Thursday, May 08, 2008


So far, in our time here in Phnom Penh, we have found many models of safe homes for young women and children from the sex slave trade industry… but none quite like this one. After a long tuk tuk drive to the slums, we arrived at this peaceful place run by a lady named Ruth from the Daughters organization. Very quiet in nature, this humble women led us through her place of refuge. There are several things we found interesting about her after care program.

Ruth is very intentional of not only providing a place of hope, but also a place to learn skills as well. Her idea is to start several micro businesses with the young women allowing them to have something creative to do as well as providing an alternative income for their family (since most of them were sold into the brothels by their families for money). So far, their after care program consists of a school, a gourmet cake making business, a seamstress business and a soon to be silk screen company. The benefits of having these learned trades are outstanding. Eventually, they hope every girl can be re-integrated into society, able to make a living on her own and minister to other girls caught up in human trafficking.

A big difference in the Daughters model is that there are no forced escapes or sting operations. Daughters is known for their good relationships with the brothel owners. Although this can be quiet controversial I see how giving the girls a choice to leave actually follows biblical principals. Think for a second about the truth of God if you are familiar with Him. Did He force you to believe in Him? Of course not, or everyone would. Did he force you to love Him? No, although that would probably be His first choice. God is a gentleman and will not force someone to love him, even though He’s done everything in the world for them. So many times I’m sure he sees the mess we are in and shows us the love that is available. He offers all hope and freedom if we desire to take it. But just like most of these women, we fear what we do not know. We stay in the slavery of pain and suffering, because we just cannot bear the let down once again. Do we not know that the result must be far better than what we are enduring?? Don’t the girls realize there is something more to life? No. Most of them don’t. Not until people like Ruth step in and tell each one that they are worthy of living a good life.

You see, the root of lies goes deep within the hearts of most girls. From a very young age they are told that if they leave or are “rescued” that they will surely be taken to prison. For what they are doing is wrong. They are also taught to run away and come back if ever taken away. So, in a matter of speaking, these young girls are brainwashed and numbed to a place of no return. In this case, Daughters gives them the choice to gain their respect. If they force them to leave, they might not be trusted. But if they choose to leave, there is a better chance they will stay and desire to change.

I wish you could have seen the life that has been renewed in these girls’ faces. Their eyes were filled with joy, and the air filled with laughter as they lived a life of freedom and purpose. Most of them have left their chains behind, but still have to visit the darkness of that place every night. We are so encouraged to see Daughters bringing hope to a world of destitution by living among the need. We hope to be able to partner with their efforts somehow in the future. As you can see there are many ways in which one person can be a tremendous help and make a powerful impact in this industry. Help us make Human Trafficking and Sex Slaves quickly something of the past and provide freedom for the innocent now!


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