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OWENSBORO, Ky (7-11-13) - “Your first trip to Thailand is always a culture shock. You can’t prepare somebody for that.” That’s according to River City Church member Heather Mayfield, who is a part of a 14 man team leaving July 18 for a mission trip to Thailand.

This will be the third time River City Church has sent a mission team to Thailand to assist in the mission of Life Impact International, a relief ministry located in Mae Sot, Thailand about 4 hours from Chang Mai. The ministry, under the leadership of missionary Lana Vasquez, rescues and buys children in Thailand from slavery, and brings them into Life Impact’s home. The mission of Life Impact International is to change lives. According to the Life Impact website, this is accomplished through prevention programs for “at-risk” children and youth, displaced peoples, refugees, and orphans; through rescuing children who are sold into slavery and prostitution, and those who are victims of abuse, abandonment, and extreme poverty; and finally through healing the lives of orphans, soldiers, men, and women through outreaches, humanitarian aid, disaster relief, and humanitarian homes and orphanages.

Michelle Edwards, along with her husband Robby, are leading the team to Thailand next Thursday.

“We have more than thirty extra suitcases we have filled with everything from children’s clothing to vitamins to construction paper and crayons,” said Edwards. “We will leave those supplies for the ministry when we come home.”

Edwards says that each suitcase can cost from seventy to one hundred dollars additionally to take with the team.  

“Even if all the suitcases arefilled and paid for, there will still be a need for more,” said Edwards.

“There is always a need,” said team member Penny Lambert. “Our trip is never fully paid for because they always need something additionally to care for these people. Every time someone asks me if my trip is paid for, I say no, because there is always something else the ministry can use that money for.”

In years past, the men on the trip take time to teach the young men at Life Impact’s home in Mae Sot trades and skill. Team leader Robby Edwards has experience in welding, mechanics, and plumbing.

“Our first year there, we taught the young men how to weld tables, bunk beds, and chairs. You can’t use wood because in that environment, it won’t last,” said Mr. Edwards. “When we went back the next year, they had made so much furniture based on what we taught them.

Mr. Edwards said that teaching the men new skills enables them to leave the poverty stricken areas they are born into, and move to more urban locations and find work.

Aside from teaching the people of Mae Sot new trades and skills, Mr. Edwards says the team makes sure to share the Word of God with them every day.

“We always meet with the children every night and have praise and worship with them,” said Mr. Edwards. “Our team is divided into groups that put together bible stories, skits, and lessons to teach the people of Mae Sot more about Jesus Christ.”

Alex Reid
SurfKy News
Photo provided by Michelle Edwards

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