This morning, our team woke up and began the morning in prayer and worship. Then we headed to a ministry center we’re partnering with to learn more about all the awesome things God is doing there. This center is sponsored by a church in Houston, Texas, and it’s an amazing model of missions in the church. Among church staff, they have a pastor that is solely dedicated to missions.
As a church, they have a heart for Southeast Asia and sent over a team of researchers to study the area for a year. The team returned and gave their recommendations. Upon the recommendations, they asked their congregation if some of them would be willing to commit to four years in Chiang Mai, Thailand to try and reach Thai people. Four people responded and now serve full-time. The church fully funds all four missionaries and supports them, not just financially but with loads of prayer and encouragement. It’s a beautiful picture of missions being done through the local church. The church also sends summer teams to work with them.
After hearing the story behind this ministry, we then had an afternoon of cooking classes where we taught Thai university students how to make cookies. It was a lot of fun. We left after playing some games to meet up with the other half of the team who had prayer walked the Red Light District while we were teaching. We had dinner and headed over to Zion Café for a pre-Red Light District ministry worship service. After worship, the team headed out into the bars.
The focus of Red Light District ministry is just to show love and listen to the girls, to build relationships. With Thai people, the societal focus is on relationships, so sharing Jesus takes much time. It is viewed as very rude to share Jesus without establishing some form of bond. Thai people will see it as the only thing you really wanted was to tell them that one thing. Because of this, we work in partnership with Zion Café and function in an awareness that we are a part of a big picture. People go out, show Jesus’ love, and trust that our time is well spent; one may plant the seed, one may water, but few are able to reap the harvest. It doesn’t make any one part more or less important than the other.
Prayer is also a very important aspect, so half of the team will continually stay back and pray for the other half until they return. This time, half of the team stayed with a YWAM team and prayed as a community since both mission organizations had teams out. It was a wonderful time of prayer and ministry. The teams out and about found it easy to engage in conversation and show the love of Jesus to the girls in the bars. Our desire and prayer is that they realize they are worth more!