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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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.

Meet Kristen Thompson coming to ISM September 2014 – Internship NightLight

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Jesus met me in a love story and changed my whole life–He flipped my world, transformed my family and healed my heart. He brought me from the desert of Texas to a small town in Pennsylvania where I grew up among my five brothers and sister. After graduating high school in 2012, God led me to serve on a music ministry team touring the U.S. where I met people who would forever altar my perspective of faith and love–it was during this time the Holy Spirit revealed the nation of Thailand to me as our ‘next step’.  

 
I have seen God do amazing things–I have witnessed miracles and have watched strongholds being broken in the name of Jesus. My hopeful anticipation for His glorious work being done in this hour grows with every word and direction He gives. I can’t wait to experience Him in greater measure than I ever have before. I can’t wait to fall more in love with a people whom He is head over heels for. 
 
“Do not fear, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name. You are Mine! …When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.  When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you…For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” 
(Isaiah 43:1-4, 19)
 

 

Hello and Goodbye!

This month we are saying goodbye to Jessica Pellowe

Jessica first heard the call to “go”  in 2010.  It’s hard to believe our first hello was almost 5 years ago!   Her first taste of missions life was as an intern with me at NightLight for 3 months and then she returned to Canada for a very short time before returning to SEA and teaching in Nepal for 6 months.  Jessica then accepted a teaching position for 2 years at a Christian School in Bangkok.  After her contract ended she became ISM’s School Administrator.  Jessica is an incredibly gifted woman who  has faithfully and competently worked along side of me from the inception of ISM.  She  has been responsible for putting many of the processes in place, teaching at ISM, and handling the finances and admin.  She has travelled to several nations visiting interns and partnered wiith me at women’s conferences.  For the past two years she has done much of the admin for our Regional Retreat.

We are thankful to the Lord for bringing Jessica to serve along side of me for the past two years.  We are praying the Lord opens a door for her in Ontario!   She will be missed.

Hello Ashton

Ashton McIntosh joined ISM on June 2nd 2014 as the Internship Co-ordinator. Thankfully, Jessica has been training her and preparing herfor the new group of students arriving in September.  Ashton has several years of administrative experience,  her Bachelor of Contemporary Ministry. and a heart for worship. She will be working with ISM until the spring of 2015.

Please pray for Jessica as she adjusts to life back in Canada and that the perfect job will come her way. Also please pray for Ashton as she adjusts to life back in Bangkok and for the incoming class in September.

Dream BIG!
Sandra McIntosh
Director, ISM

Is this your skill set? These opportunities could be YOUR internship

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Current Needs at Daughters of Cambodia

 

Expat Guesthouse Manager Trainer

Work alongside our Khmer managers providing support and supervision.
Training provided.
1 year commitment required.
Full time.

 

Expat Personal Assistant to the Director of Production & Design

Full or part-time
6 month minimum commitment.
Requirements:  Flexibility as the role will be multi-faceted, organized & methodical, administrative skills.

 

Expat PA to the Director of Outlet Businesses (Visitor Centre, cafes, nail spa, White Linen Guesthouse).
Full-time
1 year minimum commitment.
Requirements:  Flexibility as you will assist in all aspects of the businesses, attention to detail, methodical & organized.

 
 

Expat Accountant. 

To oversee Daughters Khmer accountant/bookkeepers and raise their skill level, implement finance procedures.
We use Quickbooks software at our 4 centres.
6 month minimum commitment.
Full time
These are current needs at Daughters.  If  they aren’t filled before September, they may be an option for internship.  If interested in this life changing opportunity, please go to www.ismsea.com to apply.

 
 
Current Needs at NightLight

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Outreach Center/Coffee shop staff

NightLight Bangkok has opened an outreach center and coffee shop in one of the red-light districts of Bangkok with the purpose of connecting with the community by providing a safe place of connection as well as good coffee. Various classes and events will be held out of this space to meet with the many needs of the area including medical clinics, English classes, job training, and more. We have hopes of turning this space into a 24 hour community center but need more staff to do so. For the coffee shop portion of the project, we currently are in need of 2-3 male staff that will help us to staff the late night/early morning shifts to be able to connect with the men that come into our shop/center as well as to be a male presence to help maintain safety. We are also in need of 2-3 female star to help the outreach activities to the women. These are part-time to full-time  positions. The ideal candidates will be able to commit at least 1 year. 

These are current needs at NightLight. You could do this on your internship should your skill set match their current needs.

go to www.ismsea.com to apply

Meet Karen Harvey coming to ISM in January 2014 – Internship at NightLight

Hi my name is Karen Harvey and I’ll be serving in Thailand with NightLight beginning in January 2015, seeking to shine God’s light in the darkness and bring hope and dignity to His daughters!  I’m a 2014 graduate of Hope College in Holland, Michigan, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Ministry.  Washington State is my native land, and mountains are my favorite kind of landscape!

 

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I grew up in the church and though there wasn’t a specific moment that I recall, I made the choice to follow Jesus around age nine.  I knew that this meant that I was loved and that God would not leave me.  Around this time, I began developing a passion for the oppressed and undignified of the world.  In high school, I went on mission trips to Mexico and Honduras that were profoundly impacting to me.  I realized my love of other cultures, serving those in need, and the ways that God can work outside of my own personal context.  I also met a wonderful missionary family doing their furlough in my hometown, which put the idea of being a missionary into my mind.  My faith grew a lot at the end of high school as I joined youth group and a small group Bible study and found Christian community for the first time.  I knew that I wanted a Christian college, and I chose to move across the country to attend Hope College- a small school with deep traditions, community, and faith.

 

I’m in my last weeks at Hope now and it has been so incredibly sweet.  I’ve learned what it means to give every part of my life to Jesus- to seek His glory in whatever it is that I’m doing.  I’m privileged to have witnessed God at work on my campus and in the lives of my friends.  I’ve learned so much about who I am in Christ and who God made me specifically to be.  I watched the sun rise over the Great Wall, adventured in Tibet, and learned more about myself than I thought possible during my semester abroad in China.  I got to live in God’s creation in Colorado and live life with the coolest teenagers I’ve ever met last summer.  I’ve been most blessed by a wide variety of friends and mentors who have taught me more about who God is and shown me love and grace when I don’t deserve it.  Even in the challenging times, God has taught me about perseverance and that He will ultimately use my struggles to reflect His glory.

 

One time of my college career that has been especially impactful is the summer between my sophomore and junior years that I spent serving at a children’s home in Kenya.  I saw God’s heartbreak for the orphaned and forgotten of the world, and how deeply He cares for His children.  I love to be His hands and feet, and He is good enough to let us do that!  After this experience, I sensed that the next phase of my journey would take me to women in sex-trafficking and that is what my experience in Thailand will be.  My journey to Thailand officially began at the Urbana conference at the end of 2012.  The speaker said something to the effect of “light isn’t needed where it’s already light- we’re called to shine light in the darkest places.”  I saw in my mind a red light shining in the darkness, and a pair of eyes, broken and without hope.  On my Urbana commitment card I committed to serving in missions and I wrote, “to bring hope and dignity to His daughters.”

This is my call for the year 2015.  I heard about NightLight through a friend, and remembered the name when I started research post-grad plans.  From there I got connected with ISM.  God opened and closed doors until I knew that Thailand was where I was going to be.  He has been so faithful, even in the smallest ways and I know that He will be with me just as He always has been.  I’m excited to join up with what He’s already doing in Thailand through NightLight!

 

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.

 

BIG NEWS – one of our ISMers Class of 09.12 – Maria is now the Director of Marketing and Relationships at NightLight

BIG NEWS!

It’s Official!!!

You are looking at NightLight Design’s new “Director of Business and Relationships” for their North American region! … almost.

What does that mean? It means that if we raise full funding for this brand new position by July 1st, I will be responsible for directing the business strategy and managing key stakeholder partnerships for NightLight’s social enterprise, NightLight Design, throughout their North American region. We believe the creation of this position will greatly enhance the long-term sustainability of this business, and therefore increase NightLight’s ability to impact the sex trade community in Bangkok.

In March’s newsletter, I will include the complete breakdown on this new position and the business plan we have been working hard to develop! 

In April, I will let you in on the biggest lessons I’ve learned since returning from Thailand… deep stuff. 

Thank you so much for your compassionate hearts towards the women in Bangkok and for partnering with me to impact this community.

Meet Sarah Waldrop coming to ISM January 2014 – internship – NightLight

Hi! My name is Sarah Waldrop and I’m a sophomore nursing major at Cedarville University in Ohio. 

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Sarah Waldrop

I’m going to be interning at Nightlight in 2014 and I’ve never been more excited to see what Christ is going to do! I’ve moved around my whole life, so although I was born in America, I can’t say that I feel most comfortable there.  My family has moved around to Panama, Papua New Guinea, Mexico, and South Korea, and now my parents have just moved back to Mexico. 

I am definitely blessed to have been born into a loving, Christian home, going to church my entire life.  I accepted Christ as my savior at a very early age, but looking back, I realize that I didn’t truly have a personal relationship with Christ then.  But by His grace He continued to pursue me, and grabbed ahold of my heart when I was in 8th grade.  I moved to Seoul, South Korea, my sophomore year of high school, and junior year is when God really moved in my life.  I had to go back to America because of a serious illness, and being away from my friends and family for almost a three month period was agony.  But it was through that experience that Christ opened my heart and mind to His will, reminding me that He is always by my side, even through difficult times.  He reminded me that His plans are always better than my own and through His grace He will carry me through every trial and hardship.  It was during that time that Christ truly changed my life, I believe, and He has been leading me on an incredible path ever since!

In my senior year of high school, I went on a missions trip to Thailand with a small group of girls from my school, and we worked with Nightlight and other ministries that aid in bringing women out of prostitution.  It was a fantastic week, and I learned so much about what Christ is doing in Thailand through these ministries.  Christ placed these ministries on my heart, and last year, while I was at university, He made it so clear to me in so many ways that He wanted me to go back and work with Nightlight.  I almost thought it was crazy, I thought that I had my life planned out all the way through college.  I was going to get a nursing degree and then go into ministry, but God’s plans are always different than I expect and are always infinitely much better.  Through so many amazing ways He opened doors and now I’m really excited to see what He has planned in 2014.  I hope and pray that He will use me for His glory, to heal broken hearts and build relationships that point to Him alone!  

 

Since Christ has called me to Nightlight, He has really laid this passage on my heart:

 

“The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me, because the LORD has appointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;”

 – Isaiah 61:1