Thursday, May 31, 2007

Reflections on a Few Photos

Recently, I received some photos of our children attending the local activities celebrating International Children’s Day, a national holiday in Cambodia. A number of things struck me as I viewed the photos. First is how sweet and precious each face looks. I know most of these girls personally and marvel at what good kids they are. Second is how young each of these girls are. Forty of the Rapha kids are under age 18 with the youngest at our shelter being just four years old. And when I think of what these children have gone through it sickens me. But here they are in those photos celebrating children’s rights. Most of these kids lived for a time without knowing that they had rights, without knowing that they had value, and without knowing that they were loved. But freedom has changed all that for them. And you’ve helped.

Here’s a thought about how to celebrate International Children’s Day (June 1): Don’t try to save the world. Just save one child. And that will make a world of difference.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Couple Quotes Worth Noting

Walter Wink, professor emeritus at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City, writes: "The message is clear, history belongs to the intercessors, who believe the future into being." Believing the future into being—a future where girls can live free of human trafficking—requires an army of intercessors who not only think human trafficking is abhorrent but who also will work, pray and give in order to eradicate this evil.

Good people all the time nod their heads agreeing that what trafficked girls face is disgusting and should never be. But disgust over human trafficking, even agreeing that human trafficking must end, is not sufficient. Edmund Burke said it best when he wrote, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

No girl finds freedom through mere sympathy. They need intercessors to pray and act. Anything less means evil will triumph.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Three Steps to True Freedom

When you think of solutions to the the problem of human trafficking, there are three steps to true freedom. First is rescue. If girls are going to find freedom from human trafficking, someone must rescue them from this nightmare. At Rapha House, we work with professionals and organizations who have dedicated themselves to this heroic work.

The second step to real freedom from human trafficking is shelter. That's what Rapha House provides for girls who are survivors of the sex trade and abuse. Currently, girls as young as age four can be found at our shelter. There they find safety and quality care. Most of the girls at Rapha House are pre-teens and teenagers.

The final step to real freedom from human trafficking is aftercare. That's where the Rapha House Freedom Foundation comes in. We take girls who are ready to leave the shelter and not only provide them with shelter and care but also vocational training and English language training. We provide our graduates with housing grants, continuing education grants, and business grants.

When you contribute to the Rapha House Freedom, you're investing in a girl's freedom. And there's no better investment than investing in true freedom.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

From Africa to Cambodia Via California

Some of the girls that we met while in Africa.
Recently, I returned from Africa, where we help children and youth who have been orphaned from AIDS. I told a group of girls whom I was teaching about our work in Cambodia. Here's a letter one of the girls wrote to the Rapha House girls.
Dear girls,

How are you fairing on with your life. I hope God has given all the happiness you need. As one of your sisters here in Africa I love you and I'll pray for you always.

As we were told about your stories by Pastor Kerry Decker, I felt that you were facing more challenges than me. I thought that I was the only girl with more challenges but for now you have more challenges than [me].

What I just want to tell you is that even if you are facing those challenges I love you very much. I have read that I should not leave my neighbor alone. So know that even if I am very far from your country we are still united together spiritually.

Know that God is the Father of mercies and He is a God of all comfort. If it were not for Jesus Christ dying on the cross everybody would have died hopeless.

So just take heart and know that someone somewhere loves and cares for you. Just trust in God in whatever you do and He will uplift you to higher standards.

To chase away the powerful emotions in us, we should trust in God's unfailing love in us. When we are in trouble we should take heart and cheer up cuz Jesus has taken the deeper suffering.

All the best in life and may God shower his blessings to you.


Loving sister,
Faith Joshua

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A CA PM in the OC

Today, I spent most of the evening manning our human trafficking display at a small shopping center in Orange County, California. A couple things impressed me about the event. First was the gracious reception extended to us by the shopping center--The Lab (, a trendy Southern California anti-mall. They were truly generous in allowing us to get the word out about our work.

The second thing that impressed me is just how many Christian organizations and individuals are working sacrificially to combat human trafficking. Most every organization there had some faith-based connection. In an age where it's sometimes popular to bash Christians, many persons of faith are working hard to give voice to sufferers who easily go unheard. Hats off to all who are lighting candles rather than cursing the darkness.

Three Simple Ways to Make a Difference

Here are three simple ways you can help combat human trafficking.
1) Link our blog and our website ( to you webpage or My Space page.
2) Send an email blast to your friends letting them know about our blog and website.
3) Repeat the following mantra when talking to your friends: ",,"
Pretty simple, isn't it? By helping us spread the word, you're making a difference to girls who have survived the nightmare of human trafficking.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

A Rare Generosity

It was the most remarkable act of generosity that I’ve witnessed in the ministry--without exception.

I just returned from Africa, where we work with children and youth who have been orphaned from the AIDS crisis. They live in a poverty rarely seen in America.

While I was there, I spoke about our work in Cambodia at Rapha House, and these young people were eager to hear more. So I was invited to speak before a large assembly at the camp that these children were attending.

Then on the final day of the camp, the director stood up and announced that the children kept coming to him and asking him if they could do something to help the girls at Rapha House. And so he sat a tattered box on the stage before the group. Then about 200 orphaned children lined up and began filing past dropping coins and folded bills into the box.

These children don’t receive allowances. They don’t have extra income. They are impoverished orphans. But that night a steady stream of boys and girls paraded past a collection box and gave sacrificially to help others who are suffering. Such a rare act of compassion!

Most people I know give out of their surplus. But that night, I witnessed people giving out of their poverty. It was truly unforgettable.