Although there was some cool stuff to see in Bangkok, I thought Asia and I might be doomed if that's what the rest of it looked like. I'm not a fan of big cities and the smells, the noise, all the people, the smog, etc didn't sit so well. Good thing Bangkok wasn't indicative of all of Thailand and Phuket offered the country full redemption. From the moment we stepped off our double decker tour bus (throw back to the spice world bus anyone? As close as I may ever get to my life dream of traveling with baby, ginger, scary, sporty and posh) it was a different world. Phuket is beautiful and has mountains and jungle every way you look. Such a picture of God's beauty.
Anywho, we arrived at SHE ministries where me and my 71 other roommates (yes, 70 +1) are currently residing. It's a beautiful house and talk about community! The crazy part is that this place is seasoned with God's grace. With 3 bathrooms in the whole house and 14 of us in one room, there has yet to be even a little frustration. It's a process of serving first and dying to yourself daily. We get to eat three meals a day together and worship and pray nightly. Definitely teaching me so much about what it means to live fully immersed in intentional community. And the people I'm around continue to blow me away with their wisdom and the way they show me Jesus. I have so much to learn! When we aren't doing the essentials we get to run around the area. The other day, after a long long walk, we found a waterfall in the middle of the jungle and got to play in it. The thing they don't show you in the movies about this little dream world is all the bugs. YIKES! But there are girls here that love to exercise and one of my favorites things is the daily run around the lake and the dam. So refreshing.
Enough about all of that. Now on to ministry. Since we are getting settled into routine, it's time to start the ministry for which we came. During the day we partner with SHE, which offers women that come out of the sex trade chances to make money elsewhere and a way to support their families while maintaining their dignity. We make jewelry and bake and do a little construction. We are almost ready for the bar ministry where we will go and meet women in the bar and begin building relationships with them that will hopefully lead to a chance for us to offer them life and truth.
We went on a prayer walk through Bangla Rd yesterday where there are over 200 bars and 1000 women selling themselves withing half a mile. It was so heavy and so dark but it made me even more excited for the chance to walk into it and be a light. I'm learning a lot about waking up each morning and putting on the armor of Christ (Ephesians 6) first thing to be prepared for whatever the day may bring. I'll wait to write more until I have a full grasp on the whole situation but I will say that the first thing I noticed way the desperate way everyone there was looking for life. You could see it in everyone's eyes whether they were looking for sex, affection, parties, alcohol, money, whatever, everyone was searching for life in a blatantly obvious way. It struck me that they were desperate but will never ever find what they are looking for there. They will never be satisfied. And the fact that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, the only living water that will never let us go thirsty keeps resonating in my head.
I think I better go attempt to eat lunch- word on the street is that it's curry. We had some yesterday and in my opinion curry tastes like spicy, warm, soggy fruitloops. Imagine my reaction in trying to eat that.
Praying for you all back home.