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The Journey...

April, 2010

-Steve Prefontain write about it. I want all of you to hear about what God did We’ve all wanted to make because that brings Glory to some type of difference in the world him. we live in at some point or another. It was no different for those of us who went to Thailand, Hong Kong, I don’t think I have ever and China. We set out on an adventure hoping to meet with God and made such good friends with a planning on having Him use us to group of DTS students. They make a difference somewhere. Now were truly awesome people and the only problem was we were very I still can call some of them specific about where we wanted to really close friends. And with be used, and we weren’t really look- them being so close I was able to take on a whole new level of ing anywhere else. This has been a really hard discipleship with them. Speak update for me to write. Mainly be- truth into their lives where hurt cause it was a very hard outreach to and pain had found a home, lead most of the time. We had four mentor in areas of leading people from this outreach that did worship, lead by example in not graduate because of some things the area of prayer and evanthat took place in Thailand. And gelism, and challenge in arthere were many other things that eas where they had grown apathetic. I remember one of my favortook place that I am still talking to God about. So I am very sorry this ite students on that outreach, Ben, letter has taken so long to get out, we would have amazing conversabut I wanted to take time to really tions for hours about God and who process what happened before I He was to us only to look around

and see that half the team was standing around us listening. Others were a little harder to deal with, but I saw the hand of God on their lives so strong that all I could do was love. I was very blessed with these students.


out about 6 hours later that our flight tickets were canceled because we needed to confirm our credit card info in order to get the tickets.

am to lazy to push forward in what you have asked. Help me not to give up.” That was my simple prayer as we made it to the airport -Steve Prefontaine (after several hours of delay because one of my students got We, seven amazing students stopped at immigration because and myself, were in Hong Kong as Shortly after this we found they had never seen a passport with part of a short the country of term outreach. Samoa on it, At this time one but thats anof the key other story in words that God itself). So in spoke to us was faith we go up into the walked up to mainland to the front desk work with the believing that contact I have God came given you up there. Now at this an amazing woman back in Gerthrough and that we had the tickets, point that didn’t seem like somemany who said that she would take and sure enough it was smooth sailthing that would be hard to do… all of our account info and order the ing from there on out. Until we talked to some of the lotickets for us because she had workcals in Hong Kong. Everyone there ing internet… We never heard back So we stepped off the plane told us that this time of the year it about whether we had the tickets or knowing that we gave everything would be almost impossible to get not. we had listening to what God had up that far into the mainland with asked and you know what… God the Chinese New Year about to take So we were down to one blew our minds on that trip into the place. They all told us that this day before we were “planed” to mainland. We got the gifts that God would be way to last minute to find take off and we knew nothing about was wanting to give. anyway up there. And if we did find how it was going to work, or if we a way up there it would cost us an were even going to make it to arm and a leg. where we needed to go. But we had visas in our passports, and a bus We were (and still are) tickets in our hands to the airport young and as it is with most young we needed to be at. So we were off people we weren’t going to let any- and we were going to give it everything stand in our way of what we thing we had and believe that God knew we had to do. So to make a was going to come through. At this long story… well at least a little bit point I had very little hope that we shorter we tried five different times would make it, and i thought many to get into the mainland. By train, times about just turning around and bus, plane and so on but everything staying Hong Kong because that kept falling to pieces at our feet. At was the easy thing to do, but thats one point we even got the cash we when this quote came to mind. “To needed to get eight plane tickets to give anything less then your best is the city where we needed to go, to sacrifice the gift.” hoped on line to order the tickets, ordered the tickets, and even got the “God i don’t want to give receipt for all of them. Only to find up what you have for me because i


One of the biggest ministries we felt God leading us to, before we even got to Thailand, was working in the “red light district” with the prostitutes. For me this was something that we really hard to accept because I am a guy... “What can I do in this area? I am nothing more then a customer in their eyes, so how can I make a difference?”

While in Thailand my eyes were torn open to what I had no clue about. Like all other places on earth Thailand has a female and a male gender, but Thailand has what they call their third gender. They’re known as “Ladyboys.” Boys who have been raised as girls because when they were about two to three years old the mother would bring her child to a Buddhist monk to have him prayed over. Most of the time the monk would tell the parents that he has a female spirit. At this point there would be a ceremony for the child and from that point on he would be brought up as a she. Or in some cases the boys mother was hurt by men and in her past and she tells her son “you will not grow up to be a man that hurts women like that. So from now on you’re a girl.” so she raises him as a girl from a very young age. There are so many of these confused men in Thailand, most of them living in Bangkok, that they have become known as Thailand’s third gender. Most Ladyboys are very well educated having gone to University, and even have high level professions, or school for high level professions. The problem is none of

them are excepted by the society they live in, so working in these areas doesn’t last to long. They are forced into one profession because of a lack of other options... Prostitution. This is the only area where they are excepted by anyone, but not for any other reason then to take advantage of them. Up until now there has been no work that is done with these men because there is so much more then just finding them new jobs. It takes years of counseling to open their eyes to the fact that they are men. Many of these men have gone through full sex changes. So this is no ordinary job trying to show them that they are men, and then trying to find an honest living for them.

So going back to one of my biggest outreach questions “what can I do?” This is when we met an amazing woman from the states named Celeste. Her heart was for the Ladyboys of Thailand and after just a short time of getting to know her you could see that nothing and no one was going to change that. Celeste has lived in and out of Thailand for the past eight years and knows the Ladyboys better then anyone else. But not only that, she also has a degree in counseling and wants to see healing and revelation for each one of these Ladyboys.

So one of the greatest things about Celeste is that nothing stands in her way, and when she has a dream I am confident that it is just a

matter of time till it comes to be a realization. Her dream is to start a cafe for Ladyboys coming out of prostitution. A place where they can seek refuge and receive the... Continued on next page...


counseling and healing they need. However, at this point Celeste had a building and a small budget but not much more. Meeting Celeste was like a gift from God at this point. She helped and encouraged us in so many ways. So we wanted to help her seeing that it was an outreach. So one of the biggest way we were able to help her was by painting and doing a slight bit of construction here and there in her five story building. So for weeks we as a small part of the team were able to go to the cafe and put in long days of work simple wanting to help her out.

So I have been thinking a lot about how to keep people up to date on what is going on in my life. I try to send out a letter like this every couple of months so you can hear about what I’m up, but most of the time I feel like that is just not good enough. You hear the big things that are going on and that’s great, but I want you to know about the little things that happen on a week by

Mailing address in Germany: Josh Elke Untere Dorf. Str. 56 Herrnhut, Germany 02747

In the time we were there we were able to paint each room on every floor, reconstruct different areas that were falling apart (like where the roof was falling in), and we were also able to pour in some of our team finances to see that this place gets finished as soon as possible. It was a true blessing to be able to help such an amazing woman of God, and partner with her in her passion for a few weeks. As we were getting ready to leave Thailand we had our last day with Celeste. As we were talking with her she began to share with us about how much we helped. Telling us we helped in ways we would

never know. Saying most of the things that I have heard before, but then she said something that touched me in the most amazing way. “What you have done here has not just helped me, but you have helped to bring many prostitutes into a better life. You have changed lives through what you have done here.” “Wow... Thank you God.” So I went into the outreach with a huge question over my head, and I left if one way of answering it. But not only that, I left knowing that I had done something, and that I made a difference. The end... For now.

week basis... That is if you want to know what’s going on. So I though the best thing to do is start a blog. I keep the blog a lot more up to date on what is going on in my life. I have a couple of posts a week that you guys can check out if you would like. I will also be putting photos there. The site is through Tumblr so if any of you have a blog with

them feel free to follow me. If you don’t have a Tumblr it is very simple. All you need to do is simply type in: joshuaelke.tumblr.com Into your URL box and it will take you right there. If you have any questions about this feel free to write me and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

E-mail: joshua.elke@gmail.com Blog: www.joshuaelke.tumblr.com

German phone number: 0049 176 9405 2040


The Journey  

This is a short update on what has happened over the last couple of months.

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