After a 6 hour bus ride through rice fields and jungle forest, we finally made it to the modern city of Siem Reap. Much of the sex trade has moved up here due to the large numbers of foreign tourists who frequent this region to visit the ancient city of Angkor Wat (and increases pressure in Phnom Penh). The over abundance of foreigners and the extreme lack of governmental control has provided a virtual safe haven for brothels and pimps to offer enslaved children and women alike up daily, and even hourly, for rape and torture.
We are connecting with two of the pastors up here who have been going after the trafficking of children wholesale. The church in this country is really starting to work together with NGO’s (Non Governmental Organizations) to identify, assess, report and prevent sex trafficking. Their passion and commitment to saving these girls, irregardless of what it may cost them financially and physically, is humbling to say the least.
Please keep these children in your thoughts and prayers as they are in desperate need of rescue, intensive aftercare, healing, and effective reintegration.