Over the past 2½ years God has had me on a journey of learning “What Justice Looks Like.” For 14 years I have learned the power of Compassion and God’s heart for the poor. In January of 2011, I made my first trip to Cambodia and Thailand to begin my discovery of understanding justice for the most vulnerable. I had the great privilege of traveling with Patricia King and XP Mission to see first hand what human trafficking looks like. We visited slum communities and villages where traffickers target the poor and vulnerable for their prey. Due to the level of poverty there, the people are just trying to stay alive. The base problem of trafficking is poverty…
It is not just a spiritual issue it is an economical one. Due to the lack of education and opportunity, the hope of things changing is very slim. I love that so many people are becoming aware of the need to address this issue. Awareness is a beginning, but we must move to a place of action. It is a huge problem, but if we as Christians don’t stand for justice, who will?
I remember coming back and being in state of shock. It was so difficult to get my mind around it. First I could not understand how any human being could exploit children in the ways I saw. I won’t go into detail but it was the most disturbing things I have ever seen. On our tour, we also did outreaches in brothels and bars where prostitution was going on. In talking with the girls, we discovered that a young girl would make only $100 to $125 dollars a month. Most of the money was sent back to family. One day when I was back home, I was at a Starbucks getting a drink. I looked at the price of a medium size latte and saw that it cost around $3.45. The thought came me that that was what a girl would usually make for one day’s “work”. Is this what Justice looks like?
What Is Justice?
It was from that experience that I came up with a definition of Justice. “Justice is giving a voice to those have no voice, and choice to those who have no choice.”
You and I each have a voice that can speak up for those who can not speak up on their own behalf. The choices we make can give someone “living without” the ability make a choice – to be able to a make a choice for freedom. I am not saying it is bad to have a Starbucks coffee, but I am saying I would match that choice by giving that amount to help others trapped? I believe that people hear about those problems and truly want to help, but don’t know what to do.
Compassion Acts has developed partnerships with trustworthy organizations that are on the ground doing something about the problem of trafficking. Together we are rescuing, educating children, and creating jobs for women that give them the power to provide for themselves. We have also built two Dreamer’s Park playgrounds in Cambodia at community centers that serve as a safe place for children and families to gather.
Weekly, thousands of children are playing on those playgrounds. We have found that building the parks is making a huge difference in those communities. They are gathering places for families to come together where relationships are built. It is there where you feel the heartbeat of what’s going on in the surrounding villages. You hear of children that are going to be sold and then our partners can intervene. Our heart is to make a difference, one life at a time.
Let the Children Dream!
As you read this update I am once again in Poi Pet, Cambodia laying the ground work for what will be our 4th Dreamer’s Park. We will be working with Freedom Promise who sponsors a school called Bridge of Hope. Over 150 children are enrolled in the school and hundreds of children from the local community play daily at their compound. It is a prime place to build another playground that will have an impact on the lives of hundreds of children.
The project budget for building Dreamer’s Park is $25,000. The budget includes everything needed to build the park. Local wood will be used and we will bring from USA all the materials need to build a strong, safe structure that will last for years to come. We will also be putting together a team of people that will help us build Dreamers Park. We will be posting trip information in a couple of weeks. We hope you will pray about being a part of this team. We will also have opportunities to do outreaches and serve in the target communities.
I am so excited about the future Compassion Acts has to make a difference in being a voice of Justice in the world. Please pray for God’s provision for this project. Also pray for the team of people needed to complete this project. If you, your business, or your church would like to give in order for us build another Dreamers Park playground you can go to www.compassionacts.com and give securely online or you can mail in your support to Compassion Acts, P. O. Box 1653, Franklin, TN 37065. If you would be interested in going as a team member, you can request a information packet by sending a email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much for all you prayers and support. We are honored to serve Jesus and the body of Christ. Compassion is not just an emotion, it is an emotion that triggers an action. Let’s make a difference together.
Working Together to Do Good!
International Director of Compassion Acts