A Year Later: How God Inspired a NEXT Alumna
Amanda went on her NEXT Internship last summer in Thailand, pursuing freedom for victims of human trafficking. Six months later, Amanda created a podcast inspired by her experience with NEXT called Freedom Pursuit, aimed at equipping people with information and resources concerning human trafficking. A year after her summer in Thailand, God is still using her experiences for His Kingdom work.
Anti-human trafficking work was mainly what I did in Thailand. My mentor had so much knowledge because she grew up in Thailand. We did outreach in those redlight districts. It is an easy industry to work in Thailand, specifically in Bangkok, in the sense that it is very much in your face. It’s hard to miss, so there were a lot of opportunities where I could do outreach. Most of the outreach consisted of building relationships with people. It gave me a different idea of what anti-trafficking looked like. I think the understanding of what anti-trafficking work looks like created a good foundation for me to do the work that I did with my mentors.
How has NEXT impacted your approach and journey of creating Freedom Pursuit?
I did not really have any plans for what Freedom Pursuit would become or anything like that. I did not really care where it went. I just wanted to get the information I had in my head and in my experiences out there, even if it was just to educate my loved ones.
NEXT completely changed my life because six months ago, I thought I would go to Physician Assistant (PA) school, and that had been my plan since high school. But then I had this realization, “I do not think I want to go into medicine anymore.” I was not feeling as passionate about it, and what I was feeling passionate about was wanting to educate healthcare providers, educators and police officers about human trafficking. I have all this knowledge and experience. So, I saw my abilities and capabilities to spread info about human trafficking in America better than I could do abroad.
What are you hoping your listeners take away from Freedom Pursuit?
I would love to see people learn about human trafficking but then want to make a difference, whether that be donating to non-profits that do anti-human trafficking work or volunteering time. I would like to see people who want to know more.
Amanda hopes to return to Thailand someday and build on her experiences there. In the meantime, she will be sharing information and her experience in Thailand, highlighting God’s work in her life and the lives of others.
The Freedom Pursuit Podcast is available on Spotify!