Spiritual workout advice from the heart of the red light district

Staying strong:

spiritual workout advice from the heart of the red light district

Ashleigh Gibb shares how she’s learnt to maintain her spiritual health as she shares God’s love in the bars and brothels of Bangkok’s red light district.

They seem contradictory: strong spiritual health and Bangkok’s notorious red light district. But for BMS World Mission worker Ashleigh Gibb, who has been serving there for the last two years, staying spiritually healthy is one of the most important parts of her calling.

Ashleigh works with BMS partner NightLight. She goes into bars and brothels to provide the women working there a safe space where they can share their stories and be themselves. She spends every day with victims of human trafficking. She is surrounded by women who sell their bodies because they have nothing else to sell. Understandably, it takes a toll on her spiritual strength. So Ashleigh takes action to keep her spirit healthy, so she can get through every day serving these women in the best way she can.

We asked her to talk us through a spiritual workout, so you can keep your spirit as strong as Ashleigh’s.

Ashleigh Gibb in Bangkok
Ashleigh Gibb stays physically and mentally strong while working in one of the world's most unloving places.

1. Don’t skip leg day

Your physical and spiritual health are two parts of one whole – make sure you’re working on them both. As personal trainers (like Ashleigh used to be) will often say: “Don’t skip leg day,” meaning: don’t just do the things you find easy or fun. For Ashleigh, discipline has paid off.  “God has blessed me with a phenomenal gym,” says Ashleigh. “I’m able to work out physically, but it’s also a good outlet for me to get all that trauma and anger out on a barbell.”

You don’t have to go to the gym as often as Ashleigh does, but why not try out something like pilates or a fitness class? It’s a great way to strengthen your physical body, as well as keeping your mind focused, so you can spend some time in prayer without distractions.

2. Stick to your exercise routine

It’s easy to say that you’re going to spend more time focusing on your spiritual health, do it for a couple of days, and then forget about it. Ashleigh knows all too well how difficult this can be. “I have to be so intentional about prayer and about being in the Word of God,” she says. “Because if I take myself away from that, then that’s when the enemy starts to feed me lies.”

It might be difficult at first. But if you create a routine and stick to it, you’ll soon find that it becomes a natural part of your daily life. Try to find a regular time when you can work on your spiritual health in whatever way you find helpful.

Ashleigh Gibb in Bangkok's red light district.
Ashleigh Gibb keeps her spirit healthy, so she can always support the women she meets in Bangkok's red light district.

3. Find a workout buddy

You don’t have to do this alone. Let other people into your life who can encourage you and who can hold you accountable. “I’ve got some spiritual mentors,” says Ashleigh. “They love me, they guide me, and they aren’t scared to ask me difficult questions about where I’m at in my spiritual journey.”

Find someone you trust and who you can rely on as your spiritual mentor. Be open about your spiritual journey with them and encourage them to be open about theirs with you. Hold each other accountable when you make commitments in your spiritual lifestyle and tell each other when you are struggling. It’s easier to do it together.

My spiritual mentors aren’t scared to ask me difficult questions about where I’m at in my spiritual journey

4. Use your mistakes to bulk up

Ashleigh is open with the women she meets about the struggles she’s had in the past. She tells a story of an African woman she met on the streets of Bangkok, and how shocked she was at how similar their lives were. “We just stood on the street and wept,” says Ashleigh. “In that moment, she needed to be loved. And she needed to know that she was loved by Christ and I was able to offer that to her because I was vulnerable.”

Be open about your mistakes and learn from them. You’ll only hurt yourself more if you keep them shut away and refuse to grow from them. Use them to improve your spiritual strength, and, like Ashleigh, you will be able to help others improve theirs.

Ashleigh couldn’t be where she is today without your prayers. Please continue to pray for her:

  1. Pray that Ashleigh’s spiritual strength continues to grow as she continues working with NightLight and serving the women in Bangkok’s red light district.
  2. Pray for a brothel Ashleigh goes to regularly. It was recently raided and all the women who worked there were put in prison. Pray that these women are treated fairly.
  3. Pray for the Thai Government, that they will be able to crack down on human trafficking while still preserving the dignity of victims.
  4. Pray for victims of human trafficking worldwide, that they will receive justice and be liberated.
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Fearless: taking on the Sahara Desert, raging rivers, and the sex industry

Fearless:

taking on the Sahara Desert, raging rivers, and the sex industry

There’s nothing overstated about the headline above. BMS World Mission workers enter isolated, extreme and often dangerous places because God has empowered them to change people’s lives for the better. They tread fearlessly knowing you are standing alongside them in prayer. So please read on for some of their latest blogs.

1. When you get lost, stuck and weary in the desert

Nightmare journeys home usually consist of heavy traffic, train cancellations, or flight delays. Not so for BMS surgeons Andrea and Mark Hotchkin. For these two brilliant mission workers, along with their children Ruth and Rebecca, the journey home to Bardaï in northern Chad involved getting lost in the Sahara desert, camping outside as lightning struck, and digging for hours to release their vehicle from sand. And if that wasn’t challenging enough, a dust storm then hit. Read the Hotchkins’ blog to find out how they got home!

Truck stuck in the mud in a desert
The Hotchkin family not only faced flooding in a desert, they also had the problem of sand becoming mud.

2. Cable bridges, landslides and a lot of walking – just to reach schools

Simon Hall holding a book as children surround him
Children’s books (and Simon Hall) are clearly popular at this remote school in Lamjung District

It’s fair to say that Simon Hall put in a lot of effort to reach the school in the photo above. That’s what’s needed in Lamjung District, Nepal, where BMS teacher trainer Simon serves. The school you can see was one of 15 that Simon and three of his colleagues visited in just one week. Reaching them involved crossing cable bridges over raging rivers, walking for hours up steps, and then travelling in jeeps up to altitude-sickness-inducing heights. The journey was understandably draining, but it was nothing compared to what was to come for Simon. Please read his blog today and pray with him using his prayer points.

3. Joining the fight to eradicate TB

Can you imagine being part of history? BMS mission workers James and Ruth Neve don’t have to. As part of the Indian Government’s plan to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) from the country by 2025, James and Ruth are going to be giving training to people who have been cured of the illness. Their training courses will teach vital skills to help some of the poorest and most marginalized people in India generate a better income and turn their lives around. Read James and Ruth’s blog post about the day they decided to help change the world.

Ruth Neve signing TB agreement
Ruth Neve signs a life-changing agreement

4. ‘I want women to understand that God created us beautiful’

Ashleigh Gibb witnesses pain every day. She serves with BMS in the red light district of Bangkok, where she enters bars and brothels to speak words of love and kindness to women who have been trafficked. She also works in a coffee shop, that gives women who have managed to escape the sex industry the chance to learn new skills. Ashleigh’s blogs are always very powerful and heartfelt, none more so than her latest post in which she writes about the importance of loving those around us, even those who are hard to love.

Ashleigh Gibb in Bangkok
BMS worker Ashleigh Gibb takes the light of Christ into the darkness of Bangkok’s sex industry.

5. ‘May you know that you are loved with a constant and eternal love’

The Ovendens sit together with new baby Eleanor
Please keep Joe, Reuben, Lois, Eleanor and Connie Ovenden in your prayers.

This may not be the frontline of mission work, but we’re confident you’ll want to read about it. There was much joy in the BMS family when news came through about the newest Ovenden. Eleanor Ada Joy was welcomed into the world on Tuesday 18 September, a third child for BMS workers in Uganda, Joe and Lois. We give thanks today for the blessing of new life, and for everything that Joe and Lois do for BMS. They’ve posted a prayer for Eleanor in their latest blog. After you’ve read it, please pray for Eleanor.

God is with our mission workers, as are you. It is your faithful prayer and giving that enables them to be on the frontline of mission, helping the sick in Chad, children in Nepal, women who have been trafficked in Thailand, and many others in need around the world. Our mission workers across the globe write blogs about their work and we often post them on our Facebook page, along with prayer requests and videos. Please check it out, and please do comment on the blogs with words of encouragement for our workers! We love to hear from you.

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Pioneer mission: The church planters who need your prayer

Pioneer mission:

The church planters who need your prayer

Being Jesus in a village that is 100 per cent Buddhist is challenging work. Our church planters Helen and Wit Boondeekhun would love you to partner with them in prayer as they live out their faith in Wang Daeng village. Meet them and their new neighbours in this video brought to you straight from Thailand!

“We have one secret believer. But nobody really knows about this. She hasn’t been brave or bold enough to tell her friends yet, because it’s hard.”

It’s really difficult for people to convert to Christianity in Wang Daeng, in northern Thailand. BMS World Mission workers Helen and Wit have been living out their Christian faith in the village for the last two years – faithfully serving the community and trying to meet the practical needs of their new neighbours.

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They’ve been building friendships, teaching English, and helping women develop new skills. They’ve also hired a youth worker called Tah, who is training young people in football and guitar, and building relationships with their families.

Helen, Wit and Tah have become part of the community – and they’re so happy that their new friend Suree has become a believer. Now, they would love to see more fruit!

Would you pray with them for Wang Daeng? Download our prayer poster at the bottom of the page, print it out and stick it somewhere you will see it to remind you to pray for Helen, Wit and Tah, and the village of Wang Daeng.

PLEASE PRAY

  1. Pray for ten people to come to know Jesus Christ as their personal saviour in the next 12 months, through the ongoing witness of Helen, Wit and Tah. Pray that they will be the beginnings of the first church in Wang Daeng.
  2. Pray for Suree. Pray that she would continue to grow in her faith, and that God would give her boldness to share the gospel with her family and friends. Pray too that he would give Wit and Helen the wisdom to support her and disciple her well.
  3. Pray for Tah, as he seeks to build relationships and share the gospel with young people in Wang Daeng. Pray for energy, discernment and opportunities for him to pray with and encourage his football players and guitar students.
  4. Pray for God to bless Wang Daeng and all of its inhabitants with peace, joy and opportunity. Pray for real hope to drive out despair.
  5. Pray for Helen and Wit as they live and serve in Wang Daeng. Everyone knows that they are Christians, and they feel like there are thousands of eyes on them. Pray for protection and blessing on their lives, so that they can be salt and light.
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Click the image to download and print the prayer points.

Wonderfully Made: See the amazing things God has done in the lives of Tada, Phil and Natalie

Wonderfully Made:

See the amazing things God has done in the lives of Tada, Phil and Natalie

Last year, you met Adventure Man, Mr Determined and Captain Kindness. One year on, we caught up with them and witnessed first-hand how God has been at work in their lives in miraculous ways.

Tada survived a life-threatening head injury. Phil learnt a new skill that has transformed his world. And Natalie is thriving in her foster family. Last year, you came alongside these three superchildren by supporting Wonderfully Made. Now, we hope you’ll be excited to see them again and witness how your prayers for them have been answered.

Watch the video to see Tada, Phil and Natalie, and to hear some wonderful news!

Two hundred and eighty-eight churches supported our Wonderfully Made appeal, and thousands of you gave, raising £157,982.44 for BMS World Mission work in Thailand and around the world. Thank you so much! We are so grateful for your gifts and your prayers. They have had a huge impact in tens of thousands of people’s lives in some of the toughest places on the planet, by God’s grace. And they’ve also made a real difference to Natalie (aka Captain Kindness), Phil (aka Mr Determined) and Tada (aka Adventure Man).

Tada is still as adventurous as he ever was. We’re not sure if he was just showing off for the camera, but he also seems to be using his energy to keep Hope Home looking its best!

As you heard in the video, Tada had an accident at his school that resulted in a serious and potentially fatal head injury. The doctors couldn’t understand how he survived it, but we know that God saved his life. BMS nurse Judy Cook swiftly removed Tada from that school and he now goes to a different one with some of his friends from Hope Home. Thank you so much for praying for him through Wonderfully Made. Tada’s recovery is one amazing example of God answering your prayers through the year. And it’s so exciting to see.

Natalie is thriving in her foster family and is enjoying going to school. She still loves to sing.

We are also really excited about the progress Phil has made in communicating using a specially customised iPad (if you haven’t seen him in action, watch the video!). He’s now able to let his Hope Home family know what he is thinking – freeing him from the frustration of being unable to communicate his thoughts, feelings and desires. He’s also hugely developed his mobility and is now able to walk with support and use his legs to wheel himself around in his wheelchair – giving him much more independence in movement (although admittedly at the risk of other people’s toes!).

We hope that seeing Phil’s newfound ability to communicate, watching Tada scoot around the garden – alive and well against all odds, and hearing Natalie sing Jesus’ love is very wonderful brought as big a smile to your face as it did to ours! You’re a part of their stories and their happiness, and we are so grateful to you.

From Judy and everyone at Hope Home – thank you!

How football is being used to share the gospel

More than just a game:

how football is being used to share the gospel

The best part of the World Cup has already happened, even if your team wins.

We’re in love with football right now at BMS World Mission, and it’s not just because of the action on the pitch in Russia. The reason is far more important than any goal or victory. The gospel is being shared, accepted and lived out thanks to the powerful combination of your support and the beautiful game.

The World Cup mission field: introducing fans to Jesus

One-to-one chats about Jesus. New Testament distribution. Booklets answering questions about Christianity. It’s not the usual build-up to a game that football supporters have, but it’s what fans from Iran and the Arabic nations of Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia experienced at the World Cup.

Thanks to a BMS grant, and support from churches and Christian organisations around the world, evangelists from the Middle East and Europe travelled to Russia to meet these fans. In the days before matches, the volunteers approached supporters, and in their own language, shared their faith. Then on match days, they handed out New Testaments in Arabic and Farsi, along with booklets and SD cards that explained more about what it means to be a Christian.

And though none of these five countries made it to the next stage of the tournament, many of their supporters will be heading home having experienced Jesus’ love for the first time, and with the Scripture our Father desires them to read.

The Brazilian footballer in India: outreach goals

Joshua* sought fame and glamour when he started his professional football career in Brazil.

After his worldly success, his passion for football still remains, but Joshua’s focus has changed. He’s now a coach and a Christian, and he’s combining these two influential parts of his life to help children who have next to nothing.

Thanks to your giving, Joshua held training sessions in Delhi last year for children aged seven to 14. The children received coaching for the first time, got to play on a first-class training pitch, and sense, often for the first time, the joy that playing sport can produce. But it’s not only the children who attended those sessions who will benefit from Joshua’s work. Christian football coaches from across India were also there to learn so that they could return to their communities and hold training sessions that will help young people.

Young people with footballs at their feet listen to a man talk.
Children in Delhi take in every word that Brazilian football coach Joshua says, as do the local coaches behind him. From Brazil to the world: football is carrying mission, with your help.

With your support, Joshua’s work has made an impact in India and he hopes to work in Guinea and Thailand later this year too.

“I know I can get a ball, go on a field and share the gospel with more than 50 children,” says Joshua. “It’s amazing when you go into a place, leave a legacy, and see people becoming Christians.”

The club that teaches a whole lot more than how to play football

It takes more than skill to be part of Blessed Boys Football Club in Guinea. Players need to show teamwork, discipline and a commitment to putting school first.

BMS worker Ben takes deprived children under his wing and shows them a different way to the one taken by other managers in his community.

Whilst others use aggression and violence to get results, Ben does not. If one of his players needs someone to advocate for them in school, Ben is there. And if they need extra help, they can receive it at the summer classes he helped set up with his wife, Isabelle, a passionate teacher.

Here, football often leads to learning – both academically and values.

Boys of the Blessed Boys Football Club in Guinea play football.
These young players in Guinea are becoming better footballers (and people) with the help of BMS worker Ben.

The team that warms up with worship

Most teams start their preparation for a game with sprints and ball drills. Not so for the team that youth worker Ajarn Tah formed in a village in northern Thailand. For these players, preparation begins with Christian songs in a local church and a short message before they head to their match.

Supported by BMS, Tah formed the team to stop young people from falling prey to alcohol and drugs, like others are in the village of Wang Daeng. It didn’t take much to start the side, just a few hours in fact, and enough players had come forward.

But had it not been for your giving, those ten-to-13-year-olds would have not been able to enjoy the thrill of winning their first game, or the joy of worshipping Jesus together. And this wholesome hobby is, in a very real way, keeping them safe.

Young football players take the ball round cones on a grass field
Children in a village in northern Thailand had little to keep them busy until a football team was formed with your help.

Jesus’ love has been felt at the World Cup and on football pitches in Delhi, Guinea and Thailand.

Even if football is the last thing on your mind, consider this: there are people stepping into the freedom of a life in Christ through sport. What a victory that is. What a reason to cheer. That’s something we can all support.

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* Name changed to protect identity

The kingdom builders: meet six BMS workers giving it all for Christ

The kingdom builders:

meet six BMS workers giving it all for Christ

Today, they’ll face everything from apathy and suspicion to persecution. Yet nothing will stop these BMS World Mission workers sharing Jesus’ love in hostile, remote and hard-to-reach communities.

The couple opening minds in a secular nation

Names: Samuel Duval and Valérie Duval-Poujol

Location: Mus, southern France

The challenge: serving in a country where evangelical Christians are almost non-existent, the Muslim community is the largest in Europe, and secularism is a hallmark of national identity.

The ministry: Facebook. YouTube. Email. And also in the church they planted. Pastor Samuel Duval and theologian Valérie Duval-Poujol embrace every way possible to tell people about their faith. People from across France are sending them questions about the Bible and Jesus, reaching out for answers. BMS workers Samuel and Valérie are listening, engaging, and telling them about Jesus.

A man wearing glasses and in a jacket and wearing a waistcoat, stands next to a woman with glasses and wearing a light blue shirt
Church planters Samuel Duval and Valérie Duval-Poujol embrace traditional and modern means to communicate their faith.

“The one thing that French people have is that they are thinkers,” says Samuel. “The French Baptists are just a few, but we have a massive impact with theology. When someone is a Christian in France, he can’t just be a regular Christian, he is a strong Christian.”

The youth worker using football and music to share his love for Jesus

Name: Ajarn Tah

Location: northern Thailand

The challenge: alcoholism and drug taking are destroying lives in the Thai Buddhist village where youth worker Ajarn Tah works. BMS workers Helen and Wit Boondeekhun brought him in to try and stop young people from drifting into addiction.

The ministry: starting a football team takes hard work, patience and, critically, players. Tah managed to form his team of ten to 13-year-olds in just one afternoon. Clearly the recruits knew what to do as they not only won their first match, they did so 6-1! And more than just the beautiful game, young people are hearing about a meaningful life. Before each match, the entire team goes to a local church to sing Christian songs, play games and hear a short message.

A woman in a white t-shirt stands next to a man in a white t-shirt in a forest.
Football ministry is helping Ajarn Tah, pictured here with his wife Ajarn Baeng, connect with young people in a village in northern Thailand.

Tah’s work in the village of Wang Daeng also sees him teaching guitar to pupils at the village school, using Christian songs to share his passion for Jesus.

The multi-tasker who's all about bringing new light

Name: Isaiah Thembo

Location: Kasese District, western Uganda

The challenge: helping people turn their lives around when they’ve dropped out of school and have no qualifications, money or hope.

The ministry: teaching skills like tailoring, carpentry, mechanics and hairdressing at a BMS-supported training centre.

“People have businesses now,” says project manager, Isaiah. “And that means they can earn money, rent a house, and send a child to school.”

A man wearing a smart suit and tie stands in front of trees, smiling at the camer
BMS worker Isaiah Thembo is supporting projects in western Uganda that help bring people out of poverty.

And Isaiah has not only helped to turn lives around at the skills centre. He’s also helped to install solar powered lighting in churches in western Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains, where communities have no electricity. People use the churches to read and study because they have light, instead of burning kerosene lanterns which produce a toxic smoke.

“These projects are connecting the community to God,” says Isaiah. “They are helping people, and transforming hundreds of lives.”

Watch: this is the difference your support has made to a mountain village

The pastor who takes on the Amazon to connect with believers

Name: Pastor Luis Alvarado Dolly

Location: the Peruvian Amazon

The challenge: reaching rural communities accessible only by boat or through dense rainforest where Christians are very isolated. There’s also the very real threat of being bitten by mosquitoes, tarantulas and snakes.

The ministry: providing theological and leadership training to rural pastors who have never received it. Pastor Luis visits river and jungle pastors, inviting them to stay at the BMS-supported Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre where they get biblical training and lessons in how to care for their land.

Pastor Luis Alvarado Dolly looks at a camera
Pastor Luis is strengthening pastors in rural Peruvian communities.

Combining a relentless passion for the gospel with a brilliant smile and a heart for the poor, Pastor Luis is inspiring Christians to be stronger, better leaders in their communities.

The woman resisting persecution to help people find Jesus

Name: Gillian Francis

Location: Kolkata, India

The challenge: working in communities where Christians are persecuted, threatened, imprisoned, and killed. Hindu and Muslim fundamentalist groups attack Christians, angry that people are believing the gospel and accepting Jesus into in their lives.

The ministry: Gillian helps lead a huge church planting movement in villages in West Bengal by overseeing the critical and complex administrative work that’s needed. With her support, tens of thousands of people have heard about Jesus for the first time, giving their hearts to him and opening their homes to become places of worship and transformation.

A woman wearing a grey top and holding a microphone sings
Gillian Francis is playing a key role in helping house churches to flourish in West Bengal, India.
Partner with us in mission

We’re so proud to call Samuel, Valérie, Tah, Pastor Luis, Gillian, and Isaiah our colleagues. All this work can only happen with your help. If you commit to giving regularly to BMS, you can help us to plan ahead and meet the needs, both spiritual and physical, of people who would otherwise have little hope.

Become a 24:7 Partner today and commit, at whatever level you can, to stand with us every day in mission. You will also be standing with Samuel, Valérie, Tah, Luis, Gillian and Isaiah.

Release from addiction, safe pregnancy and our very latest prayer requests

Release from addiction, safe pregnancy and our very latest prayer requests

We believe God intervenes when we pray. Would you please pray for these people today?

A pregnant mission worker recovering from a terrifying health scare. Villagers enslaved by addiction. And a family facing the demands of moving countries. These are real people who need an outpouring of love and prayer, and they need it from all of us today.

Lois and her unborn baby

A few weeks ago, BMS World Mission worker Lois Ovenden, based in Gulu, Uganda, was rushed to hospital, suffering extreme pain under her ribs. The fears for her health were magnified by the fact that she was 19 weeks pregnant at the time. The doctors couldn’t work out what was wrong and transferred Lois to Kampala, 200 miles away from her two young children.

After days of worry and pain, Lois was told she had pericarditis (inflammation of the fluid lining around the heart). The condition is treatable and shouldn’t affect her baby, and Lois is back home now with her husband, Joe, and their children, Connie and Reuben. Praise God! Please pray for Lois and the family.

A woman and a man, and a boy and a girl, smile at the camera, with the girl holding a cat
Pray today for Joe and Lois Ovenden, and their children Connie and Reuben.

• Pray for Lois’ swift return to full health and for the health of her unborn baby. Pray there would be no complications from the medical scare.

• Pray that God provides an assistant to support Lois in her speech therapy work with children and that the right person comes forward today.

• Give thanks for the Ovendens’ BMS colleagues, Linda and Tim Darby , who looked after Connie and Reuben while Joe was at Lois’ bedside. Pray for a blessing over them, and their children, Joshua, Annabelle and Elsa.

A village shackled by addiction

Alcohol addiction is ruining lives in the village of Wang Daeng, in northern Thailand, where BMS church planters Helen and Wit Boondeekhun work in what is largely a Thai Buddhist community. But alcohol isn’t the only problem. A highly addictive drug called yaba – a toxic mixture of methamphetamine and caffeine that leads to aggressiveness and paranoia – also has its destructive grip on the village.

• Pray that Got* breaks free from alcoholism, and that his wife, Suree*, returns to the Bible study where Wit has been supporting her.

• Pray for wisdom for Helen and Wit as they try to start a group for people who want to liberate themselves from addiction. Pray that people would be open to receiving help and to hearing about the gospel.

A village road is covered with tarmac. There are shops on one side, and trees on the other.
Stand alongside BMS church planters Helen and Wit Boondeekhun as they tell people about Jesus in the village of Wang Daeng, in northern Thailand.

Politicians, women in Nepal, and many of you

• Pray for continued peace in Mozambique following the recent death of opposition leader, Afonso Dhlakama. Pray that his successor and politicians across Mozambique will promote unity.

• Pray for the women who are being helped at a gynaecology outreach service in Jajarkot, west Nepal, this week. Pray their surgeries would go as planned, and there would be no complications afterwards. Give thanks for all the personnel at the International Nepal Fellowship (INF) who are helping them, and for BMS worker Chris Drew who is working with INF.

• Pray for all those attending the Baptist Assembly in Peterborough this Saturday (12 May). Pray for safe journeys for us all, and for a day of joy and community.

• Pray that Ann*, a worker at a BMS-supported home for children with disabilities in Thailand, opens her heart today to Jesus. Pray for the Holy Spirit to work a transformation in her life.

Our brothers and sisters in France

Christians in a nation as secular as France can sometimes feel like they’re on their own. We can change this.

BMS mission worker Christine Kling gives a sermon in France
Pray for BMS worker Christine Kling, who is telling people in France about Jesus.

• Pray for the 400 people at the three-day French Baptist Assembly that starts in Lyon today (10 May). Pray for a great sense of unity and fellowship, and for inspired worship and teaching, and that every logistical issue would be overcome.

• Pray that people who have never stepped into a church before will hear about the Saturday evening services about to start at the Baptist church in Gif-sur-Yvette, near Paris. Pray the services would help BMS worker Christine Kling connect with people who do not attend church.

• Pray for the couples who have come to the end of a marriage course in Brive-la-Gaillarde south west France. Pray thanks for their deepening relationship with God, and pray their marriages continue to become stronger.

• Pray that God will guide BMS Action Team staff as they choose the right person to fill the final space on the next France team.

A family facing a stressful move

Arthur and Louise Brown have been BMS workers for years in Beirut and are coming to the UK with their children, and it’s all very stressful as moving can be. Please pray for the whole family, for Arthur in his role as Regional Leader for Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and particularly these things:

• Pray for energy for Louise who must complete her dissertation this week if she’s to graduate before leaving for the UK.

• Pray for Arthur and Louise’s daughter Jessica as she sits her IGCSEs. Pray Jessica would get the rest she needs during her exams.

• Pray for the family to feel God’s presence as they face the emotional and logistical demands of moving countries.

A woman in a grey dress and a man in a green t-shirt stand on a terrace with the countryside behind them.
Please pray for Arthur and Louise Brown who are preparing for a big move to the UK.

We’ve one more request, but it’s a really important one. Please share this article with your friends, family and church before you do anything else.

For daily prayer updates, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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* Names changed to protect identities

5 ways you’re making the world a healthier place

5 ways you’re making the world a healthier place

Saving mothers and babies in Afghanistan and helping pregnant refugees. Discover five of the ways your generous support for BMS World Mission is helping to provide healthcare for thousands of people around the world.

1. Meeting medical needs in Chad

Man in the distance looking at the camera. An ambulance in a courtyard at a hospital in Chad.
You're funding pharmacists, surgeons, doctors and nurses in Chad.

There is one qualified doctor in Chad for every 25,000 people. Nearly 40 per cent of children have stunted growth because of a lack of food, and illnesses such as malaria, HIV and Aids affect many people’s lives. But thanks to you, hospitals in Chad (one near the capital and one in the north of the country) are providing much-needed medical treatment and helping people survive. Your giving has enabled us to fund pharmacists, surgeons, doctors, nurses, malnutrition prevention workers, midwives and other hospital staff who are giving the right care to thousands of people. They’re treating gunshot wounds, cancer and malaria, and delivering babies, thanks to you.

2. Giving children with disabilities the support they need

Children with disabilities in Thailand face huge challenges. Many families struggle to cope with the needs of their children, and government orphanages are often unable to provide the one-on-one care and support they need.

Thanks to your giving, BMS worker Judy Cook is providing therapeutic and respite care to children with disabilities at Hope Home, in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Hope Home currently provides full-time care for ten children, and offers respite care for many other children and their families.

Check out the amazing work you’re supporting in this video:

3. Coming to the aid of pregnant refugees

The South Sudanese women who make it to Bidi Bidi refugee camp in northern Uganda after fleeing conflict are often in danger of dying during pregnancy or childbirth. But thanks to your giving, an electronic device that measures people’s blood pressure and heart rate is helping to save lives. At least 7,000 pregnant women will receive medical checks that could identify any problems and save their lives, and the lives of their unborn children. To read more about how the device works and the impact your support is having, click the button below.

A woman in a refugee camp carrying a pale of water.
You're helping at least 7,000 refugees get medical checks in northern Uganda.

4. Saving the lives of mothers and babies in Afghanistan

Boys playing football in the mountains of Afghanistan.
Thanks to you, men and women are being trained in safe birthing practices in the remote mountains of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has some of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world. In remote mountain villages, it’s difficult for pregnant women to get to clinics to give birth, and unsafe birthing practices such as smearing dirt on the umbilical cord, or pushing on the mother’s stomach during labour to make the baby come out, can lead to infection and even death.

You’re enabling us to help train men and women in safe birthing practices in the mountains of rural Afghanistan. You’re helping them learn to spot when something is wrong, and to dispel unsafe birthing practices, and you’re saving the lives of mothers and babies as a result.

5. Giving children a voice through speech therapy

Being unable to communicate your feelings and needs to the community around you can be incredibly isolating. In northern Uganda, BMS worker Lois Ovenden is providing speech and language therapy to children with disabilities. We’ll leave it to her to explain more of the inspiring work she’s doing in this video:

By supporting BMS, you’re funding life-transforming health work like this around the world. Thank you! You can help us do even more by making a donation today.

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Women around the world need you to pray

Women around the world need you to pray

Freeing women from the sex trade. Giving women a voice in Afghanistan. Equipping women to start their own businesses. These are just some of the ways that BMS World Mission is working to empower women around the world. And to thrive, these women and these projects need your prayers.

Empowering women to set up businesses in Guinea

Guinea, where Caroline and Victor are empowering women by setting up self-help groups.

Women in Guinea are underprivileged, often not having the same standard of living as men in society. BMS workers Caroline* and Victor* are helping these women to set up self-help groups, where around 20 women come together each Sunday to save money corporately, which can then be loaned to members of the group. This then lets women borrow money to set up small businesses, so they can provide for their families and the community around them.

Caroline and Victor’s prayer requests:

– Pray for the woman who is borrowing £80 every two months to finance a restaurant, so she can continue to provide for her family and those around her. Pray for success.

– We’re looking for four stakeholders to form a committee, who will then provide training so more self-help groups can be established. Pray that we would find the right people for the job.

Freeing women from the sex trade in Thailand

Paul and Sarah Brown are reaching out to survivors of sex trafficking and women who’ve been sexually exploited in Bangkok, Thailand. They’re empowering these women by teaching them how to make jewellery and cakes, as well as giving them opportunities to receive business training.

Their prayer requests:

– Pray for ways we can support, empower and enable women who are survivors of trafficking.

– Pray that more traffickers will be brought to justice and that Bangkok’s local authorities will become better equipped to find them.

Paul and Sarah Brown, who free women from sex trafficking.

Giving women a voice in Afghanistan

Women in Afghanistan often don’t have a say in what goes on in their village, where men are generally the key decision makers.

Afghanistan, where our team give a voice to women by setting up women's councils.

BMS partners in Afghanistan are working to change this by creating a women’s council in every village they work in. Making sure that the council is representative of all women in the village, it regularly meets alongside a men’s council which often already exists. This allows women to have a say in important decisions that will affect them, like where the water pipelines and latrines should be built.

BMS workers Catherine* and Rory* are part of our team in Afghanistan.

Their prayer requests:

– Pray for women-headed households in these villages, where men are away working and send money back when they can. Food shortages are predicted this year, and these families will be the ones hit the hardest.

– Give thanks for the local female staff that work with us in Afghanistan – they’re amazing role models. They are showing that women can work and empower people.

Empowering women in France

It’s dangerous to be a homeless woman in France, as many face abuse or are at risk of being forced into prostitution. Christine Kling, alongside a group of volunteers, set up a day shelter for these women. It gives homeless women a place to stay, rest and eat a meal, and it’s a place of dignity and respect.

As a pastor, Christine also wants to see more women in France step into Christian leadership. Through training and mentoring, more women are becoming confident in their gifts and calling.

Christine’s prayer requests:

– The homeless shelter requires many volunteers to keep it running. Give thanks for the people currently volunteering, and pray for new volunteers to come forward to join the project.

Christine Kling, a pastor of a church near Paris.

– Pray that more women in the new generation of Christians in France will feel confident and supported in their calling as pastors.

Providing employment for survivors of sex trafficking in India

Kolkata, where we work to provide employment for women wanting to leave the sex trade.

Thousands of women from rural villages in India have been trafficked into Kolkata to work in the red light district. BMS works alongside local partners offering employment to those wanting to leave the sex trade. The women also receive training – including learning how to read and write – as well as one-to-one counselling.

Prayer requests:

– Pray for the health and safety of foreign staff in India, as they do what they can to help empower women in challenging conditions.

– Pray for wisdom and guidance as our partners look to create a further 200 jobs over the next three to four years for women wanting to leave the sex trade.

– Pray for BMS volunteers Annette and Ron Salmon as they work alongside vulnerable women in India.

We have many more workers and partners who are involved in empowering women. From projects in Uganda and Mozambique that work to educate women on their legal rights, to workers in Nepal who provide teacher training, leading to better education for girls. Please continue to pray for our workers all over the world as they help women see their God-given value. Let us know you’re praying by hitting the big blue button!

*Names changed to protect identity

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Top 5 stories of 2017

Looking back:

Top 5 stories of 2017

Last year was filled with inspirational stories of lives being transformed through your giving. Here are our top five most-read articles from 2017.

Students being baptised in barrels. Young French Christians finding community. Nepali children excelling at school. These are just a few of the incredible things your gifts and prayers have made possible this year, through BMS World Mission. There were so many stories to choose from, but only five could top our news story charts! We hope you’ll be inspired as you look back at what we achieved together in 2017.

1. Big thinking for little minds

Children in Nepal are benefiting from Annie Brown's teacher training programme.

Millions of children in Nepal are getting the opportunity of a better education, thanks to your support for BMS worker Annie Brown.

With her teacher training programme being adopted by the Nepali Government, every teacher of students aged between five and 13 in all government schools will have the chance to receive Annie’s training. They’ll be better-equipped to teach, and Nepal’s children will face brighter futures!

2. Pray for our new mission workers

James and Ruth Neve, who are preparing to move to India to work with us.

Tucked away in our centre in Birmingham, new BMS mission workers are busy preparing for overseas service. For them, it’s daunting, but also exciting, as they get ready to serve God abroad in different ways. From a family heading to Nepal to help with disaster relief, to a couple heading to Albania to teach children of mission workers, there are plenty of things we can be praying for.

Loads of you loved catching up with our new mission workers’ prayer requests, making this our second most popular story last year.

Pray for them today by clicking the link below.

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3. 5 ways you're fighting violence against women

We're working in Uganda to help primary schools devise and implement child protection policies.

For thousands of vulnerable women and girls around the world, gender based violence is a daily part of life. But, thanks to your support, BMS is taking a stand against it. From helping girls know their rights, to freeing women from prostitution, you’re helping to empower women and prevent trafficking, sexual abuse and domestic violence. Find out more by reading the story.

4. Baptised in a barrel in Phnom Penh

Students are meeting Jesus in Cambodia! We loved witnessing the amazing moment when Srei got baptised in a barrel and by our stats it looked like you did too. Read about how she and Chan came to find God at a BMS-supported Christian hostel in Phnom Penh, and how, thanks to your support, more and more people are finding Jesus.

5. Feeding of the 400

You’re helping to build Christian community in France – where young Christians often feel isolated and lonely.

Connexion 2017, an event put on by BMS worker Sue Wilson and her team, helped young French Christians realise they’re not alone. Watch the video above to find out about what it meant to the people who were there, and click the link below to read how you’re helping bring young French Christians together.

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Thank you for supporting us in 2017. Your gifts have helped people find God, and have transformed countless lives. With your continued support, we can’t wait to start doing even more in 2018!

Other great stories made possible by you

Five stores aren’t enough to sum-up how much you did last year. So here are a few extra ones we’d love you to read too.

  1. Meet the inspiring Mozambican Christians you’re supporting: they’re bringing justice to abused women and teaching communities their rights.
  2. From witch doctor to church planter: the story of a witch doctor who found God, and then started planting churches.
  3. Baptist church brings light in Uganda: one simple action is raising money, helping people’s lungs and introducing people to Jesus.
  4. Refugees are like you and me: BMS worker Ann MacFarlane has seen God at work in the lives of refugees in Italy.
  5. This is what a life transformed looks like: meet Joshua. You helped give him a reason to smile.

Our workers need your prayers right now

Got a moment to pray? Great! Our workers need your prayers right now

Courage, safety and an improved hospital generator all feature in the latest prayer requests our mission workers have sent us. Please read on and pray with us for lives to be transformed.

Annie Brown

Annie is a teacher trainer working in Nepal with the Kathmandu International Study Centre’s Education Quality Improvement Programme (KISC EQUIP).

Annie’s prayer requests

• Pray for a Nepali teacher friend in Lamjung District who recently got baptised, that he continues to grow in his new Christian faith and is encouraged and protected when making visits back to his Hindu family.

• After ten years of prayer we have recruited a new Christian female EQUIP teacher trainer. Pray that Santona settles into her new work.

Please pray for revelation and a life-changing encounter with Jesus

Paul and Sarah Brown

Paul and Sarah are working in Bangkok, reaching out to women who have been sexually exploited or are survivors of sex trafficking. Sarah runs the Freedom Bakery project.

Paul and Sarah’s prayer requests

• Pray for the continued enthusiasm and purpose of the women who work in the Freedom Bakery. They have grown in amazing confidence, and have even begun teaching other women!

• Pray that the women will not be fearful, but will remain confident.

Women working on cupcakes at the Freedom Bakery in Bangkok, Thailand.
Please pray for the courageous women working at the Freedom Bakery in Bangkok, Thailand.

LINDA AND TIM DARBY

Linda and Tim are working in Gulu, northern Uganda. Tim is an environmental consultant and Linda has a legal background.

Linda and Tim Darby have asked for your prayers.
Linda and Tim Darby are working in Uganda and would love for you to pray for them.

Linda and Tim’s prayer requests

• Pray for the direction of the agricultural development work which is up for renewal early next year.

• Pray for the appointment of a Child Protection Policy Trainer to help protect children in schools.

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Claire-Lise and David Judkins

David and Claire-Lise Judkins, pictured here with their children Joshua, Nathan, Samuel and Ben, are asking for your prayers.
David and Claire-Lise Judkins, pictured here with their children Joshua, Nathan, Samuel and Ben, are asking for your prayers.

Claire-Lise and David work in Brive-la-Gaillarde, south west France, with a long-term vision to see a church-planting network take root.

Claire-Lise and David’s prayer requests

• Pray for a couple of ladies who are part of our fellowship, but haven’t yet taken the step of following Christ. Please pray for revelation and a life-changing encounter with Jesus.

• Pray that God may lead our young disciples to ‘people of peace’ who are open.

CLAIRE BEDFORD

Claire is a pharmacist working near Chad’s capital, where she’s continuing the development of the pharmacy service at Guinebor II Hospital.

Claire’s prayer requests

• Pray for the mission workers at the hospital who will be in Chad this Christmas. Pray they would be able to experience peace and joy at this time of year, despite being far from family and friends.

• Pray the hospital would have all the resources it needs to function well.

Pray that we would continue to grow together as a family to be more like Christ.

Andy and Jenny Saunders

Andy and Jenny are serving in Kathmandu, Nepal. Jenny is a trained counsellor and uses her skills to train Nepali counsellors. Andy is a Baptist minister and has been teaching at a Bible college.

Andy and Jenny’s prayer requests

• Pray for energy and good health for Jenny, so that effective research into mental health in Nepal would bring lasting change.

• Pray for Andy, who is really enjoying his teaching. Pray for patience and good working practices at Nepal Baptist Bible College (NBBC).

Rory* and Catherine*

Rory and Catherine are working in health and development in Afghanistan.

Rory and Catherine’s prayer requests

• Pray for friends and colleagues to pick up on the joy and hope that this season brings us.

• Pray for chances to talk about what real peace is.

Andrea and Mark Hotchkin

Andrea and Mark are surgeons in Chad. Earlier this year they moved from Guinebor II Hospital to the north of Chad to continue their mission.

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Mother and child in the mountains of Afghanistan
Please pray for our work in Afghanistan.

Andrea and Mark’s prayer requests

• Please pray for developing relationships with the new team of nurses and technicians at the regional hospital as we start working there full-time.

• Pray for the arrival of a technician from the capital N’Djamena (1,700km across the Sahara desert) as the hospital generator is weak, meaning equipment such as the X-ray machine can’t be used.

Christine Kling

Christine is the pastor of the Baptist church in Gif-sur-Yvette, near Paris.

Christine’s prayer requests

• Pray for the work in Gif, that through different events we will connect with new people.

• Pray for the new people who have started to join the church, that we will be a source of encouragement and support in their journey with God.

Christine Kling is the pastor of the Baptist church in Gif-sur-Yvette, near Paris
Christine Kling has asked for prayers of "encouragement and support".

Simon and Wendy Hall

Simon and Wendy serve in Nepal with KISC EQUIP. They met while teaching in Kathmandu and now work in Lamjung.

Simon and Wendy’s prayer requests

• Pray for a meeting coming up with the district education officer where I (Simon) hope to influence how he allocates and spends a significant amount of Government money on ICT labs/equipment in schools.

• Pray that we would continue to grow together as a family to be more like Christ.

Simon and Wendy, in the mountains of Nepal.
Simon and Wendy Hall would love you to pray for their family.

Mary*

Mary is using her skills in palliative care in Tunisia.

Mary’s prayer requests

• Pray for each person who is far from loved ones to feel, as well as know, they are part of a worldwide family over Christmas.

• Pray for people in places where 25 December is an ordinary day, that each of us will remember the original Christmas seemed to be an ordinary day too, when in fact our extraordinary God put on flesh.

Daniel and Regiane Clark

Every day I am overwhelmed by the support I know I have behind me from those so faithful in prayer.

Regiane, Ana and Daniel Clark.
The Clark family are working with BMS in Lima, Peru.

Daniel uses his experience and theological training to teach at the Baptist Seminary in Lima, Peru, while Regiane works with low-income communities.

Daniel and Regiane’s prayer requests

• Pray for the ministry of the Baptist Seminary, especially as there is a shortage of pastors in the Baptist Convention.

• Pray as we seek to support the Social Action Department of the Baptist Convention in providing relief and community development resources in Piura.

David and Dorothy McMillan

David is Interim Director at the International Baptist Theological Study Centre (IBTSC) in Amsterdam, while Dorothy serves as Managing Editor of the centre’s two academic journals.

David and Dorothy’s prayer requests

• Pray for David as he carries out the role of Interim Director until a new director is appointed.

• Pray for our 40 plus students across the world as they balance family, ministry and study responsibilities.

Pray for people in places where 25 December is an ordinary day

Angus and Helen Douglas

Angus and Helen, together with their children Caleb, Charis and Esther, moved to Nepal in 2012. Angus is overseeing the development of a new KISC school site.

Angus and Helen’s prayer request

• Pray for the current challenges of the new site to be resolved, for safety for the construction workers and for some additional funds to complete the project.

Angus and Helen Douglas and their children
Angus and Helen would like you to pray for the development of the KISC school building project.

Kathryn Smith

Kathryn moved to Thailand earlier this year and will be using her nursing skills in Chiang Mai.

Kathryn’s prayer request

• Pray for help with learning the language and culture of Thailand. Being able to speak the language helps connect on a deeper level with the people around you.

Judy Cook

Judy, based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, founded and manages Hope Home, a home for children with disabilities.

Judy’s prayer requests

• Pray for energy and patience during the busy times at the Church of Christ in Thailand’s Aids Ministry and at Hope Home.

• Pray for new staff to join the team at Hope Home with a heart to serve special children and their families. Pray too for the staff to come to know our Lord and Saviour for themselves.

Judy Cook based in Chiang Mai, Thailand founded and manages Hope Home
Judy Cook has asked for prayers for "energy and patience".

Laura-Lee Lovering

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Stop, look, listen: restoring community through exercise

Stop, look, listen:

restoring community through exercise

Mending rusted exercise bikes might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of ways to bring back a sense of community. But in Thailand, it’s working.

Listening to people and responding to their needs can be an extremely powerful way of demonstrating Christ’s love. In a rural village in Thailand, this is exactly what BMS World Mission workers are doing.

Helen and Wit Boondeekhun moved to Wang Daeng village in the Thai province of Uttaradit with the long-term goal of planting a church. With no Christians or churches in the village of five hundred families, the locals didn’t know what Christianity looked like. Instead of engaging in a battle of words with the majority Buddhist population, Helen and Wit decided to take a different approach. They listened. Upon arrival, they carried out a survey of the village, asking what the main concerns and needs in the area were. One of the biggest issues identified was the state of the gym.

The state of the gym when the Boondeekhun's arrived in Wang Daeng village
What the gym equipment looked like before its renovation
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In times past by, Wang Daeng’s small open air gym gave people a sense of community. It was a place for the youth to go instead of engaging in drink and party culture. But it fell into disrepair. It lay there, dilapidated. A rusted exercise bike, a broken step machine and corroded weight lifting gear, spread out in a row, neglected and unused.

After hearing the results of the survey and seeing the gym for themselves, Helen and Wit believed that restoring the exercise equipment would bring back a sense of community to the village. After applying for a BMS grant, they were able to employ a local worker to restore the gym. He got to work fixing, painting and rebuilding the old exercise bikes and other machines. A roof was built to protect the equipment from rain and people from the sun when exercising. Lights were also added, meaning the villagers could exercise any time of the day.

Mr Charn, the local worker who restored the gym
Mr Charn, the local worker who restored the gym

Once the gym was restored, a grand re-opening ceremony took place. A local government representative came to unveil a plaque and give a speech. Leaders from all over the area arrived, ready to celebrate. Many people from the village rushed to try out the newly oiled and bright green exercise bike. Since then, the gym has consistently been used by the people of Wang Daeng, helping to restore a sense of community once more. “The village were really excited about the revived gym,” said Helen. “It’s been a great way for us to serve, and we hope God will continue to use it to bring people together.”

Helen and Wit are just getting started with BMS in Wang Daeng, having been there for only a year. But, by listening to the needs of the community and acting upon them, they’ve demonstrated the love of a God who hears, and who wants to bring people into community. Your support is helping them show their faith in a village with no Christians. We believe God is at work in Wang Daeng and can’t wait to tell you what he does next.

Unveiling of the plaque at the re-opening ceremony
Unveiling of the plaque at the re-opening ceremony
One of the locals trying out a newly renovated exercise bike
One of the locals trying out the newly renovated gym

Watch the videos below to find out more about Helen and Wit and what they’re up to.

5 ways you’re fighting violence against women

Me too.

5 ways you're fighting violence against women

Trafficking, sexual abuse and domestic violence: these are just a few of the huge issues women face around the world. BMS World Mission is working to change this, and your support is vital. Here are five ways you are empowering women and making an impact in the battle against gender based violence.

Everybody’s talking about it. Gender based violence (GBV). And it isn’t just Hollywood that’s affected. For thousands of vulnerable women and girls living in different parts of the world, it’s a common occurrence and a daily part of life. It’s always wrong, wherever it takes place. BMS, along with local partners, is taking a stand, and your support is making it possible. Here are five ways you are fighting GBV and empowering thousands of women around the globe.

1. Keeping girls in school

Children at a Ugandan school we're working with.
Children at a Ugandan school we're working with.

Education should be a fundamental right for everyone. However, in Uganda acts of violence towards young girls stop many from receiving the education they so desperately deserve. It’s not uncommon for girls to be abused by teachers while their friends are playing outside, and this abuse often leads to pregnancies that force many to leave school. BMS is working in Uganda to help primary schools devise and implement child protection policies. By putting these safeguarding measures in place, we hope that more girls will be able to enjoy learning without fear of abuse.

2. Freeing women from prostitution

Khao San road in Bangkok, one of the red light districts in the city.
Khao San road in Bangkok, one of the red light districts in the city.

Prostitution is degrading to women, but unfortunately for many it’s the only way to earn a living. BMS works with local partners in India and Thailand to free and empower women who have been trafficked into the sex industry and give them employment. They are trained as bakers and jewellery makers, or taught to create bags and t-shirts, with profits put towards a salary, health insurance and a retirement plan. These skills set women up for a future without sexual exploitation. A future of freedom. We also support Freeset in India doing similar work.

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Become a 24:7 Justice Partner

By partnering with BMS and our justice ministries, you can help more women around the world access justice and learn their rights. Commit to regular prayer and giving. Click here to become a 24:7 Justice Partner today.

3. Helping women to know their rights

Corruption and a lack of understanding of the legal system prevent many women from knowing the rights they have as human beings. In Mozambique and Uganda, widows are some of the most vulnerable people in society, frequently having their homes stolen by their husbands’ relatives and completely unaware of their rights. BMS-supported lawyers in these countries are educating women on their property rights and rights as citizens. They also educate local churches on the legal issues that members face as well as helping to advocate for clients in domestic abuse cases. By teaching women to understand the law, you are empowering them to take a stand against injustice.

Annet Ttendo Miller is one these lawyers. She decided to become a lawyer after being raped at the age of 13. Annet is pioneering our justice work in Mozambique and previously worked with BMS as a Christian lawyer in Uganda. Watch the video above to hear her inspiring story.

4. Saving mother's lives

A prop used in a BMS safe birthing training coursein Afghanistan
A prop used in a BMS safe birthing course in Afghanistan

Maternal health is a woman’s issue, according to men in Afghanistan. With childbirth being considered a dirty business and men being the key decision makers in society, women often end up giving birth in the filthiest room in the house. This, combined with traditional practices such as pushing on the stomach to make the baby arrive more quickly and smearing animal dung on the umbilical chord after it’s cut mean that Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous places in the world for new mothers and their babies. BMS is working to train men and women in safe birthing practices and challenge the culture around pregnancy. This training is empowering pregnant women and can save the lives of mothers and babies who might otherwise die in childbirth.

5. Making churches safer places

Domestic violence poster used for an event in an Indian Church
A domestic violence poster used for an event in an Indian Church

GBV is often a topic that is brushed under the rug in the Church. We are involved in raising awareness of the injustice (and its presence in the Church) in churches in the UK, India and Mozambique.

In India, BMS has educated and engaged churches with the reality of domestic and sexual abuse, training pastors and giving them the opportunity to discuss the topic which, for many, has never been talked about before. This has resulted in a changing culture within these churches, challenging the beliefs around abuse and standing up against it.

Being quiet on the topic of GBV is often the case for the UK Church too. Here at home, BMS has been engaging churches through our Dignity initiative – encouraging Christians in the UK to continue to fight against abuse and to seek to make our churches a safer place for everyone. To get your church involved, click here.

Thank you for helping us empower women and stand against injustice around the world.

Freedom from the sex trade: Yim’s story

Freedom from the sex trade:

Yim's story

From despair to glory, our hearts are filled with joy to share Yim’s amazing journey.

You leave school aged 13, are pregnant at 15 and by the age of 16 are working halfway across your country as a prostitute in Bangkok’s notorious red light district. Barely more than a child, you spend half a decade coerced into selling your body to strangers to earn money to send back to your village for your grandmother and your little boy. You contract HIV. You’re overcome with depression. You have no hope. You contemplate ending it all.

Six years later, you’re a worship leader, a talented guitar player, fluent in English, and a translator for foreign teams coming to serve in the red light district. You’ve gone back to school and got your secondary diploma, and you’ve just accepted a well-paid, full-time job. You’re providing for your son, who now lives with you. And you spend your evenings going into the bars you used to be trapped in, sharing your story with women who feel hopeless – like you once did.

You’re free.

“If you met Yim*, you would never ever think she’d gone through such a traumatic time of her life,” says BMS World Mission worker Sarah Brown. “When she comes into a room, she lights it up. She has so much vibrancy, so much laughter.”

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If you met Yim*, you would never ever think she’d gone through such a traumatic time of her life. When she comes into a room, she lights it up. She has so much vibrancy, so much laughter.

Paul and Sarah Brown are BMS mission workers. They are working with a partner organisation to help women choosing to leave Bangkok's notorious red light district
Paul and Sarah Brown are BMS mission workers. They are working with a partner organisation to help women choosing to leave Bangkok's notorious red light district

Sarah and her husband Paul have been walking alongside Yim for the last five years, as she’s been learning that she is a loved and valued child of God.

Yim’s transformation began one night when she had reached rock bottom. Contemplating suicide, she called out for help to a God she had heard of, but didn’t really believe in. “God, please help me,” she remembers pleading. “If you’re real, help me.”

Soon afterwards, Yim found herself walking into a church. As she entered, an overwhelming joy gripped her. “She said a love poured over her that she had never ever experienced before,” says Sarah. A Christian Yim met at church invited her to come to BMS-supported NightLight, where Sarah works. NightLight is an organisation that exists to help women like Yim find freedom from sex work, and the invitation Yim received was the one she needed to leave her past behind.

Since joining NightLight, Yim has overcome the enormous challenges she has faced, but her path has been marked by doubt and insecurity. She’s had to accept herself, her past and her HIV status. She’s also had to resist her family’s pressure to go back to more lucrative sex work. But her faith in her God and in herself has grown and grown and she’s unrecognisable from the hopeless, traumatised woman she once was.

khao San Road Bangkok Thailand 2017

“The list of what she’s achieved is endless,” says Sarah. “It’s been a joy to watch her progress.” Over the last five years, Yim and Sarah have become close friends – Sarah mentoring and encouraging Yim to go back to school, to pursue her potential, to live as the beautiful, valuable person she was created to be.

Sarah and her husband Paul will continue their friendship with Yim as she moves on to her new job – a position she has earned through her own hard work and the gifts God has given her. They’ll also see her at church every Sunday – often at the front of the service, leading worship, or playing bass guitar after getting lessons from Paul.

“I feel very honoured to be part of Yim’s life,” says Sarah. “It’s a pleasure to see her fly.”

Yim’s is just one of the stories of transformation you’re helping to make possible in Thailand. The team at NightLight continues to help women who desperately want to leave the sex industry. Women who have been taught that they are worthless and that their bodies are things to be sold for a price. For Sarah, and for BMS, the work we’re doing in Bangkok’s red light district is not just about compassion for hurting women. It’s about justice – justice for humans who are being stripped of their dignity and their self-worth by an industry that traps far too many women every year.

“We meet women who don’t realise who they are. They’ve lost their identity,” says Sarah. “God has so much purpose for their lives. They think they have no potential at all – we’re showing them that they do. And it’s great.”

Sarah describes walking with Yim and the other women at NightLight as like watching flowers bloom. God has seen their value and potential all along. It’s our job to help them see it, too.

Thank you so much for supporting BMS and being a part of Yim’s story.

*name changed

Help us do more

We’re passionate about our work bring freedom to women trapped in the sex industry in countries like Thailand and India. If you are too, you can help us do more. Become a 24:7 Partner today, or give a one-off donation.