Pray for Karen SmithSeptember 21, 2010
Karen serves at the New Life Center Foundation (NLCF), an evangelical ministry located in Northern Thailand. NLCF works exclusively with ethnic minority (tribal) women throughout the Mekong sub- region (Thailand and its neighboring countries) who are at risk for, or victims of, labor exploitation which includes forced work in factories, local markets, domestic situations, and prostitution. There are risks involved in this ministry that makes Christ's love known to vulnerable and exploited people. Because of those risks, Karen's photo is not used.
She writes: The New Life Center Foundation works with victims of all forms of forced labor and human trafficking. Because we’re focused on caring for emergency cases and staying in touch with what’s going on in the region regarding these issues, things can feel quite discouraging at times. Yet in the midst of tragedy there are also joys - and wonderful progress is being made, slowly but surely.
This past summer, four of our precious residents (two of whom came to us through emergency circumstances) secured employment at the Wacoal garment factory. The opportunity to work in a professional environment, implement skills they learned at the New Life Center, and earn money was tremendously important for these kids and for us, too! After hearing about so many factories that exploit their workers, getting to meet the staff of Wacoal - and getting to see the professional way that they run the company - was so encouraging. We hope that this positive experience will result in future summer job placements for more of our residents.
In other news, the NLCF staff and I are gearing up for meetings when we re-assess and review our NLCF goals and objectives. We track our program outcomes over a three year cycle. We are currently in the third and last year of our current cycle, so we’ll be meeting later this month in order to adjust our objectives for the upcoming period. Now many of you might think that this sounds really boring! But the truth is, it’s great stuff – especially for someone who loves organizational development as much as I do!
To prepare ourselves for these meetings, we hosted a “Changing Trends” workshop, attended by NLCF board members, former and current residents & staff, and tribal leaders. We invited four community experts and NGO partners (in the areas of social welfare, migration, trafficking, and human rights) to speak about changing trends in their particular area of expertise.
- Will you pray with me and the NLCF staff about the next set of meetings, scheduled in just a few weeks? Please pray for staff unity; that we would have a clear sense of how God wants us to use all our resources; that every objective we adjust would be completely in line with God's ideal will for this ministry. Please pray for God's protection over us and His continued guidance and presence as we shape our goals for the upcoming 3 years. Thank you...!
- Pray for Karen as she serves Christ in this ministry to and in behalf of the “least of these.”