Ups and Downs
by Christina Sambor (JD '08),
mmm.....so it's been a couple weeks since I wrote last, and I must confess that I am both worn out and revived at this point.
Shortly after I made my last post, the brokenness of lives here and the scars that these womens' lives leave on their souls was made intimately clear to me. The details of the situation aren't entirely appropriate for me to share with the entire internet, but here is the official summary of what happened that went out to the prayer partners of The Garden:
"A troubled and unstable young woman who has benefited from the love and care of our team is willfully disrupting the lives and ministry of our team members."
My life was not nearly as 'disrupted' as other members of the team, but I was used as a conduit to bring forth really disturbing information...information that I didn't think I should believe, but that scared me nonetheless. I was sent into a bit of a tailspin, not knowing who to believe, what the truth was, and feeling disturbed and wanting to go home. But, God has been faithful, through the counsel of my parents and dear friends, who have pointed me in wise directions, and helped me to trust that God is big enough for the whole situation. It's been an interesting lesson, to be deceived by someone who you want to trust and help....and I still am not sure how I feel about a lot of it. For the first time in my life, I felt like I wanted to comfort and counsel the very same person that I also wanted to flee from.
It puts an entirely new perspective on the process of combatting human trafficking and the human costs of trading girls as commodities. I sit here, thinking of a girl who doesn't know how not to destroy her own life, because she doesn't understand love, loyalty and truthfulness. But I know that God loves her endlessly, and has brought her a long way out of her troubles. So, I continue to pray for a miracle...of restoration and healing, and ask God to grant her the peace of mind and wisdom to accept the help of good people rather than turn back to a soul-killing life of selling her body.
....................so.......in the midst of all this, Jay, Lisbee, Hanna and myself decided to ask Mark, our boss, if an intern vacation was a possibility. My original plan was to travel for a week and a half at the end of the summer, but I realized that I would be the only intern left then. Hanna was heading back to Denmark at the end of this week, so with Mark's approval, we booked a six day vacation to Phuket and Phi Phi Island.
It was, in one word....INCREDIBLE. White sand, huge limestone cliffs, people from all over the world, the clearest water I'd ever seen. I had never been on an island vacation before, so I enjoyed it, through and through. It was a week full of relaxation, sunburns and swimming. I rolled around on the beach, went snorkeling, and just sat in awe. I think the experience is best summed up by pics, so I'll leave it to those to describe the experience.
One exception - Phi Phi Island was devastated by the Tsunami, so it was sort of eerie sometimes to stand in the place where a wave killed 2,000 people. I think Phi Phi has the most people killed per capita - though I'm not entirely sure that's accurate. Anyway, with the exception of seeing signs that showed where Tsunami evacuation routes were located, you really couldn't tell that the island had been completely destroyed three years ago. The rebuilding has been truly remarkable.
The last exciting...and by exciting, I mean terrifying, bit of news comes from my plane ride home. Our plane partially skidded off the runway in Bangkok, after we landed in next to no visiblity. I was sitting above the wing, and felt the plane jerk like it wanted to swing left. I looked out of my window and there was a wave of mud and grass spewing onto the wing of this monster of a plane, which was going like 400 mph. So no one ever really told us what exactly happen, but I was talking with a Swedish pilot that was on our plane after the flight and he seemed to be unable to understand how our wheel didn't break. As he put it..."Those wheels are not engineered for farming" i.e. our wheel was acting more like a plow than a wheel for a bit. He seemed to think we were saved by a miracle.... :) So, I guess I'll never really know how dangerous it was...though the airport closed down that runway between that flight and my connecting flight. yikes!
Till next time...