As a bored highschooler one evening, I was flipping channels on tv when I stumbled upon a documentary about young Afghani girls being sold on the black market to Saudi businessmen for their sexual pleasure. Beyond just being appalled and grieved that this was happening in the world, I was utterly gripped by the face of the only girl who removed her veil for the camera and her words that she was being interviewed ‘for the sake of all other girls who [were] experiencing [her] pain, to give them hope for escape from their torment.’
Since that day, I made a commitment that my life would somehow be involved in helping end the sex slave trade and in redeeming those who are so devastatingly affected by it. Working with the Ratanak Foundation, an organization committed to this same goal, has allowed me an outlet for this conviction in a tangible way by giving me an opportunity to raise awareness, promote advocacy, and encourage action in ending this vicious industry.
This summer, for 3 weeks, I have the privilege of traveling to Cambodia to spend time working with one of our partnership organizations that runs a life-skills center for the girls who are rescued. I am traveling with a team of 11 others and will be staying in Phnom Penh, the capital of the country, as well as a hub for the sex trade. We will be teaching workshops on topics ranging from health/beauty/identity issues to offering dance classes and business technique courses. It is also our desire to serve the long-term staff and find ways to encourage and refresh them from the daily emotional pain they experience though their work. We will also have opportunities to interact with some of those living in the brothels and serve them through various community outreaches run by the girls from the life-skills center.
Needless to say, I covet your prayers for our time there—for our team, for the organizations and for those precious ones we seek to see both physically and spiritually redeemed. Pray that God will prepare the way for us, that we may introduce these girls to the only Redeemer who can ultimately rescue them from their suffering and can offer them a‘future and a hope’ (Jer. 29:11) that will fully and completely heal them.
Prayer: Please consider a commitment to daily/weekly prayer for the entirety of my trip. I will be sending out monthly prayer requests til I leave and then weekly prayer requests while in-country.
‘O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and oppressed so that man…will no longer cause terror.’ (Ps. 10: 17-18)