As told by Tateyana Hendricks
I have a new name, Ty! Tang and Toulee (the missionary couple we are working with) gave me this nickname because whenever I would introduce myself to the Thai students, they would have a really hard time pronouncing it. So from now on I just tell them my name is Ty. I like my new name; it’s shorter, and of course, it’s always fun to use a different name. The rest of the team does not have nicknames yet even though the Thai students sometimes struggle with their names as well.
One of our responsibilities here is to facilitate English Corner. English Corner is a ministry where we teach Thai students English by playing games in English and then giving them a short lesson. We hold English Corner at this Coffee Shop in Bangkok that is owned by another missionary couple. We have it every Tuesday and Thursday, and this last Tuesday was our first day running it. It went really well. We played a few games and then taught them some American Idioms, which they found very interesting. Toulee said that this was the best English Corner they have had so far.
Likewise, every Wednesday night we invite over the Thai students for a Bible Study. Since we do not have time to go out and eat dinner before the bible study, it is our team’s job to cook dinner for that night. We chose to cook Mexican food. Jessica and Emily did a fantastic job cooking fajitas; it was a big hit with the Thai students. While they were cooking the food one of the recently graduated Thai students arrived early so she hung out with Bethany and me in our room. During our conversation with her we learned that she was not a Christian but was very interested in what Christians do, so she was excited for the upcoming retreat where we would be doing a lot of Bible studies and praying. Once the food was done we went downstairs and saw that a lot of people had shown up for the Bible Study. After we ate, we went upstairs and had Bible Study. We discussed how Jesus calmed the storm, and took time to think about where our own faith stood. When it was over I spoke to the girl that Bethany and I had talked to and asked her if she liked the Bible study and she told me that this was actually her first time coming to Bible Study and she found it very inspirational.
Then Thursday night we went to the Red Light District. For those of you who do not know what the Red light District is, it is the area where you would find women and even men who are working as prostitutes. Many of them are there by choice, but a lot are forced because of sex trafficking. In Bangkok there is a ministry called Rahab that works to get these women out of prostitution. They give the women a place to stay and a job making jewelry and crochet animals. The only downside is that the jewelry making and crocheting does not supplement their income so if they leave prostitution they will need to find an additional way to support their family. Most of the prostitutes in Bangkok are actually not from Bangkok, but come from the northern parts of Thailand that are poor. So some of them are expected by their family to come to Bangkok and prostitute themselves to make money to send back to their families.
Rahab is located right in the middle of one of Red Light Districts called Patpong. We visited Rahab earlier in the day for orientation and then came back at night to do an outreach and a prayer walk. While we were walking down the street of Patpong, I could feel my heart literally becoming heavy seeing all the signs advertising the different bars along the street. The signs were very blunt about what was going on in each bar. It became very clear that the women here are seen more like objects than real people. I have heard this said many times before but actually being in the Red Light District and seeing it for myself was heartbreaking. I walked away from Patpong feeling hopeless because it seems that even if we could help a few girls leave prostitution more would take their place. But then I remembered what Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
- We are heading out on Friday to put on a weekend long retreat for the Thai students. The retreat will include some fun team building games but will also include Bible studies, devotionals, and more. So please pray that through this retreat the Thai students who are not Christians will become more curious about God and ultimately accept Jesus into their hearts.
- Please pray for improved interpersonal relationships between not only between us and the Thai students but between everyone here involved in this ministry.
- Also pray for health, some members of the team are feeling a bit under the weather