Friday, June 15, 2012
This week has been a great one as weeks go, that is when it comes to rescuing victims of child sex trafficking in Svay Pak, Cambodia. Two from a brothel, one from a karaoke club, and one from a virgin sale. We thank God for the success He gave us. One of the rescued victims had a question for me…"What is the vision for your ministry in Cambodia? All the foreign men we know come to hurt Cambodian girls, not help them."
Her question and statement reflect the intelligence, courage, and resilience of these horribly abused girls. And sadly they are a reflection on we men. Foreign men in Cambodia, men around the world, it's time for us to choose whom we will serve. To quote Bob Dylan…
You may be a construction worker working on a home
You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome
You might own guns and you might even own tanks
You might be somebody’s landlord, you might even own banks
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody
Please pray for the restoration of these girls, that the actions of foreign men in Cambodia will change girls' perception of us, and for me that in the hundreds of choices I make each day I choose to serve the Lord.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Pray for Prime Minister Hun Sen
Most Cambodians think of Prime Minister Hun Sen as a very powerful man, but they are misled. Mr. Hun Sen is too weak to protect the children of Cambodia. Let me be clear, this is not my opinion, it is fact. It is a fact supported by a number of incidents we have experienced personally living in the village of Svay Pak. The following happened just last week. Again, this is not an aberration, but rather the norm.
Many people, including Cambodia’s Anti-trafficking Police, know that Svay Pak is a place where child sex trafficking flourishes. Living and working in Svay Pak, we see much of what is happening first hand, and hear even more from the residents we serve. Last week we were able to obtain detailed information about a girl being held as a sex slave in a provincial brothel. When I say detailed I mean photos of the girl, her trafficker, a holding house through which she (and many other girls) were trafficked, the moto dop who drove her there, and the location of the brothel in which she was being held captive.
We passed this information on to an anti-trafficking NGO who took immediate action. Their investigators went to the brothel posing as customers and were able to get video confirmation of the information we provided them. They took this information to the local prosecutor and top local police officials. They all met privately away from the police station, afraid there might be a leak and the brothel owner tipped off. The prosecutor and police officials agreed they must act at once and a plan to rescue several enslaved girls was set to take place in a few hours.
All good, right? Wrong! Prior to the planned rescued, two uniformed police officers went to the brothel and tipped off the owner who immediately removed the girls and hid them in another location. The result is that the girls are still enslaved and abused. There was a minor interruption in the brothel owners sex trade, but there is greater hopelessness for the enslaved victims of child sex trafficking who long to see their abusers brought to justice.
Periodically you may read of a successful rescue of child sex slaves. Don’t be misled because that’s the exception, not the rule. The rule is what you’ve just read. Today we have information that could lead to the rescue of dozens of child sex slaves and the imprisonment of their traffickers and abusers. But that information is useless until Prime Minister Hun Sen is obtains the power to protect the children of Cambodia. Please join me in prayer for him as every day he remains powerless more Cambodian children are enslaved and abused.
Svay Pak, Cambodia