23 October, 2008

What We Are Doing

Why are we going to Cambodia?

Over 27 million people are trapped in a very ugly form of modern day slavery.

In this modern day slave trade the people are cheaper, seen as worth less, and are treated worse. There are more people enslaved today than there was in the entire Trans-Atlantic slave trade. They are sees as merely commodities, something to be used, exploited, abused and discarded. There is no worth to these people; they are merely there to bring in profits for someone else.

And buried in this disgusting world are boys, girls, and women caught in commercial sex exploitation.

They are kidnapped, sold, tricked, or lured, forced to serve 5-25 men a day who purchase them to fulfill whatever sick and twisted fantasy they have in mind.

There is no dignity; there is no choice. Commercial sexual exploitation exists for the pleasure of one at the humanity of another.

And little girls, 8, 10, 12 are the ones being bought.

They are brought in from villages in Cambodia, in Vietnam, from poor families, lured with the promise of a job; some are outright sold to become a prostituted woman. They flood the streets of Phnom Penh to eek out a living for someone else. They are bought by foreign men, by Cambodian men, by men looking for a quick fix and a place to do their business. They are not seen as people, they are objects, means to an end, there for their disposal.

But they are people, they have souls and dreams and names. They have families and a history and a future. They were meant for more than the buyers’ sick pleasure. They were delicately created by a loving God who knows them by name and weeps over the injustice being done to them.

We go to Cambodia to learn their names, their stories, to see their faces and, perhaps, make them laugh, make them smile, help them see that life can exist after what has been done to them.