Monday, July 20, 2009
Saturday Aug 1st 6:30pm
William Jessup University
333 Sunset Blvd, Rocklin, Ca
Don and Bridget Brewster
Cost $20 per person, $35 per couple (916.947.1016)
-- Post From My iPhone
Sunday, August 9th, 7-8:30pm
Room 418 at Bayside Offices
Come hear what happened in Nigeria, Kenya and Cambodia.
Our 3 teams will share what they learned, how God used them and how your prayers and support made a difference.
For more information contact Kimj@baysideonline.com.
For more information you can contact Kim Jacobson at email@example.com.
Maybe they'll even inspire you to sign up for one of next years trips!
-- Post From My iPhone
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Dustin Larsen and Team Cambodia
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Its early Friday morning, July 10th, our last day in Cambodia. The last few days have been a whirl of activity. As the week has progressed I've become more anxious and saddened by the fact that we're going home today. I can't imagine leaving these precious children. I've come to love Cambodia and the people.
When I came I prayed that God would open my eyes to see Him at work here. And He has. There's no doubt that God has placed people here in strategic places to reach the people of Cambodia. He's brought people here from other countries, and raised up Cambodian young men and women to fight against the evil of sex trafficking. Although we're sad to leave, we're know that God's work will continue here.
The highlight of my trip was this past Wednesday. We were teaching the kids about our bodies. How God made our bodies and how they're a gift to us from Him. And when we take care of our bodies, we honor God. I also said that another way to honor our bodies is by doing kind things with them to other people, and not hurting other people with our bodies.
At the end I told them that I had something very important to say. That next to telling them about Jesus, this was the most important thing we would tell them. Then I went on to tell them that we knew that men came into this village and did things to hurt the bodies of the little girls, and the little boys. And that was wrong. We were not okay with that, and God was not okay with that. But I also told them that it wasn't their fault, they were not bad, they were not wrong. But what others did to them were wrong. I also said that when the boys take the girls to the men, that was wrong too.
Then I told them that if that had happened to them they could come and tell us and we would listen to them, love them and pray for them. We would not laugh at them, or be angry with them. We would love them. We would never hurt them. God would never hurt them. We were safe, we would help.
As I talked, and as Ponha translated, the children became very quiet. The smiles were gone, and serious looks came over their faces. I knew that they knew what I was talking about. For some it was the first time they heard that what was happening to them was wrong. I can still remember the looks on some of their faces. One little boy right in front, Poea, he looked at me with sadness, but also a longing hoping that what I said was true. Some of the girls looked away from me in shame. Some had tears in their eyes.
Although none came to talk to us that day, I know that what we shared got through. I could see it on their faces, in their eyes. It was the most fulfilling experience to let these children know that God loved them and would never hurt them, and that we were safe people for them. Although we're leaving, Pastor Shantey and his wife, and Rattanak and Alli who remain to work with the children and pastor the community, love those children and will continue to be a safe haven for them. And they will continue to teach them what is right and wrong and give them hope.
God is working and changing the hearts of the people, one by one. And as He does, more and more children will be saved from being sold. More parents will realize that selling their children is wrong and want to protect them.
Today we're putting on a carnival for the children and serving them lunch. They're very excited. But we're sad, because it will be the last thing we'll do with them. My prayer is that if God brings me back next year, I'll see these children again, and that none will be sold to brothels. And that the one brothel with the 60 girls locked down will be closed down. Even more that more people and more children will have given their lives to Jesus, and be changed.
That's my prayer...
Barb and Team
-- Post From My iPhone
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Instead of gathering children, we were able to go visit the school (see pix posted below) and make a very brief presentation. It was such a pleasant surprise to see so many of our kids at school. Alli & her team have done a great job getting 50 kids sponsored to go to class. I loved that while we weren't able to share the gospel w/them, we were able to remind them that each one of them has a special purpose & plan for their life & as the future leaders of Cambodia, we encourage them to continue getting an education and know they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up. These children don't receive any kind of encouragement from their parents. We PRAY that these little ones are able to break free from the bondage and move on to a better life.
Instead of normal club, a big funeral was going on, so more than 1/2 the village was loading up in trucks to go bless the body as it was put into the ground. The kids were pleading for us to join them and pastor told us it would be honorable for some of us to attend. So a few of us hopped in the back of a truck & drove off w/them to this funeral. [Side note: to think that last year we could not even walk in Svay Pak & here a year later, they are inviting us to a funeral for a village member. How awesome is that?!] Shauna, Roma and I were loving the natural air conditioning and just extra time with the kids we have come to love so much. At the funeral, Shauna got attacked by fire ants & one of my favorite girls, joyfully brought me over to where they were handing out sandwiches to make sure I got one. So sweet & I just prayed the whole time that I wouldn't get sick from who knows what kind of meat was in there.
Back at the ranch, Robi & Dustin had the honor of chasing out a white man "visiting" Svay Pak. That story can only be told by one of them. It's a good one. And then the afternoon sesh went almost as planned. It was good.
Seemed like a random day but yet all planned out. And as I tried to get through the afternoon session, emotions overtook me as the reality hit that we have really become a part of their lives and they ours and now we leave in just a few days. We have gotten to know them better and feel their hurts even more. We see joy in them and long for them to have such a better life. Seeing them, being with them, loving them - it all makes it so hard to believe these same beautiful, loving children could possibly be victims of endless nights of pain. I didn't plan on getting so attached to these children. I didn't plan on becoming such a part of their lives. I didn't plan on experiencing so much hope, joy & love in such darkness. But God's plans are so much better and I'm grateful I can trust him for His plans for their lives not the plans of men that have been arranged for these children. I look forward to hearing the stories of their lives and seeing what God does in & through these little ones.
Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended in for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Kim Jacobson and Team
-- Post From My iPhone
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Today was quite a long day for our team with our schedule filled from sunrise to sunset! After church and lunch we headed off to see one of Cambodia's historic "killing fields." The Cheoeung Ek Genocial Center is a killing field where it is estimated that 20,000 Cambodian people where taken an executed by the Khmer Regime between 1975-1979 . Roughly 2 out of 8 million were killed. Percentage wise this is more then what Hitler killed. In the center of the killing field is a huge memorial dedicated to the victims of this horrific genocide. Inside the memorial are 17 levels of shelves holding close to 8,900 skulls recovered. Walking around this center was heartbreaking for our team. Looking down into the mass graves that held hundreds of people at a time, was like looking down into the pit of Hell. What is even more dis hearting, is that many Cambodians today aren't taught about this genocide and aren't aware of what happened.
After we left the killing fields we went to the Toul Sleng Genecide Museum. This place was designed to imprison and torture those held captive by Pol Pot, the commander of the Khmer Regime. The museum had four large buildings which captivated the pure evil in the hearts of those who inflicted such cruelty on innocent people. The museum displayed pictures of the victims who were imprisoned there and the torture chambers used. It was very overwhelming and unfathomable for our team to believe what went on there. We all left with sadness in our hearts.
Even though the mass genocide is over, our team is here now fighting against sexual slavery, an evil that is sadly happening to woman and children today. Please continue to pray with our team that we can restore the love, faith, compassion and hope in the people of Cambodia.
Tiffany Brundidge and Team Cambodia 2009
-- Post From My iPhone
As I sit here contemplating today, the 2 words that keep popping into my head is light and dark. The light was worshipping the Lord in Cambodia with over 100 fellow believers at the church in Kilometer 6. Each of us had an opportunity to share a portion of God's word that has special meaning for us. This was a blessing to the congregation, as many of them do not have the privilege of owning their own bible and mainly depend on the pastor, Moses, to share God's word with them. Mose's reputation probably proceeds him, but for those who haven't heard of him, he is the Paul of Cambodia. This amazing man of God has planted over 800 churches throughout Cambodia and is currently mentoring 15 young men and women. These disciples will rise up to become the leaders of these churches that Moses is helping to plant. Moses also shared with us that on Monday he will be traveling 3 hours to baptize 300 new believers! How amazing is that?! You can definitely see God's light breaking through the darkness that has been allowed to exist here for so long.
After lunch we visited the Choeung Ek Memorial (aka the Killing Fields) and Toul Sleng Prison. It was at the prison where the prisoners were first brought to be beaten and tortured to obtain a confession, so that they would feel justified in executing them. Between visiting these two places, you begin to understand how Cambodia started it's deep descent into a godless, desparate time. One of the plagues says it all: "The ones who tortured, beat and executed have the same human heart, but have allowed a darkness to live inside." It is sad to think that even though these atrocious acts occured 30 years ago, that same darkness is raging in the hearts of those who rape and torture young girls and boys for their own pleasure. But how awesome that we know a God that has the power to rip out and destroy that darkness! Please continue to pray for us that our words and our actions will bring the good news, not only to the victims, but to the perpetrators. Continue to pray for boldness and protection, especially for Robi, Dustin and Kim who are speaking up and confronting and sharing the gospel with those who are participating in these acts or are being ambivalent to what they are allowing to happen in their village or hotel.
Other prayer requests:
Health for the team and continued cooler weather
Bilingual bibles and hymnals for the church at Kilometer 6
For all the documents to be provided so that baby Bella can be officially adopted by Alli
For the 2 army officials who recently came to Christ, that they will stand firm and make a difference with their fellow officers.
Roma and the 2009 Cambodia Team
-- Post From My iPhone
Saturday, July 4, 2009
It's Saturday, July 4th...and we're taking a break from Svay Pak for a couple of days (looking forward to getting back to those wonderful children on Monday!).
Today our team had the privilege of throwing a 4th of July party for ARC - the Restoration Center. Fifty five girls rescued from sexual traffiking, between the ages of 5 and 22, live in this secure, safe home that provides nurturing care and hope, and prepares them for successful reintegration back into society.
Like I said - it was an honor to be with them for the day. We were'nt too sure what to expect as we drove to their home...what would the home look like? Would the girls be happy to see us? Would they be shy, timid - maybe even a little frightened...considering all that they've been through? Well, I believe we were all in awe and amazement when we drove through the heavily guarded gates, and saw the oasis behind the fence. This home is lovely - simply because God's spirit is so evident everywhere you look. Precious girls with smiles and waves; attentive staff who were so happy to meet us; and Don and Bridget, amazing CEO and Admin Director of ARC - who have so faithfully followed God's calling for their lives by lovingly running this center.
As Don gave us a tour of the entire center, we were overwelmed when we entered the dining room to see many of the girls waiting for us - they broke out into some major applause...for us! Can you imagine how that made us feel? At this point I began to sob as I recognized how blessed WE were to be spending the day with THEM! These girls are an inspiration to us...what they have had to endure most of their lives, and now they live life with joy and love and hope. WE should be applauding THEM!
Our party was filled with music, dancing, singing, great food, crafts, games (water balloon toss felt great in the heat!), a parade, cake, face painting, and goody bags. Of course our theme was the 4th of July, so we began the party by telling the girls why we celebrate the holiday - how America fought for freedom as a country. We tied this into how as Christians, we have freedom in Christ, and shared this verse with them:
"Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you." Galatians 5:1
I truly believe that our team had more fun than the girls :)
As we were leaving the center almost all of the girls took our pictures - we felt like movie stars being hounded by the paparazzi...and we loved it! There were many hugs, many kisses, and many tears as we said goodbye to these amazing girls. Though we are sad to know that they have experienced tremendous sorrow, grief, and horror in their short lives...we are filled with hope and joy, knowing that God has them in His hands and is showering His tremendous grace upon them through ARC!
Thank you for reading about our experiences - and for your faithful prayers. We could not do what we are doing without your committed support. Enjoy your 4th of July...but above all else...enjoy your freedom in Christ!
God's blessings to you,
Suzanne Allison and Team Cambodia
-- Post From My iPhone
Friday, July 3, 2009
I'd like to echo several of my teammates emotions as I sit here writing at the end of an extremely overwhelming week! There are no words to truly describe the world we have engulfed ourselves in. My eyes and ears feel as if they are being deceived day after day. The children were waiting for us again today as we arrived at Rehabs house in Svay Pak, Cambodia. They were so exited to see us, I was bombarded with several hugs at the same time I couldn’t help but squeeze them and tell them I loved them, even though I know they had no clue what I was saying. Could we be breaking through to them? Is it because we're American? Is it because we have been so nice to them? Could it be they can see Jesus living inside of us? Impossible to tell but I'd like to think it’s a little of all three in one. The reality is most of the kids are excited. We are there and that’s all that matters. They argued over whose house we would visit and we visited as many as we could before our vbs session started. We were able to pray for several families, all in which we pray God would show the love and mercy of his son in a real tangible way. Towards the end of our first vbs session we were faced with the very reality we had been hearing about: an unknown American male had just sat down at small coffee shop right across from Rahab's house where we were teaching. Dustin and I couldn’t help but stare at the man. When we finally had enough info and the ok from our partners we decided to go talk to him. Fortunately (for him) he jumped into a car and left. As we walked back and explained to everyone what happened, I began to wonder, what would I have really done? Would Dustin and I had confronted him? Maybe roughed him up a bit? Maybe I would have just broke down and pleaded for his soul, wondering what he could have possibly gone through to be sitting in his present frame of mind? I almost began seeing things through God's eyes before realizing my crazed emotions were getting the best of me. I decided to focus on the kids. We took pictures, we wrestled, I spun as many as I could around until I almost threw up, and it was awesome. As we drove away, the children chased us. Little Husia blew me a kiss good bye. I caught it and put it in my heart. I plan to keep it there forever…who knows maybe they do see Jesus in us and if not we still have another weekJ
Robi C.H. Quick and Team Cambodia
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Greetings Friends & Family!
First of all, thank you for checking in w/us. Thank you for taking the time out of your schedules to learn more about what we're seeing & experiencing. Of course we wish you could be here with us in person to witness the beauty of these children, to see the smiles on their face, to see the world they live in, to see the longing of love and attention - the RIGHT attention. But we hope & trust we are giving you as close to an accurate viewpoint of the situation as possible.
Go a little further w/us and imagine you are walking the dirt trails of Svay Pak with us, gathering more children to join us for another day of Kids Club. It's 10AM & some people are just getting up & eating breakfast. Most of the town looks like they're still recovering from a full night of activity. People are laying in hammocks still drugged out. Others are riding their bikes or hanging out in the "clubs" which look more like open-aired pool halls. We can only imagine what this place looks like at night. No one from AIM stays past 5. Even the pastor who is now living in Rahab's house stays inside. We hear the gangs come alive at night; young boys as young as 10, get on motos & start driving the girls off for a night of business. Others are bringing the pedophiles in. We get the creepiest feeling walking thru the town picturing what took place the night before.
But it's morning now & the light is shining thru. The kids now start running to Rahabs house when they see our white van. Alli, the amazing woman who runs the kids club program, tells us more children are showing up that they've never met before because we are here. And we dare ask, "What difference can we make in 2 wks?" God's love shines bright and we only hope to be the strong beacons of light that can begin to offer glimpes of hope and truth for these young children who already are being subjected to such darkness.
We get to walk the streets and meet the family members of these young girls. Today, some of us met Vaun's mom. She seems like such a nice woman but we hear she has knocked Vaun out in broad daylight. It's shocking. No CPS here. And yet, we're dealing w/a culture who thinks this is normal; this is how you discipline your children. We're dealing with a culture that thinks it's a win/win for the girls (and some boys) to be sold for sex: the client gets what they want & the family gets $$. Isn't that all that matters? It seems in the last year, the families aren't even selling their daughters so much just to make ends meet, but to get that extra $5 for who knows what. But it's okay, cuz it's a win-win & it's not wrong in their place. How do we argue with that?
Our team doesn't. We pray for this town to be changed; for TRUTH and justice to reign. For these uniquelly created individuals to come to know a life of peace where they aren't living on drugs, alcohol, perverse sex and a lifestyle that robs them of what Christ wants for them. We bring them the love of Jesus and trust the love that lives in us shines brighter than the darkness they experience at night. Thank you for joining us. Thank you for caring about these chilldren. Pray for a change to come to Svay Pak. Pray for young girls to be set free; that they might somehow know that despite all the pain and horror they've gone through, there is a God who cares for them and wants them to be in a safe place. Pray for these young boys in particular as many of them are coming to that age when they should be selling these girls. Pray.
Kim Jacobson & the entire 2009 Cambodia Team
-- Post From My iPhone
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
It really sunk in for us that this process can only happen one at a time. 1 girl at a time, 1 boy at a time, 1 brothel at a time, and 1 pedifile at a time.
You may ask... What can 1 person do in Cambodia on a 2 week mission trip? We are part of the process. We are part of the process which will lead to the solution. So this week we are loving on these children, which allows them to build trust in us so we can find out who is in immediate danger. It is a horrible life for all of these children, but for some of them it is horrific. Most children are beatened, gang raped, forced to have sex up to 10 times a day, and torchured.
God has called us to be a light in a very dark evil place and spread the good news that they are loved and have been forgiven. In addition, we are providing encouragement and support for those who are here every day fighting this battle.
If God is calling you to join us on our next mission to Cambodia or somewhere else in the world, please email Kim Jacobson in global outreach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to help financilly support AIM. Please go to www.AIM4Asia.org to donate online. This foundation is run soley on your donations and they need you to support this fight to end sex trafficking.
We would also like to ask you to invite your friends and family to follow our blog. We are feeling called to create awareness at home so that more work can be done here. So please create awareness for us on your blog, email, facebook, or Twitter while we are here.
And lastly, please pray for our mission. For continued unity, health and focus for what we have been called to do.
With love, Cambodia 2009 Team
-- Post From My iPhone
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Rahab's House used to be a brothel, but now it is a community center for the residents of Svay Pak. Today after we finished our morning session with the kids, the pastor and his wife opened up the "medical clinic" for the village residents every Tuesday and Thursday (free of charge). Fortunately for them, a doctor is currently working with AIM so he is helping to address some pretty serious medical issues for the pastor. Thank you Dr. Dave!
Our story today was about Paul and Silas when they were arrested for casting out a demon from a rich owner's slave girl. The rich owner didn't like losing his demonic servant, so he had Paul and Silas arrested. They were beaten horribly, almost to the point of death, and thrown unconscious into a dark prison cell. When they regained consciousness, instead of panicking or complaining, Paul and Silas chose to sing praises to God. Can you imagine? Here they are, beaten and near death, and still they can praise God.
The children that we are serving at Rahab's House are very similar to Paul and Silas. Some have been held captive in brothels, with no possible chance of escape. They are "freed" only when they have been used up. Some are sold nightly to strangers for sex acts. Who knows what atrocities these children face in the darkness of the night? Whether they are being held captive in a brothel or are emotional captives in their own homes, these children can certainly relate to Paul and Silas's circumstances. Will these children choose to praise God throughout their horrific circumstances?
It's our job to teach them about Jesus and how to praise through all circumstances. No matter what horrible things are happening to them, God loves them. As long as these children survive, we can teach them about the love of Christ and the freedom that His salvation brings. We can all break the chains of our imprisonment, we just have to learn to sing praises through the imprisonment.
-- Post From My iPhone
Monday, June 29, 2009
This week we're doing a Vacation Bible School program with the children in Svay Pak. This is a highly trafficked area with most of the children trafficked in the sex slave trade. The children were incredibly excited to meet us this morning. They're sweet, precious and very friendly. Our guides took us around to the homes of the families in Svay Pak. There is so much poverty, with entire families living in open shacks the size of a small bedroom.
Its just so hard for me to process that these young, small, precious children are sold by their families every night and used for sex. One little girl showed up today with makeup on. She had to be about 6 years old. We found out that the week before she'd come to kids club with bruises all over her. Her mother had given her a beating because she refused to have sex with a man. She's still a virgin. After tonight she won't be...she's 6 years old. Her childhood has just ended. I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight. I've been praying for her every since I saw her.
On our way home tonight we got caught in a rain storm. Within minutes the streets flooded a couple feet deep. Our tuk-tuk driver had to drop us off to walk back to our hotel because he couldn't drive through the water. We waded in dirty, sewer water up to our knees. It was quite an adventure. Thanks so much for your prayers. We need them. We're still jet-lagged, the heat and humidity is extreme and some of us our sick. But we feel so privileged to be here, and excited about what God wants to show us of Himself here in this place. He is working. He is a beacon of light here in the midst of this evil. Continue to pray for God's power to rescue these children from this life of torment, and their parents from the ignorance that perpeuates this from one generation to the next. And pray for Agape International who are here every day being Jesus to these people, and providing a refuge for the children.