It's not me, it's them!
If you're new around here, welcome! And to all of you who have been following along "the Radiate journey", thank you! We are about a week and a half from hitting our 1 month of being open! (Let's get the bubbly and confetti ready)
As I'm sitting here, at the check-out counter/my desk, I'm reflecting on what these few weeks have been like. They've been busy yet beautiful! I want to break in our first blog post by giving honor to the artisans and founders of organizations who make Radiate beautiful. This 190 sq ft. kiosk is not about me, it's all about them. I never want to loose that. We house a lot of different countries, artisans, and purposes but I want to shine light on one in particular. Samaritan Creations, a ministry in Thailand, that me and my sweet husband have personally visited. They exist to help empower the women of the sex industry. Now, grab a cup of joe and take a seat as you read these heartfelt words from the founder.
"I am thankful to be a mom of a special needs daughter. But that wasn't true eight years ago, when Leilani was 2 years old, she was diagnosed with Autism. My heart broke for her. I lost 16 pounds upon hearing the news and I was grieved that my daughter will be classified as handicapped. Mike and I spent so much time, energy, and finances to try to provide therapy and assistance for her. Whatever it would take, we wanted to help her so she could live a normal life.
In Thailand anything to do with Autism is extremely limited. There are few schools who cater to any type of children with special needs. Even in Bangkok, the Capital of Thailand, it was difficult to find any assistance for her at all. We became tired as our search for help stretched into years; we are still tired from running around to take Leilani to different places for her treatments. The searching and running around has not only left us feeling exhausted but also discouraged. Mike and I, at times, just look at each other and break down into tears thinking about it.
Anytime we returned to the USA to visit Mike's family in PA, there has been a temptation to remain there for Leilani to get proper therapy. There is so much available in the USA for children with special needs, yet in Thailand it is rare to find much of anything. As a mom, I want the best for my daughter. I wish I could enroll Leilani into a school district that has a good program for her. Yet it would be selfish to leave my ministry behind just to think of my daughter, despite how loved and precious she is to me.
As you know, Mike and I have been here in Thailand for 12 years. Our hearts are here for the women trapped in the sex industry. To be in the USA would be very beneficial to Leilani, but not for our ministry and the women whom we assist. This is a strong burden to carry when I look at my beloved daughter. However, we remain faithful in God's calling to be here. The work that God puts in our hands is expanding. It is difficult and tiring at times. Sometimes I wonder why God gives us such difficult work, but I have to remain true to the calling that God has for me. His will is greater than mine. The rice field is plentiful and ready for harvest, but the workers are few. I am writing this because God has given me a fervent desire to serve Him, no matter the cost."
"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet on those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation.." Isaiah 52:7
If it wasn't for Kay's obedience and sacrifice, Nico and I would have never served at Samaritan Creation, and Radiate would have remained a dream. Let's take this a step deeper... if Kay and her husband would have moved back to the states, the women that they have helped and are continuing to help transition out of the sex industry would still be hopeless. They wouldn't have experienced the freedom that we walk in today. When I look at Kay's life and have selflessly she has said, YES to her calling, it encourages me to do the same. I pray that it encourages you also. Because you too are CHOSEN!
Update: Leilani has been accepted to a school where she would receive the help that she needs! Will you join in me in prayer that $500/month for tuition will come? If you want to donate, please do so at www.warinternational.org/donate. Just select the "Ambassador" designation and select "Killar" from the drop down list.
You can select one time gifts or make it a recurring gift. All financial gifts are tax deductible.
Photos are from JULIA ELIZABETH PHOTOGRAPHY at joyforjulia.com
Woodwork from artisans in India. Jewelry is from artisans in India and Cambodia. Little girl dresses from Samartian Creations in Thailand.