Walk alongside the poor and marginalized in the mega-cities of the developing world and begin to understand how God can transform lives and urban settings.
Bangkok is a city of contrasts. More than most cities, extreme wealth and extreme poverty live side by side. Slums and skyscrapers sit next door to each other in some instances. Twelve million people reside in Bangkok, making it the largest city in mainland Southeast Asia. Over 1000 slum communities house between one and two million people. Multinational corporations have major offices and headquarters here. Bangkok is not only the capital of Thailand, but the financial, commercial, cultural, and transportation hub of Southeast Asia. It is also the hub of sex trafficking for Southeast Asia and perhaps the world.
In the past, we have lived alongside the poor in the Klong Toey Slum community on the south east side of Bangkok. We will live with families and work at House of New Life (Baan Chivit Mai) serving with at-risk youth, physically and mentally handicapped adults, and children. We also hope to partner with Samaritan Creations in their ministry in the red-light district working with women trapped in the sex-slave industry. We will also be working with The Ruth Center, a ministry serving the needs of the elderly in a slum community in Bangna. We will also be partnering with a new ministry site with Word Made Flesh in Bangkok, who works with children at risk on the streets of Bangkok. Finally, we will likely work in the Leprosy Community, being amidst those whose bodies have been ravaged by Leprosy and the families that struggle to care for them. Language learning will be part of our ministry of relationship-building over the course of our summer in Bangkok. Each site will have unique schedules and challenges; our main goal is to be among the poor, to learn from them, and to partner with those who have been ministering in Bangkok for decades.
As students experience daily life and the needs of this community, they may begin to sense God's call to longer-term service among the urban poor.
Daniel Groot is Director of International Internships for Servant Partners, a mission organization that works alongside the poor in slum communities around the world. Daniel grew up as a missionary kid in Bangkok Thailand, and spent 14 years there before returning to the US for college. At Occidental College, in LA, he was very involved in his IV chapter and interned for two years after graduation. Daniel’s wife Sarah (also an Oxy grad) is on staff with InterVarsity at the CalState University in Long Beach, where they also make their home. Daniel staffed the Trek in 2009, and along with Sarah first directed the Trek in 2013.
Esther Cho is campus staff for InterVarsity at University of CA - Irvine. She interned for IV at UC Irvine for 2 years and is currently in her 3rd year as full time staff there. Esther participated in the Los Angeles Urban Project (LAUP) the summer of her junior yearat UCLA and led a team as an assistant site coordinator the following summer. Her years at LAUP have shaped her desire to grow and lead others into pursuing justice in the world. This is her first time with the Trek and and is excited to see what God will reveal to the team in Bangkok.
June 23 - August 7, 2015