“I Want to Go Home to My Mommy!”

A few days after arriving in Phnom Penh, Cambodia this past July we (Rick and Beth Drummond) were given special permission to visit one of the few “assessment centers” where the young girls who are rescued from the sex trade are first taken and then cared for, physically and emotionally. As we entered the heavily guarded complex, about 20 young Vietnamese and Cambodian girls quietly greeted us.
One little Vietnamese girl came up close to us, bowed in the traditional Vietnamese way, and we spoke to her in Vietnamese. Big tears came to her eyes as she greeted us politely in her language. Another little girl sat on the cement floor away from the others with her head sadly bowed. Another lay in a fetal position, and yet another sat in the arms of a worker looking toward us. This last little one was a five-year-old Cambodian girl obviously very frightened.
These girls have just been rescued from pedophiles, sex traffickers, or a family member or neighbor who has been abusing them. They are sad and confused. How can a child understand that someone in her family has knowingly misused her or sold her to sex traffickers? Those she loves the most have caused the pain she has suffered. One looks at us and cries, “I want to go home to my mommy!” Beth gives her a tight hug and pats her back.
Beth takes a few of the Vietnamese girls’ aside and starts singing in Vietnamese: “This is the day that the Lord has made . . .”—a favorite of many of the NewHope children. Before long they sing along, giggling and laughing, touching Beth’s face, which is smiling but wet with tears.
One of the little girls knew the song because she had been to Sunday school at one of the NewHope churches before her mother sold her to a wicked man who brutalized her until she almost bled to death. One of the NewHope workers heard about her, went to the hospital and took her to the assessment center. Her mother is now in prison awaiting a trial. This NewHope worker is now encouraging all the new groups working with Vietnamese to be more aware of the gravity of the situation.
Our NewHope staff deeply desires to prevent these precious children from being sold and abused. As we talked with the church leaders and missionary team, we became more convinced that NewHope must be involved even more in prevention of child sex trafficking. The need to help the Vietnamese children is urgent. Various approaches must be pursued. Some small businesses must be started where the school graduates and their parents can be employed. There is a great need for more evangelists and church-planters. Authentic Christian families do not sell their children. Trained counselors, social workers and health workers—especially for those who speak Vietnamese—are urgently needed. This is not only for NewHope but also for other organizations working in Cambodia.


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