I thought in a year I’ll know because I’ll be doing it… and study? What kind of study… lessons or to study his word more seriously on my own? After praying a lot I felt it was right to leave my current job, but after doing so I had a mini freak out. However God comforted me and reassured me that it was the right thing to do. It seriously was a huge deal to me, leaving a lovely team and a quite rewarding job. Nevertheless things seem to look more golden when you are not in the mist of it. Pushing doors and feeling as though I needed some type of security while in Cambodia I applied for another nursing job back in the UK but more of a safeguarding role. They called me for interview but it was the day before I left Cambodia and I was unable to re-arrange the interview. Once I arrived home I had a seriously busy month or two, but after taking time to rest and reflect and breath! I kept asking the same question… “so what’s next?” many people asked me “when are you returning to Cambodia?” or “what are you doing now?” All I knew was that I wasn’t retuning to Cambodia yet and my reply to the latter question was “I’m talking to you!” because that is all I knew, I was living each day as it came. I really don’t think in my time of waiting that any of it was wasted. I also felt as though God would honour my next step. I pushed many doors. I applied to work in safe houses in the UK. In the mean time I joined a nursing agency as I needed to get some pennies in. I thank God because I have got regular work through them. With lots of ‘nos’ coming back my way I took a break from seeking what was next. I asked God “if your going to honour my next step then why is every door shutting?” So I looked to what He told me in Cambodia and thought, study His word. So I applied to a Missions college (All Nations), looking around I couldn’t stop crying. It felt so peaceful and the place was so full of God’s presence. (I felt rather a foolish not being able to stop crying). I believe in the brief moment while I was looking around All Nations, God was healing me and confirming to me the call He has put on my life. I had such amazing talk with some of the tutors. I applied and was excepted in. While I was applying to All Nations I started a Beth Moore study on Daniel and learned so much from it. The doors also started to swing open, my old job offered me some maternity cover, which was so hard to turn down. A shelter I had applied to asked me to apply again. With every door that opened I just started to laugh. I love Gods sense of humor and His timing (well maybe I don’t ‘love’ His timing, He does seem to leave things to the last minute but it sure is perfect)! I also had a decision to make about which entry level I wanted to go into at All Nations. I believe God left it for me to choose. The decision of entry level was tougher than it should have been. Praying and seeking I met up with my uncle and we opened the book Operation World and looked up Cambodia. To our amusement it was supposed to be prayed for that day. Trying not to read to much into it but thanking Him for the confirmation that going to Cambodia was right. It was something I decided to put on the shelf for later. On one of my night shifts I was chatting to God and said. “God you need to tell me what I am to do, people will soon be waiting to hear my decision.” I heard God clearly, He replied “what do you want?” getting quite emotional I replied “To please you, that’s all I want.” any offer could be right. The conversation stopped there, but I didn’t feel that the conversation was over. When I returned home from my night shift, I checked my emails before heading to bed and I had received an email from Daughters of Cambodia asking if I was interested in returning. Again I laughed, it was a slightly different laugh though, more at the confirmation that this is the choice that God would be pleased with me to take. Therefore I am returning to Daughters of Cambodia in January 2016 as the day care manager. I didn’t see myself returning quite so quickly. I can clearly see that God gave me lots of options to show my true feelings. Even though I was acceptant of the other choices, none of them stirred me up or excited me as much as going back to Cambodia. During my time of applying to All Nations I wrote about how God called me to become a missionary from an extremely early age and I think it really helped me to realise that God has confirmed this calling in my life time and again. Even though I knew that I was called to go… it wasn’t a topic I was comfortable in sharing publicly mostly because I didn’t know when or where. Maybe you could say I became a little scared of it becoming reality rather than a dream. As I grew older the thought of living a life of faith made me feel as though people would see me as “strange” or that in some way I needed to change who I was because I didn’t fit the “norm” for a missionary. God told me before I left for Cambodia in 2014 to be myself, that small statement got me through a lot. I was surrounded by so many great godly people I felt a little inferior, but laying my insecurities aside he still used me and I know that He isn’t finished with me yet. I’m excited about returning to Cambodia (for at least 1 year), it is also a bonus that I will also know what to expect. I am still preparing myself a lot, I know the road ahead will lead in many tough battles. Therefore I’d appreciate prayers and support along the way, it truly means so much and please never forget how powerful prayers are.

Sarah Hayton

Showcasing our ISM internship opportunities – PT 1 – Ministry to Human Trafficking Victims and Women in the Sex Trade

Human trafficking - Concept Photo

ISM has 25 partners who want interns to receive on the ground training from Impact School of Missions.  We can partner you with the ministry of your choice depending on your skill set or education.  ANY education and skill set is useable!  Your internship will be tailored to match your skills however if the ministries current needs are outside of your skill set you may be used to fill in the gaps.

Our ministry options – Human Trafficking – Sex Industry (7 organizations)

1.  NightLight  – Bangkok, Thailand

NightLight is an international ministry located in Bangkok who provides alternative employment for Thai women working in the sex industry   NightLight also helps Trafficked women from many different nations by providing them with a safe house and helping them return to their home nation.

Our local offices build relationships with victims of commercial sexual exploitation and those who are at-risk and provide hope, intervention, rescue, and assistance by offering alternative vocational opportunities, life-skills training, and physical, emotional, and spiritual development to those seeking freedom. NightLight builds support networks internationally to intervene and assist women, men, and children whose lives are negatively impacted by the sex industry.

2.  Daughters of Cambodia – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Daughters is a NGO reaching out to victims of sex trafficking in Cambodia.  Daughters has a  Day Centre and a Sewing Room business. Daughters’ centre, in the heart of an area of Phnom Penh brothels, reaches out to girls working as sex workers and offers them ways out of this situation and into a life of safety, freedom and dignity, where they can find wholeness and become all that God created them to be.

A range of Services available at Daughters, from life-skills classes to counselling sessions, provide the resources, both external and internal, for girls to make healthy choices that will be sustained in the future.

Daughters also works with male transsexual sex workers –  Sons of Cambodia. As with girls in Daughters, the boys in Sons are similarly offered a job and life-changing opportunities at Daughters Day Centre. The boys commence in the Sewing Room trainee program, and upon graduation from there, they join Sons’ Wood Shop or Screen Printing Workshop.

3.  The Well – Bangkok, Thailand

The Well is a Christian ministry that serves women who have been victimized by the Thai sex industry and its effects.

The vision of the Well is to help transform Thailand through reaching sex industry workers and others at risk, training them as leaders, and sending them to reach others. The Well is named for the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman in John 4 that resulted in her introducing him to her village. The Well reaches out to women in in red-light districts or other places of brokenness, and offers opportunity not only for healing and restoration, but for training as change agents following the model of Jesus.

They receive financial support while working toward independence and leadership. Sometimes husbands and boyfriends are invited. The Well people in leadership in Bangkok, and for those leave, whether to return home or elsewhere, follows them up with practical assistance.

4.  Samaritans Creations – Bangkok, Thailand

Samaritan Creations ministry, helps women discover an alternative to life in the sex trade and about a loving God that wants them to be healed and free.

The ministry is primarily funded through the selling of products made by its members. Currently, we produce and sell jewelry, dolls, skirts, leather,  home parties, churches, special events, and Women at Risk International outlets. All proceeds from the sales benefit the members of Samaritan Creations.  Samaritans also has a cafe.  We believe that the sex industry in Thailand will only be defeated through the Gospel influence of believers and churches working for positive change in their communities. Therefore, church planting is also an important part of our strategy.

5.  Dton Naam – Bangkok, Thailand

Dton Naam is a 501c3 non-profit charity in the US, organized for charitable, educational and religious purposes. It is an independent, inter-denominational ministry seeking to rescue and provide after care for those individuals at risk or presently involved in the sex industry. (trans-sexual men) Dton Naam also received approval from the Thai government to be considered a foundation in Thailand on July 23, 2010. Our funding mainly comes from private donors, groups and churches in America. We currently have a day program in Bangkok helping Thai individuals leave prostitution, receive healing physically, emotionally and spiritually through companionship, counselling and training, while also being taught legitimate job skills. Where appropriate we serve the individuals financially so that they can finish or further their education and rebuild their lives with good physical and emotional health. Dton Naam also has a Coffee Shop/Bakery where men and women can learn new skills and work in a safe and legitimate job while receiving healing. We sell great coffee, cupcakes, other food and various forms of art created by the individuals in our program.

6.  Jewels in a Crown – Kolkata, India

Jewels in a Crown is a non-profit organization offering Kolkata’s trafficked and exploited women safe, alternative employment and a new life. As rare stones are discovered, cut,
polished and made beautiful, we know these ladies are radiant gems being

Kolkata is the capital city of the state of West Bengal and is an epicenter for human trafficking and prostitution. It functions as a transit place from where Indian, Nepalese and Bangladeshi women who come to the city, either independently or through agents, are taken to red-light areas in other cities such as Bombay, or even to other countries in the Middle East.” (Guilty Without Trial).

Economic depravation is one of the strongest factors in the lives of those who remain in Kolkata’s red-light areas. It is often young village girls, who are predominately illiterate, facing family breakdown, and poverty, who are tricked or lured into the sex trade. They are offered a good job in the city or a marriage that will see them out of the struggles they are faced with.

7.  Sari Bari – Kolkata, India

Sari Bari seeks the sustainable restoration of red light communities and the prevention of the exploitation of women and children in the commercial sex trade.

Sari Bari does not rescue women, but rather seeks restoration for those who have been trafficked or held in the sex trade by poverty and lack of empowerment. Approximately 65 percent of women in the red light areas no longer qualify for legal action in the form of rescue. While they were likely first trafficked in their teen years, many are now middle-aged and are trapped by circumstances that have bound them since childhood.

Helping to prevent new girls from being trafficked into the sex trade is the most effective way to combat sexual slavery. We hope to offer high-risk girls an opportunity to life-giving education and work that will protect them from ever entering the sex trade. To meet this goal, Sari Bari has located its third production site in a village that is a high trafficking area of India. Young women ages 17-25 and living in poverty are offered jobs at this site.

Additionally, up to 20 percent of Sari Bari jobs at our locations within the city are given to at-risk women who live in the red-light districts. These are usually daughters of women currently in the sex trade, who are uneducated and at a high-risk of being lured or forced into prostitution.  

Watch next week for ISM internship opportunities teaching English.

Unstoppable

Every time a session of ISM comes to a close I’m surprised at how quickly 4 weeks can pass.   For me the weeks are full of discovery.  Every class is different and every student has something unique to offer.  Even when we come from different cultures, and unique spiritual backgrounds, one thing that always remains the same:  The desire to bring hope to hurting hearts is the reason everyone comes.  How beautiful is that?  How amazing is it that we get to inspire this generation a little more, and that putting feet to dreams is a job? It’s a privilege to work with this generation, year after year.  There are so many beautiful young adults who are wanting to make Jesus known in the world and bring the GOOD NEWs to anyone who is willing to be be loved.  Pray with me that this class of 01.15 will be so filled with the Holy Spirit that through them His beautiful, life changing  presence is felt:

in the streets,

the taxi cabs,

the back of motorbikes,

on a bus,

in the market,

in the brothel,

on the train tracks,

in the mountains,

on the littered streets,

in the office,

and around every dinner table.

Be strong and courageous ladies – the Lord your God is with you.  Jesus’ love is a powerful, unstoppable force and He lives in you.

ISM Class of 09.14 talk

10574510_781455835233319_6807282888317329330_n

Julie Gosen

ISM has impacted me a lot this past month, a lot more than I ever anticipated. The classes, the teachers, the trips, even the dinners, were so informative and thought provoking. Lessons on culture shock, spiritual warfare, self reflection and everything in between. I got to wake up every single morning being excited for the day and encouraged by the teachers, and my fellow interns, that God is there beside me every step of the way. Through the classes, I got to have a deeper understanding of God and how to really hear Him which pushed me to work on my personal relationship with Him even more. Having prayer and worship every morning was another huge thing for me, pushing me to a more godly life, and enjoying every minute of it. Through ISM, God has taught me more about myself, His plans for me, how He created me, humility, understanding, compassion, healthy relationships and more. There’s so much more I could say but we’ll leave it with this, it’s clear what God is doing through ISM and I’m glad I get to be a part of it.

 

Jannelle Dyck

My experience with ISM has been transformational! The teaching is sound and incredibly practical, the environment for learning (Bangkok!) is amazing, and the staff and speakers are all incredible! In this setting I have experienced God in a whole new way. My faith has deepened and I have a renewed desire for the Holy Spirit to saturate every aspect of my life! I feel equipped not only for ministry but better equipped for life in general. To put it simply, these past four weeks with ISM have been life-changing!.

Sarah Ricker

I came to ISM expecting to learn a lot. However, not only have I been exposed to ideas and harsh realities in the world that I had no concept of before, but I have been made more aware of God’s love and heart for people than I have ever experienced in my life thus far. Jesus said himself, “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into the harvest field.” (Matthew 9: 37). I plan to live my life as a full time missionary, my time at ISM has confirmed that call on my life. But what stuck out to me the most was the huge need in the world for God’s love to be made known to all people. If a young person reading this is debating whether or not to go to ISM, and they feel God tugging on their heart, or speaking in that still small voice, then it may be time for them to step out in faith. Much like Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on water. God created us to do so much more than just sit in a boat, but we will only experience that if we step out in faith. And God is always faithful, even if we start to drown, he will always be there to pull us up.

Abby Zantingh

One month at Impact school of Missions is almost up, and to describe the way God has moved is like asking me to write out in tongues! From eating at the most fantastic Lebanese restaurants God ever created to worshipping God, He is Lord of it all. Prison ministry and children’s ministry are a few ways in which we realize God’s heart and serve Him through compassionate hearts, and classes that do not shy away from God, His word and His truth cause you to think and truly seek God. His face shines while you focus on Him for a month, and being surrounded by people who love Christ is a sure way to spark your flame! From riding with awesome taxi drivers to praying in tears over one another, God is waiting, He is ready, and He wants to bring revival! He loves ISM and is truly working through this school to IMPACT His children for His kingdom! I thank God for the blessing of being here Sept 2014, an experience God used to shape, equip and grow me, and I pray will always continue to do so for His sons and daughters!

 

Amanda Riebersal

I cannot believe that my first month in Bangkok, Thailand is coming to an end. It has flown by! 🙂 I want to thank you for all of your prayers and support. 🙂 I am going to do my best to share with you all that has taken place and all that the Lord is doing.

I have been interning at Impact School of Missions for the past four weeks and I have learned so much. At first, I was reclutant to sign up for the school because I wanted to serve and intern right away. I did not think it was necessary to come to this school; however, I am glad the Lord told me repeatedly to come. I have recieved valuable training, instruction, and experience. The Lord has used this school to equip me properly so that I will be able to effectively serve in my upcoming internship.

Even though there has been stressful times with adjusting to a new culture, it has been such a wonderful time. In the first week, we learned about the Thai culture and how to handle culture shock and stress. We had an introductory Thai language class to learn some of the basic phrases. Then, we learned about their customs, traditions, and beliefs in order to effectively serve, work, and minister to Thais.

The second week was Spirit week. We discussed basic Biblical principles about who God is and how He is calling us to live. We learned about the Holy Spirit and how to walk out in the annointing. During the third week, we learned about ourselves and how to partner with God. We learned about our personality type and our strengths and weaknesses. We discussed the importance of spending time alone with God and the power of prayer. Lastly, on the final week we were taught how to effectively minister and serve. They stressed the importance of understanding the environment we are in and how to be a light to those around you no matter what you are doing.

In addition to the classes, we also toured the area and did local out reaches. On two different Sundays we were in charge of the children’s ministry at two different churches. One church was in the slums and the other was at a refugee church. We acted out the parable of the lost sheep and after that did a craft with the kids. Also, we did face painting, made ballon animals, and played games with the children.

Another outreach we did was going to a Refugee School which had about 14 students. We shared our testimonies and got to know the students stories as well. Then, we helped them practice for their upcoming play. In addition, we went to a refugee prison and talked to those on the inside. I am not even sure how to describe that experience yet. Furthermore, we participated in a bible study and taught English to ladies who had come out of the sex industry. That was such an amazing opportunity and even walking around in the “Red Light District” was eye opening. We learned a lot about different ministries working in that area. There is NightLight reaching out to the ladies, MST is ministry to the men, and an organization reaching out to the gender confused. It is amazing to see what the Lord is doing in Thailand.

I am so thankful for this month because I truly feel like I am better equip to serve effectively in my internship for the next 5 months. I have learned so much from all the different speakers who came to ISM to discuss their ministry and how to be an effective missionary wherever I am at. I have heard so many inspiring testimonies and stories and it only possible because of the God we serve. There is nothing that He cannot do. His love and grace is never ending and it is offered to everyone. He is a personal God and I have seen that even more while being here. He cares for all people and He wants us to be the light to the world and point others to Him. I wish I could tell you all my stories but it would be a very long letter. However, if you want more details please let me know. I am excited to start teaching English in Chiang Mai on Monday.

Remember the Lord wants to use you right where you are at for the people right next to you. If we are in Christ we are all missionary. We all have a calling, gifts, and talents so just be you and walk out in the Spirit of the Lord.