We have a quick thought and an update. Consider this:
“The sale of women and children, not prostitution, not pornography…the sale of another human being is the 3rd largest industry in the world.”
~ CIA Statistic
We saw this quote in a movie called Nefarious: Merchant of Souls and it blew my mind. A year ago, when I thought of the word ‘slavery,’ I thought of what I learned in grade school while studying American history. I thought about the presence of slavery in the old and new testament whether it was the Hebrews in exile or Paul writing a letter to a slave owner in the book of Philemon. But this idea of ‘modern slavery’ was hard to grasp. How could this go on in the world I thought I knew?
Just like drugs and illegal weapons are trafficked over borders and sold, men, women and children are exploited and forced into various forms of work. On our 3 month trip to Cambodia we saw slavery first hand. Whether it was the 26 year old men I was teaching who had been working 14 hour days on fishing boats with no pay for the last 8 years of their lives or 14-22 year old women who have been sold into prostitution internationally.
It’s clear to say that modern slavery s real and growing rapidly. Some might say it’s just business. There is obvious opportunity for earning lots of money from a trafficker’s standpoint. The scariest part to me is the “why” behind the increased human trafficking numbers. Think about it. Why is this infringement on basic human rights growing? Let’s use the example of the rising demand for prostitution in specific areas of South East Asia. Phuket is a place where people go to live out their sexual fantasies. Because of the increase in ‘sex tourists’ (the demand), it increases the need and the supply of more women and child prostitutes. One could argue that it’s an increase in sin or more sinners or the lack of Christ in the hearts of people who can afford to go to Thailand and sleep with prostitutes. It breaks our hearts to see the realness of sin and the effect is has on the poor and vulnerable around the world.
With the above stated, we wanted to share what our team is looking to do to fight against both the supply and demand of the sex industry. These respected ministries serve to show the love of Christ through Evangelism, Education and Community Development.
Red Light District Ministry: Having a presence in the red light district is a key priority for establishing a communal base for Evangelism and making the name of Jesus known in the epicenter of sin and corruption in Phuket.
Learning Center: In our attempt reach out to workers in the red light district and develop a more informed community, we want to offer free educational opportunities such as English, Business, Personal Finance and other various classes.
Hair Salon Training Center: Creating a cosmetology school for women rescued out of prostitution provides women the opportunity for sustainable education and dignified career. This program will include counseling, daily devotions, personal development and learning how to cut, color, and style hair along with other cosmetic services.
“Johns” Ministry: This ministry looks to seek out individuals who are susceptible to or are seeking out temptations in the red light district. The goal of this outreach is to point people towards true love and true satisfaction.
Please help us by praying over these ministries.
With our September 1st departure in sight, we are getting more and more excited for our mission to Phuket. Here are several examples of how God has provided for us as we prepare for what He has called us to:
- We are 56% Funded!
- Paul is working full time when in Santa Rosa working for a general contractor. His boss is a Christian and is very flexible with giving time off when we are out of town to fundraise.
- Partnering with churches and sharing about our ministries all over California and in Michigan.
- We are being sponsored for our Missions Training this Summer in North Carolina.
- Gaining numerous connections both state side and overseas.
- Our Team in Phuket has nearly doubled for our arrival in September.
- Please pray for safe travel and productive preparation as our last months close in.
- Pray for fundraising. Our goal is 60% funded prior to departure.
- Please pray for the above ministries.
- Pray for a safe path against corruption as we put roots down in Phuket.
Thanks for reading and please let us know if you have any questions!