How to Soften a Mother’s Heart

Sisters Rockey and Saphy both hope to be teachers one day

How to Soften a Mother’s Heart

Jeff and Karin’s 1st trip blog from Cambodia

Dear Friends,

Cambodia is a nation with a dark past, but a bright future. We’re hearing this optimism repeated over and over these two weeks as we visit many of the projects you are involved with here through the Human Trafficking & Slavery Ministry. But this hopefulness doesn’t come from the nation’s political process, which is awash in corruption. Instead, it comes from poor, marginalized people who are working hard to make something of their lives—and they’re finding opportunities like never before, thanks to Heaven’s Family and many other organizations working in concert to end human trafficking and slavery in this Southeast Asian country. It’s a slow process, but we can definitely feel the momentum building!

Rockey and Saphy are two sisters who give us hope for Cambodia. Refusing to believe that their only option was to follow their older sister into the sex-for-sale entertainment business at one of Phnom Penh’s ubiquitous bars, they wanted to stay in school so they could make a different future for themselves.

They faced a huge hurdle, however: they had no money for tuition, uniforms and other supplies required for enrollment, and their mother Marie, a sickly woman who works as a garbage collector 365 days a year and who is barely able to clothe and feed them, couldn’t help. Neither could their father, who abandoned the family a few years ago.

So when we heard of their plight, we shared their need on Heaven’s Family’s website and it was soon met by compassionate donors. We were delighted to meet the girls again this week and see their obvious joy in being able to attend school this year (a privilege not many of us in more prosperous nations appreciate).

Even more exciting, however, was discovering that their mother’s heart has been softened by the help we’re providing her daughters. Lida, our Cambodian partner, told Marie that Jesus’ love is the reason we’re helping them, and after carefully explaining the gospel to her, she opened her heart to Him! Lida then arranged for her and the sisters to attend her church, where they’ll be discipled.

Rockey and her mother, Marie, after she prayed to receive Jesus Christ (one of our team members, Pam, is at right)

We left with joy in our hearts that day, thankful for how God so faithfully puts all the pieces together to change lives! You are one of those pieces, and we’re grateful for your partnership. Thank you again!

Together with Him,

Jeff and Karin Trotter
Directors, Human Trafficking & Slavery Ministry

A few examples of Cambodia’s unique transportation system

Standing room only: a typical transportation method for garment factory workers heading home after work. Although many decry the “sweatshop” conditions in garment factories here, many locals consider it good work…a job that has much more dignity than the alternative—working in the sex industry. Who knows, if the shirt you’re wearing says “Made in Cambodia” on the label, it may have been made by one of these women!

We’ve seen many windowless, roofless trucks like this in Cambodia. Although the driver actually is wearing his own personal “window” and “roof” on his head, we were left to wonder what they do during the rainy season!

A bit of a scary ride for the guy on the back—we’re not sure if he was a worker or someone looking for a free ride!

Not a ride for chickens…er…wait, it is a ride for chickens—who are headed to the market. And yes, they are still alive.

Here are 3 members of our team—Pam (at left), and Dan and Terry (right), who direct the Micro-Loan Ministry—in a tuk tuk (a descendent of the person-powered rickshaw that is pronounced took-took), one of the most comfortable and affordable modes of transportation we’ve found anywhere in the world.

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