By Michelle Banker:
I know you’ve heard about the global sex trafficking crisis, but how often do we get a chance to actually connect with and love those who are in the middle of it? I have an opportunity to do just that. I have a chance to meet face to face with those who are exploited and hurting. I believe that true healing and life-change happens when you can look someone in the eye and show her how valuable she is.
Thinking about writing this post made me a bit sweaty (TMI?). Multiple reasons. First, it’s always somewhat awkward to ask people for any type of help, financial or otherwise. Second, when I find myself thinking about this trip, the predominant feelings I have are excitement and nervousness…AND pukey-ness…that’s a feeling. This could be due to the fact that this trip is venturing outside of my comfort bubble, or perhaps I am having an adverse reaction to gluten.
So, here we go! There’s definitely something that draws me to Thailand, even though I’ve never been there. When I first heard about the trip I had this intense excitement rise up in me. Then, every time that I thought about it, that same feeling would come back. As far as dream mission trips are concerned, this is mine.
Can’t ignore it.
In order for me to go to Thailand and to participate in this adventurous mission, I need your help!
Because you don’t have a lot of time, here are the brass tacks of the trip:
- I’d love prayer support, like, seriously pray for me and tell me about it
- If you don’t believe in prayer, I’d appreciate your love and support
- This trip is through Arise! Women
- Dates: September 8-20 2015
- Destination: Pattaya and Bangkok, Thailand
- I need your financial support. The trip costs $2216 + and I plan on raising all of those funds through donations.
Here’s an overview/background info that Ali (one of the trip leaders) sent to me about the trip:
In Thailand, when you talk about prostitution, you talk about Pattaya. Known around the world as Thailand’s number one sun, sea and sex destination, it is home to at least 20,000 male, female and child prostitutes. During their high season, about one million visitors crowd Pattaya’s bars, nightclubs, massage parlors or steam baths.
We will be working with an established ministry that is a center for help, healing and hope. This ministry offers the ladies jobs in their card-making program, hairdressing salon, bakery, restaurant and other income-earning activities. They also give courses in life skills, English and how to connect with God. We will be going into the red-light districts in Pattya for outreach and connection, teaching English, sharing testimonies, as well as teaching vocational skills with women that have been rescued, and offering ministry appointments for the girls and staff.
We are partnering with a ministry that has been around since 2005. It is a registered jewelry business offering holistic employment; and the non-profit branch focuses on holistic intervention for women, families and communities affected by the global sex industry.
We will be meeting with rescued girls and ministering to them through private prayer appointments. We will pray for each girl individually and love on her. We will be sharing in chapel, doing outreach in the brothels, and hosting a red-light district party. This party will be a chance to invite the girls and kids to come in for food, make-up, prayer and games. We will be helping with their beauty shop as an outreach tool and offer any training skills that we have.
A question that haunts me (in a good way, friends) is, what does love look like? I believe that God made love to be practical. I can’t wait to love on these beautiful people in a practical way.
I know that this is a life-changing opportunity for me.
If you are able to respond with financial support, please send checks payable to “Arise! Women.” to:
1236 Upton Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55411
For tax deductible purposes, my name cannot appear anywhere on the check. Please mail the checks to me for collection and then I will forward them to Arise! Women’s Ministry. All donations made to Arise! Women are tax-deductible.
Tomorrow, we leave.
25 hours of travel time expected over the next two days.
15 month toddler and one on the way.
This is going to fun!
I started this journey back in December while I was in Beijing chatting with my dad. I had just spent three weeks helping hurting ones become healed ones and we were already talking about a return trip.
I did some sessions with a few men from a Chinese worship school in Beijing. They are now back in session and I plan on doing more sessions with them this time around.
Doing 3-hour prayer sessions dealing with the deepest, most painful parts of people’s lives is difficult. Doing that through a translator is something altogether different!
Holy Spirit dependency.
I also worked with a few english-speaking folk. I am hoping to finish the life of one woman with whom I did about 5 sessions last time.
This is a ground-breaking trip for me. I have a dream of a Prayer Resolution special forces squad that is highly trained, highly experienced and highly mobile who can deploy all over the world helping burned out missionaries, fallen pastors and other hurting ones (trafficked women, those escaping cults, etc).
This trip is the first step toward that dream.
Five of us will be doing sessions over the course of five weeks. Michelle (my wife), Amy, Bob, Ted and myself will be helping the existing and thriving work that is already happening in China. Their biggest need is to work with Chinese men and English speakers.
Almost all of those in China who have been trained in Prayer Resolution are Chinese women.
We aren’t going there to bring them God.
God is already there.
Active. Present. Powerful.
We’re going to support and help a healthy work of God.
To learn more about our trip Click Here.
Three and a half weeks away from my soon-to-be 10 month old is not an appealing opportunity by any stretch of the imagination. Michelle and I found that we were more than able to survive months apart from each other when I deployed to the Middle East while serving in the Air Force, but having Isaac is a game changer. If my immediate family was the only factor, then this would be a no-brainer. Still, we believe that God said, “Go” so I’m going.
My passion is to help people who are hurting be healed.
So, what am I doing over there? The same ministry I have been doing here: Prayer Resolution. It is, by far, the most life-changing and holistic way for any believer to deal with their past so that they are free to live in the present (healthily!) and move forward toward whatever God has for them in the future (that I know of).
So why go there to do what you’re already doing here?
It’s not that we are short of people here who are hurting and want help. Quite the opposite. For every person healed there will be half a dozen people who will want to go through it as they watch their friend transform. Health is contagious in the Kingdom. Once you taste it, you want the whole deal.
So, why go then? A couple of reasons: There are a number of men (it’s a rather rare thing for men to want to go through this in China… I guess that’s the same story here, but not so stark) who need to get through as many sessions as possible by the end of November. Most of the Safe Others whom my dad has trained are women, so he needs some support of the male type.
When God says, “Go,” who am I to change the assignment?
Another reason for me to go is for my own personal development. It is simply invaluable to work with a wide variety of Safe Others to learn from them and see different perspectives. I also have this dream of some day doing this ministry internationally (not necessarily me personally, but I’d be down) traveling wherever needed in support of missionaries in the field. The more cross-cultural experience I can get, the better.
Finally, I will get to spend Thanksgiving with my family in China. Of course, this is a win-lose for me since I will not be spending Thanksgiving with Michelle and Isaac. Bummer.
Here’s a couple of things that God orchestrated for this to come together:
- A couple of different people gave to us financially, totaling $250. This completely covered the visa costs for me.
- 20,000 delta miles points from a good friend that gave me just enough points, with the points I already had, for the entire round-trip. He actually had to pay Delta a bunch of money to transfer the points to me. This was a huge blessing (however ridiculous the policy is).
- A whole bunch of prayer support.