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Restoring Lives After Trafficking

AROUND THE WORLD, VULNERABLE PEOPLE ARE BEING TARGETED BY TRAFFICKERS. THEY ARE PROMISED BRIGHT FUTURES IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES, BUT THE REALITY IS BRUTAL ABUSE AND EXPLOITATION. THROUGH OUR ANTI-TRAFFICKING PROJECTS, WE ARE BRINGING HEALING AND HOPE IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST.

Pati*, a 40-year-old mother and wife in Cambodia, was selling palm juice and its fruit with her husband when their neighbour made them a tempting offer. Their neighbour would send them to Thailand via a shortcut where they could earn a lot of money if they paid a ‘small’ fee for transportation.

After so much struggle and disappointment, life in Thailand sounded appealing to Pati and her husband. It was a chance to make enough money to look after their three children and provide for their basic needs, such as food and rent. So, they sold their possessions to borrow money from their landlord, paid their neighbour and took off for what seemed to be a promising new life in Thailand.

When they arrived in Thailand, they quickly discovered that their neighbour had cheated them. The new job earned them no more than selling palm juice in Cambodia did. Even worse, some days they would work overtime and not get paid at all.

Pati worked very hard but without money for food, her family lacked nutrition. As a result, she could not breastfeed her baby. And it only got worse.

After some time had passed, Pati, her family and several other workers decided to escape the job and return to Cambodia. When they arrived, the police arrested them before they could reach their home. They were sent to quarantine for 14 days in the Kamrieng District.

Seeing her family starving and her baby crying, Pati reached out for help and got connected with Samaritan’s Purse.

Road to Recovery

Our team immediately gave Pati’s family food, milk and clothes. At the end of the quarantine, our project staff supported them on the remainder of the journey to their hometown.

We continued to reach out to Pati’s family during their first weeks after they returned. Our team spent time with them, building trust, which wasn’t easy after the horror they had experienced. We then helped them take their first steps toward stability and healing, and shared hope in the Name of Jesus Christ. We also taught Pati and her husband about safe migration to prevent them from being cheated again.

“Lack of employment leads to exploitation,” said a support worker with the project. “Our goal is to make them financially independent so they will not be lied to again. This is why we equip them with skills and income-generating tools to start a business.”

Pati expressed her gratitude and shared that they had never seen such kind people who loved, respected and valued other people like this.

Every case of exploitation is unique, albeit each story is marked with sorrow and shame. Just as our teams have helped vulnerable families like Pati’s, we are also working in many countries to prevent trafficking and help victims of trafficking in its many forms. We praise God that through our prevention projects, women and men are finding healing and hope. Please join us in praying for those who are vulnerable to trafficking or have been trafficked — and for our teams working with them.

*Name changed for privacy

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