While watching mopeds zip by on one of Chiang Rai’s busiest streets, I wait to meet Kelli at a café. Kelli is the founder of Ezekiel Rain, a ministry committed to bringing restoration to children rescued from sex trafficking. Kelli walks through the door, we order coffee, and before getting into the details of her ministry’s construction project, she begins telling her story. Kelli, a wife and mother in her mid-thirties, started Ezekiel Rain with her husband and another couple four years prior. They moved from the midwest, leaving behind prestigious business careers, to establish this ministry in the northern mountains of Thailand. It seemed like a random career change until Kelli explained further.
When Kelli was in her twenties, she and her husband vacationed in Thailand.What they saw was unexpected and made a lasting impact in their lives. In the early 2000s, the sex trade in Thailand was thriving and blatant. Kelli recounts a day when she was sitting in a café much like the one we were meeting in now. She saw two young girls at a table sitting opposite older gentlemen. While the men read their newspapers, the girls stared intently at Kelli, and tears began streaming down their faces. Kelli recalls how everything in her wanted to grab the girls and take them away. Rescue them. At that moment, there was little she could do beyond crying and praying. Ten years later, her family has moved to Thailand, established Ezekiel Rain, and I am meeting with them to discuss expanding their ministry.
I tell you this story because I think back on it often, and I am moved. I cannot think about Kelli’s story and not be touched and inspired. God is showing me that He is bringing hope to some of the darkest places. Through my work, I am blessed to be a small part of re-establishing this hope. God is using Kelli and her organization to do marvelous things – like give new life to children. What is even more miraculous is that it doesn’t end with Kelli. There are so many people doing marvelous things everywhere you look – from the shady corners of Thailand to America’s suburbs. I am inspired by each of them and honored to work alongside a handful.