Well, I just got an email from Hannah and Sarah. They included an audio clip reporting their current status from the airport.

They sound, well, exhausted. Full. Battle frayed.

We need to pray for these girls.

Often times when we have seen hard things, have witnessed heart breaking struggles, even in the midst of God's love there is a wearing down of the spirit. It's the moment of realizing how small you are, how really impossible it is to make a difference on the scale that is needed. And recovering from this oftentimes takes a lot of prayer and rest.

This is what we need to be praying for the girls [another prayer found in The Valley of Vision]:

"Lord Jesus, Great High Priest,
O what blessedness accompanies devotion,
when under all the trials that weary Sarah and Hanna,
the cares that corrode them,
the ear that disturb them,
the infirmities that oppress them,
They can come to you in their need
and feel peace beyond understanding.
The grace that restores is necessary to preserve,
lead, guard, supply, help them.
Here, your saints encourage their hope,
they were once poor and are now rich,
bound and are now free,
tried and now are victorious.
Every new duty calls for more grace than
Hannah and Sarah now posses,
but not more than is found in thee,
the divine Treasury in whom all fullness dwells.
To thee may they repair for grace made upon grace,
until every void made by sin is replenished
and they are filled with all thy fullness.
May their desires be enlarged
and their hopes be emboldened,
that they may honor thee
by their entire dependency
and the greatness of their expectation.
Do thou be with them, and prepare them for all
the smiles of prosperity, the frowns of adversity,
the losses of substance, the death of friends,
the days of darkness, the changes of life,
and the last great change of all.
May Hannah and Sara find thy grace sufficient,
for all of their needs. video


Hey Everyone,

Thank you again for all of your precious prayers on behalf of Hannah and Sarah. We have two more days of prayer for the girls as they come home from Thailand on the 25th.

Pray that the Lord will grant them mercies as they pack. Pray that He will strengthen them for saying goodbeye to the precious friends and saints that they have met. Pray that He would encourage their hearts and enable them to adapt back home quickly - that they can tell the stories of these girls in a way that will challenge and inspire the rest of us.

Blessings.



Ending well is always a challenge. You are tired. Oftentimes spiritually on a high but physically down. You look forward to resting but dread leaving at the same time. Its that moment when a distance runner turns that last bend in the race. The finish line is in sight. The crowd is cheering. You could fall over for exhaustion...

But. Not. Yet.

Pray that Hannah and Sarah would be given divine strength and power to finish this project strong. They have 3 days left on the project, and I'm sure they are packing up and finishing all the loose ends they need to come back with an incredible story.

Thank you for all your prayers. You truly are impacting the long term battle with human trafficking by your prayers.

The last wall paper for the Restoring Grace Project is here! Click here to download!


Before Hannah left, we sat down for a few minutes to talk about what her goals were for Restoring Grace. Check out this 2min clip as Hannah explains the purpose for Restoring Grace, and why it's important to be witnesses to this testimony of the miraculous workings of God.

Be sure to pray for protection for the girls, as they have been in the mountains of Thailand where girls are often kidnapped from their homes and forced into the sex slave trade. Pray that Hannah and Sarah would experience divine protection from the enemy who would do anything to harm them and their mission. Pray that Jesus and His angels would surround them and keep them as they complete this journey with Him.

video


Oftentimes, artistic crews tend to be a burden to their subjects, rather than a blessing. Hannah and Sarah's fervent prayer and desire is that they are able to help, assist, and bless House of Grace, and the brave women whose lives are being transformed by the power and love of God.

Pray that God will give them the grace to carry their camera's on their backs and do dishes. Pray that they can hold a camera in one hand and a child in the other. Pray that on appropriate occasions, they can put their camera down and worship and pray with the girls.

Pray that their camera's will be a bridge and a blessing.


When we talk about artist rescuing beauty, we arent talking about the traditional view of photojournalism. The type that records what is there from no objective angle and easily manipulates the emotions of their readers. The artists who aim to rescue beauty are the ones who jump into the action on a personal level, who invest in their subjects, who want to show the love of God to everyone who may be a part or involved in the story.

This is what Hannah and Sarah are endeavoring to be a part of.

To this end, let's pray today that the girls will see this story the way Jesus sees. It's not worth it for them to be "just another team" of photojournalists working on a human trafficking story. It needs to be much more than this. It needs to be inspired of God and from an angle that only He sees.

May our creative and awesome God inspire Hannah and Sarah to this end today.

___

Interested on other ways to get involved with the plight of Human Trafficking? Check out Call and Response. The first full length feature documentary created by an undercover team of philanthropists to raise awareness and give outlet for involvement by ordinary citizens. I found it super cool.


Today I was reading in The Valley of Vision - an old book of Puritan prayers given to me by a dear friend. In it, is an appropriate prayer that we can pray for Hannah and Sarah today.

Oh Lord of Grace
The world is before Sarah and Hannah this day
and they are weak
but they look to you for strength.
If they venture forth alone they will stumble and fall
but on the Beloved's arms they are firm
as the eternal hills.
If left to the treachery of their hearts
they shall shame your name,
but if enlightened, guided, upheld by your Spirit,
they shall bring You glory.

Be thou, their arm to support,
their strength to stand,
their light to see,
their feet to run,
their shield to protect,
their sword to repel,
their sun to warm.


Today, pray that Hannah and Sarah keep up their endurance as they are making their way to the half way mark! May they be kept in health, spiritual strength, and safety through this journey!

Here's an update from Hannah!


Blog Thoughts – 2.16.09

“I love you…SO, so much.” These are the words we hear every day. Words that are always accompanied by a hug or kiss on the cheek. The girls here at House of Grace may not have many possessions of their own, but they are abundantly rich in one thing: love. And the more they give it away, the more capacity for love they seem to contain. Everything about their lives evidences the power of God’s love. Their exuberant love for each other. Sisterly affection. Adoring love for the amazing staff who care for them day in and day out. Patient love. Unrestrained love for two strangers who walked into their lives a short week and a half ago.

We did not expect to be the recipients of such love. We came prepared to reflect the love of Christ to these precious girls. Instead, we find ourselves learning and relearning about love, as Christ's love is reflected to us. We find our hearts expanding to love more fully and more completely as a result of the love poured onto to us from these girls.

What is the source? These girls have been trampled and rejected and abandoned, and have every reason to want to harden themselves. Many have been emotionally crushed by those closest to them-- their own families. Most were raised with no perception of personal value. Yet they willingly make themselves vulnerable, and pour out their love upon others.

We can find only one explanation: the amazing grace of God. Somehow, someway, these girls have found the ability to entrust their hearts to God, to allow Him to restore them, and to open them up to new life and new love.

They share Christ’s love, not their own. Every moment. Love is not something they force. The dictionary definition of love is “an intense feeling of deep affection; a deep attachment to someone.” The love that the girls exhibit here goes far beyond this. They have tapped into something deeper than human love. They access Christ’s love, fully and abundantly. Because they live in Christ’s love.

“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and be so pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
Philippians 1:9-11

Their love is not given out of ignorance. They bear the scars that remind them of their hurt. But they choose to love anyway, with nothing held back. It is a pure love that they give, straight from the heart of God… and it is indeed bringing glory and praise to Him. Listen to the voice clip. It’s a recording of some of the girls in worship. Hear it and know that God is still performing miracles. Never again doubt the power of His healing grace. And claim it for yourself.













So, imagine what it would be like to try and communicate deep subject matter with someone who didn't speak your language. Then, try to imagine what it would be like to hear a highly emotional story - through broken english. This in a large sense is what Sarah and Hannah are dealing with in the Thailand project.

Pray that God will do as He has in the past - bring clear communication between Hannah, Sarah, and all the girls they are profiling from House of Grace. We know He can.

Oh, and just as promised, here's a new wallpaper to remember the girls in prayer!
Click Here to download!


Hey Everyone!

Check out this update from Sarah Danaher! And look ahead for a new updated wall paper to keep reminding you to pray for this project!

Today, pray that Sarah and Hannah would be able to establish good and strong relationships with the Thai girls. That they would connect despite cultural, language, and lifestyle barriers. That the love of God would be felt and shown through this project!

___

Feb 9
February 9, 2009
Chiang Rai, Thailand

Thanks for the prayers. I'm feeling much better. The horrible cold and fever that bombarded me the day before I left home has almost completely subsided. I still have a lingering cough that I can't seem to shake, but other than that, both Hannah & I are healthy and well.

Life here is great. It's so beautiful. The girls get up early (6:30am is sleeping in for them), and we are doing our best to acclimate our bodies to their schedule. We have a 12-hour time difference from home, so it's a bit of a challenge, but we're doing our best. You will be pleased to know that I am currently off coffee. =) They have some sort of single-serving coffee mix of sorts that I drink each morning, but it doesn't count as coffee, since the ingredients read "50% sugar, 45% milk substitute, 5% coffee." No joke. The days are slow and easy, but every night at 8:30 Hannah and I look at each other and wonder if we can even stay awake until 9. We're turning into old ladies.

Our first few days were consumed with getting to know the girls and adjusting to the lifestyle of House of Grace. Saturdays are cleaning days, so we spent our first morning photographing girls through clouds of dust, and walking around surrounded by at least ten smiling faces who regularly wanted to hold hands and give hugs. I stopped part way through the first morning and thought, "Nothing could feel more natural." Travel and photography feel like they're in my blood. Yesterday Jutiporn (the campus director) asked if we're dealing with culture shock, to which we both happily responded with a decided "no." We love this place, and we love these people.

The girls have such a sense of joy, and such a sweet spirit. There are 105 here, living together 24/7. They all share rooms. All of them. And yet they still enjoy being together. You seldom see any girl off by herself. Some of the older girls are "house/room mothers" for the younger grades, but they don't complain at having younger ones to care for when they want to spend time with their older friends, or when they have to work on homework and study projects. It's amazing. And very convicting. When I take a step back and look at my life and my attitudes, I am convicted. They have come from such hard backgrounds, and they have such joy. I want to see and love like they do. I came hoping to reflect the light of Christ to these precious girls, but instead I find Christ reflected back to me.

Schedule for time in Chiang Rai

Monday, February 9
Girl's birthday party

Tuesday, February 10
Go to Market with cook

Wednesday, February 11
Go with little girls to Mackorn School (ages 4-10)

Thursday, February 12
Free day
Possibly go to Chiang Mai, 3 hours away with A-Pae, one of the leaders

Friday, February 13
Shopping at night bazaar

Saturday, February 14
Day trip to Doichang village

Sunday, February 15
Join Wedding celebration at Pamee village

Monday, February 16
Free day

Tuesday, February 17
Go with older girls to Donchai School

Wednesday, February 18 -- Thursday, February 19
Village overnight

Friday, February 20
Time w/ girls

Saturday, February 21
Time w/ girls. Start packing

Sunday, February 22
Goodbyes and depart

Monday, February 23
In Bangkok (will head to airport around 10pm)

Tuesday, February 24
Fly out 1am. Arrive in Atlanta at 9:30am
(Sarah fly to Atlanta at 2:30pm)


In the middle of an emotionally intense story, how do you retain journalistic accuracy and the true account of what is going on? How do you not emotionalize a story but continue to capitalize on the pulling of heartstrings?

You can imagine this is a tremendous feat. Please pray that Hannah and Sarah that they would be given eyes to see how to clearly direct the story as witnesses, and not as emotionalist seekers.



The blessings of this trip started right away. The entire 36 hour journey from Atlanta, GA to Chiang Rai, Thailand could not have been smoother. Our connection in Seoul was a breeze and our overnight in Bangkok, although it seemed a little sketchy at times, went incredibly well. It gave us 3 ½ hours of sleep in a real bed, hot showers, and a great breakfast. I’ve never passed through customs so easily, and although waking up miserably sick by the time we landed in Seoul, when we hit Chiang Rai I felt like I was back to 100%. So everyone out there who prayed for our safe travel, thank you…we felt the prayers every step of the way.

The thought that hit me the first day here was “I didn’t know this was possible”. I didn’t know I could love people that I had never met. But when I arrived here in Chiangrai, I knew I did. I knew that I already loved the girls at House of Grace. Watching these girls, spending time with them, being overwhelmed by their selfless love, I cannot even begin to comprehend how anyone could reject them, and belittle their worth to that of trash. Their spirits and their hearts are so pure. True joy pours effortlessly from them. They have stolen my heart and I know that I will never get it back. I can’t help but feel that I will never have enough time here. Never enough time to get to know them completely, to understand their hearts, to capture images of their souls. What a privilege and honor to be documenting just a tiny piece of their story. I am not worthy. But I am called. And for that I am grateful.

- Hannah Brandau

__________________

Let's pray that today, and through the entirety of this project, Hannah and Sarah would both be blessed with amazing and tremendous physical fortitude in the midst of new climates, unpredictable schedules, new diet, and sicknesses they aren't used to. Pray that God gives them the health and rest to see this project through with His grace.


Hello Prayer Warriors!

Today, let's ask God that He would give Hannah and Sarah an outpouring of new inspiration and vision for this project. That they would discover a passion for this work and the story and that it would fuel their creativity, health, and motivation.

Blessings to you all!


Today, Hannah and Sarah have asked for prayer, specifically that they would follow the leading of God with the story that HE has told and wants them to be witnesses to.

Sometimes its easy to pursue a direction that seems logical to you. But is it God's direction? We've all faced that place. Pray that Hannah and Sarah won't get caught up in what they think is the story, but truly God's story. He is the Master, the Creator, the Author and Finisher of our faith. So, doubtless to say, His story is the best, most beautiful, and truest to tell.

Thanks everyone. And be looking for the video posting that the girls are going to send the next few days!


What is it like to look into the face of one who has been traumatized by men, and restored by God? Pray today that Hannah and Sarah truly see the girl's hearts and the work that God is doing in them.


Today, let's be praying that God gives Hannah and Sarah clear direction on how to document/be accurate witnesses to the story God has already written...


I received an email from Sarah. In this email, she articulated the girls conversation with the director of Global Servants - the organization sponsoring House of Grace. The conversation laid out in larger detail the impact that this project could have on all of it's readers. But in this conversation, there was also something that struck the girls hard.

The Director warned Hannah and Sarah that the nature of this issue is truly heartbreaking. That the stories they will be hearing and witnessing and recording are rooted out of humiliating violation. Sarah and Hannah realized for the first time that this project is going to be a battle emotionally - to hold to Philippians 4:8. "Whatsoever things are good, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things."

How do you find the good, honest, just, lovely, virtuous, and praiseworthy things in such heartbreak? It i.s. possible to find, but the energy spent in prayer to seek that out could be truly wearing.

So, let's pray for the girls. That God would give them eyes to see, and ears to hear, and hearts to understand His beautiful and powerful story in the midst of these tragedies. Let's also pray that the girls hearts would be guarded against the discouragement and disillusionment that may come from working so closely in such an issue.

Thank you prayer supporters. It is safe to say that eternity is going to be changed because you all stepped up through prayerful intervention on Hannah and Sarah's behalf.


Hannah and Sarah have completed their 22 hours of travel into Thailand! Now, in addition to God keeping them safely, pray that they will have an amazing connection with the staff at House of Grace. Pray that Hannah and Sarah will be able to communicate the message of their mission, and their heart for the girls there.

May we all not cease to have these two fabulous mission photographers in our prayers...

-Christina





Restoring Grace officially launches today!

After a flurry of pre-trip activity, Hannah and Sarah have begun their 22 hours of travel across the world to the country of Thailand.

Hannah and Sarah realize this trip is quite an undertaking, and need your prayers! Each day, this blog will be updated with a prayer request from the girls. Put them on your rss feed, or check back daily to be a part of the prayer team that will help make this project successful!

As a gift to you for your support, we have a gift for you! Click here to download the wallpaper background for this week to remember the girls in your prayers!