Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Leaving for Manila & Bangkok

I'm at the SFO airport, about to fly to Seattle, to Tokyo, to Manila.  It's a long series of flights, but the past day has been well spent with Heidi as we drove down here and had a relaxing day together.

I appreciate your prayer while I am gone.  This trip has a couple of objectives, both partnering with Foursquare churches and missionaries.
#1: I will be spending time with Bryant and Patty Sabandal and the leaders of the Children of Hope project in Manila, Philippines.  I have brought oversight to this project for the past several years, and am concluding my involvement with this wonderful outreach.  I am the "project leader" for a grant that will carry into 2011.  This will be my last trip to Manila as the project leader.  While there we will be having staff meetings, leadership meetings, meetings with Foursquare leaders, visiting churches and school, and preaching this weekend.  We will be preparing for the arrival of the Bags of Joy Team.  It also is the anniversary of Foursquare leaders, Mars and Nellie Rodriguez.  There is a celebration planned for them.

#2: I will be spending a few days in Bangkok, supporting Foursquare missionaries Gary and Paula Hays, who are seeing God do some great things all around SE Asia.  Please take time to read the email below.  I will also be meeting with the Foursquare church in Bangkok, it's leaders, missionaries (Kelly Hillderbrand) and George Butron.

Hope to keep the blog updated with photos as the trip progresses.  Heidi will be preaching at Faith Center this weekend as the church observes Veterans Day.  She also will be busy with some unpacking, and prep for the children's musical.  Our new puppy, Pastor Jack, is doing well!

Dear Friends and Family!

Thank you for your continued prayer and support! We are witnessing God growing the Kingdom here in Thailand through young Thai leaders and children!

Currently over 16,000 children have prayed to receive Jesus as their Savior through the thinkSMALL/KidsQuest ministry!! (To view recent ministry pictures, please link to...  http://cid-5360f466e028bf4c.photos.live.com/albums.aspx )

Let me tell you about 1 of them:
John (Alias) is a 12 year old Thai boy who lives in Pattaya. Pattaya is a beautiful beach resort in Southern Thailand.
Pattaya, however, has another reputation. It is known by many as "Sex City" one of the world's most popular locations for prostitution and pedophilia.

Thousands of Thai prostitutes fill hundreds of open faced bars, calling out to potential customers. Most of these girls come from Eastern Thailand as 12-16 year old children, recruited by pimp organizations (or sold by their parents). Estimates are that 80% + of the girls have been sexually abused by family or friends. (below are pictures from downtown Pattaya)


Once the girls arrive in the brothels, they are typically drugged, beaten, forced to watch pornography (to soften their resistance to sex). As prostitutes they turn as many as 20 'tricks' per day.

John's mother is a prostitute. She works in the bar throughout the evening and does not return home until the afternoon. Therefore, John's Grandmother watches over John. The problem is that his Grandmother beats John regularly. To escape the beatings, John chooses to find other children on the streets of Pattaya.

John often sleeps on these streets to avoid the beatings...John has made many friends on the streets of Pattaya. His friends enjoy playing video games in order to escape the boredom of street life. But John has no money for video games. His friends tell him about the foreign men who pay them $10 for a few minutes of their time. If they 'go with' the foreigner for 10 minutes, perhaps into a little alley near the street, they can 'make' enough money for video games and food. John joins the 'group.' After all, they treat him well. They accept him. Listening to their stories, he realizes they are a lot like him. Soon, he turns a trick, or two, each day for the pleasure of men from America, Europe, Japan, Russia and Australia.

One day John met a World Vision worker. She invited him to a KidsQuest show. He didn't really want to go...but then again, the fun of seeing a free show of funny clowns, dramas and games made it all too tempting. Besides, he thought, maybe I could use a little 'escape' from all of this..even for an hour.

John was led to a small orphanage called the Mercy House. 70 other children sat excitedly on the floor. Music played. Clowns performed. Dramas held everyone's attention. He looked around. Children were laughing. Children were happy.....John wanted to be happy....

At the end of the show, John asked Jesus to forgive him, save him and to change his life.

FAST FORWARD 1 YEAR:....John is now a happy, healthy child...He is in love with Jesus, attends church regularly, has changed his life from 'living on the street' to 'living in the Spirit,' and is now in the top 10 in his school class! John...has a future, because Jesus has given him a 'present!' His present??....a new life.

And the bonus? Although Grandma still beats him....Mom is still a prostitute....John has forgiven them both.  John is learning about freedom in Christ!!
There are many stories like John from Thai, Burmese and Lao children who have found Jesus through a KidsQuest show!!

thinkSMALL has a vision to reach and disciple over a million children in Thailand for Christ. We will continue to develop them into young leaders. Children like John will grow to become leaders who will bless their country with the love of God, take care of the poor and marginalized, and bring spiritual freedom from Christ.

Your support and prayers make it all possible!
**We now have new thinkSMALL Regional leaders positioned in Issan, Chaing Rai and Chaing Mai.
We are excited to all work together to bless the nation through children!

We'd love to stay in Thailand and continue this work! Thank you for your willingness to assist us with your donations.

Remember, bringing a child to Christ through thinkSMALL costs less than $5 per child.  Your gifts make it all possible for a child like John!
By credit card online:  http//give.foursquare.org/hays

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