One for Tim by Jess

He is strong and lifts other people up…


He adventures on (our) uncharted waters with a smile and great courage…


He cares for me and sends me things like this…


He is genuinely interested in and cares for others…


He cares for this little monkey…

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Sometimes he drives me crazy… (no one should see this pic any bigger than it is)


He helps me find a way when I’m not sure what’s ahead…


He thinks it’s perfectly logical to order a meal like this (don’t worry, he was sharing it)…


He’s happy to share something he’s learned and help you understand it…

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He can take these panoramic pictures…


He carries a lot and makes it look easy…


I love him…


Love Jess xxoo

Half a Loaf by Jess

Luke 9:12-17

Late in the afternoon the twelve disciples came to him and said, “Send the crowds away to the nearby villages and farms, so they can find food and lodging for the night. There is nothing to eat here in this remote place.”

But Jesus said, “You feed them.”

“But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Or are you expecting us to go and buy enough food for this whole crowd?” For there were about 5,000 men there.

Jesus replied, “Tell them to sit down in groups of about fifty each.” So the people all sat down.  

Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers!

A few observations

  • Jesus asked them to do something they really couldn’t do. The need was far too great for the resources they had.
  • They gave him what they had even while they questioned his logic. Did He really just ask them to feed 5,000 men (plus women and children)?
  • Jesus’ answer was not the same as theirs. They thought they were going to buy bread, but what happened was for more amazing.
  • When Jesus took what they had and multiplied it, He not only met the need, but went beyond that so there was essentially a basket left over for each disciple.

Most of the time, I feel like those loaves and fish, not enough to meet the need. Honestly, sometimes all I have is half a loaf without the fish. When I read this story, I feel like it reaches out of the depths of time and meets me where I’m at.

There are many days when all I have for my daughter, my marriage or for other people is half a loaf. I feel exhausted, wishing I were more. I wish I were like other people who seem to have endless energy and mental capacity; that folks, is not who I am. Most of the time, I’m actually pretty ok with being me. Nevertheless, I have my days when I don’t have a whole lot and I wonder if I’m a disappointment.

What fills me with hope from this testimony in Luke is that there is so much left over from the little that they had in the beginning. Not only does God multiply what we offer Him, He provides more. He doesn’t leave us high and dry with nothing left. He doesn’t take every scrap and leave us starving… I think we often do that to ourselves.

I recently penned these words while discussing this very problem with God…

“I may feel like I don’t have much, but I’ll give you what I have. Ha, ha… you’ll seriously have to do the rest.”

So chin-up, He does a heck of a lot with a little.

Love Jess

Saigon Siesta by Jess

We knew that after we left Thailand we wanted to connect with a group in Vietnam. The only problem was that they couldn’t take us for two weeks and our visas were about to expire. So, we booked the cheapest flight out of Thailand into Vietnam and ended up staying in Ho Chi Minh for two weeks. During that time, we rested up and spent our days exploring the local area we stayed in. Most of our days revolved around where we would eat or drink next. One major highlight was seeing our friends, Sam and Maggie from Melbourne.

We also managed to catch up with the amazing Freddi from The Shelter Collection over a coffee and heard about the amazing work they do. The Shelter Collection are a Danish NGO that work to free disadvantaged children from exploitation. They do this by partnering with local organisations and providing them with training and fundraising support. There was one thing in particular that Freddi said that really stood out to us,

“Just because people are disadvantaged, doesn’t mean they’re undeserving. The donations people give speak volumes about peoples’ value.”

 We had a great time getting to know Freddi and even hope to catch up with her when we go to Da Nang.

We’re heading up to Da Nang on Saturday and will be there for a month-ish with AOG World Relief Vietnam. Before that though, here are a few pics from the last few days. It’s safe to say, that we have fallen in love with Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) and are so glad that we got to spend two weeks in this beautiful city.

The lane where we stayed and some local snap shots

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A couple of major tourist attractions


Reunification Palace outside, upstairs and in the bunker…


A trip to the Bitexco Financial Tower isn’t complete without a two-year-old having a meltdown.

P1060472P1060479At $2.50AUD for the whole family to go to the Zoo, we went twice.


Food and Coffee coffee coffee!
Saigon has a massive coffee culture, although
drinks cost about the same as meals.
Our daily food budget was $30 AUD for all three of us.
A coffee ranged from $0.62 AUD to $3.39 AUD


So, that was our last two weeks. It only took us two days to feel bad about not ‘doing anything’, but good friends told us to rest up and enjoy yourselves. I think we did alright 😉

Love Jess xxoo

Four days with abolitionists of child sex-trafficking by Jess

Disclaimer: If you’re hoping this post will be full of photos of the girls or details of heart wrenching rescue stories, you will be disappointed. Firstly, we haven’t built relationship with the girls or gained their permission. Secondly, it’s just not our style. We want to respect them and continue to create an environment where they feel safe, not exploited.

After our time in Chiang Mai, we jumped on a bus for the three hour trip to Chiang Rai, home of Destiny Rescue (DR). More on what they do a little later.


We bunked in at our accommodation at Le Patta and decided it was up there with the nicest places we’ve stayed. We booked it in Chiang Mai whilst I was in the midst of a horrible bout of gastro, but we got a 60% discount, so it was more affordable.

The room was beautiful and Amy got to feed the giant gold-fish at the foyer every day. She loved it there and the staff loved her.


Over the next few days we met staff (mostly in the Destiny Cafe) and got to learn more about what they do.


For those of you who don’t know anything about DR, I’ve taken this blurb from their website to give you an idea.

Destiny Rescue is a grassroots, internationally recognised, Christian based, non-profit organisation dedicated to rescuing children from human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

RESCUE: Our Rescue Agents visit red lights areas undercover and identify underaged children. 

Once identified, they will either: 

  1. Build trust with the children and offer the safest escape route possible. 
  2. Partner with anti-trafficking police to gain intelligence and help facilitate a raid. 

The brothel managers are often arrested and the premises shut down, meaning no more abuse can take place there. Both methods of rescue are vital in fulfilling our vision to see child slavery ended in our lifetimes.

AFTER CARE: Through our aftercare programs, not only are these children and young adults offered medical care and counselling, they are brought to a “rescue home” where they can live peacefully, eat nutritious meals, get a valuable education and play interactive games with other children. In addition, when they reach a certain age, they can learn a skilled trade like sewing, jewellery making, hairstyling, waitressing or cooking. A proper education and vocational training are key components for successful reintegration back into society.

We were very honoured to spend one day with Jenny Kirwin, founder of Destiny Rescue. She took us to the rescue base and introduced us to people who gave us greater insight into what they do. They were gracious enough to answer our questions, even if some were a little tough. You can tell that everyone who works there loves what they do and has a passion for the beautiful girls they rescue. They are continually seeking to improve their integration processes and empower the once powerless to have a better life.

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We did manage one touristy thing whilst in Chiang Rai. The always wonderful Jenny and her daughter Jessie, took us to see the white temple.

Some of the white temple is still off-limits due to renovations from a major earthquake, but I’m glad we went. Honestly it’s more an artistic creepy masterpiece than an authentic Thai temple. There are status of demons everywhere and inside the temple there is a mural with Star Wars images, which has nothing to do with Buddhism at all. It’s just a little odd.  See the last photo for one example.P1060166P1060168P1060181 copy

We finally said goodbye to Thailand and now we’re in Vietnam for about 6 weeks, but before I go I have just a few extra thoughts for you.

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When we originally started planning this trip, Destiny Rescue was the first place we thought of and connected with. After all this time it was great to finally visit. We were able to hear their heart and let them hear ours. The solutions to child sex-trafficking in Thailand are simple and complicated at the same time.

Firstly, the simple… IT IS NOT OK, IT HAS TO STOP.

The complicated… there are cultural barriers, racism towards tribal groups and discrimination against the poor (because it’s their karma), political corruption, discouraging red-tape, financial restrictions, lack of staff, lack of resources and the list keeps going.

If you’re interested in the intervention and reintegration aspects of child sex-trafficking, this is my advice to you:

~ Realise that every organisation from prevention to reintegration needs to be working within their own specific area. We need each group to be working well and realise that one organisation can’t do it all. So find out what you’re passionate about, and support that organisation.
~ Realise that prevention looks like community development. By investing in a community or sponsoring a child, you are in fact fighting human trafficking. It may not be ‘exciting’, but it’s extremely powerful.
~ Financially support those who are on the field. It costs money to live overseas and it costs money to run training programs for girls (or boys). You’ll be surprised how far $10 will go a month. $10 is better than $0. Give what you can, but give something.
~ Read a few books (I ask everyone for their recommendations). Here are three to start with: When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert, Walking with the Poor by Bryant Myers, The White Umbrella by Mary Frances Bowley. The No Project also have a great reading list:
~ Go to uni and get the skills that organisations like DR need – trauma counselling, business management, administration, teaching, TESOL, social and human services workers, community development, international law etc.

Over the past 5 months we have been blessed to connect with many organisations and meet many people who have a passion to see human trafficking, specific the sex-trade, ended. We felt God ask us to step out and serve and observe groups such as these for a season. To be honest we don’t know why and we don’t know where it will lead our family. We are glad that we have stepped out of the boat and we can do our little part to help where we can.

So our journey continues and we will continue to follow where God leads.

Love Jess xxoo