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I was a freshman in highschool when I went on my first international trip. I found a missions trip application on my mom’s desk and demanded I go! I had always wanted to travel, especially for mission’s work, so this seemed like an amazing opportunity. People told me it would change my life and change my perspective on things, but I had no idea how this 2 week trip to Thailand would seriously rock my world.
Twenty-four hours of travel time was a bit of a stretch. After three planes, two layovers, motion sickness, endless card games and sleeplessness we arrived in Chaing Mai – hot and humid, beautiful Chaing Mai. There was a slight mist in the air as we exited the plane, and I took a deep breath of fresh air (it was actually a breath of polluted city air, but it was so new and exciting).
Our trip was spent working in a home that rescues children from human trafficking, visiting hill tribe villages, and serving in a Buddhist elementary school. At the home, there were children experiencing restoration and healing. In these hill tribes outside the city, there were people living simple lives, without the hope of Christ. In the slums, there were children hungry far beyond their physical needs. In the Buddhist school, children were eager to learn. Wherever we went, there were people searching for truth and purpose.
It gave me a new sense of selflessness… It made me realize I’m not as important as America has raised me to believe I am! Haha, But seriously, I discovered how small I am, and how big the world is! There’s actually a word for it, and it’s become one of my favorites!
The realization that each random passerby is living a story as vivid and complex as your own
Something happened in my heart and mind when I was removed from my bubble of places, people, and routines and it gave me new perspective on my role in the world.
It fueled my desire to impact and make change in the countless lives I come in contact with each and every day. They’re all so valuable, and facing such various things, and my story or experiences paired with theirs could do amazing things. Which is good for anyone to feel, especially those of us who claim to follow Christ. We should value the lives of those around us, and strive to better their’s over our own.
Fast forward 5 years…I’m married to the man of my dreams and getting ready to sell everything and move to Thailand, the 1% Christian country that changed my heart forever. My husband, Cole, and I have had a growing passion to make a difference in the lives of others. Over the past few years, we’ve gotten heavily involved in the fight to end human trafficking – modern day slavery.
We have been partnering with an organization called ZOE international that rescues children from human trafficking and sees restoration for their hearts and minds. It has been a privilege to volunteer and work for them stateside, but we have decided that we want to be apart of their work on the field, in Thailand. We are thrilled to be working boots on the ground, in the heart of this work.
We’ll both be serving in the children and youth ministry and mentorship programs, as well as helping with social media and short term missions teams. It is so fulfilling to be doing all we can, in our own unique way to make a difference in the lives around us. I am humbled to take on such an exciting season of our life together!
Abigail Fayre Jennerson
You can learn more about their trip, updates, and how to support them on their blog: thesethaihearts.org