So I have been in Thailand for 4 days now and it feels like way longer!
Got here on Sunday night and was met by Jesse and one of the girls from the team. We took a 1/2 hour taxi ride to where the rest the team were. They had just finished up at church. One thing about Thailand: lots of stairs! We get lots of exercise. The place we were staying in was like lots of hallways and doorways and random barrels in corners and rooms, kinda Indiana Jones style! It was a pretty cool place to stay as they do not allow sex tourists to stay there. Anyone who brings a prostitute back with them is escorted out.
Next morning we travelled 2 1/2 hours to Pattaya - Thailand's capital of sun, sea and sex. The time here has been amazing so far.
We have- visited slum kids ministry, we also prayer walked the slums and visited the people and loved on them. We played games with the kids, taught them to hear God's voice and prayed with them, got them to draw a pictures of what God was showing them. This one granny played duck duck goose with us :) She said that she was sad until we came and prayed with her and then she wasn't sad anymore :)
We bought roses and went and sat in the bars with the prostitutes and ladyboys, just being friendly and loving on them. The ones I spoke to mainly spoke quite good English. I was with two other girls - one from Iris and one Thai from the ministry we were visiting. So we talked mainly with the bar mama/manager and a couple other women. About halfway through this other girl came and sat a little ways down the bar from us, putting on her make-up and getting ready for work. I really felt to talk with her and even though we only had 10 minutes left I got up and sat down next to her, giving her the traditional sawatikaa greeting. She reminded me of my Chinese cousins a bit so it was easy to relate. It felt like we clicked straight away and God just gave me His heart for her... I felt so full of love for her! She wasnt from Pattaya, she was from Isaan which is in north east Thailand, and a lot of the prostitutes actually come from Isaan as they normally have to support a family and so they come to work in Pattaya. So I asked how long she had been in Pattaya and she said 2 years, but 2 years was too long to be working here and a woman should only have to work here 1 year. She would stay for 3-4 years though and then go back to Isaan as she wanted to be able to live with and look after her mother. Her mother was back in Isaan and so was her sister but her sister was married and so wouldn't be able to do it. She looked really young, definitely no older than me and oldest would be early twenties. I asked to pray for her sister as she told me that her sister had tried to have babies and couldn't. But she didn't want prayer and so we just talked more :) I asked what time she finishes work and she said 4am, then about 8am she will have a shower and try to get some sleep, before starting work again that afternoon. I said that my mum used to be a nurse and work almost the same kind of hours as her! We laughed about that and I gave her a rose that had a card attached saying something like Jesus loves you and thinks you're beautiful. She already had a paper from the ministry we were working with which invited her to English classes, so I know that she will see people who love Jesus again and that my time with her was just more watering of the seed which will one day come to fruit and she will be able to fully love Jesus and be completely free...
After having dinner with a local family who have lived here for awhile, we went and prayer walked the street where they want to start a night care centre for the children of the prostitutes, so that they are safe and aren't at as much risk as they could be. Across the street is this big hotel which they are pretty sure has trafficked eastern European women in it. The reason they think that is because whenever the women are outside and they talk to them, they are stumbling around as if they are drugged and they are very fearful and won't say much at all. After 3 months of building relationships with them, they then just disappear and new girls come. So its like they are being rotated. There are also sweat shops in the area which have trafficked children working in them. please pray for this family and their ministry.
Today a few of our team went and visited two jails and gave the prisoners food and water. We also just made friends with them and tried to talk to them... Most of the guys in the cell I talked with were from Cambodia. There was one from burma and one from Thailand. One was only 15 years old. They dont know when they will be let out.
We then visited a Christian preschool ministry and teenagers skate ramp/hangout and gave out flyers for our block party coming up. Tonight our Iris Thailand team had the privilege of leading worship along with a Thai national at the house of prayer... GOD showed up! This is a meeting of a lot of different people from different ministries around Pattaya and they come together at least twice a week to pray and worship over Pattaya and over each other. Unity is a big thing here in Pattaya and it is very intentionally worked on as the spiritual atmosphere over Pattaya is not conducive to it. So it is so so good to see how all the ministries work together and get along. There were too many people to fit upstairs in the prayer room and also we want to fill the street with the sound of worship. So we sit in the downstairs room, spilling out into the street and worship... It is situated on one of the darkest streets in Pattaya- quite full on in terms of all the bars and the girls working the streets. We had about five guys who were on the street for other reasons come and hang out with us and one of them God just totally encountered. He was Irish and he came and sat with us just as Christian had started to sing God of this City, which is a worship song written by Irish people who had come to visit Pattaya and wrote this song to sing out over Pattaya!
There are four days left of this trip, 5 days left in Thailand. It is so good to be here with people from my school in Mozambique, as well as meeting others who have been to previous schools and a couple who haven't but will be... Soon! I love how God just connects us with those with similar hearts and although I will have to say goodbye again in a few days, I know I will see them again one day and it is not a sad goodbye it is a privilege to be able to meet and love all of these beautiful friends God has given me. Shout out to my melbourne friends too... I love you and so so appreciate your fb posts and emails! I do not get a lot of time online so cant reply to all, I'm sorry!
Our party on saturday for all the people in the area- last party in Bangkok the team saw 5 deaf people either partially or completely healed. They got to sing prophetic songs over people, interpret their dreams, saw people saved... A monk from another religion got his sinuses prayed for and said it's the first time he felt peace 2 years!
Unity to continue and grow stronger within the team
Provision for this family in Pattaya to be able to use this building for a night care centre for the children of the street workers
Provision for myself and some others in the team- we still need to get tickets to another asian country and then to Bangkok, I also need provision for tickets to Australia where we will be loving on the indigineous people and also to Bali where we will be helping a friend with what they are doing there. Also prayer for wisdom as to where which way to go to get to chai nar. There are a couple of different options. Also prayer for provision in general for the trip.we know that God has called us and confirmed to us that we are to go to these countries and love on the people there. We know that he is faithful and if we are to go, he will provide. He is a faithful God!
Pray that we would Connect with each individual God wants us to connect with.
Pray for open hearts
Protection as we go forth in Gods heart and love
More of Jesus
Balance between ministry time and soaking/processing time and social time
Clear direction and vision for how and where the Lord wants to start an Iris base in thailand
If you would like to give to this trip or even to one of the ministries we are visiting, please email me at Serenaxh @gmail.com or click on the link 'give to the adventure' and you can give by pay pal. Just make sure you put on the description what it is for and or email me the amount and what it is for.
Thank you so much those who have already given! Because of you, kids in the slums and girls in the bars get to know they are loved by Jesus and have a purpose and you are a part of seeing the spiritual atmosphere shift over Pattaya
Love and JOY in Jesus!!!