Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Encouragement from Dr. Rebecca Johnson, PhD.

Someone told me there are now over 200 anti-trafficking organizations in the USA alone, then quickly added, “and most of those are awareness raising only”.  In the midst of the explosion of anti-human trafficking organizations, how do we distinguish the dreamers from the doers, the good from the good intentions? 

            Don’s Blog this week is being (politely) hijacked. After being a short-term volunteer with AIM the past 5+ years (7 trips) and being here in Cambodia these past few weeks, I wanted to briefly share some thoughts.

            In recent years I have had the privilege of serving, both in the USA and abroad, with numerous agencies fighting against modern day slavery.  While each organization has its strengths, I am an enthusiastic cheerleader for Agape International Mission. 

            “Jesus moved into the neighborhood” is how a friend described AIM’s involvement in Svay Pak.  AIM’s work in restoration of the sex trafficked and in community and national transformation (education, health care, training, children’s programs, evangelism discipleship and more), is bringing the light and love of Jesus into unimaginable dark places of lust, greed, abuse, torture, poverty and slavery.  AIM is providing practical assistance as well as God’s message of hope to many, many despairing people. AIM IS making a difference.

            I recently wrote about AIM to some friends, “This is a front-lines, genuine, “doing-it” ministry, where the leadership doesn’t limit God, is humble, God-dependent, and every penny is wisely spent.”   This brief statement coveys my observations and sentiments – AIM is a quality, God-honoring organization.  (Dr. Becca Johnson, 12/14/11)


Saturday, December 3, 2011

What Are They Thinking?

I have spent two of the last three weeks in Siem Reap, Cambodia.   It is there we are opening a new Rahab's House, but more about that in future blogs.  What I want to write about today is the experiences I had over those two weeks, and what they seem to revealed about those who benefit from the sexual exploitation of children.  Both of these experiences took place in five-star hotels along the main street in Siem Reap.

 The first involves 2 Western men somewhere between the ages of 45 and 55.  Every morning for five days these men would bring to the breakfast buffet 2 teenage Cambodian girls they had purchased to use as sex toys while they vacationed in Cambodia.  Each day as they arrived the men would be laughing and joking, all smiles.  However, the girls worked very hard not to make eye contact with anyone in the restaurant, but when that eye contact was made their eyes revealed deep shame.  That shame would grow every time the men tried to hug and kiss the girls.  But the men seemed to feel no shame at all, and absolutely no concern for the shame of the girls.  I wondered what are they thinking?

The second incident occurred in the lobby of the other five-star hotel.  I was standing there talking with friends when a Western man in his 60’s walked through with a teenage Cambodian girl.  Holding onto the girl’s arm he took her to the elevator and up to his room.  Certain that a hotel as nice as this would not put up with such nonsense I went to the front desk and explained what had happened.  To my surprise the front desk clerk said, “It’s okay sir.  The lady paid her $20.”  I relied, “What do you mean?”  She answered, “Our our hotel has a very strict policy about the ladies.  If the gentleman wants to bring a lady to his room the lady must pay $20.  You see it is okay sir because the lady paid $20.”

Is it that simple?  I'm beginning to believe it is.  Those who benefit from the sexual exploitation of children simply think it’s okay.  And the only thing that will change that thinking is a transformed heart…a heart that allows one to see others through the eyes of Christ.

Note:  Efforts to confront the men while not in the presence of the girls were unsuccessful.  But we’ve not given up.  To the contrary we are just getting started.