Freedom for Samuel

Samuel just after his release

Freedom for Samuel

Getting a brother out of a brothel

Dear Friends,

Life is cheap in the “wild west” border town of Poipet, a city in western Cambodia perched on the border with Thailand. Because it is a hub for tourists wishing to gamble in the city’s multiple casinos, sin and spiritual darkness abound. That also means innocent lives are trafficked into the sex industry that thrives here.

Early last year I (Jeff) visited Poipet to see how the Human Trafficking & Slavery Ministry could help protect the children who are forced into prostitution, and I wrote a blog about my experience (click here to read it). Since then a portion of donations we’ve received have gone to help fund efforts to rescue children in Poipet.

We want to report to you the latest success story—it’s about a 14-year-old boy we’ll call Samuel (his real name is not used for his protection). During ministry by some women on our partner’s team in a Poipet brothel last year, they met a 17-year-old girl who was forced to work there to support herself and her younger brother, Samuel. They were orphans, and she was doing everything she could to support the two of them; but for the very poor who have no education or skills, selling oneself to a brothel is one of the only options. She was very upset that she couldn’t send Samuel to school, and that she couldn’t find any safer place for her brother to live than with her in the brothel. Our team began to develop a relationship with them, and eventually led them to the Lord. The two were hopeful that Jesus would provide them with a better future.

Our team then began efforts to get Samuel into a new educational sponsorship program that we were helping to fund, but hit a roadblock—his sister had legal guardianship of Samuel according to Cambodian law, and she was owned by the brothel! Our partner then enlisted the help of local police investigators to seek a way to rescue them.

As the legal process ground along—painfully slow—our partner then learned that the brothel had transferred Samuel’s sister to a similar establishment of exploitation across the border in Thailand, leaving her brother behind. Our partners couldn’t help notice the change in Samuel’s countenance following his sister’s departure. He was now alone. Plans to rescue him were accelerated, only to find that the owner of the brothel was now claiming that Samuel belonged to her (apparently he was sold to her as debt collateral for his sister, and was now being forced to work for the owner).

The process to rescue Samuel dragged on for months, but nobody gave up on him. And we’re delighted to report that Samuel is now free! He is living with a Christian family, going to school, and has begun his journey of restoration.

Samuel with the Cambodian police officers responsible for securing his rescue

Thank you so much for your faithful partnership with the Human Trafficking & Slavery Ministry that has made another rescue possible. We’re working in many countries around the world to set captives free. The process is often slow and frustrating, but we keep trusting God for the results…and the restoration. Please pray for Samuel’s emotional and spiritual healing, and for the healing of so many others scarred by their horrific experiences of exploitation.

Great opportunity to help even more! A very generous Heaven’s Family donor has promised to TRIPLE MATCH donations from NEW DONORS until July 31st! (I hear that the challenge might be extended through August, but we’re trying to get people to respond by the July deadline just in case.)

So, if you share this update with friends who want to help victims of human trafficking AND have never given to Heaven’s Family before, their gift will be multiplied by four! Just tell them they must designate their gift to the Human Trafficking & Slavery Ministry. Thanks for your help, but please act quickly…only a few days are left!

Together with Him,

Jeff and Karin Trotter
Directors, Human Trafficking & Slavery Ministry

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