Enabling churches in Bangkok
To minister to refugees

The Extended Honeymoon

Posted by on Apr 11, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

drawing cropped

A painting of Mariam’s

Just three days into their married life, Mariam and Yusuf were forced to flee their home . Mariam’s older brother had been prominent in helping victims of the Gojra attacks in 2009. This enraged local Islamic extremists, and they targeted his entire family, specifically threatening to kill Yusuf and rape and murder Mariam.

Mariam and Yusuf fled to Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, hoping to start a new life together, but threats against their life continued. Feeling they had no other options, they fled to Thailand with little more than two suitcases.

When they arrived, they found out Mariam was pregnant. They were joyful, but also terrified. They weren’t sure how they were going to support themselves, let alone a new child.

As they faced these fears, Yusuf and Mariam met Jan at a local church. Jan, who is Thai, opened her heart to them and befriended them. Eventually, she was able to connect with Life Raft, who provided financial support to Yusuf and Mariam, and helped guide Jan in how to effectively help them.

Thanks to their friendship with Jan, Yusuf and Mariam were able to survive their time in Thailand, and even start homeschooling their daughter. Recently, Canada accepted them for resettlement.

As their time in Thailand draws to an end, Yusuf and Mariam jokingly refer to the past three and a half years in their adopted home as an “extended honeymoon”.

Mariam said they will miss Thai people and their hospitality.

“When you have nothing and somebody helps you, it means a lot,” said Mariam. “There is so much to be grateful for, we cannot even begin to say to thank you. We only know that God is showing his love through Jan.”

Written by Tim Lefevre

 

 

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A look back at 5 years: Numbers and Highlights

Posted by on Dec 23, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

JC06About 5 years ago, my friend Mike and I had the idea of starting an organization that would enable ordinary people to transform refugees lives in Bangkok, Thailand. As I imagined the model in my head, I remember thinking that if people’s hearts opened to refugees, we could change the world.

For the past 5 years, it has been my joy to see so many people’s hearts open on a scale I never imagined. We now support approximately 300 refugees, provide about 40 educational scholarships, and partner with 5 different churches in Bangkok. We also currently have approximately 90 refugees on our waitlist. (Click here to see how We Want to End the List)

Check out the numbers and highlights below to see the difference people are making. (We use June to May, since that is our fiscal year, for accounting purposes)

June 2009- May 2010

Highlights:

  • Mike and Chris meet Dilan
  • Newsong community helps to provide food and shelter to Dilan and his family
  • Chris leaves Bangkok

Numbers:

  • Bangkok Church partners: 1
  • Refugees: 4
  • Educational scholarships: 0

June 2010- May 2011

Highlights:

Numbers

  • Bangkok church partners: 1
  • Refugees: 12
  • Educational scholarships: 0

 

June 2011- May 2012

Highlights

  • Life Raft is officially incorporated in Virginia
  • Life Raft obtains 501(c)3 status
  • Life Raft gets a website and a logo

 Numbers

  • Bangkok Church partners: 1
  • Refugees: 12
  • Educational scholarships: 0

June 2012-May 2013

Highlights

 

Numbers

  • Bangkok church partners: 1
  • Refugees: 60
  • Educational Scholarships: 2

 

June 2013-May 2014

Highlights

 

Numbers

  • Bangkok church partners: 2
  • Refugees: 100
  • Educational Scholarships: 7

 June 2014-May 2015

Highlights

 Numbers

  • Bangkok church partners 5
  • Refugees: 250
  • Educational Scholarships: 30

Since the end May 2015, we have supported around 50 new refugees, and provided 8 new educational scholarships. Thank you all for enabling us to make this difference! We would love to have you join us, as we take more steps to transform lives in Bangkok.

 

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