Sunday, January 6, 2008

An Unpleasant Reality


Just outside the capital city of Phnom Penh, we have a ministry partner who runs an outreach to neighborhood children—a kids’ club. Many of these children come from extremely poor families.

Poverty causes people to do desperate things. Stephanie Freed, who currently is in Cambodia with a team from the US, reports the following in a recent email:

“Just a while ago, over a Coke, Thearin [a young women who leads the club] tearfully told me about one of the girls from the club (15 years old) who was sold to a Korean man. He bought her for $500 from her mother. He took her to a hotel for a week, where he and his friends took turns raping her.”

Five hundred dollars. That’s about a year’s wage for the average person in Cambodia.

And with one desperate, greedy decision made by a mother in Phnom Penh, a teenager’s life has changed forever.

Everything about this story sickens me. Then I realize. Nobody’s helped by my disgust, indignation or outrage. So I will channel my energies more productively. I will give. I will serve. I will write. I will pray. I will speak up and speak out. I will do whatever I can to relieve the suffering of survivors of trafficking and abuse and prevent other girls from becoming victims, too.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
--Edmund Burke