Saturday, August 28, 2010

Thailand ...

Like any other country that I have visited, the thing that I loved most about Thailand was not the cool touristy places that I visited, or the city itself, or even the awesome Thai street food. For me, it’s always about the people.

The NightLight staff and volunteers that I met are a beautiful representation of God’s unconditional love. They don’t put a limit on the way they love people. No one has to become a Christian first, or act respectfully to earn love from these people.

I saw this in the way they loved a 12 year old boy who showed up to NightLight wearing a dress. This young child has been in pornographic videos, and is confused about his gender identity.

What would you do if a child like that showed up at your door?

I got the privilege of getting to see the NightLight staff and volunteers love this child so well. They took him in, gave him boy clothes to wear, and they are letting him live with some of the staff, taking care of him constantly. And they simply speak truth over him, saying:

“God loves you so much!”

“You are a son of God.”

“You are going to be a strong man of God.”

He would go from person to person wanting to be held and loved on. He would hold my hand and want to play with my hair. He fell asleep as I scratched his back. And if you know the Ward family at all, you know that we believe firmly that back scratches are some of the best things in life.

This child just needs the love of the Father. I’m not saying that it will be easy to love him, but I am saying that it’s that simple.

Many girls who start working at NightLight’s jewelry business do not know the Lord when they start, but it doesn’t take long for them to know His love.

One of the things that blessed my heart the most in being here was worshipping with the girls. Each morning before they start their work day, the 80 jewelry makers and the NightLight staff gather for worship. I cried every morning.

Women who had previously been for sale were now lifting their hands up to the Lord. Hearts that were previously abused by countless men were now surrendered to the Lord. The women who led worship had never stepped foot in a church, but you would think that they had been worship leaders their whole lives. My heart responded each morning with thankfulness. What a beautiful thing to get to experience!

I hear a lot of horrible statistics about women and children in the sex industry. But here’s the thing. We should never be overwhelmed with the magnitude of the enemy’s ways. The Lord’s light is brighter than the enemy’s darkness. Darkness is nothing to be afraid of when you are overflowing with the presence of the Lord. Instead, darkness should be afraid of YOU because you are a representative of the King of Glory.

It was such an honor to get to spend time with Annie, the CEO and founder of NightLight. She is such a beautiful, strong woman of faith. She simply listens to the Lord, trusts Him, and follows Him. She doesn’t just talk a big game.

The Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power. And the Kingdom of God is advancing the Kingdom of darkness in Bangkok because there are people who simply believe that God is powerful.

I loved getting to be a part of the NightLight culture in Bangkok over the past three weeks. It strengthens and encourages me to get to be a part of an organization that fearlessly lives out scripture and walks in obedience to the Lord.


  1. Hey Maribeth, this is Jordan Garrett.

    This blog post has been so inspiring to me! God has worked through you in wonderful ways! Your life has truly been an inspiration to not just me but everyone that's around you so thank you! keep blogging about your experiences, please!!

  2. So glad you started a blog, now I don't have to imagine all the good things you're up to! Thanks for sharing your experience, I can't wait to hear about it in person. Luv ya!

  3. loved this post mb. I really can't wait to hear more about this trip! Please block off a week for me when I get home. You're outstanding my friend.