Hope for Street Children
Children in Cambodia often supply the cheapest—and most degrading—work
STREET KIDS FOR SALE. That’s the daily heart-breaking reality I was told takes place in the Cambodia/Thai border town of Poipet. So last February I went to see it for myself, and to seek ways that God wants to use Heaven’s Family to change that appalling truth (read more about my visit by clicking here).
By day people bustle about, buying and selling at local shops. Some of the city’s many poor citizens scavenge the garbage dump, while others rest for the night ahead, when the casinos will light up and customers will prowl the streets looking to buy sex. Children are taught to service the “needs” of the tourists.
I felt overwhelmed learning these painful truths firsthand, but…
…When I left Poipet, I was grateful for the glimmer of hope I felt knowing that one of our partner’s team, lead by a humble man named Sokleng, is working diligently to stop the sale of children. Sokleng serves as the team’s social worker and project manager, but most importantly he loves Jesus and the children. He visits children working and sleeping on the streets, and also tries to build relationships with their parents, when possible. Their work is now supported monthly by the Human Trafficking/Slavery Fund.
Here are some requests for prayer we just received:
– Pray for a family that routinely crosses the border into Thailand illegally for work—a very common practice, which often results in children being sold for work in major sex tourism cities like Bangkok and Pattaya. The river crossing is just 50 yards by boat from a vulnerable slum community.
– Pray for a 6-year-old boy who is being chained by his parents and forced to beg / work daily. Sokleng suspects there is also physical and sexual abuse occurring, in addition to possible street exploitation.
– Pray for continued progress toward the start of our partner’s Education Empowerment Program, which will begin in Poipet in a few months. This program will provide sponsorship for private school education for at‐risk children—a huge prevention measure—who are from families that would never be able to afford education for their children. Sokleng has been busy interviewing children and families for these sponsorships.
– Pray for a little boy found while some women on Sokleng’s team were doing ministry in a local brothel. The boy was being cared for by an older sister, who was working tricks during the evening hours to support them both. They are orphans. This precious boy will be our first child sponsored for an education so he can escape the cycle of poverty and exploitation. Both he and his sister have since accepted the Lord, and are finding hope in the knowledge that Jesus will help them!
Concerted prayer is the key to changing the tide in the fight against trafficking and slavery. Join us as we pray, and please remember to pray for our involvement in this difficult, emotionally challenging work.
In closing, here are some encouraging words from our partner…
God sees their every need and is the source of provision [for the boy and his sister mentioned in the last prayer request]. Pray for continued open doors, as we mentor and train up this beautiful family. Thank you Heaven’s Family for feeding and monitoring many hungry and at-risk street children. Together, we can impact cities and nations.
Together with Him,
Jeff and Karin Trotter
Directors, Human Trafficking/Slavery Fund