Transforming lives on four continents

Beauty from the Ashes

Posted by Ashleigh Gibb at 12:02 on 26th April 2017

Spiritual warfare. This word has so much attached to it. Underestimate it and it’s the devil’s way in, obsess about it and you forget that we have a king in whom we can rest assured is fighting out battles.

Much of march and sometime into April, the enemy decided he was going to wheedle his way In. I most certainly was under attack and much was at stake, my self-worth, my identity, my passions, my hopes and my dreams and my most of all my sole purpose for being here in Thailand. This is a topic that I questioned if I was going to write about it however I feel it is highly necessary because as Christians it is something that the Bible guarantees we are going to face. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

During March, I contemplated my purpose and just what I thought I was doing here In Thailand. I had recently lost something very dear to me, that thing was something that I realised I have put an enormous amount of my self-worth into, having lost it, the doubts began to creep in. “I am not strong enough to do this on my own, everything I have is back In the UK”. I questioned what good I was even doing on the streets of Bangkok, I’m stupid to think that I can change this culture, that women are going to trust me. Every time I lay my head down to sleep, I was troubled with the most horrendous night mares. Worst of all I didn’t feel I had the capacity to talk about this to any one. Surely many missionaries before me have come and merely got on with the job! Who am I to moan when I am witnessing pain much worse than my own. To put it quite simply, it was torture.

During this time a friend of mine who you may know from my last post; Lily, felt compelled to buy me a ticket to the Bethel Worship concert, all I can say is praise God for this! On the night, I had a spiritual block, I did not want to go in there but of course God’s power is made perfect in our weakness and he used this as a time to get through to me. That night released me of everything that had been held against me! Understanding that my worth lies in no one except the prince of peace. God has me in Thailand for a purpose and I absolutely must see that through! Singing over and over “I’m no longer a slave to fear” finally the penny dropped and a fire filled my tummy! That night I slept the best I had slept in weeks.

I can say that this night change the course of my life. Bethel, I thankyou!

After this time, I took myself off to a retreat in Hua Hin for a week. This was a huge concern for me to say the least, as many of you know, I am highly extroverted, I energize around people! However due to this it sometimes means that I forgo my time with God because I am so busy trying to fill the silence. On this retreat, I had nowhere to hide. I spent a week just being, I won’t lie and say it was an easy ride because there was a lot of pain I had to deal with, but guess what? God took that pain and right now he is for sure working it out for good.

God has planted some big dreams in my heart, some I question how they are ever going to begin but God knows , he will take the impossible and make it possible. I have passions in me that are burning and I just can’t wait to see where these years in Thailand are going to take me. Previously when I first came here I told myself it was for 2 years and 2 years only, this will work on my terms, now, however, my life is in God’s hands, if he says 10 years then so be it, I will strive to be all that I can so God can work in me to rescue his daughters in Thailand.

On my break I had the absolute privilege of visiting Hope Home in Chiang Mai to visit fellow mission worker Judy cook. Her work is admirable and I fell in love with her children, I cannot tell you how hard it was to pull myself away from baby Amos, I miss him everyday

I must end by telling you of the Nightlight retreat that happened at the start of April. It still fills my heart with joy. We saw 7 of the women who have joined Nightlight get baptised. It was an incredibly beautiful moment and many a tear was shed to say the least! The power of God is strong and he is breaking chains! We may look at the sex trade in Thailand and feel an overwhelming sense of helplessness but bit by bit we just need to take a step back and see the work that God is doing, one women at a time, his kingdom come.

3 more months left at Language school and then my full-time position at

Say and Lily thoroughly enjoying the Nightlight retreat! I am unable to post the Baptism pictures due to protecting the identity of the women.

Nightlight will begin, would we say I was nervous??Absolutely! one day at a time Ashleigh, what I am certain of is that in our weakest moments Jesus creates beauty from ashes.

If you pray I would love some right now if possible

-Pray that I will continue to understand my identity as a child of God

-There are more African women on the streets of the red-light area. Prayer for prevention and for God’s love to pour out amongst them through us

-Prayer for my finances that I will be a good steward and use them for God’s glory

Comments

Hi Ashleigh, just wanted to let you know how interesting and challenging I find your blogs! Thank you for being so open about what you've gone through since arriving in Thailand - such a lot to adjust to, and so many different experiences in a different culture! Three years ago I went to the Philippines with the International Justice Mission - just for a week, to get a greater understanding of the work they are doing - and part of our "education" was to tour the red light district of Cebu one evening, to see the extend of the problem. And it was street after street of girls, amny of whom had been trafficked. Such a huge feeling of wanting to do something, but also of feeling helpless. Thank you so much for all you are doing! I'm hoping the planned video link up on 11th June all work well, and we'll get to know you that bit better! God bless. Bob.

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