Annie Dieselberg: Fulfilling God’s Call to lead spiritual transformation
"Sue" and her family
Pilgrimage: Joyous Bangkok Reunions!!!
She calls me “Mom”—“Sue” hardly remembers her own family. She was trafficked into Thailand from Burma when she was 11 years old. Fortunately, she was rescued by the police and sent to live with us. She finished 12th grade at the New Life Center where she was a star worship leader. Early on in her stay in with us, she told me that she wanted to go to Bible School—so that she could most effectively share Jesus love with others. I’m so proud of her! She’s now living in Bangkok with her pastor husband and 2 smart sons—and is teaching Bible classes at a local school. You can imagine what a joyous reunion we had last night!
While I was in Thailand, God provided friends in places of influence—and Dr. Saisuree was one of the most special. As a member of the Prime Minister’s cabinet for women’s and children’s issues, she was well-known and highly respected—and one of the few Christians in Thai politics. If I ever had a problem with the police or other government officials, I could simply say, “I have Dr. Saisuree’s phone number—shall we call her?” and the problem would mystically be resolved. I had to use her “trump card” often, especially because 70% of our residents at that time had no citizenship in Thailand—even though some had lived here for generations. Having no documents meant high risk for exploitation in the sex industry, where brothel owners paid off the police to allow undocumented persons to work. We got the young women into school so that they’d be able to have an education while at the same time we’d be working on documentation. Among many, many other things, Dr. Saisuree wrote a major piece of legislation which permitted non-registered children and youth to attend school, no matter their legal status. I carried that law in my purse, with the significant phrases highlighted in yellow—and pulled it out for school officials to read when they were ready to refuse school registration to our residents. Now retired, she still serves as a senior advisor to the Prime Minister and also as the Thai representative to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) at the United Nations. We will both attend the CEDAW meetings at the UN in March, 2011. She will lead the Thai delegation and be working on high level plans of action. I will spend my time with the grass-roots organizations—and we will keep each other informed about goings on at the top—and bubbling up from the below. It’s fun to watch God at work in the midst!
What a great time I had with IM missionary Annie Dieselberg this afternoon—catching up with the goings on at NightLight, and hearing about her visions for the future. Annie is the founder and CEO of NightLight’s amazing ministry with women in the Nana red-light district in Bangkok. It serves the women through offering economic alternatives as a business, employing them in the NightLight Jewelry factory. And the staff and volunteers also spend several nights a week visiting in the bars, showing God’s unconditional love, praying with and for the women, offering prayers of deliverance from the evils they have encountered. God is working powerfully through NIghtLight—recently, they were able to buy a building in the middle of the Nana bar district. Annie’s vision: to transform this area spiritually and economically from the very center. THANK YOU for your part in making Jesus known in dark places through your generosity of prayers and giving through the World Mission Offering!
And the journey continues...