Heaven's Family Magazine
January 2012 Issue

In Satan’s Backyard

The Human Trafficking Fund at Work in Southeast Asia

Jeff Trotter, Human Trafficking & Slavery Ministry

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Jaidee (face blurred to protect identity), bringing Christ to the red-light district

Provocative young girls beckoned every sidewalk passerby: “Don’t resist! Come inside!” Pulsing street music and flashing lights mixed to form a hellish vortex that pulled the unwary towards their seductive summons. I was in a red-light district in Thailand. It felt as if we were in Satan’s backyard.

We walked a few blocks to escape and find a quieter place where we could talk. I wanted to learn more about the clandestine ministry of Jack and Jaidee (not their real names), who are seeking to rescue desperate women and children from sex slavery in one of Thailand’s tourist towns (which I can’t name for security reasons). Finding our spot, Jaidee told me their story.

She had grown up in Thailand, the daughter of a pastor. When she was 15 years old, Jaidee met her first victim of human trafficking. “She was a young girl who had been brought all the way from Russia and who was forced into prostitution. She told me that she wanted to go home. I knew I couldn’t send her back to Russia. So I took her home to my parents.”

Realizing that they could be in danger from those who “owned” her, Jaidee’s father gathered the family’s entire savings and sent the young woman to a safe place where she could start her life over.

That first rescue was the start of Jaidee’s calling. She began to reach out to other trapped girls, sharing the gospel and helping them with very practical needs, such as taking them to a health clinic for HIV testing. A few years later, she and Jack married, and they dedicated themselves to work together to serve innocent victims of human trafficking in Thailand.

Although most trafficked women desperately want to escape their predicament, doing so is not easy. They are often lured far from their homes (usually to another country) by false promises of job opportunities, and discover too late that they’ve been sold into virtual slavery. Some serve their master’s wishes solely out of fear of physical reprisals, like the girl Jaidee met with only seven fingers…she lost one finger each of the three times she attempted to escape.

Experience has taught Jaidee and Jack that they must be committed for the long haul to those whom they hope to rescue. The girls have learned to trust no one. Once trust is earned it is possible to reach them with the gospel, disciple them, and help them start a new life through relocation and skill training.

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Left: Jaidee and Jack (faces blurred to protect identities); Right: Jaidee talking to a few of the many sidewalk workers who attempt to lure customers into nightclub establishments

Jack and Jaidee’s work is dangerous, as it threatens the trafficker’s illicit business—and it comes at a high emotional cost. Heaven’s Family is standing beside them through prayer and gifts to our Human Trafficking Fund. In future articles we’ll be discreetly telling you stories of those they’ve helped, as well as about other ministries we’ll be partnering with to help the “least of these” victimized in this way.

THE BIGGER PICTURE:

Human trafficking is the kidnapping or sale of men, women and children. Trafficked people are used as laborers in sweat-shop factories, for harvesting their organs for wealthy transplant recipients, and as prostitutes in tourist regions. Experts predict that in 2012, for the first time, dollars spent in the trafficking of humans worldwide will exceed that spent for illegal drugs.

100% of every gift to the Human Trafficking Fund will go towards helping Jack and Jaidee, and other trusted partners, rescue men, women and children from the bondage of human trafficking. To receive a list of specific ways you can help Jack and Jaidee, send me an email at jeff [at] heavensfamily.org.

Help victims of human trafficking

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This Month's Articles

Parting Shot: Tropical Freeze

parting-shot

Residents of Zatual Village in Myanmar (see above article) were intensely interested in HF staff member David Warnock’s photos of snow, something they will never encounter in their tropical climate.

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