Since a very young age, my heart has yearned to travel. Not just to travel, but to travel and lend a hand while visiting.
My childhood pastor announced: “Next Sunday we have a special treat. John’s brother is returning from a mission trip to South America and he will be sharing some of his stories.” I had looked forward to church all week.
I was fascinated by my aunt and uncle who were part of a touring singing group that traveled to all ends of the earth celebrating God’s love. I loved seeing their photos and hearing their stories. (I still have all the foreign coins they brought back for my family).
I watched with envy as we graduated from high school; I went to college, while one of my best friends went with YWAM to Malaysia.
In my 20’s, I met a man who had lived in outer Mongolia for 6 months (in the Winter!), where he had taught English and helped a new church with their music. His first gift to me was a Mongolian statue he brought back from that trip. I am now married to that man.
Thus far, my own opportunities have been much closer to home: Wandering the streets of Skid Row to hand out toiletries and bowls of soup; serving thanksgiving dinners who those less fortunate; a trip to Mexico to deliver shoes to orphans; praying for people outside a homeless shelter; giving out groceries and lunch to neighbors of a home church. Lending a hand can happen anywhere. My “mission” just happened to start in my own back yard.
And now, that mission has been propelled forward to Thailand, where Matt and I will head next May, along with 8 others. We will travel so that we can help fight an epidemic that casts a shadow of darkness over our globe. It’s the heart of a girl that has been smashed against a bedroom floor. It’s a childhood stripped away because a family needs to eat. Sometimes it’s a choice; most times, a trap.
There are many answers from many organizations for human trafficking: safe houses, schooling, God, lectures, job training, love, music…. They are all needed to help those in Pattaya, Thailand (the “hub” for human trafficking) caught in a life they did not want. We, as a team, simply want to help.
I will be updating this blog occasionally about Thailand, and also will be sending out e-mail updates to a list of people regarding this trip and links to more human trafficking info. Please leave me a message if you’d like to be included on that e-mail list.