Stories of Love Extended
Isn't it thrilling to see and hear how God is at work around the world? We are excited to be able to share with you some stories from our fields revealing how God is at work in and through the ministries conducted on behalf of FAIR around the world.
In early March 2017, FAIR Director Dan Shurr attended a prayer meeting with partner organization International Justice Mission (IJM). At this meeting, a young woman from the Philippines, named Cassie shared her story. She spoke of how at the age of 12 she was tricked into cybersex trafficking. She was lured by the promise of an education and a better life, but quickly found out the price that was expected in exchange. As time went on the life she was forced to live deeply affected her, causing her to live in terror and without hope.
The abuse finally ended when she was rescued by police; alerted to the situation by her older sister. Cassie, now 19, was able to get the counseling and care she needed through a shelter for girls rescued out of situations just like hers. She now lives a life full of God’s glory and although she’s still healing, she shares her story of victory. All this is made possible by the work of IJM to support and train those who are responsible for rescuing and counseling the children, and those who apprehend and prosecute the perpetrators.
On May 9, 2017, the Associated Press (AP) published a story about the apprehension of one of these cybersex perpetrators (click HERE for the full article). The reality of what they found at his two-bedroom townhouse takes your breath away. AP is calling this “one of the largest seizures of its kind in the Philippines”, bringing hope that others like this perpetrator will continue to be found out and brought to justice.
The hard truth is that there are so many children just like Cassie who continue to be forced into a life of cybersex trafficking and hopelessness. As IJM seeks to rescue these children, the need for safe places for aftercare is overwhelming.
FAIR’s Winter Special appeal Rebuilding Innocence focused on raising funds to support this need for survivor aftercare in partnership with IJM. Funds will go towards starting a foster care program which would help see to the specific and complex needs of children rescued from cybersex trafficking in the Philippines. We are so thankful for the generous support that has already been received for Rebuilding Innocence – we’re already over halfway to fulfilling our goal of $120,000!
It is our fervent prayer that through this project, these children in need of restoration after rescue would find loving homes and healing. Our heart’s desire is that we would hear many more stories of victory like Cassie’s as cybersex trafficking comes to an end.
To learn more about Rebuilding Innocence, watch the appeal video or to donate you can visit www.fellowship.ca/RebuildingInnocence
Fellowship International missionary, Melodie Francis, shares the story of one of the girls who has benefited from the street kids ministry in Honduras that FAIR has partnered with for over a decade:
“Gladys* was just a little girl, when she and her sister were rescued by Casa Hogar - Vida y Libertad. Her mother had asked for help for both of them as they were living in a gang-controlled neighbourhood; one of the most dangerous places in Honduras. They lived in a precarious setting, and were at a high risk of being victims of gang violence and everything else that involves two young girls in their situation in San Pedro Sula.
“Gladys started grade one at Casa Hogar and lived with us until she graduated from high school. While she was growing up at the home, her mother sunk deeper into a lifestyle that would put her girls at risk, so the possibility of family reunification wasn't possible. During her stay at the home, Gladys came to know Christ and developed a personal relationship with Him. She began a journey of healing and purpose. Gladys graduated from her high school with the highest grade point average a distinction that earned her a scholarship at a private university. However, because she did not want to leave her sister, she and her sister moved to Tegucigalpa (the capital of Honduras) where they could live together and support one another. Gladys began her studies in accounting at the National University all the while maintaining a strong relationship with her roots in Casa Hogar.
“On April 1st, we were immensely honoured to attend her graduation in Tegucigalpa where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting. She has been able to do an internship in an international accounting firm and is now looking to pursue a Masters in Accounting. She has the desire to be professionally successful so that she can help others in her country, just as she was helped years ago.
“We are so grateful for the support of her sponsors, who prayed and helped financially so that she would be able to achieve this goal. Through FAIR's constant support, our children are able to access good education and set attainable goals for their future. As we strive to meet the children's basic spiritual and physical needs, it is also one of our greatest challenges to prepare them to be independent, responsible, honest adults.”
*name has been changed for privacy reasons