Thursday, July 28, 2011

Love Love Love

I just got back from our second week at the bars with Sophia. Annette, Rebekah, and I have started to develop relationships with some of the dancers at a bar in one of Bangkok’s red light districts. Three of the girls actually came out to Newsong on Sunday and were so blessed to take them to lunch and bowling. I think its been great to just give these girls, an opportunity to just have fun and to know that we see them as people, beautiful and worthy. I think someone already wrote about Lak’s story on the blog. It was the first time she got to tell her story. I can’t imagine going through so much pain in her life, and still having to raise four kids on her own. Even if she wanted to get out of the bar, she needs the money, and there doesn’t seem to be any other options. So many dilemmas like this have started to haunt me. I know we are leaving in a week, and can’t promise these girls that we can save them from their situations. Most of them work two jobs, have multiple kids to feed; Lak says she only gets 2-3 hours of sleep every night. I want more than anything to rescue them from this life. Tonight I felt so overwhelmed knowing the industry is spreading to other streets in Bangkok. More demand means more supply, which means more trafficking. There is so much to be done.

It’s kind of a slow process, but this entire trip I’ve been learning to seriously just lean into God and quiet all my worried thoughts, and just try to bless people by loving them. In short, I have to focus on my heart and make sure its right with God in order to love all these beautiful people we meet. Tonight Annette and I were talking to a girl named Noi. It was our second week calling her over to our table. She was sick this week. It was kind of awkward to pray in the bar, but I prayed for her throat. After I gave her the flower clip that was in my hair. She always wears hair accessories. It looked so appropriate on her. Annette told her that she was beautiful on the outside (pointing to her face) and “in here” pointing to her heart. I know she felt something in that moment. Something about her is just so sweet and innocent, even in the occupation she works. In that bar, trying to just take in the situation before us with a humble posture, it’s so much easier to see how much God loves her. I feel like that was all God wanted from us--- to just tell her that. I think we will probably see her Sunday.

Yesterday we went with the Strombecks to the largest slum in Bangkok. They go to the slums every Wednesday night, feed and play with the kids, and teach English to the adults. Brenda and James were explaining that one of the boys used to be one of their greatest challenges. He used to trample over all the crafts and interrupt all the lessons. One week James decided to set aside Thai mores and hug and encourage him. On Wednesday he was part of a group of boys working on b-boy moves. I think I saw this boy do 3 back-hand springs in a row, in his shoes, on the concrete of the temple. All he needed was someone to believe in him, and something to strive for (in this case break-dancing), and now, he’s more or less thriving. We only have one more week here. I know I’m going to be heartbroken to leave. Pray that God teaches us so much does a lot with us and with the people around us in this last week. See you guys soon!

God of this City

Bangkok is an amazing place, full of life and full of possibilities. Since being here God has been speaking so clearly to all of us. We've been learning how important it is to create space for our lives to be "interrupted" by God. Holy interruptions that are the real life that we get to live out. God is here, and God wants to show you things and speak to you. (Applicable anywhere you are).

video shot by our friend Andres

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

bowling with an amazing mom

Our friend Sophia, who's involved with the Well, who does ministry with women in the bars, took the girls on our team to a Bar to talk to girls that were working there. During that night we heard from our girls on the team, that they were shocked to see these Bar Girls parading themselves topless to men who would buy a drink from them and take them out for the night. The girls on our team took the time to get to know a few bar girls with the help of our friend Sophia, and invited them out to newsong bangkok on sunday morning as they worked every nite.

After service one of the ladies, who's name is Lak, shared with us how this church was so different from what she expected. I spoke on lies and truth that morning, and she said that everyone in the bar told her not to go to church today as they said there was nothing for her here. I shard Philippians 4, about the God of peace being with us as we focus on what is true and noble and putting that into practice. I believed she felt God's presence and we all went out to have lunch.

Over lunch she shared a heart breaking story of how her boyfriend from a few years ago tragically died during the Tsunamis in 2004, and has raised her son and 3 other kids from other relationships since then, she was raising 4 kids, plus supporting her brother and family members by working as a Bar girl.

I told her she was an amazing mom for sacrificing so much and loving her family despite how difficult her work is, she doesn't want to do it, but its the only way she can make some money, she is illiterate and even worked in construction to make ends meet but it was not enough. When I told her this, she started crying and i couldn't fight my tears back either. I shared Psalm 23 with them, so they could hold onto truth before they would go to sleep.

After Lak shared we went of to Bowl. Had a blast bowling and hanging out at the disco/tech bowling alley. After that Lak and her 2 friends had to go to work for the night.

It was a true honor to hang with them and hear their story.

more to come.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

God answered

Greetings again from Bangkok. In my previous update, I discussed the hero in John 6 and how he was in the right place at the right time. If you haven't read it, do so now. It makes this blog even more meaningful.

Last Sunday morning, our team helped take care of the kids during service. Those little rascals were rowdy, but they were pretty fun and full of energy! Bekah prepared a lanyard for one of the kids but then wanted us to do it for I decided to do it (growing up in summer camp, it was a fun craft that made the time go by faster). After working on it for a day, Bekah helped me make it into the shape of a fish. It was pretty cool and it felt good to finish it! I placed in my pocket and forgot about it.

The next day, we visited an organization called the Well with Sophia from Newsong Bangkok. It's a group that focuses on sex trafficking victims, but they also try to take in their families as well. So any kids or boyfriends/husbands are encouraged to come too. Overall it makes it better for the women and their progress towards staying out of that job market.

After sitting in on a worship time with about 20 women and a few men, we stopped by the child care center. We met Pi Lek (Pi is used to acknowledge someone older), the woman who cares for up to 10 kids of the women at the Well. She really needed prayer because she's been struggling as of late, so we gathered and prayed.

As she was thanking us for taking the time to pray with her, I was just sitting there and listening with my hands in my pockets and I realized I still had the lanyard. All of a sudden my heart began to race as I felt like I was supposed to give it to her as a symbol for something. I've never been so overwhelmed by the spirit to move in such a way; naturally I was afraid of a potentially awkward situation...but when I saw that this was an opportunity that couldn't be missed, I pulled it out of my pocket. I asked Sophia to translate for me and I shared with Pi Lek that I felt like I was supposed to give the lanyard to her as a symbol and reminder of God's love and presence in her life. She examined it and grasped my hand, both of us holding back the tears. And she said thank you over and over again.

I completely forgot that I wrote about John 6 in the previous post. And when I mentioned at the end about that fateful day where we will all be in the right place at the right time, I never would have guessed that it would happen in the next week. Pi Lek was so thankful, but I was even more blessed for God's intervention in my life and using me to be a blessing. If it wasn't for Sunday working with the kids or had I emptied my pockets, this may not have happened. It was an honor to be a vessel for God's everlasting love to Pi Lek. Praise the Lord!

Praise on,

Michael Fukuda


July 21, 2011 Thursday Night

Today’s lunch was at a local restaurant that serves the best basil pork rice dish and garlic pork…yummy. This was our third time eating here and I guess you can say we were becoming regulars. After we were stuffing our faces, Ki-Lang ordered one more plate and told the 50+ year-old chef to make any dish for him. The dish was pretty good, but that was when the chef began talking to Ki-Lang, in Thai of course so I couldn’t understand. The chef began to pat his heart and I guess he went on to share that he has an irregular heartbeat. He used to smoke and doesn’t smoke anymore, but their shop has to close by 5pm every day because he has to rest due to his heart problem.

I kept asking Ki-Lang to translate and decipher what the chef was saying. I could feel my heart gravitating towards this friendly old man who had the purest smile. I’m pretty sure he was Buddhist due to the shrine in the back corner of the shop. I told Ki-Lang to tell the chef that I thought his food was the BEST (it is truly extremely good). The chef smiled and nodded.

I asked Ki-Lang, “Hey is it weird if you tell him that I will be praying for his heart condition?” Ki-Lang told the chef that I would be praying to “Prajow” (God) and the chef bowed and said thank you.

Here is when it got really weird.

So…in the past few years I think I’ve been learning how to listen to God’s voice and how to recognize it. Therefore, from previous experiences, I knew that the voice I was hearing at this very moment was definitely God. It was just pressing on my heart like BAM BAM BAM SAY IT SAY IT.

In my head I was conversing with myself, “Say, ‘The God of Israel can heal your heart.’”

“No, Rebekah, don’t say it. What are you going to do? Pray for him right here and now? What if you pray and he isn’t healed? Then what? He’s going to be pretty hurt and mad that what you said didn’t come true.”

“What are you so scared about? Do you not believe that God can heal this man? Do you not remember how God has healed people around you and yourself in the past? What do you believe?”

“Stop it, Rebekah. Believe in Jesus’ power. Jesus, HELP ME WITH MY DISBELIEF!”

We got up and left the restaurant. I bowed excessively to the chef and the other waitresses. “Kap Kun Ka!”

Yeah, the next half hour consisted of talking it out with other team members and really analyzing and figuring it out in my head. When it comes to prayer and healing, I believe that we should pray truly believing in the power of our God. I believe that we should pray for physical healing, but especially for their hearts that they may come to know Christ because that is what is truly eternal. I think that God has a plan and whether it is in his will or not to heal right at that moment, or slowly, or never, is all up to Him. He is our God and He knows what is best, even if our earthly minds cannot comprehend His ways.

Today, I think God opened a door for me, but I chickened out. The main question it left me with was, do I truly believe that God can heal? Where is my faith in my God of Israel, the one who parted the Red Sea, who healed the blind, who conquered death, who chose to love me?

Jesus, help me with my disbelief. Amen.

Be Bold. Be Strong. Joshua 1:9.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Brain storm

Newsong Bangkok is one of the most spirit filled, alive, & dynamic communities i have been part of. Had the privilege to be part of the Newsong BKK team back in 2005, since then it's come along quite nicely.

Great to be part of the community again, there's life transformation going on, pain is being shared, hearts are being healed.

Our team had a chance to sit in on a Newsong staff meeting to help add value and hear God's direction on a few element of NSBKK

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 15, 2011


I've been learning so much, I feel like I could write a book. I think the loudest piece of wisdom I've been hearing is that the things I do don't matter as much as having the right heart first. The past couple of days we spent time near the border of Myanmar and Thailand. We got to spend some time at an IDP camp for orphans. I'd say there were 20-30 kids there and about 5 adults including their teachers there to care for them. After spending only a couple hours with them, and eat their delicious food harvested in the jungle, we spent some time praying for the kids and then Hearing the stories of two of the girls. Their stories were tragic. One girl had to sleep in the jungle every night to run away from the junta and walk three days to get to the refugee camp. The other girl's father had died while stepping on a land mine. She wasn't even sure of her age. Of course those things are so hard to hear. Sometimes all I want to do is rescue kids like this and hug them forever. But even after their stories, both girls were smiling. This camp was beautiful, in the middle of the jungle surrounded by green, mist and mountains. Even more beautiful was the community they lived in. All the babies being looked after by everyone. Everything was shared. It's easy to see that these girls had hope and hope is healing their lives. I know they have more needs still. The organization can't afford to send the older ones to school. Most of the shelters don't have walls. But beautiful things are happening there. It makes me think, when hearing people's stories and deciding how to help, I really need to pay closer attention to what God is already doing.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

God's Children

We've been in Northern Thailand for the last 3 days. Took over 12 hours to a small little orphanage.

In the middle of the jungle

School with no walls

Encouragement for the kids

Kids loving biscuits and blankets we were able to pass out

Being out here to see how much safer they are compared to their past, brought joy to our hearts.

Now we prepare for another long drive back home.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, July 9, 2011

John 6

A few days ago, we met a man named Poom. While he may think otherwise, he is a young man who spoke a lot of wisdom to us in such a short time.

One thing he briefly mentioned has stuck in my head and on my heart as if God had stapled it there. He talked about the hero from John 6. As I sat there being stubborn and wanting to remember John 6 on my own, I couldn't think of any hero besides Jesus (hah). Poom later explained that the hero is the boy with the five loaves of bread and two fish.

My mind was blown. Thinking back on all the times I've read through that particular passage, I unfortunately remember the miracle that took place there but not the boy. It's amazing to think of all the times I've read the bible focusing only on Jesus and the miracles that happen and missing a big name.

Sometimes heroes are overlooked. Sometimes they come in the form of a person without a name. This one knows who he is. He was there at the right place and the right time. Isn't that what God does for us? He places us exactly where we need to be just in time to work for his glory. Heroes will come in the most unlikely individuals and it's not bad for us as his children to dream of being a hero. Just like that little boy on that fateful day, we will be at the right place just in time to feed the five thousand.


On a lighter note, I survived crossing my first street in Asia with fierce taxi drivers and motorcyclists speeding towards us a couple days ago. Quite exciting to say the least!

Also, no food poisoning for me. Praise the Lord.

Praise on,

Michael Fukuda

Divine Interruptions

This past friday we went out early in the morning to do some grocery shopping and right afterward we went to this local area for lunch. As we were settling down to eat, Kiana was stopped by this old asian lady that had bandages on her left foot that was asking for money. She talked to this lady for a bit and then motioned for me and Rebekah to come over. She tells us that she thinks the lady is speaking in chinese and asked if we could possibly translate that she wanted to pray for her. Between bekah and I's poor chinese we were able to explain what Kiana was doing. After we finished praying for her foot, Fukuda offers her his bowl of noodles. She was completely bewildered at first. She wasnt sure what we were doing, but in chinese we explained that we would like for her to join us for lunch. So she sat down and proceeded with lunch. Throughout the meal I tried to make conversation with her about where she was from and what she was doing in thailand. She explained that about 2 months ago she and some family and friends had come to thailand for some vacation, but she had injured her foot. A thai hospital had taken her in and sown up her foot and allowed her to stay till she recuperated without charging her a cent. However, since it awhile the people that were with her have since left but she had no money to get back home. As we talked some more, she shared a little about her family. She told us that she had 4 kids and 3 grandkids and that they were all back in China: she was the only one here and was anxious to get home. (She was from just outside Wuhan city in Hu Bei province.) We also asked if she had heard about Christ and if she knew what christians were. She explained, after some effort, that she's heard of christians and she believes that they are good people cause they do good things, and that we were examples. She mentioned that there was a church in the area and she hears them praying and worshipping every week. She thanked us for praying for her and asked for our names. We wrote down our names and bekah and I's email. She said she was gonna give our names to the church when she got back so that they could pray for us and that we would be welcome when we go China. She also wasn't a believer and said she was busy taking care of the grandkids, but she said she would check out the church when she gets back home. We also got her name and a picture with her before we went our separate ways. Thank you lord for the faithful encounter with: mrs. yuan ze yu, an old chinese lady is now our contact in hu bei.

The experience was not only amazing because we were able to pray, share a meal, and the gospel. I've always prided myself of being taiwanese and bilingual, but to leave the country and use what God had given me was a reminder of the sovereignty of God and how he has plans no matter where I am.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

God of the Redeemed

Last night we visited the red light district; a place full of darkness and loss souls. At first I couldn’t bring myself to look inside the bars or even make eye contact with people who were selling stuff. But as I began to wonder about this, I realized the Holy Spirit was working within me. As I started to pray for God to reveal more to me, a lot of deep insecurities began to surface. I was immediately judgmental rather than loving. I couldn’t help but to see them in a different light. As I continued on, I was filled with pain and discomfort; my heart was breaking as I wondered why this was happening. I wondered how I could be of any use; I am after all only one man…one very lost and broken man. It’s easy to remember the simple truths like “God uses the least to lead His kingdom” but my heart is always drowned in insecurities.

This night was emotionally and spiritually draining. After debriefing I showered and tried to sleep. As I laid in bed, I still felt uncomfortable as my heart was still shattered. What I shared in debriefing didn’t do any justice to the thoughts on my mind; the tears that were shed as my soul wept. Knowing that I couldn’t possibly go to sleep like this, I listened to a song called Hope’s Anthem. He is where my hope lies and in Him alone. He is my anchor, never shaking. He brings hope to the hopeless, giving his heart to the broken. He is my joy. Let hope arise.

On that note, I fell asleep knowing that God is ever present and maybe my calling is simply to be here in Thailand; to pray as I walk; to live out Romans 12:1-2 and striving for making worship a lifestyle.

God is my everlasting love. He is the God of the redeemed. He had to bring me all the way out here to teach me something. If you have time…read through James 2, Romans 2, and while you read listen to Hope’s Anthem and God of the Redeemed by Bethel on YouTube. Maybe you’ll get a tiny glimpse of what’s on my heart right now.

Here's the links to the videos:

Hope's Anthem:

God of the Redeemed:

Praise on,

Michael Fukuda

mercy triumphs over judgement

Abe decided to take our team to Pat Pong, one of the red-light districts in Bangkok. We walked down three streets. The first-, also doubling as a night-market, catering to the general crowd, the second- the street catering to the demand for boys and lady boys, and the third- serving mostly a Japanese clientele. After walking down the first street, I didn’t feel as much of a shock as some of our team experienced. I’ve spent a lot of time in Asia- I’ve seen this scene before. What stood out to me more was a group of 3 women sitting at a stoop. The two on the sides were reading tarot cards. The third woman, in the middle was crying. After debriefing with our team, I realized that maybe God wanted to show me the pain that exists when He is neglected. The woman was crying. I don’t know why, but it struck me. Walking past the prostitutes and their customers on Pat Pong didn’t shock me. Maybe, I was looking at the supply of women and the demand provided by customers as an equation- a scenario- a problem to resolve. I knew the pain was there. And I chose not to see it until the end of the street, with the women playing tarot cards. I admire Rebekah for connecting to the hearts of these women through their eyes and opening up herself to feel their hurt. I feel like now, thinking about life back at school or in Orange County, how often I guard myself from seeing the pain or hurt or loneliness in someone’s eyes. While we were in Korea, I saw a man wearing a shirt with arms breaking chains and Romans 6:22 written below it. He breaks chains. He sets his children free from sin, loneliness, despair, heartache, disappointment, addictions, insecurity, failure, the list goes on. Mike kept thinking of the word ‘slavery’ while were walking around in down there. While debriefing and praying tonight, I couldn’t help thinking about the invisible world present in Pat Pong. He’s already fighting. Your angels are fighting. Maybe I have to release myself from being guarded to see it and fight along side Him and help release people from their chains.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Independence Day

We're in Thailand now, getting settled into our apartment. we had a long full day, we went to Newsong bangkok, got to jam with the worship team, met an old friend, got to check out a b-boy battle in siam, and even got to walk the red-light district with our team. Seeing and learning new things. Key words from today's debrief: Pain, Slavery, Individuals (Luke 15), Anger, Injustice, and Protection.

Also wanted to share about the hospitality of our korean hosts. we mentioned on july 4th, that it was Independence day, and if they had fireworks we can get. we stopped by a shop and got some fireworks. Here's a video:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Trust Beyond Understanding

With today being our last day in Korea and a long bus ride to the airport ahead of us, we picked up a BUNCH of steamed buns to hold us over. Words cannot describe how delicious these buns are. Throughout this trip, I encountered a lot of good food and I always had something to say but this was different. I normally don't like red bean but this was bearable for the deliciousness that I experienced. What's even more amazing is the story behind that little shop that was the source for these little drops of heaven.

The owners of this shop are 4 women who attend the church that Abe's father is the pastor of. Together, they come up with an amount that they want to give to God and from there, whatever money they make (no matter what the amount) they give that exact number. This is all given before they touch any of the profits. If they don't hit that number, they pay the difference out of their own pockets. (INCREDIBLE!) Once that money has been given to God, they split up the profits amongst themselves and with that profit they TITHE 10% (WHAT IN THE WORLD...).

For me, something I've been thinking about during this trip is offering. Not just money, but other means as well. While I do give time to God both in service and personal time, when that offering basket comes around, more often than not, I pass it along. Sometimes I don't have cash (but I can give online), sometimes I only have large bills (does that matter?), and sometimes I just feel like I don't have enough money to give to God. What's up with that mentality? If I can't give now as a college student, how much more difficult would it be when I have a job and the amount I should give is even more?

This story of the steamed buns really hit home inside my heart. The trust that they have in God is so incredible and apparently, their business is flourishing. Sure, there are probably months where they don't meet that magic number, but how awesome is it to see God come through for them EVERY MONTH as they offer what they don't even have yet. Simply amazing what God can reveal to us in new environments!

Praise on,


Bangkok Bound

After two and a half days of prayer and delicious hospitality we are back at the Korean airport getting ready to go to Bangkok, our team's destination.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Yeongjong-dong,Incheon,South Korea

Monday, July 4, 2011

Prayer meeting

This morning our team participated in a special prayer meeting that was at 10am. The basement of the church was packed with people that wanted to pray the "Abba prayer," before prayer started, there was worship and a short word. Our team joined in worship even though it was in Korean. Here's the hymn Glory Glory Hallelujah

YouTube Video

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Jeon Ju Antioch Church

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

Team Picture at LAX

We are about to take off to Incheon Airport, South Korea!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:World Way,Los Angeles,United States