Everyone is awesome.

The beauty and capability of a human being is amazing. Just think for a minute of some of the things that people have done: things they have built, written and performed; knowledge they have achieved, mysteries uncovered.

Now think about how many will never get the chance to do much of anything.

No girl grows up dreaming to become a prostitute. She doesn’t drop out of school and spiral into chaotic living out of willful choice. She ends up in the bars and brothels of Bangkok because she lacked the nurture to learn how to make choices. Life is survival.

Our mission is to move people from poverty to potential. Our starting point is the example of Jesus, who was not content to help needy people from a distance, but got into the dirt and mess himself. Living like Jesus (as best as we can) we have seen wonderful things happen, but only with a few so far. We would like to help many more towards hope, healing and transformation.

We invite you to join us.

Live to Give

Servantworks is a group of faith-based ministries focused in Thailand.

We follow Jesus’ example to go to where people are hurting, patiently teach and model new paradigms, and prepare those who experience healing and growth to be transforming leaders, able to do the same with others.

  • The Well Training Center in Bangkok assists women, children and families with education, economic empowerment and social services.
  • Narimon jewelry, lifestyle and gift products are made by members of Servantworks ministries.

Jim Larson: 31 Posts, December 2019

Last year I wrote 31 posts in December, and this year I have decided to do it again. 

I just got back from spending some time with Su and Jom in Su's small storefront home in their building. I wrote about Su's transformation in this post the other day.

I went to visit because this morning I got a message from Ann, our social service worker, that a twelve-year-old girl had just confessed to Su that she had prostituted herself the night before, and that Daeng, an older teen, had been her agent. This agency system, a common practice among lower-class young women, is called "sending kids". Ann is knowledge and experienced, and will provide the best possible help for the girl. But I went to visit out of concern for Su.

I had two concerns: First, Daeng got started "sending kids" because Su used to send her. But now Su has clearly shown repentance. How will she handle the guilt of knowing that her misdeeds are causing a ripple effect? Even at her worst, Su wasn't trying to sell girls that young. My second concern was positive. We had prayed for a breakthrough in this issue for years, and God had handed it to us with Su's joyful transformation. But ... Read More

I mentioned the other day in this post that a few years ago I started thinking more about the feeling side of Jesus. We can only get at it by inference, but the more I have read and reread the Gospel accounts, the more I see subtextual clues that there was a lot more going on than the static, flat-affect Jesus of most movie portrayals. And in looking at these clues I’ve been finding some pretty cool and helpful insights.

The reason I’ve looked at this so much is that having decided to live as close as I can to the way Jesus lived, I find it extremely helpful to try to get inside his head as much as possible. What did he think about? What was his motivation in each situation?

John’s account in particular is fascinating, because it has all the elements of story, including an arc with reversals and a protagonist with a single desire. John points out that he has chosen a tiny fraction of events in constructing his plot. It isn‘t the perfect movie script, but close, just needing a few visual tweaks. For example, my movie of John ... Read More

We just began opening our Connect Center during the evenings, and announced free help with English. We're not offering classes, just informal and flexible help for people who want to learn.

On Monday a few women in their 30's came. One said she had walked past our door many times, but was afraid to come in. "I was afraid you would make me change my religion." We laughed, thanked her for coming, and reassured her that wouldn't happen.

Don't we want her to trust in Jesus? Of course we do. But we have found it much better to wait for God to draw people to himself than for us to try to drag them into the Kingdom. It's way more fun and nobody gets hurt by misplaced zeal. I wrote about it in this post a year ago. Then I was referring to the process I went through of learning how to not fix people struggling in life. But it also applies to this new visitor.

We're obviously just getting to know her, but it appears that she's doing just fine: a married housewife with two children in a nearby private school ... Read More

One thing we really appreciate about the West is the strong tradition of activism. People really want to get involved; they really want to help.

Of course there can be mixed motives in anything. Our desire to do good can be easily mixed with a need for significance or a thirst for adventure. Mission trip organizers usually build in at least one sightseeing day. But the fact that Western people care so much and want to help others is a wonderful thing.

Another challenge: there is a tendency in activism to become focused more on principles and action than the actual people we want to help. And in our focus on solving problems we naturally move to trying to fix people. But when we work with broken people we begin to discover that trying to fix them is sometimes the worst, most hurtful thing we can do, and the biggest and most difficult lesson to learn is how to stop.

The focus on fixing or solving also leaves many paralyzed. They want to help but don't see themselves with the necessary ability or know-how. They are afraid to reach out to ... Read More

For most of my life I missed a key part of Jesus' "Upper Room Discourse" in John 13-16. The scene take place shortly before Jesus is arrested and, the next day, crucified. The writer, whom we can reasonably guess is indeed John, Jesus' disciple, has let us know that Jesus clearly knew what was about to happen.

Looking back now it seems silly, but for years it never really occurred to me to think about how one might feel looking ahead to an excruciatingly torturous death the next day. It would kind of weigh on the mood. John's portrayal also suggests that for all the injury that Jesus knew he would endure, the insult would hurt even worse.


As I write this at 8:30pm, Mook and her older cousin Sai are trying to visit a young teen in an apartment complex we know well. The teen and her friend came to church on Sunday, and connected with Mook. Then that night she was in a fight with "Daeng", a seventeen-year-old that we have tried to work with for a few years, an abandoned girl who has learned the toughness of the streets ... Read More

The Christmas story is just as much about going as about giving. We all know why giving gets the spotlight. In God's way of working, the two are twins–you don't have one without the other. So to try to balance things a bit, I like to focus on going.

I've been getting to know "K", 26, our newest member of The Well. K has identified male as a reaction to years of repeated abuse by men since childhood. God gave her model-quality facial features; often a major liability in a culture with rampant male sex addiction.

K is a veteran sex worker, following her mother's footsteps. When K was 21 her mother brought her to Chinatown, where women working the streets lead men into dingy, smelly buildings.

Four years ago, a trusted friend told K that she could make way more money for the same effort in Bahrain. All she needed was a passport, and to show up at the airport. K didn't even ask how much was the plane ticket.

It was the typical debt-bondage trafficking scheme that preys on ignorance and powerlessness. Three years later ... Read More

After writing 31 blog posts last December I fell silent for 334 days. I find it hard to balance writing with day-to-day work. We have so many stories to tell that it's hard to pick. I start on one, don't quite finish, and then another happens. Then there is my big-picture wiring that constantly sees connections. Cori Wittman calls it my popcorn brain. I try to be careful not to ramble when I talk, but often fail and have to apologize. This same tendency makes it difficult to keep focus when writing.

I wasn't really thinking to write daily posts again this December. There is a lot going on. The Well in a major ramp-up phase, with our team launching new outreaches and partnerships. One initiative is social media, where we hope to release dozens of short video clips aimed at Thai audiences over the next year. Our daughter Jaimie and fiancé, Bryce, will be spending 12 days here working on initial projects this month.

But something just happened that made me change my mind. Last Thursday and Friday I interviewed 6 women that we are in the process of bringing into The Well ... Read More