Meet Kayleigh Boveri coming to ISM 01.16 – Internship – Breakthrough Thailand

Hello, my name is Kayleigh Boveri and I will be starting my internship in January of 2016.

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I grew up in a very supportive and religious home that consisted of attending church every Sunday with my family for as long as I can remember. As I got older and my parents gave me the opportunity to decide if I wanted to continue with my faith, I fell away from God for a period of time. Midway through my freshman year of college I began to feel as though there was something missing in my life and decided to attend a trip with National Community Church to work with both The Well in Bangkok and Breakthrough Thailand in Khon Kaen. I was sincerely challenged in my faith during that two-week period. While I was there I saw a lot of hardship, while simultaneously noticing God’s constant love showered over each and every girl and woman in the program, making me want to have a larger part in it. That trip truly stretched me and helped me rediscover and commit myself to a greater relationship with God.

Since leaving Thailand I have had a constant itch to return to this beautiful country. I also felt strong ties to the sex trafficking industry and wanted to continue to influence it in any positive way possible. This year I was notified that I had the opportunity to graduate from college a semester early and wanted to be sure that I spent that extra period of time working towards something meaningful which truly meant something to me. Thailand and Breakthrough Thailand were the first thoughts that came to my mind. I was extremely excited when I saw that ISM offered internships for Breakthrough Thailand, and was even more excited when I received my acceptance.

While I have previously worked with the organization and am somewhat familiar with it, I know that there is much more room for spiritual growth. I hope to have a positive influence during my duration of the trip and learn a great deal as well. I know that this trip will only deepen my faith and His light will shine through every aspect of it. I cannot wait to return to Southeast Asia and witness all of the glory that He is conducting!

Meet Joel Fabok coming to ISM September 2015 – internship NightLight

Hello, my name is Joel Fabok, and I am very excited to start this next adventure in my life at ISM in Bangkok, Thailand.

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I am 20 years old and I was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. I grew up in a Christian home where God has always been the first priority. I became a Christian at three years of age, and rededicated my life to Jesus at fifteen years of age. That is when God became very real in my life.

Currently I am working as a manager at a local McDonald’s. I have turned my work into my mission field, telling people about the gospel, and building relationships. God has reminded me wherever I go, and whatever I do it’s all for his honour and glory, and I am so thankful for the conversations and the way God has used me.

I am excited that my wife and I will be coming to Bangkok to serve, learn and help in anyway we can. To go low and slow and love the one in front of us, too reveal the love of the Father is what we are so excited to bring. Seeing people saved and set free is what God has made me extremely passionate about. Something I live and have lived by is to, Love people and bring God’s presence wherever I go.

As excited as I am to start the ISM training, to learn, experience and get more revelation of who God is, I am just as excited to start my internship with NightLight. Building relationships, seeing men set free, and them being released into their destinies is what excites me.

Mark 16:16-18
John 13:34-35

These two verses have and continue to play a big part in my life.

Can’t wait to see what’s to come!

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

A Journey of Many Choices

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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

Best fundraising ideas EVER for your missions internship

Fundraising can be daunting.  I’ve been fundraising for 10 years and I want you to know that God inspires people to give but you have to do the work.  The ministry you are partnered with is counting on you.  A few important things to remember:
 fundraising
1.  People want to give so you have to let them know about the opportunity.  How do you do that?
– an email with all the details about what you are doing and why you are doing it.   State in the email how much money you need exactly and when you need it.   Let them know how they can give – if online – provide the online link – or through a cheque – where do they send it? What do they write on the cheque? Then you need to write updates to the people you’ve sent the email to tell them how much you’ve raised. Keep them in the know about how the fundraising is going. Mail Chimp is a great way to send good looking emails with a donate button right in the template.  I know several students who have raised their entire budget from an email (but don’t depend on this method alone). You have to keep sending updates and following up.
2.  Meet with people – get together with friends, your boss, your neighbours, church friends and friends of your family and tell them you really need their support. Tell them how much and when you need it.
3.  Hold a party at your house all about the country of your internship, culture, language – have food  from the culture- put together a presentation and give them the opportunity to give that night.
4.  If you are artistic, sing, play, draw, dance – whatever your skill set is, use it  to raise money – have a music night, talk about your internship, ISM and give them an opportunity to give
5.  Ask your young adult ministry if they’d do a fundraiser – Dessert auctions really go well.    Ask all your friends to make cakes, your pastor etc – and let people bid.  Auctions bring a lot of dollars in.
6.  Use social media – every form of it.   Update people regularly.
7. Speak to the Congregation – Sometimes church leaders will allow you to speak to the congregation about the missions trip, which can elicit financial support. Some churches will even conduct a special offering to help students raise funds for the trip. You can even attend different small group functions to talk about the trip and raise funds.  You have to ask.  The worst thing they can say is no.

8. Advertise Your Mission Trip. Most churches have a weekly bulletin, and some even have a website and newsletter. These are all great places to advertise your mission trip and how to give. Ask if its possible.
9. Raise Your Own Money. Sacrificial giving is often the most rewarding. In order to get some of the finances you need for your trip, you may want to sacrifice some of the activities that cost you money like weekly trips to Starbucks, movies, eating out, or new clothes. Instead of getting presents for your birthday, why not ask for financial support for the mission trip?
9. Frequent Flyer Miles. Some airlines allow the donation of frequent flyer miles to non-profit groups. If someone you know is interested in donating the mileage to you , be sure to check with the airline first to see if your mission trip is eligible.  Your flight is on top of your budget so this may help to cover the cost.
10.  Have a huge garage sale with your all your friends, family and maybe even the church- Get everyone to donate their items, and make sure the sale is advertised and open to the general public.
11.  Ask your young adult pastor or your church if it would be possible to have a jar in the foyer of the church or at every young adult event and do a “Change for Missions” jar. Over a period of three months ask the members to give their change for the missions trip.

12.  If you like you can break your budget down into bite size pieces and figure out how many people you need to give 25, 50 or 100 dollars and present it to people that way.
The key is to do everything you can think of.  A couple things to remember:
– it sometimes takes a while to see your first donation – don’t worry – you do the work – the money comes in.
– you aren’t begging – you are giving people an opportunity to spend their money on something that lasts for eternity.  They can wrap their arms around the world with you.
– people WANT to give to someone who is passionate about what they are going to do – so be enthusiastic about it.
– the people you expect to give may not and people you never dreamed would give do.
– friends who don’t follow Jesus will also give IF you present to them the WHY of the trip – show them the need
Once you Go
Update FB, twitter – send emails, take videos and post on youtube, use instagram, start a blog to keep your supporters in the loop.  The number one reason people don’t keep supporters – they don’t stay in touch.  One day you might be coming back or need supporters for another chapter in your life so do this well and you will have life long friendships.
God inspires people to give when you tell them your need! It will come!

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.

ISM has a new partner – SPM Project in Bangkok! Check out this exciting and unique opportunity.

SPM PROJECT UP CLOSE!

Purpose: To see people in the second largest religion in Thailand come to know the love of Jesus.

Internship Details

Students must be 20 years old to apply. Possible Activities (please note that the details of your daily schedule may vary depending on current ministry needs): Teaching English to students, children’s activities, teach sport and/or engage in sport activities, serve coffee, baking and related things to our coffee shop, spend time with students, build relationships and share about Jesus, learning some Thai (We want the intern to have 4 weeks of intense Thai in the beginning).

Hours (please note this may vary depending on ministry needs): approximately 40 hours/week.

Technical Details

Housing (please note that housing options may change depending on availability, but will be within the budget and safety requirements established by ISM): There are many student rooms where we have our center where volunteers can stay. Included is bathroom, air con, a bed, a desk and a wardrobe. (There is no kitchen or fridge)

Estimated Budget Per Month: 800 dollars per month

Other notes from your hosts:

Dress code: Since you are working with the second largest religion in Thailand t is important to think about how to dress. To dress appropriately is about showing respect, but also to be a person they can respect and want to listen too.

Ladies have to wear long skirts or trousers. Shirts or blouses need to cover the elbow. No tight jeans (no skinny Jeans)

Men needs wear long trousers as well but they can wear T-shirts or something similar. When playing sports it is different for men and then they can wear sports clothes. For women, still longer trousers but it is ok with T-shirt, but not too slim.

Code of Conduct: As we preach the gospel more with our lives than our words it is important to try to think about behaving in a Christ-like way. It is important to have an open mind and an open heart.  An obvious thing to note- girls cannot talk to boys alone is not appropriate. In a group we can be mixed genders but not when we are alone.

We try to live in a way that honours God this influences how we dress, eat, speak and behave.

For more info about this exciting opportunity please write us at infoism@impactasia.ca

The Dad with the Bad Kids

  • Sarahr

    Well my third and final internship is coming to a close. And although I am stoked out of my mind to go home and see my family and all my pals, I am very sad to leave this one. I was sad to leave all of them. But for some reason, my time in India feels unfinished. I will make no promises of returning, because it’s not my place to know the future. But something has stirred within me, a fire that won’t be put out so easily. Whatever I end up doing with my life, I can never again feign ignorance for the lack of proactive action fighting for social justice in our world. That was a mouthful, basically what I mean is that I cannot pretend that I have not learned what I have learned here. You can’t ignore a bullet that hit you right in the heart. Maybe I can only make a lasting difference in the lives of a few street kids. But that would be so worth it. To give a few kids a chance in life that should be their human right. I certainly can’t save the world, but I can do my part. If I backed away now it would certainly be a greater wrong than if I had remained in my bubble of ignorance.

    Don’t freak out those who love me that are reading this. I’m still getting on that plane tomorrow. I’m actually planning on going back to school for a couple of years if all goes well so I’ll be living in Canada for a few years yet. And social justice also needs to be fought for on Canadian soil.

    What I am really trying to communicate is that I have learned so much from my time at ISM. During this last internship I was sick so often that it just became a joke. But I have encountered a part of God that I had only glimpsed before. I have known God as the sovereign creator, and God as my closest friend for almost my whole life. But now I also know God as the dad that fights for every one of his kids, who has made bigger sacrifices and has shown more grace than any earthly father even has the capacity to give. Who is reaching out to even the most rebellious of souls, always.

    This has been a very important 7 months in my life. I can feel the weight of it. My faith has solidified on a solid rock where it was pretty shaky before.

    So here’s to the God that chooses to be our dad, even when we’re the worst kids ever.

    For Narnia! And for Aslan! (Just thought I’d throw that in there)

  • Sarah Ricker – ISM 09.14

Meet Benjamin Ekres – coming to ISM September 2015 – internship Place of Grace

Hi! My name is Benjamin Ekres. It’s with great joy when I say that I will be joining ISM in Bangkok, Thailand this September! (2015)

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For the past 21 years, I’ve been living in Guelph, Ontario in the beautiful country of Canada. I was raised and continue to live in a home where Christ is in the center. In my youth, I truly learned what it was to have a living relationship with Jesus. This was after I tried to seek contentment and purpose outside of His will for my life (which I’m learning is the BEST thing in the whole world). He welcomed me back with open arms and revealed to me by His Spirit that He truly loves me! He has continued to change me and is propelling me into a life of service to others and ultimately Him self.

I will be graduating College with a diploma in Radio Broadcasting this April. That being said, I know the plans I had going into my school career have definitely changed… I thought I would most likely start my career in broadcasting upon graduation… But as I spent more and more time in thought and prayer about this concept, my passion for the idea began to fade. It was not without a replacement thought, mind you. God had planted a passion for missions in me at a youth conference called Overflow (probably in 2010-11). It was there that I saw an ISM booth and was instantly intrigued. When I heard about what they were doing, I got PUMPED. I thought to my self “Wow. This is something I would like to do… and probably something God wants me to do…” It’s funny how God works… because here I am, several years later writing a profile for my acceptance at Impact School of Missions!

I’m excited to see how God will move as I intern with “Place of Grace” starting in October. The thought of serving kids and youth who live in the slums of Thailand is not only humbling, but also encouraging. It is my hope that I will be able to pour into their lives and be Christ’s hands and feet within the context God puts me in.

This verse is lengthy, but it’s one I feel lead to share:

Peter 1:3-7

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ…” 

 

Thank you Jesus! I can’t wait for what’s in store!

How can I believe in God when there is so much suffering?

When you come the mission field, you can’t go a day without seeing pain. Horrible pain.  It’s easy to start ask God ‘WHERE ARE YOU?’  ‘Don’t you love people?’  ‘If you love people why don’t you intervene?’  It’s okay to ask God these questions but it may reveal a lot about where you are in your relationship with Him.  So how to do you walk through those thoughts and even doubts about the love of God?

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As a side note – It is fascinating that I’ve never been asked this question by people living in India, Thailand, Vietnam or Cambodia  who certainly knows a lot more about suffering than we do. Why?

When we ask this question the complaint is against God’s character: ‘Can I really trust God when I see so much pain?’ If you are sure that you can trust Him, regardless of the pain you see or are experiencing , there is no temptation to turn away from Him because He is the only one who can help.

Maybe the reason we question God’s character when bad things happen or we see suffering is that we live lives largely independent from Him. In other words, do we actually trust Him even when things are going well?   When life is easy we don’t really need to trust God for anything.  I think for many this can cause us to live as Christian Atheists.  We are Christians but we live like God doesn’t exist.

As I mentioned, I have never been asked questions about God’s love and suffering by people living in SEA. In fact, when I visit churches in parts of the world where they are faced daily with great pain and suffering, they inspire me.  They aren’t asking, “where is God?” They trust God in everything,  Suffering is part of life, part of being human and living in a fallen world.  They don’t expect life to be perfect, in fact they expect suffering.   When times are really hard, they cling to Him because they have already learned to trust Him when things are good and they know when things are bad that there is no other answer but God.  They can’t take a pill,  get a job, borrow money or run to a government agency for help.

Maybe we struggle with suffering so much in the West because we are so comfortable and ‘safe’ most of the time that we feel we don’t need God.  We don’t rely on Him on a daily basis and therefore we don’t really know Him as we should.  I think this is at the heart of asking ‘why?’ When suffering comes along, it is not so much that it takes us away from God, but it reveals to us that we haven’t actually had to really trust Him or we haven’t been close to Him in the first place.

What should we do?  Often when we are upset by our circumstances the first thing we should do is the last thing we do.  The best thing you can do when you are upset or confused is to get into the Word of God and pray.  If we aren’t close to Him in the first place, the last thing you want to do is spend time with Him.  If you’ve been a Christian for awhile it’s so easy to do and say the right things and not even really believe them.  The Word of God is supernatural and spending time hearing the voice of God through the Word helps give you the right perspective and helps you to know who He really is.  To know HIm is to love Him.  If you aren’t in the Word you can’t remember the truth and start doubting basic things like GOD IS LOVE which is true regardless of the circumstance.  The Word reminds you of that on every page.  If you don’t feel like reading the Word or praying start by asking God for a hunger and thirst for Him.  Ask Him to help you to fall in love with Him.  Forcing yourself to read the Bible and pray isn’t the way it was meant to be.  If you have to force yourself it probably means your love is waning.  Love drives us to be with Him.  If we aren’t in love with Him we’re likely  living on the fumes of former days where we did vibrantly love Him and that’s why we starting doubting and asking why.   Another helpful thing is to talk to people in the midst of suffering who have an unshakeable faith in God.   Their joy in their pain helps you understand what faith looks like and that circumstances don’t need to affect faith because God is trustworthy and He never changes.

The good news is. even in the questioning,  He loves you – He is used to His children trying to live in their own strength or running from Him and yet , if you cry out – He’s standing right there.  Arms outstretched – waiting.

Meet Jenn Johnson coming to ISM 09.15 – Internship – Samaritans Creations

Hi! I am Jennifer Johnson and I’ll be starting my internship in September 2015 at Samaritans Creations in Bangkok.

jenn

I grew up in the church and I have been blessed with an amazing family and lifestyle. I have never had to want for much. I am so thankful for all that my life has been this far. But I can’t help but feel that this blessing also hinders me. The devil hides and captures people in satisfaction and mediocrity. I am a daughter of the living King as well as a daughter to my father and treated as such by many close family role models. I have been surrounded by amazing men my entire life, men that have taught me to bring this world more good than bad, to never stop fighting for an intimacy with God, and to love each and every person with a passion, just as God loves us.

Being dipped into the world I have found that everyone desires to be loved, and not everyone has gotten a chance to feel the kind of divine love that is ready to be poured out upon them. I feel called to share this drowning love with others that I have been so fortunate to feel for myself. I have found freedom in knowing our Creator and Father. And in knowing him I have found so much grace, mercy, and rest.

God has taught me many lessons in the past four years that I have spent at school and the main thing I know now is that I need to get up and go with His light shining on me, my walk in faith needs a leap and he is calling me to empower women. Faith in God has grown as I consistently call on him for a path. From all angles in my life sexual trafficking as been brought up, and now that I know so much about the topic, I feel like God has put this directly in front of me for a reason. I am an equality advocate; racial and gender prejudices make me cringe. I feel so honored to have been loved by my Father in heaven, and my earthly Father, I feel it would be selfish of myself to not share this love with as many people as I can.

There is one verse that is constantly consuming my mind; I think the world needs to hear it. Psalm 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”