“The Spirit of the Lord is on me… He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed.” Luke 4:18
These past 90 days have been what seems the most difficult days I have experienced in ministry. I have come to realize once more that progress comes at a high cost.
I have caught myself with a mixture of emotions, including rage and disgust at what I see. The reality of the sex trafficking of young girls here in Cambodia is simply horrifying.
Every day we have faced madams, pimps, corrupt officials, and mafia, aggressively opposing what we are trying to do: free these young girls.
We have experienced the worse humanity has to show. My life and freedom are under threat as these people interpret what we are doing as taking their business away when in reality we, you and I, are trying to rescue these young girls from slavery.
A few days ago, my team and I were informed that there were three orphaned sisters being kept at a farm as slave workers during the day and as sexual objects for the farmer and his sons at night. Three of my staff members and I decided to immediately go and confront the situation.
We went to the isolated farm. There we found the three frightened sisters and the farmers wife. She was not happy to see us, especially when we started asking her questions about the three underage girls. After a very intense conversation, she threatened me: If you are so concerned about them, pay me $200 each, or I will call my police friends and tell them that you are trafficking girls. I informed her of the seriousness of the situation, and that our intentions were to free the girls from slavery, physical and sexual abuse. The woman took the three girls and ran indoors. Two days later, we returned with officials to help us take the three orphaned girls away from their captivity. We found that the girls were gone, most likely moved (sold) on to another location. We left with a broken heart.
Even though this scene has repeated itself constantly, the Lord and Savior, The Rescuer Himself, has allowed us to reach and rescue 22 underage girls from modern day slavery, most involved in the sex trade.
Things have been extremely difficult here and we desperately need your prayers as we are fighting against a very difficult stronghold.
Praise be to God, our Father, for He is greater and His power and love surpasses any adversary. Let us not forget that He is the Father to the fatherless and the Defender of the weak.
His Ambassador to the Orphans,
John Schmidt, ISK President