What It’s All About
Is all the travel, struggle and heartache worth it?
Here we are at the end of another year. Time to once again ask ourselves the tough questions. Why do we do this? Lord, are we to continue this work into another year?
The truth is, the fight against human trafficking is filled with struggle and heartache. We learn things we wish we didn’t know. We become attached to rescued victims only to find that later they’ve succumbed to the myriad of family and worldly pressures to return to their degrading work.
But thankfully, the good we’ve seen far outweighs the challenges! Children are being protected. The vast majority of rescued young women have not returned to the sex industry.
We’ve spent a very busy-but-rewarding fall travel season, beginning with the Philippines in the latter half of September through the first week of October, and then, less than three weeks later, to Myanmar, Thailand and a communist country that is hostile to the Christian faith. We returned home just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. (Oh, and there was also a trip to Utah in the middle of October for a son’s wedding!) And finally, Jeff was off to the African nations of Malawi and Rwanda in December to assist in other Heaven’s Family work. Phew! We’re tired just recalling all of that!
We’ll be staying close to home the first quarter of the new year to refresh and regroup, and take some time to tell the stories of people we’ve met whose lives have been changed.
As a quick, year-end summary of the past few months, here are some of our most meaningful photos. Looking into the faces of innocent children, confused young women, and determined, faithful partners is a good reminder to us what it’s all about, and why we must fight on. We love the ONE whom God places before us because each ONE is precious in His sight—each ONE worth dying for.
Below: the beautiful faces and delightful expressions of a few of the children we met…
Below: the harsh, ugly living conditions in the urban slums of Cebu City, Philippines…
Below: travel in the Philippines can be simple, but in the cities it’s often challenging due to traffic, choking vehicle exhaust and dust (at left, an inexpensive ride for mom new baby and siblings to return home from the hospital!)
Below: SB and his wife, SK, our humble, faithful partners in an undisclosed hostile nation, and Bill and Joanna Samuels, our fearless, determined partners in Thailand who run a coffee shop called The Hiding Place, where they minister to some of the most unlikely searchers for truth
Below: SK with a friend from a local karaoke bar (left) who prostitutes herself to help support her parents and siblings (SK is hoping to win her to Jesus through her friendship and by offering to teach her sewing skills); and Joanna with her coffee shop employee, Maria, a young woman with a difficult past whom Joanna is mentoring, discipling, and, most importantly, loving as her own daughter
Below: two establishments where women are recruited to work as prostitutes. We passed by early in the night, before customers began to show up
We want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for your faithful partnership with us in 2016. We’ve seen lives changed through new relationships with Jesus Christ, protected children, rescued young girls, and encouraged our tenacious front-line partners who are demonstrating the love of Jesus to hurting hearts. We hope you’ll join us again in the coming year, helping us to face new challenges and standing with us to see fruit and glorious victories!
Together with Him,
Jeff and Karin Trotter
Directors, Human Trafficking & Slavery Ministry