4 Steps Forward

Changing their own lives.  Working to change a sex-trafficking culture.  In this quick video we give a glimpse of the first steps forward to enter honorable work.  All for the well-being of their families and communities. Catch this short video and see a sample of what we do.

Poverty to sustained income.  Slavery to Freedom. Lost to the Truth.

If you support our work, this is a grand day with a big step and you are helping it happen.  If you are not yet a supporter, please consider joining the team with your sustaining support.  Click here for tax deductible giving.

Who’s teaching whom?

Today I told those 8 eager faces (my Cambodian teachers) that we were going to study the ខួរក្បាល (in English this means brain).  Four times a week I tuk tuk out to a local village to lend my love and support to 8 elementary teachers who range from ages 16-27 and minister to 145 students 3-year-old until 2nd grade.   Two are currently in Cambodian university, 2 have not completed high school and ALL have no teacher training.   This has been my most daunting task since arriving in Phnom Penh almost 3 years ago.  While this is my fourth round of teaching at schools, it never gets easier.  As I first walk onto their school sites, most have NOTHING!  Few supplies, cramped spaces, untrained personnel, very little English, but one thing I have consistently seen in all 4 schools I have worked in:  A RADICAL LOVE FOR JESUS AND CHILDREN!  This passion brings me to my knees every time as they pour out their untrained hearts (both in educational models and Biblical understanding) in changing the landscape for Cambodian children.  

In this, they are my heroes.  They teach me.  

To encourage educational growth and stimulation, I taught my teachers this…

1. Teachers need to help their students by stimulating brain growth (I called it “exercising their brains”).   Children need to exercise their brains to boost cognitive performance, memory and thinking.  Just as I said these things, a lightbulb went on over my head.  

Duh!  This applies to my 62-year-old self.  You try learning a new language at 60.  You try navigating impossible traffic in Cambodia. You try driving a moto for the first time.  You try teaching teachers with absolutely nothing but what I create.  You try teaching Biblical applications to non-Bible readers.  After “liberation” day from the Khmer Rouge in 1979, there were only a few hundred Christians left and 3 pastors!  The whole Bible was not translated into Khmer until 1954, thus Biblical illiteracy is widely evident.   Most don’t own a Bible!  Yet, the few stories they know, they teach.  They pray.  They fast.  They attend church faithfully.  They worship.  

These are my heroes.  They teach me.  

2.  Teachers need to help their students by creating new and exciting challenges for them.  (Instead of doing things the same old way, change it up!  Get creative!)  Hmmmm….

Duh!  Again, this applies to my 62-year-old self.  When God saw in His good mercy to give us a passion for human trafficking, he gave us a whole new work.  In 40 years of marriage, we have had many exciting new experiences:  parenthood, marriage ministry, adoption, 10 moves).  But who gets a new call to go half way around the world at 60 to fight the atrocity of child sex trafficking in Cambodia?   He knew what we needed.  What a challenge! We pray daily for creativity in reaching the lost here and rescuing and restoring as many children as possible.   As I watch these precious teachers really try to be creative and change it up, I am challenged as well.  

These are my heroes.  They teach me.  

In this season of giving, if you would like to contribute a teaching item to our precious school, please click on the following Amazon Wishlist link and choose an item:  

If you would like to support the ongoing work we do in Asia and America to fight trafficking of children, we would be honored to have your support.  Tax-deductible Donation here.

Christmas shopping that changes lives

 

 

 

 

Our market partner, Made27 is proud to announce our new line of wrapped bracelets.

These beauties measure almost a meter long and wrap five times. At $35 these make an excellent gift.

What a pleasure to work with these Asian Artisian’s who work towards a better life for themselves while sharing the gospel in their communities.  Your purchase changes their lives.

The pressures that lead to human trafficking mount quickly when education is poor and jobs don’t exist.  Selling one child to feed the rest is an atrocity but becomes understandable on a level of desperation only understood by those who live it.

 

Your purchases support their work to change their lives and regain a future.

To purchase visit Made27.com!

 

For information incurablefanatics.org

Helping folks help themselves works!

Helping folks help themselves works!

Tha’s why we do it.

Subject: To our supporters & friends

As supporters and interested groups, you deserve to know about our work and our projects. We remain focused on programs and communities actively engaged or highly prone to child trafficking.  Prevention, Recovery and Rehabilitation remain our primary driving purposes because we believe human trafficking is more than a social cause, we believe it is a Gospel cause.

Please, allow me a quick summary of how our mission works. We are decidedly Evangelical and SBC grounded and work largely with similarly aligned and planted Cambodian church leaders. Our visas are thru a locally organized NGO. Being a local based NGO we have great latitude and less government interference. This is a joy to us. While many other groups are facing increasing government interference, we are not. So, we take advantage of this opportunity and open door while it is still open.

We do not “fund” ongoing work. We have no employees. We have no buildings. We work into communities thru the local church and local Christian leaders. The “work” is theirs to own and we simply mentor. For example, many NGOs have opened schools, have large staff commitments and building upkeep (and now more government interference). We mentor local people to become the teachers in their own schools. We teach teachers. On the business side, many NGOs have opened workshops and small factories and employ workers which now results in significant overhead and more recently, government interference. We instead, mentor entrepreneurs who own and operate their own businesses and we help them commercialize their product outside their village, and outside their country.  Products based on materials they can source and labor they can hire from their village.

We believe this presents a sustainable model. Marketplace Missions is a term now being tossed around as a model that fits third world missions. We have been at it for over 3 years. We believe it works.

Therefore, our budget is small and primarily involves our support on the field and travel to conduct our work. Our Advisory Board approved budget is about $70,000 per year for everything: Ministry materials, living allowance, insurance, vehicle rental/maintenance/fuel, travel, government documents (visa, permits, drivers license, taxes), phones, internet, and ongoing language training/assistance.

These are our current in country needs:

* Media. Development of a series of short video clips and interviews with victims/ at- risk workers telling their story of recovery, reintegration, and the power of the Gospel in changing their lives. Also cultural context video for “B” roll
* ESL training. Participate in ESL training both as “Train the teacher” and in actual evening classrooms in churches. Specifically methods of instruction for teachers and phonics in classrooms
* Graphic design training. Making fliers, promotional handbills, etc several enterprises we are developing involve the sale of local services such as travel/tour operators. Design of promotional materials is rather rudimentary. Printing is cheap here but design is challenging.
* Teacher workshops. Instructional methods in a classroom. Teachers here rarely have a solid educational background themselves. Private schools are financially out of reach for most people and government schools are poor. We assist villages in training locals by weekly training classes and holding centralized multi day conferences in the city.
* Sewing. Simple pattern use and design for beginners and intermediate
* Jewelry design. Simple Pinterest styles and YouTube styles of cord and beads. Training also for what designs are more desirable in US markets.
* Financial planning. Home budgeting and small business budgeting. As income develops there is very little thought beyond spend. Savings is a foreign concept and debt becomes a trap as it becomes available.

In US needs
*. Continue brand awareness for Made27 and develop retail placements for items made in village development programs.
*. Bring together a network of churches recognizing and willing (dare I say desiring) to enhance awareness in the US of this issue not merely as a social issue but more importantly as a Gospel issue.

Seems like a bunch of stuff. I hope this continues to be a fit. If you know a group interested in working with us in any of these areas, please help connect us with them.

Interested? Engage   If you already support us with donations that support this work ongoing, we express our deep appreciation.  If you have not yet joined us with a donation, please, as you are able, donate here. 

free27.org

made27.com

McIntyre Law joins the cause

We appreciate our business partners who engage to fight this battle.  This is a solid law firm with a commitment to help everyday folks. Thank you McIntyre Law for putting your significant influence into ending moder day sex slavery – wherever it occurs.

Are you a business owner?  Join the fight to end human trafficking and show your customers/clients/community you have engaged in this cause.

9 states 17 different beds 32 presentations and One True God

Two weeks before heading back to the US for a 3-month furlough, I received the diagnosis of a needed total hip replacement.  Unable to change hundreds of details: flights, plans, graduations, meetings, and events I limped with pain through the past 3 months.

We call it the Livingston US Bed tour.

This is how strongly we feel the US needs to hear about the atrocity of child sex trafficking around the world.

We visited 9 different states and dozens of churches where we met amazing people of God and churches who were unaware of this thing called human trafficking.  Oh, they’d heard of it but felt helpless to do anything about it.

We slept in 17 different beds:  good ones, bad ones, lumpy ones, cold ones, opulent ones.  Nothing like the humbling experience of waking up night after night wondering “where am I” or “which way is the bathroom”?

We conducted 32 human trafficking awareness events where we were able to share the Gospel through our work in Cambodia and how God is sustaining us through His Word by His Spirit.  We’ve met in churches, living rooms, kitchens, coffee shops, auditoriums, offices and restaurants.

“And Jesus went out…”

I cannot tell you how many people jokingly say to us, “Wow you’re on a 3-month vacation!”  I wish.

Yes, we got to spend time with our families.  We attended a son’s graduation, moved two of our now adult children to new jobs, visited with Mom, celebrated 8 family birthdays and anniversaries (something we do not get to do when living overseas), had our annual trek to Siesta Key, ate so many good meals our guts are longing for Cambodia and worshiped many times in our own language.

But we are in the US for the Kingdom of God on Earth not our earthy pleasures.

We desperately long for Jesus to be known in every heart.
We desperately long for the end of human trafficking.
We desperately long for children to be protected and cherished.
We desperately long for women to be valued as God created them.
We desperately long for traffickers to repent of their wicked ways.
We desperately long for governments to protect the innocent.
We desperately long for the church to rise up and set the captives free.
We desperately long for the return of the King…

“For in just a very while, ‘He who is coming will come and will not delay’”.  (Hebrews 10:37)

And so we return to our beloved Cambodia on August 1 and again return to fight the fight.

And get a new hip.  Pray for me 😊

FREE27.org

FREE27.0rg

What does it mean?

There are an estimated 27 million people trapped in modern day slavery, some estimates are as high as 40 million. Who can know the real number? Even at the low end of 27 million, this is higher than at any time in the history of man. This is incredible. This is incredulous. How can this be in a day with more education, more technology, more “enlightened” thinking?

It is happening because so few people are moved to act. There are many who gasp, cry and shrink away not wanting to imagine the life of a modern day slave but few are willing to find their own path to ACT. Please be among those who ACT.

FREE27.ORG is a gateway for those who want to support the work of Modern Day Abolitionists, Pete & Debbie Livingston and their work in Asia and the US to create opportunities for victims to get out and for others to help. Your tax deductible donation | DONATE HERE | through the 501(c)3 organization, IOM (International Outreach Ministries) will go right to work in educational programs that are transforming high risk communities and vocational opportunities for those who desire an honorable life. If there are not opportunities on the recovery side of escape to gain education and honorable employment then escape only means starvation and certain death or re-entry in the “care” of trafficking handlers.

An amazing 80% of the victims are women and 50% children, yes, children. Those least capable of helping themselves are those most vulnerable and those that we, INCURABLE FANATICS seek your support to help.

We are pleased to have McIntyre Law engage with us in his battle.  They count freedom as a cause worth their commitment.  Contact McIntyre Law for your legal representation.  They are great folks.

This can be ended. Don’t turn away. Find your way to act. Engage locally and worldwide.
1. Search the internet for human trafficking organizations in your city and state.

2. Offer support through your church or business. Become a place of hope for those who need just a glimmer.

3. Today, you can DONATE through this portal and begin your involvement.
Cry for a moment, engage for a life!

I’m not your boss, your banker or your boy……..

“I am not your boss your banker or your ‘boy” but I am your brother and I am here to help you change your world; to make a safe place for your family, gain an education for your children and an honorable income from your work. Together, we will change this world.”

These are some of the world changing young leaders that are empowered through our donors.

This is how I begin each of my sessions with the wonderful people I get to work with in Asia who desire to change the circumstances of poverty and illiteracy that hinder their ability to provide for themselves and in the process we uncover what the Gospel teaches about the sanctity of life so that with the education and with the honorable job they stop trafficking of children into sex slavery. They begin to make freedom choices in their own communities. Acknowledging that man is made in the image of God is a major step and perhaps the most permanent step for a trafficking culture to recognize and accept.

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’  Genesis 1:26 ESV”

Now going on three years engaged in the work in Asia, we find some very distinct expectations from the people we are called to engage:

  1.  They expect that Americans (and any foreigners) will come in and insist on being the boss.  After all, they are bringing the money and “expertise” and call it “their work”.  The people have come to expect that we will be their boss and they will just be workers or at best middle managers with very little authority.
  2. They expect we will become the bankroll to do whatever work is undertaken.  Foreigners are wealthy (by comparison this is correct) and if they come all this way they must be rich and willing to pay for whatever needs to be done.
  3. If a national can find a patron, someone who will bankroll the native persons own ideas, they often expect that we will just do as they wish and send short-term teams who drop goods, money and take lots of pictures but really have low expectations and very little accountability.
  4. There is a however a growing group of national young leaders who desire something much different.  They desire responsibility and accountability.  They also want someone to walk with them as an equal, not a boss, not a banker, not a “boy” but a brother.  This is what we find so engaging, effective and powerful.  This is what our supporters empower us to do.

The longer I am engaged in the battle to end modern day slavery, the more I see exactly the same pressures in our American culture and exactly the same tragic child trafficking results.  Weak families, poor education, very limited job opportunities and a disregard for the sanctity of life lead to the same end results in first world countries as we see in third world countries.  It is real.  It is real bad.  It is really wrong and it is really changeable.

An entry level item from a village fighting to end the atrocity of trafficking in their own community

We are stateside right now selling goods made in our village work programs.  Villages where planted churches, previously marginalized in Buddhist communities are now gaining influence as they assist their own friends and family in education, economic opportunity and knowing the Good News of the Gospel.

If you are a supporter, we cannot express to you the depth of our appreciation and the significance of your support.  If you are a supporter, our effort is your effort; we are teamed together in this work.  Share the stories.  Create awareness.  When you hear the tragic stories, cry for a moment then fightback for a lifetime.

~Take ACTION~
Buy victim made goods:  Made27.com
Donate to the work:  free27.org
Follow the stories:  incurablefanatics.org
Sign up for the blog and encourage your friends join you.
Host an Awareness Event in your church, small group, school or business. (Contact madetwentyseven@gmail.com)

Eyes of Hope

It is the new world-wide drug.  Easily accessible.  No cost to the seller. No needles or flames.  Find a supplier, use and walk away.  Child sex trafficking is the new drug spreading around the world.

21st century life destroying drug

Light morning reading – huh?  Frankly, I’d rather not write about it.  I’d like to say it was eradicated overnight by some big police dragnet, a highly focused simultaneously planned drone attack.  Or maybe some Special Ops Team can be dropped in on all the dens of abuse for a one world-wide conquest.

Not going to happen that way and we all know it.

For a family starving to death even while working 12 hours 7 seven days a week and not earning enough to buy food and pay rent.  The choices are few.

For a family who cannot pay their small rent in a small storage locker sized room after buying just a small amount of rice for a single daily meal, paying for education to get a better life is a pipe dream.

For a family living in a world where the value of a human life is measured by its ability to provide income then letting old folks die and selling children is logical.

Then along comes the Gospel.  Knowing that God created the heavens and the Earth and mankind is his special creation the families have their world turned upside down and often become outcasts within their own community. Options become even fewer.

In adult eyes I frequently see hopelessness.  But in the eyes of children, those not yet trapped and abused or those believing we will help them escape – there I see hope.  There I see a willingness to believe that there is a God who saves.  Saves for eternity and provides hope for tomorrow.

Child at risk

In the eyes of the young I see a desire to change their world and the future for their own children. That is why we are here.  Here fighting for strong education and honorable income opportunities and to show the Gospel is full of hope.  Hope for eternity and hope for today.

And that is why we need your help.  We can only do this if individuals, churches, businesses and communities help us be here to fight back.  Please pray for us and please consider spreading the word that you are a donor to Incurable Fanatics.

Host a Human Trafficking Event:  contact Madetwentyseven@gmail.com for info

Buy victim made goods for your school fund raiser:  www.made27.com

Join the battle!  Engage today. Cry for a moment, engage for a life.

Reflecting

When Debbie and I determined to enter the battle of child sex trafficking I had one over-riding fear. An ambivalence to the atrocity because of our daily exposure to it in the context where it is so open and acceptable. As we were showing some new arrivals around the city several weeks ago I saw a man, 60ish, holding tightly to a young Khmer girl in the back of a Tuk Tuk driving down a Main Street in the busyness of the day. It was “normal”.  Except it’s NOT!

TearIt seemed obvious to me that the little girl’s face showed signs of insecurity and even perhaps fear. She shared no glances with the man as though he was a “grandfather” or someone familiar. They were racially dissimilar.  Nothing suggested the situation was comfortable.

The heat is our constant companion as are the smells and dust. We have grown accustomed to these sometimes not even noticing (well, we do notice the dirtiness that seems to cling to us each day).  But we have not grown hard to the plight of slavery and child sex slavery. It is still a repulsive atrocity that continues to gain ground in a world that has not seen the sanctity of a human life and the value of each person to a holy God who formed each one. These are lives! They have futures. They have dreams. But I assure you, that little girl, if my sighting was accurate, has never dreamed of the atrocity she was about to encounter. The future that her perpetrator might bring upon her.

Here, it is open and in public view. In the western world like the US, the Tuk Tuk is replaced with websites and seedy handlers who move people around wherever there is a hot market for young children as sex slaves.

This is a modern day atrocity. This is our generation’s battle to fight. Get in it to end it!

Help enable us here and in the US by engaging with an Awareness Event in your community. Contact Madetwentyseven@gmail.com for scheduling.

Make a personal or business donation to enable us to keep fighting and continue raising the awareness about this battle. Donate Here (Engage).

If you are already a supporter, the victories are your’s too. Tell a friend, share this blog, encourage others to engage as you have. Shops Made27.com for victim made goods that give honorable work and income to those lifting themselves from the world that has surrounded them with hopelessness. Your gift, your purchases, these bring hope.

Yes, we are in it to end it!  How about you?