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Restoration for Pattaya

By Lydia Gingerich

Angie, Jake, and Karly live in Pattaya, Thailand, and are engaging in the effort to care for orphans and victims of human trafficking. Find out more about their story here.

When Angie, Jake, and Karly moved to Pattaya, Thailand, last year, they were struck by the vast number of abandoned and abused children as a result of pervasive sex tourism in the city. Through prayer, conversations with the leadership at their home congregation, and meeting with other ministries in Pattaya, this team has decided to pursue opening a home for vulnerable children.

The home will be an extension of 58:12 Rescue, a ministry established by Grace Mennonite Church in Holmes County, Ohio, to care for women who have been physically or sexually abused. Seeing the need to bring God’s healing to their community, Grace established a home to offer rescue, shelter, and restoration for these women and their children.

Before Angie moved to Thailand, she worked at the center as a “house mom,” supporting and caring for the women who sought refuge there. As she’s observed the same patterns of abuse and hurt in Pattaya, she wants to bring God’s healing here as well.

“There’s so much need all over the city. We feel called to work with the vulnerable children here in Pattaya,” Angie said during a Skype call to their home church.

Known as a prominent location for sex tourism, the city of Pattaya is filled with adults and children who are trapped in the industry. While there are numerous organizations working to bring people out of this darkness, the Grace team feels called to work specifically with children who have been abused, abandoned, or trafficked.

The plan is to establish a group of homes that provide family-style settings for these children to live in for as long as is necessary. Along with these homes, the team plans to be involved in community outreach – with the hope of discipleship and church planting resulting from those interactions. While many of the details of this ministry are yet to be figured out, the group is going forward in prayer and faith.

“We just want to make sure to go at a pace where we're following God and not going before God, because all of this is from God to start with. He’s given us the vision.”“We just want to make sure to go at a pace where we're following God and not going before God, because all of this is from God to start with. He’s given us the vision,” Jacob said.

Following God will require a lot of prayer and discernment with those around them. Karly shared that they are visiting churches in their area and seeking advice and partnership from Thai believers. They are currently looking for a local lawyer, a social worker, board members, and staff to partner with them.

They are also praying for more workers to join them in Thailand. There is one person from Grace who is currently working towards joining their team and they hope to see others who have a heart to walk alongside them in this venture.

These are the first steps in a long journey for this team – a journey that will hopefully lead to the life-changing restoration of God for many people in Pattaya.

Please pray for Angie, Jacob, and Karly as they follow God in each step of this journey. Pray that God would send the right people to work with them and that through this work his Kingdom would grow.