Chiang Mai City: Outreach Update
It’s crazy how time flies by. There have been so many new impressions made on me and it quickly feels like we have been in this country for a long time. But truth is we have been in Thailand for less than a month 3 days in Bangkok followed then on to Chiang Mai.
located in the northwest of Thailand, is the largest city in northern Thailand with its almost 1 million inhabitants in the metropolitan area. It is a vibrant city where many different cultures and people meet, with more than 300 temples besides its churches and mosques.
One thing I know for sure is that I have found myself falling more and more in love with this city as the days pass.
We are working here with our ministry contact Emmi, founder of Lighthouse in Action and Zion Cafe. Her heart longs to see freedom brought to the workers in the commercial sex industry through the love of Jesus. She also facilitates outreaches to a local community area known as "The Slum".
Zion Cafe and Hostel
is a lovely cafe where a lot of the short term teams are also being housed. In the cafe you can buy everything from t-shirts with inspiring messages like “She’s Worth More” to delicious home-made meals and the well-known Zion Shake which is made of cocoa powder and banana. All this is served by a team of 6 full-time workers and 4 interns. Zion Cafe is where we eat most of our meals.
we do on a daily basis includes monk chats (where we are invited to engage the monks in the temples to teach them about Western culture but also get to share the gospel with them), having shifts at Zion Cafe (to serve and support the ministry there), playing with the kids in the community area, daily prayer walks in the red light district, bar ministry (where we build relationships with the working girls, johns, and bar owners even, trying to teach them the love of Christ and the gospel) and, last but not least, intercession and worship.
With so much to do here, it can seem overwhelming at times, especially going into the red light district. We hope to be able to give the people working there a glimpse of the Father’s love through our actions and words and ultimately with the goal of getting people out. Not only is it a hard and disheartening environment to be in, it can also be dangerous since the bar girls there are also another person's income.
At the same time, it’s becoming more and more apparent to me with every day that passes how much I need God and the strength only He gives. In my own strength I can do so little, but with Him so much more can be accomplished. That is the beauty of being here; my job is not to make a difference here, it is to obey God and trust Him. And oh, what wonderful things He is capable of doing by us being willing to be used! This is just the beginning of us seeing that on this outreach. So much more is to come!
• for unity and intimacy in our team
• the 4 interns working at the Zion Cafe are all buddhist, but have an increasing interest in hearing about Christ due to the Christian environment they find themselves working in. Worship music is being played all the time and Scriptures are on almost every wall in the cafe, hostel, and their rooms.
• for the relationships we are beginning to establish with some of the bar girls. That God will give us the right words to say and that God will move in their hearts
• That God will continue to give us His heart for His people here in Thailand we encounter.
God is up to something here in Chiang Mai. Stay tuned for next blog post to hear more about this.
Thank you so much for your support and prayer. It is greatly appreciated!