Tuesday, July 31, 2012

AIM Expands into USA Aftercare

With God's help, great partners, and outstanding staff we at AIM seek to take the lessons of aftercare in Cambodia and apply them in the US.  Below you'll find an overview of what's happening and a little insight into the godly women chosen to lead our expansion.

Agape International Missions (AIM) announces it’s official expansion into the United States with aftercare program development and training.

AIM has fought sex trafficking with projects in Cambodia since 2006. Now, licensed psychologist, Dr. Becca Johnson, has stepped in as Director of US Aftercare, a new position within the international organization. Dr. Johnson will be ushering AIM into a new phase of US aftercare with the first US project in Sacramento, California. This project will be a collaboration between City of Refuge/Rahab’s House Sacramento, Koinonia Foster Homes/Safe Families, Agape International Missions (AIM), and the local church to provide sustainable aftercare for victims.

Over the last three years, law enforcement has rescued over two hundred minor victims of in the Sacramento area. This need cannot be met with the group home model alone with the expensive operating costs. The collaboration’s goal is to provide quality aftercare for rescued victims of sex trafficking. This will be achieved through a partnership whereby church families will be recruited to open their homes to a rescued victim. The families will be screened by Koinonia/Safe Families, the identification and stabilization of victims by City of Refuge, and the training and equipping of receiving families as well as assessment measures and treatment planning of victims will be provided by Agape International Mission’s Dr. Becca Johnson. All three organizations will be involved in providing ongoing support for the families and victims.

Becca has provided counseling and evaluation services as a licensed psychologist for over 20 years. Her training and consulting in the area of human trafficking, trauma and trauma restoration has taken her all over the world including India, Kenya, Guatemala, Chile, Brazil, Korea, Australia and, most notably for AIM, Cambodia. Becca also provides trauma and trauma counseling training related to sexual abuse and exploitation for various domestic anti-sex trafficking organizations in the USA.
Her relationship with AIM began in 2006 when Dr. Johnson gave a seminar in Cambodia. She was approached by Agape International Missions to help develop the counseling program for Agape Restoration Center (ARC), an aftercare facility for young girls rescued from sex trafficking. Her training for AIM’s counseling staff has shaped their successful, existing counseling program. Becca will continue to provide supervision to AIM’s counselors in Cambodia.

“I have worked with and been exposed to various anti-trafficking organizations in the US and around the world. I consider AIM to be one of the best,” says Dr. Johnson. “They seek to meet the holistic needs of everyone they touch. They demonstrate genuine, unconditional love and acceptance. They are making a difference and not limiting God.”

Becca and her husband of 25 years, Lloyd, served as missionaries in Chile and New Zealand. They and their four children currently reside in Washington state. Dr. Johnson says, “My goal is to ‘Help the Hurting Heal with God’s Hope’, yet in recent year’s, God has been using me to also ‘Help the Helper’s Help’. I consider it an honor to serve Him and to be part of the AIM team.”

July 24, 2012


Thursday, July 26, 2012

God continues blessing AIM in great ways by providing outstanding people to serve  with us.  Laura Linner is the latest example.  The following formal announcement gives you some of the details, but sadly cannot reveal her heart for Christ and the girls she serves.  Please join me in welcoming Laura and praying for her as she prepares to take on this new challenge.

Agape International Missions (AIM) welcomes Laura Linner as the new Director of Rahab’s House Community Center in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Agape International Missions has fought sex trafficking with projects in Cambodia since 2006. Their first Community Center project, Rahab’s House Svay Pak (RHSP), began in 2007 by building relationships and meeting needs within the community of Svay Pak which had been ravaged by child sex trafficking in brothels. The result was an unprecedented transformation of the community.
Successful expansion into the city of Siem Reap with a new Rahab’s House community center began in late 2011 by AIM volunteer American staff, Steve and Lygia Gherebean. Instead of children held in brothels, sex trafficking in Siem Reap is perpetuated in the Karaoke Bars where young women are chosen and then taken off the premises. In many ways, this method is more psychologically traumatic because the bondage is more difficult for the women to see and escape.
According to Ms. Linner, “Rahab’s House Siem Reap aims to create an environment where victims can be saturated with the presence of Jesus that can bring healing and hope.”
Laura has a degree in social work from Bethel University in her home state, Minnesota. She spent the last year working in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia, teaching English and doing outreach at Rahab’s House Svay Pak.
“My heart truly connected with the children and young women coming out of this horrific situation when I held the hand of a traumatized girl and realized I could have been her,” she said. “We are not intrinsically different. Yes, we have had different experiences but we are both daughters of the King, created to know Him and know who we are in Him.”
She will be overseeing staff for counseling, education and outreach at Rahab’s House Siem Reap.