While we were in Bangkok, police raided the Safe House. Thanks to some quick thinking, the refugees who were there at the time were able to avoid arrest, and soon after, all the families fled. It was a terrifying time for all of us. Thankfully, all of our families are ok, and have since found safe homes. However, two breaches over two years makes it clear that God wants something more for our families.
Paradoxically, this crisis was an answer to prayer. For some time, we had been praying about whether to keep the Safe House open. When we started the Safe House, it had been because our volunteers on the ground believed in the Safe House, and were able to galvanize their community to get behind it and support it. Over the past two years, the volunteers who had founded the Safe House left Bangkok. And while new volunteers stepped up in their place, those new volunteers did not have the same passion for it. They were willing to put in the work to keep it going, but it wasn’t something they felt called to do.
As an organization, our ethos is to find where God is moving people’s hearts, and then to partner with that movement. Our volunteers in Bangkok guide our decision. Our heart is to enable people to love refugees.
So when our people on the ground no longer felt called to manage a Safe House, we were inclined to shift away from it. But it wasn’t that simple: The refugees still loved living in the House, and it had been an incredible tool that helped connect supporters with the refugee families. We sought God on what we should do. And when the families were forced to flee the Safe House, our answer was clear.
And we have found that no longer running a Safe House has been a huge, freeing step as an organization. Since then, we have started two new partnerships with churches in Bangkok, and have more than doubled the number of refugees we are reaching. Our leaders in Bangkok also have more time to focus on education for refugees.
More than anything, we are following where God is leading our volunteers to minister to refugees. It’s been incredibly exciting to see him continue to move in people’s hearts, and I can’t wait to see what more He has in store.