I know we all were impacted by this trip. I was moved in ways I hadn’t anticipated despite knowing of the issues we would be encountering.
It’s hard to predict how you will respond when you hear of another’s pain and suffering.
Having survived some tough realities myself as a child, some old feelings were reawakened and so I bravely shared with another team member along with a few of the girls from the Safe House. We shared because ultimately, we felt supported and trusted by our team and our partnership.
It became more and more evident that God had been invited into not only the careful choosing of our team members but also in the planning of our itinerary.
It says in the Bible that God will lead us to lie down in green pastures and give us rest. This Gospel promise was surely true on this journey.
For it was after a hard evening when we learned about some of the children being physically beaten at school in SE Asia, that we left the next day for Thailand with the young women, Leik, and Irene. There, we all stayed at a beautiful resort. This lushness became a refuge for some harsh awarenesses that would surface. Sharing some bitter truths in the mornings and then later enjoying adventures out where we all played together lifting each other up became the norm. I then began to trust the great care that was put into the trip’s planning as we found our needs were all so anticipated and cared for.
We were so blessed to learn of challenges and to think about solutions together with such beautiful backdrops as the Queen gardens and the beautiful agricultural park and zoo that Faa later led us to. The bowling and movie night were awesome too with so many smiles and giggling laughter.
Before leaving on this trip, people would ask me or sometimes I would offer that I was going to Thailand, Cambodia and SE Asia to help women and children who were either rescued or at risk for sex trafficking.
Internally, I would really wonder how helpful I or we could really be?
My answer came when we said our long tearful goodbyes because God’s great love was there despite an ocean between us and his teaching of us to love one another couldn’t be denied.
I know I can safely speak for the entire group that we will never be the same. We are made different and better for going and doing and our sense of family as we approach this Thanksgiving holiday is greater and larger. At my home, this Thursday, I will lift a toast to my new sisters and brothers in Christ.