The purpose of this page is to capture my fund-raising journey as I prepare for another journey: Thailand. Thanks for all your support!
Since early spring I'd been looking forward to hearing about the mission opportunities that my church is doing. I love my church and am blessed to be part of one that is so purposeful about community and helping others. In August the leaders announced all of the trips for the upcoming fall and spring. There were a lot of options!
I have never done a mission trip that's taken me abroad. I've only done local ones through the years, but nothing that has taken me truly out of my element and forced me into a completely different world. Before they announced the trip options, I knew that I would be looking for that kind of experience... something raw, totally new and one where I can reach out to those who don't get much love.
I've identified some of my heart cries. And by heart cries, I mean the people, causes and movements in every day life that stir within my being. They make me pay attention and listen and they prick my spirit. My heart cries are for the voiceless, the looked-over and picked-on. The forgotten and abandoned. The poor. The single moms. People suffering from HIV/AIDS. Women. The less educated and the abused. My prayer lately has been for my heart to break at what breaks God's heart. You know what? There's a lot of brokenness out there.
It was by these heart cries that I narrowed down my search for a mission trip and on September 11th I went to the first information meeting about it. My attraction to this trip: brokenness, but the hopefulness of transformation. The trip is to a land where I've had no former intentions or desires to ever visit: Thailand. The people we are hoping to reach are the girls and women who are working in clubs and brothels in Bangkok. Our desire is to approach these women as Christ did the woman at the well in John 4- with love, without judgment and with truth. We want to connect them with an organization called The Well, which provides an escape for women who want to get out of the sex industry. The Well provides counseling, education, job training and love to women who dream of a better life.
This 10-day trip in February basically wraps up all of my heart cries into one amazing opportunity. It seems SUPER intense and even a bit scary. The idea of approaching women in the red light district of Bangkok is not something I would have ever thought to do. Aren't these the women that society tells us to ignore? Yet these are the women God is calling me to. My desire is to share the love of a God who gives second chances (and third and fourth!), to show the love only He can and to provide a glimpse of the mercy that He wants to shine upon them. He's not a God of doubt, disease, addiction, low self-esteem or abandonment. His plan is one of hope and a future, of prosperity and safety.
So, that's my plan: Thailand. I'm really excited about this opportunity and look forward to sharing more details as they unravel. I hope that I will be able to even write about my experiences as they come to fruition. Watch my blog as I prepare, travel and return from this journey.
For more information about the Well: http://servantworks.org/well
To follow my blog, where I'll be sharting my journey: http://merespalette.blogspot.com/