Walking the streets I remember

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After spending such an amazing time in Chiang Rai Thailand I was sad to leave.  All the friendships we built, the things we learned, the things we taught, the laughter that was shared was somthing I will never forget.  I knew that the end would come sometime. This did infact get me excited about my next adventure!

Chiang Mai I am ready for you!

After a 3 hour bus ride I finally arrived! A Songthaew (kind of like a little bus) took me to Zion Cafe where I saw my wonderful friend Emmi!!  It’s been almost 2 years and I hadn’t seen the new location, the building, hostel, and all of it.  I walked around amazed! This place is lovely!  About 7 stories high filled with beautiful paintings from all different teams and individuals that are talented and creative!

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Check out http://www.lighthouseinaction.org

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I got set up in my room, made for 3 but have my own room =) on the 5th floor!  Each door has a different name: mine is “patience”.  Maybe that means I am supposed to be learning a thing or 2 about patience while I am here.  I then walked up to the rooftop where it overlooks the city and stood up there taking it all in!  I was then reminded how perfect it was to use as my morning workout spot!

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I didn’t waste any time for I wanted to explore this city I once knew.

It was incredible walking down the streets as everything was familiar.  I made it to the “Lighthouse.” This is where I stayed the last time I was here.  There are some side roads and a lot of the look very similar; surprisingly enough I found it first try!

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It was so fun as I saw the building.  It has changed a bit but still what I remember. =)

I got to pick up a lime green bike (one of my favorite colors), and took off for the open road!  I road all over the place.  Finding little shops, coffee houses and more that I remember.

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During the evenings there is a night market which is right where Zion cafe and hostel is located. I spent about 4 hours as I roamed the streets, people watched, ate some street food, and bought a few gifts.

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Thanks Chiang Mai for welcoming me so nicely! I can’t wait for tomorrow and what is yet to come!

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Never ending bike ride

Such an incredible day! One of our last days here in Chiang Rai!
Michelle and I rented bikes the whole time we were here. It can get pretty pricey getting a taxi or tuk-tuk everywhere you go, so this was perfect!
Everyone did think we were a bit crazy, maybe we are ;), for bike riding to Singha Park AND the white temple.  It was about a 4 hour bike ride today on single speed bikes.

But hey, it was perfect, we got to see the scenery, enjoy the breeze and get a great workout too; while the sun beamed on us the entire time and sweat took us over!  It really was a great day!

So sad to leave this wonderful place and our girls, but so blessed, happy that we were apart of it all here with Destiny Rescue.

Now, excited for the next stop: Chiang Mai, here I come!

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A Love in Constant Pursuit

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Coming from a family that loves me and supports me in the United States and in Spain has really made me know how blessed I am.  I cannot imagine a life of bondage, manipulation, abuse, or sexual exploitaion.  I continually ask God to “break my heart for what breaks His,”and guess what, all these things break His heart.

Over the past week we have been able to be apart of such an amazing thing. Girls that have been rescued from abuse, pain, and sexual exploitation are now learning their worth value and that no matter where they have been, no matter where they go, God’s heart burns for theirs and is in constant pursuit of them.

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These girls are so beautiful. Ranging from ages 15-18 they each have a specific story and God continues to write.  Their lives are now being redeemed of hope, value and love.  They no longer have to believe the lies they once knew. They no longer have to worship idols that don’t love them back, they are no longer broken but healed into wholeness.

It reminds me of  reading a great story in the bible; Hosea 11 talks about how when Israel was a child, God loved him.  The more God loved them the further away they moved from God.  In verses 8 & 9 God says that there is no way He can give up on Israel.  He can’t let them go.  Even if they have been doing their own thing, worshiping idols, being adulterous, it doesn’t matter; all God longs for is Israel to come back to God once again like when they were children.

All I can think about is the LOVE and PURSUIT of God for these girls.

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Tears roll down my face as I remenice over the past week.  Their laughter, their smiles, their sweet words, the way they worship God with their bodies through yoga, dance, the way they are so creative drawing, the way they love when I compliment them, when I hug them, when they are given attention and affection, the way they look so cute when their eyes are glued to the bible as they nod their head to the truth they read.

They are hungry for Jesus.

They are finally taken out of that place of darkness, manipulation, brokenness and brought to a NEW place.  When they were in these places God was pursuing them the whole time.  These girls are like Israel, His heart BURNS for them.  He can’t love them any more or any less.  They are perfect in His eyes.

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Of course there is still woundedness, healing that needs done, confusion that they want answers for but each day they draw closer and closer to God, who is all they need.

I can’t wait to see the growth of these beautiful young girls and the futures they each will have as they learn to use their gifts to be fabulous baristas, hair dressers, fashion designers, jewelry makers, doctors or whatever they want to be!

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When there hasn’t been stability in their life before now, I thank you Jesus that you have ALWAYS pursued them and you never stop!

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A body more than sexy

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You are so intricate, so perfect, so whole and wonderfully made. There is nothing you can do or not do for Him to notice you any differently.

Psalm 139

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!

Today with our girls we got to take some time to share one of my favorite truths in the bible.  Each girl got a chance to read this and get creative with drawing, writing, or coloring on a bookmark where they will always remember this.  I was incredibly amazed by the talent and artistic creativity in each of them.  It was so neat to see what inspired each one.

Keeping this truth in mind, all of us girls, once again, went on the rooftop where we got to lead them through a couple yoga sequences to some fun worship tunes.  It was so awesome to see them participate as if they have been doing yoga for years. To see them moving their bodies in the way that God designed them to move and breathe was priceless.  We got to shout from the rooftop thanking God for another day and thanking Him for the design He created.  We wouldn’t be able to do anything if it weren’t for Him.

I know these girls have never experienced anything like it.

We know these girls love to dance.  So guess what…for the last 15 minutes of our time together we turned on the song, “no woman no cry”, originally by Bob Marley, but another version.  We kept adding more 8 counts as we got into a hip hop song. Oh my goodness, I wish you could have seen how much fun and laughter that was filling that rooftop!

The important thing we want our girls to know is that it’s ok to move, it’s ok to dance, it’s ok to do yoga; it doesn’t have to mean that its only for “sex” or to “be sexy” but that you have a body that is worth something.  God created you.  Lets be a kid again, lets giggle as we move our body in ways we never have before, lets see it as an innocent thing and restore what has been stolen from them.

Can’t wait for another day tomorrow!

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She smiles at her future

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Today was the day.

The first day to step foot into Destiny Rescue in Thailand to meet the girls I have been praying specifically for for the last few months and those I’ve been longing to meet.

Ranging from ages 17-19 years old it is such a privelege to be a small part of their life to share something very special to us (Michelle and I) as we got to learn some things from them.  This afternoon we reached a beautiful rooftop with open air, overlooking parts of the city. Michelle and I look at eachother and knew there was no other place we wanted to be other than here.

We had loads of huge mats that we set up for each of the girls. After introducing ourselves we got to learn the names and ages of each beautiful girl.  Most of these girls know nothing about their bodies except the fact that they’ve been told their worth is physically needing to look good on the outside, needing to be skinny, and the need for glowing white skin.  They don’t know that exercise is good, that healthy food is good and that God created them so beautifully and perfectly.

To share our passion with these girls about their worth, about being healthy, learning that God lives in them and that they can worship God with their beautiful bodies gives me butterflies on the inside. It’s so exciting.

We spent time warming our bodies up, moving, inhaling and exhaling deep, and got into some great partner moves and stretches.  They loved those as we got to use eachother to strengthen, balance and depend on one another.  We laughed until we fell on the ground. To watch them enjoy these movements, to see them practicing yoga while worshipping Jesus in a new way was amazing.

Last week in Cambodia working with Kate Korpi Salon, I was inspired by the time we took each morning to talk about something we are greatful for.  Today we went around in a circle talking about which pose/movement they liked the most and one thing they are greatful for.  This was my favorite part.  To watch the girls giggle as they showed us the new poses they learned and why they liked them was inspiring. It showed us how each girl had something stand out to them where they felt different on the inside and out, affecting them in a good way.  It was also very humbling to hear how greatful they are for us to be there to teach them something new they have never experienced.

We are so blessed to be where we are, doing what we love and sharing it with those who need it. There is freedom, there is hope, healing and restoration!

She smiles at her future.

We cannot wait for tomorrow! Greatful to look forward to another day!

Thank you for being apart of this journey!

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An everlasting Foundation

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It seems sureal sometimes when you think of creating something that is going to be everlasting.  Something that others will use as tools for their future.  It can be scary.  Is it something I can actually do?

A foundation is the basis or groundwork of anything. It’s the natural, prepared ground or base in which structure rests.

With a weak foundation there is no way for a solid superstructure or anything everlasting.

Yesterday 3 of us stepped foot into the Kate Korpi salon in Cambodia ready to begin a platform for a future.  With our thinking caps on and creativity levels up we began the brainstorming of the educational cirriculum for the future of the students at the salon.  We went back and forth on ideas about what it could look like for a fun, sustainable, empowering environment for the young adults to learn in.

Keeping into consideration the background of the students and their culture, which is very imporatant, we came up with some fun activities in which they will be able to learn and thrive in this environment.  It is now the begininning of the foundation that we can then use to pass down to the next educators.

This is SO EXCITING!!!! These students will thrive from the hard work and dedication put into this groundwork! And we are making it for something more. Something big. It’s all for them and an everlasting future!

Is there something that you are building a foundation for? Something that you can also create for others to follow as you inspire and encourage them in their gifts that will be an everlasting support?

Go for it, build something, be an everlasting!

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Open Arms

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One of my favorite things is listening to peoples’ stories. To learn something new about someone, to hear about life exeriences, to share a journey with someone, to understand what brought one to the place they are now…in these moments I am humbled.image

This is when I sit back and thank God for every amazing story.  Each person has been stretched in ways I can only imagine.

Yesterday we were able to take a Tuk-Tuk ride (a little moto with a wagon like thing on the back) to Open Arms here in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  As we walked in we were welcomed with a huge hug from the fouder, Sandra, felt refreshed, this place was beautiful.

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They have a home called Alabaster, that was inspired by the song: Alabaster box by CeCe Winans, where young girls and women who are sex- trafficked victims, can come off the street to take a shower, clean up, eat, sleep, do their hair, and REST.  It’s the place that they feel peace and loved righ where they are at…not needing to be anywhere else, not needing to be someone else but that no matter what they did yesterday, what they do tomorrow they have a place of rest and that they have an opportunity to turn their life around for a better, sustainable future.

Because they are worth it.

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Tomorrow, they have their first girl from the alabaster house who is coming off the streets.  She says she is done…she needs out..she needs a future. She has hope.

Open Arms is a place where God is first, they teach that they are unconditionally loved and they have a future and hope apart from the sex trade; the life they only know.  They have the opportunity to become amazing chefs, bakers, and hair dressers!  We got to taste some of the delicious food and see the beauty school/ education center and salon where they were doing hair, nails, and massage.  Such a beautiful place.  The young girls are beautiful.

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It all began because a husband and wife knew they were made for Big things.  Bigger things they even knew themselves.

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