Mission Trip

Strangers in a Foreign Land

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers for by doing that some have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

Hebrews 13:1-2

One Life operates a small Care Center in a refugee camp in northern Thailand. The camp is made up of people from the Akha hill tribes, who six centuries ago migrated south from Tibet and made their way through China into Myanmar (formerly Burma). A civil war in Burma that lasted decades forced them further south across the border into Thailand, as they literally ran for their lives to escape Burmese soldiers who were burning villages, raping girls, and taking the boys as child soldiers. The Akha are one of the smallest, poorest, and least developed hill tribe groups in Southeast Asia. It is estimated that there are 40,000 Akha refugees living in Thailand. They live in dusty make-shift villages with family units consisting mostly of grandmothers, mothers, and children. There is little certainty about anything—most of them struggling to survive from one day to the next.

A couple years ago, Ameow, born and raised in the Akha refugee camp and a former One Life child, graduated out of our sponsorship program after she got a job as a private nurse in Bangkok. Sponsorship made it possible for her to complete high school and nurse aide training, a notable accomplishment for a child from a community that has no recognized identification papers, cannot own land, or be officially employed in Thailand. Through a long and arduous process, One Life worked hard to get the ID documents Ameow needed to complete school and qualify for employment. Ameow paved the way for other Akha kids on our program.

We currently have two beautiful 14-year old Akha girls attending nurses aide training. Malee and Sudita have spent their whole life in an under-resourced refugee camp. Before they were sponsored, they literally had no hope of breaking the cycle of hopelessness. With no identification papers proving their existence, they would never be able to get a job. Our partners have worked tirelessly to secure ID documents for Malee and Sudita. Our efforts will ensure work opportunities for their future and will help them provide for their mothers and grandmothers who are day laborers in the rice fields. While these mothers wake up every day hoping for enough work to put dinner on the table, their daughters are forging a new path for a future that holds hope and a promise of more to come. One Life not only provides for basic needs but it is committed to sharing Jesus with all our children and their families.

If you're interested in being a part of our One Life ministry, we have children waiting for sponsors. To sponsor a child visit www.onelifechild.org and next year, consider taking a trip to meet your child!

Malee and Sudita.jpg
Akha 5.jpg

Kids raid the piggy bank = homes are built in Nicaragua.

Kids raid the piggy bank = homes are built in Nicaragua.

One of the hallmarks of a Westside student missions trip is that students don’t just show up and hang out but they have an opportunity to lead. This leadership opportunity led several students to explore how they can use their S.H.A.P.E. to impact others. Some students also expressed a desire to pursue further education and vocational options in international missions. 

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