This year has been nothing less than miraculous. We’ve seen miracles at every turn…
First, the miracle of freedom… when Shear Love began our hope was to offer opportunity to women who had none. What I realized later was we were giving something far more than just opportunity. We were offering freedom to women who had none. Freedom to choose a career path that was not forced upon them. Freedom to eat the food they want. Freedom to have rest throughout the night. Good food and good sleep is something free people often take for granted. Our ladies never take it for granted! They eat lunch everyday together. They bring food to share with one another and then nap for 20 minutes before the afternoon session begin. They truly understand what freedom means and they cherish it. Such a beautiful miracle to be a part of!
Second, miracle of birth… in July one of our students gave birth to a beautiful baby boy!! A teeny tiny little thing that we all adore! Her hope was to give birth to him in her home village, but God had other plans. He usually does! Our student went into labor during class. We were all dumbfound and shocked, yet all we could do was laugh! We stood by her, called an über, and off she went to the hospital. In Thailand, hospitals require for mothers to alone with the nurses as they give birth. We were hoping to be by her side in this moment as her mother lives in another province and it would take time for her to travel here. But the nurses whisked her off and we waited. The next morning she was rolled out of the delivery room with her sweet bundle of joy! We all stood by her in a dingy government hospital and the room was filled with sheer love!
Taylor (our lead beauty educator) and this student had a close bond. She had invited Taylor to go to her village in Isan with her to help care for her baby. Taylor spent a few weeks with her there and experienced the life she once knew before coming to Pattaya. It is quiet, peaceful, and impoverished. Thai tradition is that the grandmother cares for the children while the daughter goes to work for the family. A tradition I don’t understand, but learning to accept. Her son now lives there with her family in Isan and she came back to Pattaya to finish school. She sees and hears from her family often, but it’s much different from being present. She struggles not being able to see him. It’s been a hard year for her. Leading up to having the baby, then leaving him in a village hundreds of miles away. But a mother’s love is never far. She adores him and he knows it.
Third, the miracle of transformation… there’s always a miracle in new beginnings. We saw many in the start of our barber program. Every organization in Pattaya does amazing work with women and children still being exploited in the sex industry, families living in impoverished slums communities, uneducated children being forced to beg, and the list goes on. As the first barber program for men in the city we work in, that in itself was a true miracle. Creating opportunity for men to have an education, a career, and freedom has truly been a miracle. When I dreamed up this program to help men get out of the sex industry, I never thought we would see the transformation we have in the men in our program. We’ve seen these men know that they are valuable. They understand they are worth more than the price tag men have put on them. We have watched them become respectful gentlemen to the women in our beauty program.
These miracles are so precious to me. Witnessing the miracles, freedom, birth, and transformation has compelled me to press further into this work like never before. It has caused me want to stretch our tent pegs and equip our leaders to reach those in need more than ever.
I believe God is equipping our team for huge things. And I believe we are ready to take on all that’s before us.