Gwen - Her Story
In 2002 when Shonna came home from her first trip to Bangkok, Tracy and I met her at the airport. When she walked down the ramp with a huge smile on her face, I said to Tracy “God has called her to Thailand.” He said, “Don’t say that because I’m never going to Asia. She showed me all the pictures and talked nonstop asking me to pray, and I did. She went back in 2007, and Tracy agreed to go over and spend the last two weeks with her. When they got back, I could tell that he had been called, too.
Then, the mission trips started, and she was always asking me when was I going. I said, “Never! God hasn’t called me there.”
So, in May of 2014 right after they had just returned from a two week back to Bangkok, Shonna walked in the door with her carry-on and said “Mama, Dao is getting married in July. Will you go with me to her wedding?” I said no because I didn’t think that God was calling me to go. She said “Well, we’ll you do me a favor and pray about it?” I said sure. So, I did. I prayed that Sunday and Monday and nothing. But, on the third day during my prayer time, it came across my heart that it was time for me to go. So, when she came downstairs that morning, I told her that God had told me to go with her. The look on her face was priceless, pure shock and amazement. Well, saying yes is one thing and getting everything ready to go is another. That is when I saw God move mountains for me. We had less than a month to get everything ready and get my passport. God provided exactly what I needed, and my passport arrived in record time.
Our first morning in Bangkok I was so excited as we got ready to go to The Well. Shonna told me before we left that I would have one defining moment on the trip. We got on the sky train, and I looked at everyone around me. They were all smiling, but their eyes were so dead. I crumbled into tears. My heart broke knowing that they were all destined to hell. As I was just weeping for them, Shonna said, “Well, I guess you’ve already had your defining moment!” My whole trip was like that. God just kept showing me people who so desperately need Him. After I got to The Well and met all of the girls there, I instantly fell in love with them all. Later that day, Jim and Judy asked us to go do bar ministry with them that night. So, we met them in a red-light district called Soi Cowboy. There, we sat down outside one of the bars and began to talk with some of the ladies. One young girl about sixteen came and sat next to me. She was so thin and frail. I smiled at her and she smiled back at me then reached out her hand and held mine. A few minutes later the Madame came and told her it was her time to go inside and dance. As I was just about to step back down onto the street, I heard a voice say “Mama, mama.” I turned around and that tiny young girl fell into my arms. I prayed in that moment that God would speak to her in Thai and tell her He could set her free from all the bondage she was in. And, tell her how much He loved her. She pulled away and we never saw her again. I’m going to find her. And, when I do one day she will be telling others about Jesus! When I got home, I was so excited to go back!
Then, 2016 came and God sold our home in just a matter of days. So, I knew that God was moving, and I was feeling the pressure. Do I really want to do this? Move to Thailand? Because I was thought about my ministry that God had given me through me cleaning business, my life group, and my health. At the beginning of July, I started praying for God’s healing and asked my sister to pray with me. On July 18th, a lady that worked at one of the business’ I clean came to me, put her arms on my shoulders and said, “Miss Gwen, you have touched the lives of everyone out here, and God has great plans for you. But, that means you’re going to have to leave here, and that’s ok. We’ll be fine. Then on July 30th, a lady from my life group came up to me, gave me a big hug, and said, “you teach your heart out to us, but God has great plans for you and you’re going to have to leave. But, that’s ok. Our life group will be fine. In early August, I had my annual colon scope. And, on August 12, my birthday, the nurse called me with the results. She said, “I have great news for you. You have been totally healed of your colitis.”
So, I share all of this with you to say that I praise God for His mercy and care for this old lady. He had a plan for me. Glory to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
If you had told me, when I first became a believer over 50 years ago, that I was going to be a missionary in Bangkok, Thailand, I wouldn’t have believed it. But, yet, here I am. I have had the opportunity to teach the Bible, be a mentor, prayer-walk, work with children, and so much more. God has blessed me beyond measure with opportunities to share His love. But now, after doing ministry in Thailand for over 6 years, my life and how I spend my time look a little different these days. All of my years working as a secretary, computer operator, and then owning my own cleaning business, I would pray that one day I could just spend my day studying God’s word and praying for others. With 80 just around the corner, that is how I spend my days now. Each morning, I open the curtains to reveal the view of a beautiful, yet lost, city. So, I may not physically work anymore, but I still have a full-time job.