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Sunday, September 19, 2010
I first met Sopheap many years ago on my first visit to Rapha House. She was living there with her siblings.
We didn't find Sopheap, she found us. She sought us out when her father was preparing to sell Sopheap's younger sister to traffickers. Maybe you remember seeing the story of Sopheap's sister. We showed her rescue on DVD.
Now Sopheap is living independently with her husband and son. She also cares for her younger brother and another sister who recently reintegrated from Rapha House.
Sopheap was our very first micro-credit project. She faithfully repaid her loan and owns a small clothing shop in the marketplace.
During my last trip to Cambodia, I approached Sopheap about becoming a wholesaler distributor to other business owners in her area. It seemed like a real opportunity for her and a good way to provide employment for our reintegrated girls, if this project succeeds.
We don't know if it will, but here's the latest. Sopheap took our seed money and went to Phnom Penh to shop for items that she thought business owners in her area may want. She returned home. And within two days, she had sold everything that she bought!
We're smart enough to know that one success doesn't build a business. But we're also smart enough to back a winner. Sopheap is a winner. So we're going to provide her with business coaching and the financial resources to see if we can build a wholesale distribution business that will provide economic opportunity for other reintegrated girls to come.
Want to get in on the action? Make a donation to Rapha House and mark it "Sopheap."
Sunday, September 12, 2010
At Rapha House, we believe in religious freedom. All Rapha girls equally benefit from all our programs and services regardless of what they believe. We value religious freedom. And we practice religious freedom.
However, we understand that there is another side to the freedom coin. Our girls are also free to decide to become Christians, if that's what they want. And many choose to do so.
When they learn about the God who values them as women; when they learn about the incredible love that He has for them; when they learn that they did not cause their abuse, it had nothing to do with bad karma; then many Rapha girls choose freely to follow Christ. They learn that the Cross proves their tremendous value to God. The Cross shows how far the God of all creation will go to rescue them. And the Cross promises them a purity than no man can take from them. So our girls are freely drawn to God by the Cross of Christ.
During my most recent trip to Cambodia, I had the awesome privilege of participating in mass baptisms on two separate occasions. And during those events when hundreds of Cambodians freely chose to follow Jesus, some Rapha House girls and staff were included in that number.
Freedom is important to us because freedom is important to God.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. (Galatians 5:1)