Tomorrow is the 27th of the month, so it’s time for my monthly focus on human trafficking and slavery. I always look forward to directing more of my attention and filling more of this space with weighty matters…
significant ones, though heart-wrenching.
The only problem is, as this particular 27th of the month approached, I had no idea what to write about.
So I started asking the Lord what He wanted me to highlight regarding human trafficking and slavery.
(You see, I get it backwards sometimes. Because I should ask Him first, before trying to concoct a topic on my own. But I suppose that’s a post for another day.)
I don’t think it’s an accident that Operation World‘s prayer emphasis for Tuesday and Wednesday was Cambodia. Our family talked about the needs of that country and then prayed for Cambodians over our breakfast two mornings in a row.
Cambodia and its people still bear scars of the genocide perpetrated there in the 70’s. Drug trafficking and abuse are on the rise, and poverty affects many. Numerous children are homeless, making them vulnerable to exploitation.
According to Operation World:
Sex trade victims number up to 100,000. A recent study estimated 20% of tourists to Cambodia made use of the sex trade, often with the young or underage. Yet even this is a small amount compared to the widespread use of prostitutes by Cambodian men. That factor combined with others, gives the nation one of the highest rates of HIV in Asia. Many poor parents sell their own children to traffickers for as little as $10.
I’m trying to wrap my brain around these facts, and I just can’t. It’s easy enough to read over the numbers; but when I stop and imagine the face of a child watching her parents accept money and then hand her over…
Tears fill my eyes and then I weep openly when I read about young girls like Kieu and Sephak, adolescent girls sold by their own mothers to pay off family debt.
And there are thousands and thousands of children just like them across Cambodia.
Lord, have mercy!
Will you take a few moments today to pray for Cambodia?
- Pray for freedom and salvation for multiplied thousands of women and children forced into the sex industry.
- Pray for the perpetrators (those who sell children, those who buy children, and clients who buy sex) to see the depth of their sin, and to hear and receive the Good News of Jesus Christ, turning from their sin.
- Pray for the stability of the government, and that government officials would be free of corruption and self-interest, focusing on the betterment of the lives of Cambodians.
- Pray for the organizations providing relief for human trafficking victims. Pray that their work would be effective, and that the efforts of the various groups would be unified and supportive of one another.
- Pray for Christ’s Church in Cambodia, which has grown in the past several years. Pray that Cambodian believers would faithfully shine as lights in a dark world.
Heavenly Father, we cry out to You on behalf of the people of Cambodia. We feel helpless to assist them; and yet, we choose to believe that You are the LORD, the God of all flesh, and nothing is too difficult for You. We lift these requests to You today, knowing that You are alive and active and working in the affairs of man; knowing that You exercise lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness, because You delight in these things; and knowing that Your heart aches for these people You created, even more than ours does. Thank you for hearing our prayers, and for answering them. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray, Amen.