Summer Ministry in Bangkok

One of the ongoing ministries of Soi 4 that the ACU interns were a part of this summer was teaching English using the Bible. Most of the students came from Suan Dusit University, the school that we volunteer with and that was also a part of the Service Learning Project that we helped lead earlier in the summer. Before their first session, the four ACU girls were able to sit in on the studies that we do with our students to be able to see what it was like. Since we only offered the English studies for 3 weeks, the interns helped us write our own small curriculum that went through the full life of Christ. Each one of the interns had 2 to 3 students that they would study with. The ACU girls did a great job teaching English in these small groups. Not only making English fun and practical to learn, but they also did a great job sharing the story of Christ in a real and simple way. On the last day of their English studies we had the whole group over to our place for a pizza party to celebrate! While there, the students were presented with bilingual Bibles so that they can continue practicing their English and studying the Bible on their own.

The ACU girl's and their students with their new Bibles!

The ACU girl’s and their students with their new Bibles!

Our studies have continued to go well with our students Bee and Pen. Gary’s student Pen invited us and a large group from church to go visit a durian farm that she has connections with. So we went and made a day trip out of it! On our drive to the orchard, we stopped to visit an elderly shut in named Eei that is a member of the church. We spent time singing and encouraging her. We’re glad our students were able to be a part of this so they could see a little of what we do as a church. They both said that they really enjoyed that time. The day was a great time to deepening our relationship with our students by just going out and having fun together.

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Throughout the summer we’ve been able to get involved with a ministry in Bangkok that reaches out to women in one of Bangkok’s red light districts. We had several opportunities to lead groups to visit the ministry and tell them about the issues of sex-trafficking and prostitution here in Thailand. When going to visit this part of town we took small lunches and water with us to give to the street beggars that we would see as we made our way through the neighborhood. There are so many hurting and marginalized people living here in this city. We’re thankful for the time that we’ve been able to have learning more about the social issues that these overlooked people face on a day to day basis.

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One of the things that this ministry does is outreach to the bars and clubs in the red light district where girls dance. Michelle and the interns were able to be a part of the outreach a couple of times. When they go to visit the bars they offer to buy the girls a coke and to sit and talk with them. They try and just make a positive connection with the girls by showing them as much of Christ’s love as they can in their conversations. This time offers the girls a moment of refuge where they don’t have to worry about all their life stresses and pleasing others but can be free to be themselves and know that they’re loved for who they are. When going out to do outreaches at these bars the volunteers never share the name of the ministry they come from. If the girls seem interested to find another line of work, this ministry will let them know about a “job opportunity with a friend”. Girls are simply given a phone number with a name on it to call if they really want out. When they call the number they’re set up with an interview and hopefully later get integrated into one of the many job opportunities that are available. The times that Michelle and the ACU girls were a part of the outreach they were received really well and good connections were made. We hope to become more involved in this ministry in the future since it directly works with issues that are strong on our hearts.

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One of Bangkok’s many red light districts.

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