Somebody’s Child – John Robinson – Place of Grace

The church is doing amazing things all over the world. Let’s celebrate all the good God’s beautiful people are doing EVERYWHERE!

One of our partners, Place of Grace is an amazing ministry that you could  chose to do your internship!  51WViKk5tnL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX342_SY445_CR,0,0,342,445_SH20_OU02_

John Robinson and his wife Gillian are the directors of Place of Grace.  John has written several books about his life journey.  “Nobody’s Child” described John Robinson’s journey from brutal foster homes, through borstal, prison and life on the streets, to his discovery of the transforming love of Christ.  His second book is Somebody’s Child. In 2004 he received the Unsung Heroes Award. “Somebody’s Child” continues John’s story.   It can be found at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Somebodys-Child-Story-Hope-And-Streets/dp/0825461499/ref=pd_sim_b_1/279-6693175-2783620?ie=UTF8&refRID=0Y9VTQ92RM11MY213YB0

John told me this week after he wrote Noboby’s Child God whispered to him, “you are Somebody’s child.”  He and his wife seek to help disadvantaged families living in the slums in BKK know they are loved deeply by God. To intern at Place of Grace please apply at www.ismsea.com

 

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Emily says thanks.

Re-blogged – from Emily Snow

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December 21: Thank you.

I’m on my way home. My first flight landed an hour early, which meant less time on the plane but a longer layover. So, I’m currently sitting in the Istanbul airport where I have been for around 5 hours now. For whatever reason after I make one transaction in this airport my debit and credit cards suddenly have a block on them- even though I have a flag on my account that I’m traveling through this exact city. It happened the last time I was here also. So that’s frustrating but I will survive. International travels…

ANYWAY. I want to write a bit more about my time in Thailand-specifically  all of the things I am most thankful for. So, in no particular order…

Impact School of Missions

This four weeks of training and fun could not have been any more perfect for my start to this adventure. I actually wish that I could sit in on the classes for another (or maybe 2 or 3 more…) terms just so that I can soak in more of the information that we were given. For those of you who don’t know, the school is split up into four broad topics: Culture, Holy Spirit, Personal, and Missions. During culture week we learned all about the dos and don’ts of Thailand (and India for those who were traveling there for their internships), the Thai culture itself, and what it looks like to be a foreigner living/ministering in another culture. The second week we learned about partnering with the Holy Spirit throughout our internships and lives. The third week we did personality and gifts testing to learn more about ourselves and why we interact with others the way we do and how God can use those traits. And finally the fourth week we heard from 7 different missionaries in Thailand about their specific ministries and God’s heart for His very diverse world of people. Throughout the first month we also had multiple opportunities to work alongside some of the ministries in Bangkok and we visited a few of the tourist hotspots.

One of the greatest parts about ISM is that it brought 10 very different, unique, beautiful women into my life (+Sandra, Jessica, and Peter). Although we were together for a brief time, it was truly a blessing to get a glimpse at their hearts and the beautiful ways God could, would, and will use them in this world. So, to Impact School of Missions- thank you.

Servantworks- The Well

When God first put Thailand on my heart, I never could have imagined the experience I would be blessed with when I got there. I am so thankful to say that I had the most incredible 2.5 months interning with The Well in Bangkok. I was and will continue to be so blessed by the people there. They taught me about acceptance, love, forgiveness, redemption and so much more.

Every morning I started my day with 3-4 Thai women in the “Baan Dek” (children’s center). It was here that I picked up the majority of my Thai, got to play and do crafts with the kids, and got to spend quality time really getting to know the other women I worked with. They practiced their English with me, and I (tried to) practice some Thai with them. In the afternoons I did a few different things. The first being spending a significant amount of time with my fellow intern, Kylie. She is one of the greatest blessings of my internship experience.  We went on a trip to a NE province together where we got to see another one of Servantworks’ ministries (Breakthrough-Thailand) and even got to help with the rice harvest! We also went with 1 or 2 Thai women every week to China Town, where we had the opportunity to build relationships with women working on the streets. We got to spend the first month playing games/getting to know the older kids who were off of school, spent a lot of time bothering Judy in her office, ate quite a few cupcakes and HiChews, and could almost always be found bent over laughing together. You would never be able to tell by our friendship that there is a 17-year age gap- and to be honest I could never really tell either. I also had the unique opportunity to teach a worship dance class 2 afternoons per week. Even after 13.5 years of dance, I never would have thought that my dancing could be used for ministry…let alone ministry in Thailand. God gave me a passion for dance as a child, but that passion was ultimately going to be used for His glory. So cool, right? My dance class also provided me with time to get to know a lot of the women at The Well, and to see their funny, beautiful personalities. My final day at The Well they gifted me with a time of thanksgiving and prayer. The women and staff shared their thanks with me for specific things, and then everyone (including the children) prayed over me. The tears were inevitable at that point, and behind them were the pains of grief which I am especially thankful for. To grieve is to have loved- and the love I experienced and shared at The Well is irreplaceable in my heart. So, to Servantworks and specifically The Well- thank you.

Monique

When I got off the plane in Thailand and had gathered my bags, I walked out of the airport and found Sandra with the “Impact School of Missions” sign and with a 6-foot tall Canadian girl. Little did I know that the first person I met would soon become one of my closest, dearest friends. We spent an awkward first couple of hours sweating at the dining room table and making small talk- and from then on we were pretty much inseparable. I knew that I would make friends while I was there, but I never expected to have any of them become one of my best friends. Our list of adventures together is LONG but usually included a mall/bookstore, a motorcycle, a TV series, an adventurous/surreal trip around Thailand, or just talking at a coffee shop. Also, laughter. ALWAYS laughter. This girl prayed with me, encouraged me, opened up her heart to me, and loved me. What more could I ask for, honestly? It was such a divinely orchestrated friendship, and I have been so blessed by it. So, to Monique- thank you.

Support System

When I got on the plane to come here, I left behind my incredible friends and family. Throughout my time in Thailand I received so much encouragement and prayers from home. I received Facebook messages, emails, letters, a package, and had countless Skype dates. One thing that I was told on my last day at The Well came to one of the staff members during the time of prayer- it was two words: rootless, and rooted. He told me he was thankful that I was willing to be rootless in leaving behind the people and places I loved to follow the Lord’s call, and saw that in that I was still rooted in Christ. So, I need to say thank you to all of the people who supported me in coming here-financially, in prayer, and in encouragement. Without you guys I would not have experienced the Lord in the unique ways I have, I would not have met all of the people and organizations listed above, and I would not have gained the knowledge I have from my time overseas. So, to all of you at home- thank you.

Zachary

My guy gets his own thank you, even though he was a major part of the support system I talked about already. It is with so much joy that I get to call him my boyfriend and that I get to be reunited with him in 15 short hours. My sweet Zack has (aside from God) been my biggest encourager in my time away. He committed to dating me long distance for 3.5 months, which in and of itself was a big step of faith- but in that time he also committed his life to whatever the Lord had for him. Therefore, our time spent apart has become a huge blessing. The Lord has so evidently grown each of us individually, which has made our relationship even more of a joy to pursue. While I was in Thailand Zachary prayed for me, and constantly told me he was doing it. He played worship music for me when I was having melt downs, and he was a voice of reason and reassurance when the heaviness of my internship seemed as if it were too much to handle. So, to Zachary- thank you.

(First and last Skypes in Thailand!)

God

To the Lord of the universe from whom all blessings flow- I am eternally grateful for the sacrifice made on the cross that has saved me from my sins. He has so evidently (as you’ve read) worked in every situation for my good and I’m so excited to give all glory to Him. So, to God- thank you (infinity times over).

So so so thankful for this exciting journey of life that I’m on, and so so so excited to see everyone in the coming weeks.

-E

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         

 

 

In your Face! – 7 reflections of witnessing sex trafficking and exploitation.

7 Reflections From 7 Months of Witnessing Sex Trafficking & Exploitation in Bangkok, Thailand (while interning for NightLight International). 

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1. GOD, WHERE IS YOUR GOODNESS? What is ‘humanity’ and at what point do people lose it? Why can’t I stop my soul from this painful grieving and sorrow?… These are the thoughts that I’ve often had to process through with God over the past seven months. Humanitarian workers across the world go through some tough, faith-testing stuff (second-hand trauma). They see some of the hardest realities of our world week after week and as these experiences compound, their deepest beliefs about life and the world are tested. Throughout my time here, God has been faithful, and loving, and true. I have seen women freed from the trap of prostitution and exploitation. I have seen God’s power and love pour over dark and disturbing areas of our world and bring freedom and hope. But that didn’t stop me from asking God, sometimes in anger or tears, why these things are happening and why it’s hurting so bad to be in the midst of it. It turns out His “refining fire” the Bible talks about HURTS really REALLY badly (but in reflection is so worth it). Please pray for those who are still enduring day after day to be a messenger of hope to exploited and broken peoples everywhere.

2. THE BLAME GAME. Yes the world’s a mess. Yes there are many hard, exhausting and painful parts in each of our lives. Yes there are things to grieve over and get angry about all around us. Yes… yes. But still, we choose how we respond to these things; how we behave and even think. We have a lot of power to choose. We can choose be angry or we can be determined to forgive. We can offer our love unconditionally, or we can withdraw that love… or we can manipulate it. We develop priorities for our time, energy and money. We choose what to say, and whether our actions match up to our words. We choose what we value most, and whether or not our financial spending actually matches what we claim to value (Is your budget spent on your kids, your education, helping a cause your “passionate” about?). We also choose what we believe in, and the degree to which our faith becomes the motivation for each and EVERY action, EVERY day. WE CHOOSE. We have the capacity to change or we can choose to stay the same. But as adults we have to admit that WE must take responsibility for the way our internal decisions affect various internal and external consequences. As for me, it’s never quite that simple or easy to change, so I turn to One who is greater: a Savior who is quick to help us and a God with endless wisdom and strength.

3. HUMILITY! OUCH. It’s awesome that so many people are so passionate about the issue of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. But the first thing I learned from NightLight is that what we read and see on TV is not always accurate, and sometimes it’s quite sensationalized. After shadowing the field workers – those who are hitting the streets week after week, walking into the hotels where trafficking happens in plain sight, sitting next to pole dancers on their breaks and listening to their stories, and offering a safe friendship to these women where few exist – I have begun to understand how sexual exploitation is as “normal” in some places as a drug dealer on the corner of an inner city street. The best way I can explain it: like the difference between watching a movie about war and actually talking to a soldier who’s just returned from combat. The work they do through this outreach is faith-testing stuff: it can be traumatizing (because it’s REAL and in front of you), there’s not nearly enough resources given to help the thousands in need around you so you sometimes battle feelings of inadequacy, frustration and stress, and the issues surrounding the sex industry are so inexplicably complicated that it tempts you to throw your hands up in the air and want to give up! These individuals have been pathing the way before us. They deserve our utmost respect and our emotional, FINANCIAL and spiritual (PRAYER) support. Ask and pray how you can SERVE them and learn from them. And DON’T THINK COMBATING THESE ISSUES WILL BE EASY, GIVE YOU SATISFACTION OR FIX ANY SELF ESTEEM PROBLEMS. IT WON’T. But together, if we endure through whatever comes, we get to watch God at work – we get to see people walk out of slavery and into freedom – and that is totally worth it.

4. I’M NOT BRAVE, I’M IN LOVE, AND THERE’S A BIG DIFFERENCE. Many people have recently told me I am brave. But I’m not that brave. I’d still ask someone to walk me home at night in the middle of South Carolina if there’s no one going with me. Why? Because I’m AFRAID. I didn’t go to intern with NightLight so I could explore Thailand (I already knew I hate being a foreigner. It’s hard!). I didn’t go to save the world (At 22, what do I truly know about the world and about all the challenges of life?). The only reason I came, the only reason I entered this journey of learning to outreach to and care for women who are being sexually exploited and trafficked, is because I am ridiculously in love with God and my Savior Jesus Christ. I have full faith in His power and desire to save all people. He’s dramatically healed, renewed and transformed me at profound levels and I am so grateful. So I went in obedience to God’s direction. And He carried me through most of it, because it was much too exhausting and heart breaking for me to handle anyways.

5. IF WE’RE NOT CAREFUL, WE ALL PLAY A ROLE IN THE CYCLE OF HURT AND ABUSE THAT FEEDS THE HORRORS FOUND IN THE SEX INDUSTRY. I remember sitting in a park before work one day when the man next to me started chatting. He started sharing about his life, as tends to happen when you hang out near Bangkok’s red-light district. He talked about how he often comes to the bars to build friendships with the women. Later in the conversation he shared that he had also participated in prostitution. He expressed frustration that the women see him as an ATM and not an opportunity for a relationship, and that they exploit him for food and other purchases. He mentioned that many men commit suicide after the connection they thought they had with one of these women turns out to be founded in fantasy… I remember on my first day interning at NightLight I walked in and saw one of my favorite women, glowing with joy and beauty. I tell her, “You look beautiful today!” She points up to the sky and says “That’s because my Father is beautiful!” Later that week, she excitedly shared her testimony with me: Just two years before, a few blocks from where we stood, she had worked as a street prostitute. She said it was a really bad time for her: men would beat her, some customers wouldn’t pay her and she thought about committing suicide. She wanted a way out. Then someone told her about NightLight…. I remember every time “N”, an African woman who’d been trafficked to Thailand, gave me a hug. So sweet, so sincere, so gentle. She had been working the streets as a prostitute when NightLight outreach workers met her and asked her if she wanted help going home. I only met her in casual settings, when we were celebrating or hanging out like friends. A few weeks ago she finally returned home. While she was in Thailand she had been raped so violently that the physical trauma never fully healed. These injuries have now turned into cervical cancer and she also tests HIV positive… People in all walks of life are holding in layers and layers of abuse, brokenness and/or humiliation. Anger and bitterness, abuse of all types and various attacks to individuals’ identities are all major contributors to the mindset shifts that fuel the sex industry. Perhaps men feel unappreciated, disrespected and taken advantage of by women. They battle feelings of loneliness, insecurity, failure, fear of rejection and unmanliness and take it out on others verbally, emotionally, physically and/or sexually. Maybe they were sexually molested or abused as a child. Maybe they confuse sex with love and are left empty when they find out the woman secretly had always seen him as just a loaf of bread. Women perhaps continue/respond with passive aggression, anger, bitterness, blame and their own forms of abusive behavior towards men. These women also experience rejection, fear, insecurity, sadness, loss of identity and abuse of all kinds. Both hold on to un-forgiveness, both blame the opposite sex, and attempt to justify their actions within themselves. Both are convinced that they are in the right; the cycle continues and perhaps even deepens. We may not feel like we should relate to issues of sexual exploitation, but we can all admit to doing at least one of these things can’t we? Not forgiving? Blaming? Generalizing? Projecting hurt? Deepening in insecurity? Holding on to self-condemnation? The stories can get a lot more horrific and complex but you get the picture, right?

6. GOD IS NOT TO BLAME. No matter what kind of insanity or pain exists in the world, God has always been in the midst of it pouring out His love, and He will continue to be there, even if we all give up. In the moments when I questioned why God wasn’t doing anything to stop the exploitation I was seeing, I was hit with the memory that HE IS THE ONE WHO SENT ME HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. It’s definitely not the path I would have chosen for my life and the same is obviously true about most of the other outreach workers here. We’re only here because God gives us the strength to be here and because when we get disheartened He reminds us of His infinite power to do the seemingly impossible and that God has never and WILL NEVER give up on the world. He will keep fighting for all things good. The question is: will we? Do we trust Him?

7. FINALLY. I HAVE LEARNED THAT IF YOU WANT TO BE AN INSPIRATIONAL PERSON, YOU MUST SURROUND YOURSELF WITH INSPIRATIONAL PEOPLE – people who make you feel very small (in the best of ways), people who make you jump leaps and sprint miles in your level of maturity, character and faith just to catch up. Surround yourself with people who celebrate you and desire to watch you reach your highest potential, people who live for the little things as much as the big things in life and who match their actions with their words, people of integrity, passionate people motivated by love and compassion. When you reflect on these people, you have to laugh because no matter how much or how fast you grow, you never quite seem to catch up, and thus, you always stay inspired. And yet somehow, they believe that their ceiling can be your starting point and it excites and motivates you to choose the path that won’t disappoint!

Maria Gambone de Jesus

Candle on the Streets – used by permission from NightLight

by Maria Gambone DeJesus, current ISM intern at NightLight Bangkok

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It was my first day ever on outreach with the NightLight Bangkok team or in a red-light district. I remember feeling so small and completely lost as to what I was supposed to do. What did God expect of me? What did NightLight staff expect of me? As I prayed through these questions and worries, Lucia, one of our marketing staff, grabbed her camera and a candle, and led me out of the quiet, cozy outreach building and into the busy, city night-life. She then had me stand in front of the neon lights of the main club area, placed the candle in my hands, and lit it. This is how I spent the first 20 minutes of my very first outreach – standing in the middle of darkness literally holding a candle.

As we stood there, I felt the atmosphere of everyone around us change as they gazed at that candle. I could see people looking from the street and from their bar stools, thinking, pondering. I sensed that if any of those individuals had ever had the smallest experience with God before that night, the Holy Spirit was stirring up those memories, questions and convictions in their hearts. I began praying to that effect. Some people passed us by with a smirk, as if they were in tune with an insider’s secret. Then, an Indian man walked up to us and asked us if we were praying. Mind you, I was just standing there waiting while Lucia walked around me with her professional camera shooting pictures, SURROUNDED BY SEDUCTION AND OPPORTUNITY. Yet, that man instantly thought about spiritual things. In those minutes, God answered my nervous heart saying “I’m not asking you to do anything but walk, sit, be where I send you, to carry my light and to trust that, yes, my presence is this powerful. Watch with anticipation and I will use you in spite of yourself. Just hang out, be yourself, make friends, be in love with me. Listen to me at all times and watch what I WILL DO.” It was then that I finally understood why NightLight leaders advise that if anyone asks what we are doing in that place to say, “We’re just visiting friends and making new ones.”

Recently, this message came to me again from the testimony of an elder cousin. She grew up in inner city Philadelphia, known for some of the highest crime rates in the USA. But to her, as a little girl, this neighborhood was home. She would walk by the street-corner drug dealers on her way to play at her friend’s house. The neighbors would talk about who graduated, dropped-out, got married, got arrested. As she grew older and started to realize the things she was seeing weren’t right, she had no idea what to do about it. After her parents put their faith in Christ as adults, she began to see their corner dry cleaning store turn into a light for that neighborhood. Somehow, the community members sensed that it was a safe place. They would walk in and, whether on purpose or in response to a simple question such as “how are you today,” they would begin pouring out their burdens and hurts. She saw her parents love, pray with and minister to many in that neighborhood. With willing hearts, they gave their everyday lives, including their business, to serve God. There, in that broken community, in everyday relationships, God used them to glorify Himself and shine a big light. She concluded her story by saying “I tell you this story so that you know and remember that the light ALWAYS outshines the darkness. Just by you all being there, things have changed in that place. Trust that God’s light in you will ALWAYS outshine whatever darkness you see.”

So in the hard moments – like when I’m sitting next to a half-naked, 40-year-old woman whose circumstances led her to prostitution and my heart breaks because all I can do is sit there and listen – God brings me back to the minutes I stood there holding that candle. When I’m angry that God keeps walking me even deeper into an awareness of the pains and sins present in our world, and I don’t want to know any more, God reminds me of His power to save. When I don’t feel like I’m strong enough, experienced enough or skilled enough to do much of anything to help, He reminds me to trust in this truth: that the light will ALWAYS outshine the darkness, ALWAYS. So, following the example of my leaders, I keep pressing forward and I fight to trust God with all circumstances.

Help Us Continue Shining in the Darkness
The purchase of NightLight jewelry ensures meaningful employment for women exiting the sex industry in Bangkok. Check out our lovely new winter designs.

Every purchase makes a difference. Be a part of the transformation – purchase a piece for yourself or a friend today! NightLight’s Website

Human Trafficking, Exploited Women, Men and Childrens’ Ministries are looking for interns!

ISM is in partnership with 16 ministries that are looking for interns in SEA.  5 of those ministries reach out to victims of Human Trafficking and exploited men, women and children in the sex industry or at risk.  Your training will include information about the sex industry, human trafficking in South East Asia, spiritual warfare and how to serve.  Annie Dieselberg of NightLight and Celeste McGee from Dton Naam will be guest instructors.  ISM’s director also worked at NightLight for 5.5 years.

After training at ISM you could do your internship at one of the following ministries:

1.  Jewels in a Crown – Kolkata India

The district of Kalighat in Kolkata, India is most well known for being home to Kali’s Temple, a mecca for Hindu worshippers. What may not be as apparent is that it is also the birthplace of organized prostitution in Kolkata. It houses thousands of girls and women who have been trafficked, tricked or driven to work the line out of economic disparity. JEWELS IN A CROWN began as a response to the overwhelming problem of prostitution in Kalighat.

JEWELS IN A CROWN opened its doors for employment on February 14, 2010. Our theme comes from a passage in the Bible that says, “On that day the Lord their God will rescue His people, just as a shepherd rescues His sheep. They will sparkle in His land like jewels in a crown. How wonderful and beautiful they will be!” (Zechariah 9:16,17a). We believe our staff are precious and radiant, and we feel privileged to be a part of their journey.

Discipleship We have daily devotions and prayer with our staff. We know that economic freedom is only one part, and it is only through Jesus that we can see sustainable growth.

Training Our staff is trained in the trade of jewelry-making. They have learned to work with a variety of high-end, semi-precious stones to make beautiful pieces that are sold internationally.

Educating Through teaching English and basic life skills, our staff are empowered with a new confidence and competence for a changed life.

Wages & Work Hours Our staff are paid above fair market value and operate on a 40 hour work week.

Loan Payoff After their first year, each of our staff is eligible for a loan. They pay it back with a 0% interest rate. This is in response to predatory loan lenders who charge 600% -1000% annually, making repayment impossible for these women.

Paid Training During our 3 month training period, each women receives a salary, that increases with full time employment after this term.

2.  NightLight

NightLight is an international organization committed to addressing the complex issues of commercial sexual exploitation through prevention, intervention, restoration, and education.

NightLight’s mission is to do “whatever it takes” to effect change within the global sex industry.  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.

In January 2005, NightLight began to address the lack of opportunity for women trapped in Bangkok’s sex trade by providing them with a viable alternative means for supporting themselves.

NightLight Thailand, operates under two branches: NightLight Design, Co. Ltd, the registered jewelry business offering holistic employment, and NightLight Foundation, the non-profit branch focusing on holistic intervention for women, families and communities affected by the global sex industry.

As of June 2009, NightLight Design currently employs 80 women in Bangkok. Over 125 women have been employed by NightLight since it was established. Once a week, every woman is involved in a small group session for personal development. As women develop their skills they are given the opportunity to develop new skills in other areas such as technology, accounting, purchasing, management, marketing, networking and public relations. Salaries are above minimum wage and raises are given annually based on a performance evaluation. NightLight also provides medical insurance and a savings plan. Scholarships are given to those who choose to continue their education. NightLight also has a small childcare center for the children of the women employed at NightLight.

NightLight continually carries a waiting list of 10 to 15 women who want to leave the bars. They cannot be hired until there is adequate work provided through jewelry orders and until funds are made available to pay for supplies and salary equivalent to US $250 per month. The company has experienced tremendous growth since it’s inception, making it necessary to expand jewelry markets and increase awareness of NightLight’s transformative work.

The NightLight outreach team maintains a presence in the red-light district of Nana Sukhumvit, building relationships with women and children, and offering them a way out of their situation. In Bangkok, the NightLight outreach team meets hundreds of women and children every year through bar visits and street level interactions. These women and children come from as many as 20 different countries including Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Burma, Uzbekistan, Tajikstan, Kazakstan, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Iran, India, and Bangladesh.

NightLight has assisted in the rescue of a number of women from Central Asia and Africa since August 2007. NightLight partners with organizations such as the International Organization of Migration (IOM) for safe and successful repatriation. There are many more women needing assistance but it takes time to gain their trust. Funding is needed to purchase tickets, pay visa fees, and to provide for the women as they prepare to return to their countries of origin.

NightLight provides emergency relief for women and children at risk in the Nana/Sukhumvit area and engages in local and international advocacy on behalf of women and children working in the sex industry. NightLight recognizes the need for strategic partnerships, coalition building and community efforts worldwide to see an end to human trafficking.

The women of NightLight have also recently begun a church called “Send the Light”.  Through their leadership, “Send the Light” seeks to bring spiritual growth, development and transformation to friends, family and community around them.

Coming soon: A Coffee House Ministry and Outreach Center in the redlight district.

Click here for NightLight’s Summer Collection look book.

3.  Dton Naam

DtonNaam Ministries is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity in the US and officially became a foundation in Thailand in July 2010. It is currently a day program helping Thai individuals leave prostitution and find healing physically, emotionally and spiritually.

PURPOSE: Walking alongside those who want freedom and healing

We are dedicated to the healing of those in need and walk alongside each one through a recovery process, providing safe homes, counseling, educational classes, job skills and legitimate jobs. Several good ministries are focused on helping the females in Bangkok, but we at Dton Naam have a heart to also help the males. We encourage both men and women to leave prostitution, to pursue healing from abuse and to be freed from drug, alcohol and sexual addictions.

1. Job Training: We offer training in a coffee, bakery and retail business. If a Thai man or woman desires to leave prostitution and is interested in a different job than what we currently offer, we will help provide scholarships to send him/her to the training he/she desires, such as hair-cutting class, accounting and more.

2. Legitimate jobs: We can immediately offer jobs within our coffee and bakery business that is intertwined with our rehab program. Thai men and women can work five to six-hour shifts in the business and have two to four hours of counseling, discipleship and other educational classes.

3. Support Groups and Individual Counseling will be provided according to personal needs, such as overcoming drug and alcohol addictions, sexual addictions, abuse, learning to have healthy lifestyles even with STD’s and HIV, gender insecurities, problems with finances and relationship issues. It’s important to provide a safe, nurturing place for these men and women to overcome their pain and be empowered to live abundant lives.

4. Educational Classes are provided within the rehab program, including English and Thai lessons, computers, health classes, gardening, music, art and photography classes. Depending on the skills of volunteer teachers, special classes are offered dealing with mathematics, writing resumes, future planning, GED-style courses, etc.

5. Discipleship Classes refer to times of collective worship, studying Scripture, praying together and learning how to draw closer to Jesus and walk forward in freedom and truth.

Our Coffee Shop/Bakery – ANTIQUE CAFE is the perfect job-training site for those who are in our program and needing new job skills and experience to become self-sufficient in the near future. Men and women are able to start new, legitimate work in a safe environment. We sell great coffee, cupcakes and muffins and hope to expand soon in areas of artwork. As Thai individuals create beautiful pieces of art, they can decorate the cafe with their pieces, using art to tell their own personal stories of healing and encourage others.

Our budget is based on monthly gifts and fund-raising events. Once the coffee shop brings in a profit, that profit will go back into the foundation to provide scholarships for those wanting to leave prostitution and/or helping those at risk of entering the sex industry.

4.  The Well in Bangkok assists people affected by or at risk of entering the sex industry with education, employment and family services.

The Well Strategy is based on John 4 where an entire community was changed through a purposeful encounter between Jesus and a woman living a rough life. At the core The Well is neither a social service program nor a compassionate ministry, but a leadership training and equipping ministry.

The strategy involves three steps: reach, teach and send: reach broken people, teach and nurture them to be healthy, productive and able to lead, and send them to take Jesus to their families and communities.

Bar and street outreach is an essential aspect of The Well Strategy, based on the understanding that spending time with broken people was a priority for Jesus. This outreach is relational, as workers and volunteers from The Well focus on building loving friendships with people involved in the sex industry. Since we have become established and known people also come to The Well through invitation of friends or referrals from other agencies.

5.  Samaritan Creations

Samaritan  Creations  is  a  ministry  that  includes  service  to  the  sexually  exploited,  and   those  in  slums  and  bars;  they  also  are  involved  in  teaching  English.  They  have  been  in   service  for  two  years  and  are  affiliated  with  the  Church  of  Christ  in  Thailand.  There  are   six  staff  members.  It  is  located  in  downtown  Bangkok,  Thailand.

Purpose  

Samaritan  Creations  exists  to  rescue,  restore,  and  empower  women  by  the  grace  of   God,  and  by  offering  women  an  alternative  income  to  prostitution.

The  greatest  need  Samaritan  Creations  has  right  now  is  for  outreach  and  teachers  at  the   slum  ministry  site.  Other  needs  you  could  be  asked  to  fill  are:  evangelism,  teaching,   children’s  ministry,  youth  ministry,  slum  ministry,  ESL  at  church,  and  administrative.