Thai 12 Mission TripIn 2012 the Rose Education Foundation was able to facilitate and partner with a group from Portrack Baptist Church for a mission to projects in Thailand.
Given a long-standing partnership between the foundation and the church, it was a natural connection that led to the decision to organise the mission trip. As part of their ongoing strategy, the youth team were keen to include oversees mission with a small number of their older young people and although they considered a number of other options and organisations, nothing came together until they began to pursue the idea of going to Thailand.
A team of ten came together, made up of five young people in their late teens and five leaders, and they travelled to Thailand with Maurice, but their work began long before as they first needed to raise the funds needed to get them there. As well as a variety of fundraising activities the team hosted a Thai dinner and auction night, which raised a large amount, and along with personal sponsorship they were able to achieve their target.
The team spent two weeks in Thailand, visiting, encouraging and working with two of the projects supported by the Rose Education Foundation: Rahab Ministries and the Pattaya Orphanage (see more details on these projects here).
Rahab Ministries provides loving support, education and training opportunities for women working in Bangkok’s red light district. Having been caught up in the sex industry through poverty and/or lack of education, Rahab provides the hope of an alternative life for these women, helping them to leave the sex-trade and find employment elsewhere. Whilst visiting the project our team were able to host an evening event for the women of the area, providing food, friendship and a safe place to be.
The latter part of the trip was spent at the Pattaya Orphanage, which provides a loving home for 170 children, as well as education, healthcare and continual support for the rest of their lives. The team offered games and activities for the children during the school break, making crafts, playing football and getting to know them, and at the end of the visit the team hosted a special party with all the children’s favourite foods, games, and a chance to celebrate the friendships that had been made.
As well as engaging with the projects, offering practical help and serving the women reached through Rahab and the children at the orphanage, the team met regularly to study and pray together and found these times of reflection to be a significant part of the mission as they processed all they had encountered.
Some members of the team had never been abroad before, and all were affected by their experiences, which was described as ‘eye-opening’ and ‘life-changing’.
The leaders explained that it especially helped the young people to have their minds broadened as they were introduced to another culture, and specifically, that they recognised how such an overtly sexualised culture plays a significant role in fuelling the shocking sex trade, which affects not just Thailand but also has an impact in the UK.
Whilst the trip was very challenging, it gave the participants a unique and unforgettable experience, inspired and encouraged them, as well as pushing to think beyond themselves. The Rose Education Foundation is grateful to the whole team for their hard work and hearts to give and serve to the projects we continue to gladly support.