There are many things that I love,

{The things that heighten my joy, and make it skyrocket off the charts}

rooftops when the moon is full and the night sky is clear. beaten and battered old books because it makes me think of all the grand people who read through the pages. freshly fallen rain at night. driving with the windows down as the rains pours and chills my pale skin. live sessions of songs when the artists converse before/during/after the splendid song. hot espresso in the evening. strong tea with two sugars as the sun rises. smiles from strangers. the succulents that sit alone on my bedside table. music, just music, beautiful music with no voice to conceal the instrumentals and composition. complex yet simple minds. orange juice with lots of pulp. spicy spicy thai food that makes my stomach twist and turn. confidence in singleness. those who feel okay with sitting in complete silence, words should be chosen wisely. old knick knacks, clothes, furniture, anything with many memories woven into the fabric.

My future holds a beauty far more than life as I know it.

I have seen the waves crash the beach daily for many months as I watch the sun rise over the mountain behind my hair that blew in the chilled wind. I have seen women mourning the death of the children they had lost. I have seen beauty in all the many things I have seen, from death and life because the one who created this earth is living in it all. I have given my heart to hands that I knew it was not safe to rest in and I have given my heart to hands that knows the place it needs to go. I have made the best decisions I could have possibly made and I have made the worst. But I do not regret any of it because each decision I made has brought me here and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I have hurt those who mean more to me than anyone else dwelling on this earth, I apologize and they always take me back into those dangly arms they have. I have the most incredible people in my life, each person I have encountered has such unique qualities that I will boldly say, changes the way I live. I learn from each person I have met, ask me what I’ve learned from you because I promise I have learned something, even if we have only met in a five minute passing conversation. I love the people of this land, this beautiful cornfield-crowded land of Indiana. But it is time to leave again, two months from now I will be in a new place that will soon become my home. A place that lays history of missionaries but also genocide, a place of great light and great darkness, a place of many stories that are engraved in the stone of the buildings I will pass: Germany. As tears well into my eyes and I pour out waves and waves onto the sheet of paper that I write on, I know where I am called. The plan that I would make for myself is nothing compared to the grand plan that the Lord has so graciously written for me and placed into my hands. A plan that consists of fighting for the ones He loves so dearly, those enslaved and beaten daily all for this sex driven culture we live through every day. A great depression of the mind. A genocide across the world of women and children and men, forced into something they never imagined to do. But God has made a promise, a promise to end this, a promise of redemption, a promise of hope. So here I go, a world of the unknown, walking with the One who knows all. No fear has crept into this beautiful mind He’s given me. So I’m here now for two months, drinking orange juice for every meal and eating olives more than I should. But ahead of me is more than I can bear, but it is worth every penny in my pocket and it is worth my life to spare.

 

Oh how I love thee, I won’t let you go. Even though I will be miles from you, we still see the same sun, the same moon, and the same stars. I love you.

{A gray day}

 

I see you in the days that are gray, the days that most people yelp and complain about, I just cannot get enough of. These days bring light to my eyes as I stare ahead at the one who created this ground that lie under my tanned feet. The days where I cannot quite find the sun but there in the sky is this white and yellow smear in the sky. Not a perfect circle as it was in Thailand but it’s as if the one I love just took a paintbrush and painted a streak of light in the sky where the sun should be. It’s cold. It’s wet. People complain. Others cry. But they beg for this foreign season called Spring. Don’t we all know that for spring to arrive, we have to have these all so lovely gray days. But I see you, I see the one I love so dearly. He is smiling at me straight ahead and he calls me closer, he calls me higher, in the tree that He sits in. A tree that is weeping, a tree that some may say seemed sad that day but all I see is joy. So I climb, I climb to reach His hand, I hold his hand ever so tightly until he leaves. But I will keep climbing because I know the higher I climb, the more I see him and if I go back now, it was all a waste of time. So I seek you, and I find you daily. You have called me higher and I will keep climbing, Love.

Svay Pak

A forty-five minute drive out from our current residence in Phnom Penh lie a small village with the name of Svay Pak. A village that Westerners either raid to find a child to destroy the soul of or save the soul of. We take tuk tuks down the dusty, dirty, card covered roads of Svay Pak to find the light within the village. Agape International. We walk into the workplace of many women and children who have been saved from the twisted business that forces women to do things that cannot be comprehended in our closed minds. We walk in to see hundreds of women on sewing machines and making bracelets, making fair wages, learning a trade they never had the opportunity to learn because of their circumstances. Hundreds of women and children saved from the darkest industry that may exist in the world we currently live, sex slavery. As you look across the street of this beautiful organization, you will see men sitting on palm tree made beds gambling away money that their daughters had made for them to live on, drinking their lives away. But the One who created this earth is here, in this village, chasing after these men, saving the little ones from the torture they go through every day. He is chasing after these men, He is showing them His great love, He is with them because although they do horrid things, He still loves them. He is holding the hands of these beautiful little children, restoring their innocence, making them pure once again. He is sending out His flock to be love to these children, women, and men, a love that they have yet to experience. But this village one day will be the ultimate fighters against the sex industry, they will fight against trafficking in this country and I believe these men, children, and women are going to make a difference in Cambodia. A place once known as the worst place in the world for trafficking, will be the direct impact to change this modern day slavery. Change. Love. Jesus.

{She}

My eyes crossed hers in the midst of the chaos within the culture shock I dwelled in. Complete joy and purity in those eyes of hers as we sit in the middle of a palm tree hut surrounded by dirt roads and burning trash as the scorching heat burns my face to a crisp. She approaches me as if we were born and raised together, she must have sensed the great fear I had and walked me to the most beautiful countryside I have seen with my own two eyes. She walks with me and talks to me about the innermost beauty in her life. I knew then on that day she would change my life forever. We would sit and talk for hours everyday for 16 days, falling into this friendship that I could not have prepared my heart for. A friendship that made my heart whole but broke it into pieces at the same time. We sit and eat Cambodian deserts and talk about her friends that do not know the One she loves so dearly, her hearts desires to spread the love of the One that is not spoken of often. The love that she found overtaking her very soul, a love that changed her heart forever. To spread the gospel and help others is all her heart desires, the purest of hearts she has. We dance around the bonfire, acting as if we are a decade younger, singing songs to the only pure and true being we know. The only God that is true. She falls upon my soul time and time again, and how I just wish to be with her, encompassing the beauty that I was not too long ago. A beauty that only God can describe in the words that have not yet been invited into this realm. How I miss her so, how I am so proud of the woman she has become: Rothana.

A Charming Slum Daughter

As I walk toward the children playing in the slum, I feel a tug on my leg from a young girl gazing towards the sun with arms outstretched to me, a woman she had never encountered. I took this young child into my arms, so I could see that beautiful face of hers. I attached her to my abdomen as her legs wrapped around my hips just as I would a child of my own. As all the other 50 children were playing games in the street, the charming slum daughter only wanted to be held; she didn’t want to play like all the other children.  So I look deep within her dark brown eyes as she moves the hair from my face for several minutes upon minutes. I fed her with the most essential nourishment a child needs, a kind of nourishment that she doesn’t get from the ones who brought her to be. Love. I fed her love as she gazed into my eyes as I smiled at her sincerely. As she looked into my eyes, I read into her soul. I could see her pain and the joy that she had through it all. I saw the circumstances of her life play in my mind, right before my eyes. I looked deep within her dark eyes and I read her like a book. I read her past and I read what God wanted her future to be. I saw her love. I saw her joy. I saw that she is wealthier than any of us in our pretty little homes and our cookie cutter lives. She is so much wealthier because she still finds joy although she lives off of $0.50 a day and although she has nobody to hold her when a storm sweeps through the slum at night. This is wealth. As we sat and cry for a toy within our favorite department store as children, she makes toys out of the coca cola cans lying around the slum. Right before she left my sight, I came to realize that she’d never leave my life; she’d be chasing circles in my mind until I meet her again one day. Although the days that pass seem to become more difficult to pour out when you aren’t being poured into, I question myself, “What is five minute to hold a child who has never been loved?” And then I ponder that I’d rather be here than at home thinking of the things I could do one day. I’m out doing those things I never thought I’d get to do. I believe you can do these things too. Have faith. 

A Wooden Home with Walls of Blankets

We drive to a slum, a place at which we imagine to be on the outskirts of the city, a place that nobody dares to pass through unless they have the Lord on their side. We drive ten minutes, and we come to a halt. I look around and see a mall and a consumerist range for the few Westerners who come to this land drenched in poverty. We had arrived at the slum, within the depths of the city, hidden from the human eye but still located on a quite marketed street. How could my eyes not catch this place where large families live off of 50 cents a day? Where have my eyes been looking? I’ve been looking in the most obvious areas but I never saw the lost people located within. We meet a woman of age with a few children by her side that invites us inside with tears in her eyes. We sit in a room made of wood and blankets that shield the eyes that seem to wonder through her home, a room at which her family lives, a room that eight of us could hardly fit in. She begins to tell us of her life, a life that seems incomprehensible for a woman of her age. A life of a husband leaving her in the slum deserted, a life that consisted of 20 years living within this slum, a life where her home had been burnt down in the slum by the government. The little that she had was gone and she had to restart, a new home in the same slum.  How could this be? Four years with the Lord she had and she had so much love in her eyes, so much joy for what little she had. She began to weep; the pain she was in was too much for her soul to carry alone. She couldn’t read, she didn’t have a Bible. She slaved and worked all day in homes to clean others’ messes so the children of her own didn’t have to beg foreigners for money or sell seeds to westerners to feed the birds. She did everything she could to get her children to school, to have a better life than she had. This is an every day situation, where others will throw rocks at her because she loves Jesus. What is a life like this? I just need to do something; my heart is breaking for these people. Jesus, invade the hearts of all these people in the slum and send your people out to show them love. Send your people to Cambodia to rescue these women through Your love.

I’ve fallen in love with this city: Phnom Penh.

This city is filled with thieves, traffickers, worshippers of ancestry, and reckless youth. But it does not define its name. It does not define the name Phnom Penh. This is not the Cambodia that I know. This city is full of revival, it’s full of hope, it’s full of love. It is a country that marks injustice, injustice is covering this city. We have come here to bring justice to the injustice, Jesus is filling this land. A land that did not have hope thirty years ago is now being filled with hope, because the Lord has sent His servants to bring justice to the injustice. 

I have fallen in love with this land.

God’s plan for this land is it to be ravishing and glowing with greenery, to be filled with hope in the eyes of Khmer people, to see the light within the darkest alleys. God made us all, He is living in us all, He is within us all because we were made in His image. We are here to find the light in their eyes. To make a connection. To love. To stop the injustice.

They need relationship, they need love above all else. To show love and t0 make Jesus known. Let’s stop this injustice. 

Once I Arrive Back in Indiana,

I will be home in about 2 months (and a few days), and I will be home for 5-6 months before I go out again into the mission field! I will be going to Europe, Germany to be exact and I will be working with revival in Germany, as well as to stop trafficking in Eastern Europe. I will be doing this by making art, I will bring restoration by using art. The Lord has placed a calling on my life to use art and writing to mend the broken places of this world in the name of Jesus. So as I am home, I have felt the Lord place on my heart to speak, do photography, and make art. If anyone would like me to speak at Bible studies, churches, university clubs, high school, etc: please let me know a date and I will be more than willing! I have also been taught photography since being in Voice for the Voiceless DTS, so if anyone needs events photographed or special photographs, please email me and I will get back to you as soon as I can! I will also be making art; essentially any type of art you’d like: I will make it for you. So also email me about that : ) I am planning on traveling throughout the US as well during this time, so if you live a ways away from me- still email me! I might be able to make a trip!

During this time, I will be raising money for missions and furthering the Lord kingdom. So I will be home March 18th, email me and let me know at hannahlynnscurlock@gmail.com

Love and blessings-

Hannah

A Trafficked Woman, A Woman of God

The Red Light District of Chiang Mai

We enter into a place we have been a few times before: a block of ‘restaurants’, bars, and hotels. It seems to be your average Asian street until the darkest of nights pass us by. At this time the Westerners come traveling on tuk tuks and sung taos to see the most disturbing show they have yet seen. The sickest part of it all is they find enjoyment within this night. They longed for this night all year, or maybe all month. They cannot quite bring their sober minds to make this unlawful decision, the decision they know that is not quite right. Far from right. So they drink, they down bottles of alcohol, bottles of vodka, to get to the point where they become sloppy drunk. They take the paper, they write down a name, they pay the fee and they are off. Another hotel room, another white man, just another night for the girl who is trapped in this kind of hell that twists and turns her soul inside out. A kind of hell that separates her body from herself. All she needs is a hope. A kind of hope that only comes from above. A kind of hope that comes from sober smiles. A kind of hope that comes from only one name: Jesus. So we met her, we met the woman who wanted to change it all but was so trapped in an industry that tore her soul in half. But she fought, she fought to save the girls, she fought to save the boys, she fought to save the children. She kept slipping, she kept being taken advantage of, but she never gave up. Until she felt another soul growing from below, a soul growing within her. She knew the right decision, she made the right decision and she is going to have a beautiful bouncing baby who is going to change the foundations of Thailand. A baby that will change the world. A baby that is a world changer.

[A true story, a real woman, a beautiful soul, a woman of God]

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