I had heard the stories and anticipated a picture In my mind, but nothing would prepare for the emotions that God was to stir up in me when I visited the IDC. This is Bangkok’s Immigration detention centre. If you have overstayed your visa or been involved in any level of trouble you will find your self-locked in this place. One could almost compare it to a cattle market. Many women who have found themselves in prostitution have ended up here. Many are victims of Human trafficking, yet made to feel like a criminal locked up in this institution. Currently as it stands, there are a large amount of African woman contained within the IDC. We have made it our mission in Nightlight to visit these woman in order to see if we can assist them in their case. No matter what we can and cannot do, it is imperative that these women get a visit otherwise they are forgotten by the rest of society.
We have half an hour in which to spend time with the woman, when I write here “spend time” please understand that all the prisoners are behind a fence with a large gap in between us and them. We are cramped together with other visitors and the only way in which to communicate is to scream across said gate, this is it, this is all we can do. There is a large chance that most of our communication is missed, words are lost somewhere into the abyss. Never before has eye contact and sign language been more important.
The room itself is sweaty, airless even. The oppression is heavy but oh to be able to take ourselves and show up, the importance of letting these women know that t we love them and that we are for them. If any person in IDC does not receive a visit then they are unable to leave their rooms in which they share with many other” prisoners” The whole situation shatters my heart and yet the second I walked into this building I knew that God had me there for a purpose.
Last week I entered the IDC to visit *Tracy* However difficult it was to hold a full conversation I was able by the grace of God to pick up bits and pieces. I was able to encourage her and let her know that she would be in my prayers and that I will fight for her.
Upon leaving the IDC I broke down in tears. It is not uncommon in this ministry for me to shed tears for the woman and the situations I am faced with, however I have been given strength to deal with whatever is placed in my path. I couldn’t understand why this particular incident affected my very core. I did have a chance to pray and to process that day and after much deliberation have come to realise that my Love languages play a huge part in this. I am unsure as to if any of you have read Gary Clarke’s book “The 5 Love Languages” or even perhaps taken the test, if not I would highly recommend it. None the less, my two top Love Languages are Words of Affirmation and Touch. This is how I express my love to people and how I feel most love when receiving from other people. In the IDC, I am very much unable to express these. On outreach I can near enough fully indulge in these in an appropriate way however in the IDC this is just not possible. I had to try and communicate my love via the method of screaming. When leaving the building I had so much love locked up in my heart for this woman and I was unable to express it according to my love language. This is definitely an area I will need to come to terms with and work through but I just knew that I adored seeing the smile on *Tracey’s* face when she knew she had a visitor.
I would most certainly appreciate prayer for continued IDC visits, we currently have a lot of woman to visit as the issue of Human trafficking continues to develop here in Bangkok.
IDC is a new addition for me as I enter into 2018. My 1 year anniversary has officially dawned upon me and I am so ready to take on this next year. God has restored me via rest over the Christmas Period, we are on a continuing journey of understanding the importance of Sabbath. This is a commandment I thought was optional for me and i began to pay the price. This year the Lord is speaking times of rest over me so I am able to continue to walk boldly in the calling that he has placed over my life.
The start of the New Year meant of course it was time for the Nightlight Staff retreat. I cannot stress how beautiful this was. A time of fellowship, prayer, goal setting and child like fun (yes, we splashed in waterfalls without shame! 😊 2017 saw a lot of struggles for us all. There was a lot of pain and trauma to work through but we did it together as a family and we have come out stronger on the other side.
On the Last morning of our retreat our Pastor had us write out Thankyou notes to God which was a beautiful expression of our praise and thanksgiving. I have placed an extract below:
“ I thank you God that you look to as your sons and daughters and that you use each of our stories for your glory and for us to be able to pour out love to every women we encounter. I thank you that when you called me to this team, you called me home”
I am not saying that 2017 was an easy year for me. It transpired to be one of the most painful, emotional, beautiful and exciting years and I thank God, every single day that he has called me here and that he continues to take my hand each day and walk with me on this journey.
Prayer Points for a new year:
-Protection and encouragements for IDC visits
-I have been asked by the woman to start fitness classes for them on a weekly basis. HOW AWESOME!! Please pray that we can fit this in and that I am able to show them the beauty of health fitness and empowerment,
– Breakthrough for Nightlight. We are already seeing some big breakthroughs this month in regards to some trafficking cases and we are so thankful for this.
– Our Thai Bar outreach team has established a new relationship with a girl called *Lea . We have beenable to spend a lot of time with her recently so please pray for continuation of this. She is beautiful and I am very excited to continue to get to know her. I have mentioned this girl in previous blogs. The past few times we have entered into this particular bar, the second she has spotted us, her face has lit up into the most beautiful smile. She loves to talk to us as much as she is allowed. She is understanding that we are there to love her, to be her friend and encourage he along this journey.