The Complete Guide to Coming Home

Oh, you’re going back to America for a holiday huh? Kinda, sorta.

While we do get to visit briefly with our precious family, but t’s a work trip: fundraising, human trafficking awareness events, donor functions and church visits. It’s exhausting…

Here’s what it takes to”COME HOME” from the mission field..

*Make airplane reservations six months in advance: Seoul, Taipei,Gangzhou, Bangkok, Hong Kong which way to go?
*Acquire housing, transportation and meals for all the six locations you will be living in.
*Wife gets out suitcases and begins to pack one month in advance.
*Wife gets out husband’s suitcase day before the flight and he still hasn’t packed 6 hours before flight time.
*Go to nine different local Cambodian pharmacies to acquire all necessary “just in case” medications.
*Crack a tooth 2 days before you leave and have to get it repaired where?
*Travel to far off remote small strip mall to find your airline to choose your seat assignment.
*Because you’re coming home for six weeks you have to pay your rent and electricity two months in advance so..
*Go to an ATM machine every day for two weeks to get enough cash because the limit here is so small.
*Fill out countless forms because your visa expires when you get back.
*Fill out those same countless forms again because your drivers license will expire before you get back.
*Purchase 24 passport photos and 12 thumbprints later you may or may not get your visa or drivers license.
*Have long sad tearful temporary goodbyes to all your Cambodian friends and coworkers (miss them already).
*Fill an entire suitcase of Made27 artisian products, coconut balls for gifts, countless scarves, and birthday and wrapped Christmas presents for the rest of the year for all family members.
*Completely empty and clean out refrigerator in case the power goes off while you’re gone.
*Wrap or put in plastic tubs any food products left in your cupboard so the ants don’t take over.
*Clean apartment top to bottom, strip all the beds, clean mosquito netting.
*Put mothballs in all closets and drawers where clothing is kept.
*Bug bomb the whole place before you leave.
*Give your 22 plants to your friend so they can water while you’re gone.
*Pray your moto is still here when you return.
*You experience 3 different currencies on the route home- make sure you have enough?
*Try to remember what time zone you’re in?
*Deep breathing as you ponder the 30 hour flight and swollen ankles- pack compression socks.
*Pack 19.9999999 kilos in each suitcase (20K max) see photo yeah!
*Don’t forget your old 110v curling iron you use once a year in the states.
*Pack an entire bag of phone cords, outlet adaptors, car jacks, battery packs, kindle chargers, iPad chargers, computer chargers, small speaker.
*Notice you need a whole new wardrobe after living in SE Asia 4 years- it’s all falling apart after being cleaned and air dried outside in the sun.
*Disconnect internet, swap out Cambodian SIM card, remember to go on airplane mode, buy a $1 phone scratch card to have minutes on your phone when you return in the middle of the night and need to book an Uber.
*Quick mani pedi ($12 here) with your sweet expat friend you’ll miss.
*Remember to say “thank you” in English instead of “សូមអរគុណច្រើន” in Khmer.
*Oops – last-minute T-shirt order came in for Made27 for 440 shirts! *Again have to go to three different ATMs to get enough funds to cover the T-shirts. By the way did you know our human trafficking survivors can make your company or church T-shirts?
*Your 80-year-old mother again reminds you she’s counting the minutes until you are “safe” on US soil again.
*Have beef lok lak, sour soup and fresh coconut juice one more time.
*But can’t wait for chips and salsa, diet Dr Pepper, Tommy’s Pizza, Captain Curt’s and red Twizzlers!

And it is worth every step. Hello family and friends!

Hitting “Reset”

Pete & Debbie Livingston

Hitting reset.  Then what?  It is what we get to do.  Human trafficking does not simply end with “reset”.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”  (Matthew‬ ‭28:19 ESV‬‬)

I have come to realize that in many places where we send people to “go and tell and make disciples”, where we work now thanks to a slew of supporters, the hearers need a lot of mentoring to shift from being hearers to being trusters and doers.

This step is not automatic. Nurturing and mentoring is needed.  Is this not the role of believers and the church to new believers?   What if the church has little generational depth in believing and following?  This is where the missionary who is sent steps in.  Encouragers who help new believers hit “reset” in their lives.

I have learned that when you teach someone to hit the “reset” button they will need to know the hows and be mentored in the new way as it unfolds.  There is no familiar path and very few to follow or lead the way.

“…. teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”   ‭‭(Matthew‬ ‭28:20‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

Hitting “reset” in American culture affords many opportunities through churches, small groups, para church groups and multiple resources for the new believer to become  trusters and doers.

Hitting “reset” in a foreign culture does not often afford the same support groups and materials.  Except when there are “senders, supporters and goers” who can become the resources for the new start.

Our focus is those lost, trapped and often unseen in the world of human trafficking.   When they decide they want to to reset their lives the things they must shed are often dark, heavy and so discouraging that hitting reset will only begin a loop back in a very short time.  Sustaining the reset takes mentors.

That is what we get to do.   Set the captives free and walk with them in “reset mode”.

We say thank you to our senders, supporters who make it possible for us to be goers and mentors.

We pray 2018 will bring Good News to those around you. Help someone hit “reset” in their life.

If you are interested in helping to end modern human trafficking, we would love to have you on our support team.  Visit our donor page at Click  here  

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 for info

Buy victim made goods for your school fund raiser:

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


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 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 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?

Make a difference with what you wear?

Is what you wear more than just a garment?

There is more to what you wear than just how you look.  The garments you wear have a story to tell.  The story of the garments you buy includes the story of the life of those who make them.  Many, are trafficking victims.  We are in a fight to end it.  We see many lives changing.  The garments we sell are the handiwork of victims of human trafficking, often a recovering sex trafficking victim.  Your purchase is a piece of their rescue.

human-trafficking2Debbie and I are engaged in a cause focused effort seeking to provide hope and restoration to those victims of trafficking.  We engage in education initiatives, job training for victims so that they can overcome their past and move into a hopeful future. A future they could not imagine without help.  The garments made in one of our village development enterprises is made by the hands of a victim who is being assisted in ending a life of abuse that surrounds them.  Your garment gives them hope for better tomorrows.  Your garment is a piece of restoration.

SilversmithWe are now working with village craftsmen making garments, beautiful hand crafted jewelry, and items native to their community.  We then work to develop export opportunities so that the profit they make provides a sustainable, non-weather dependent income.   Your garment is a piece of reintegration.

Parents who once trafficked a child into brothels and KTVs (night clubs with “girls available”) in order to feed a family now have hope and KTV signmeans to feed, educate and care for their children without the atrocity of sex-trafficking.  The wage they earn, the opportunities we offer, fill the void that once seemed impossible without engaging in the tragedy of trafficking.  Your garments are a piece of prevention.

What you wear is really much more than just how it makes you look.  You are changing lives when you purchase fair trade items for yourself and as gifts.  The story spreads with each item purchased.  Your garments are a part of a cause to end this atrocity.

To purchase limited edition fair trade items from our enterprises, visit or on Facebook, @made27.

For more information our visit website, or on Facebook: @sendhelpincurablefanatics.  We are Incurable Fanatics in this cause.  We are a donor supported operation.  You can support our work directly by going to the website and selecting ENGAGE to make your tax deductible donation. Donate if and when you can.

Thank you for being a part of changing lives.  We hope to hear what you are wearing.

One Life, One Village at a time.

There is a certain glitter and sparkle in the eyes of child when they look up to their mommy’s eyes. This gaze acts like a magnet drawing them together for the great celebrations of joy in life and through the most tragic of circumstances. Moms and their kids can connect without words. It only takes a look, a meeting of the eyes and all that needs to be said is said.

traffickedOr, so it should be. Increasingly in the world today it does not work that way.

Slavery is outlawed in every country in the world, and yet it exists widely. There remain enormous, almost unbelievable, numbers of individuals trapped in slavery. The most commonly accepted estimate is 27 million people worldwide RIGHT NOW serving in some capacity by threat of force, drugs, starvation, harm to family and other means of coercion. This figure is staggering.

80% of all slaves are sex slaves, 50% are children, many not even yet teenagers. It is possible to get lost in the magnitude of the atrocity and wonder if fighting back can make a difference. Not only can it make a difference, it is!

We have engaged in work where the sparkle is gone from the eyes of many. We have emersed ourselves in a place where mommy has frequently been a dangerous person. Where mom and dad are sometimes the most vile people in a child’s life.

SilversmithTogether we are doing more than rescue kids and more than prosecute traffickers. Together we are entering villages and educating the children for the future. We are establishing micro-businesses that provide positive economic opportunities. We train the next generation of teachers and community leaders. We work alongside the local church to see that the Gospel permeates village life.

Together, we are seeing change. Together, we are making a difference. Together, we are ending the atrocity of sex trafficking one community at a time. You may have a part in all of this.

We want you to pray for this endeavor and if you can, support the work through the SENDHELP! Funding Campaign. Also, by purchasing survivor/ at-risk worker created products at

For more information on the work, corporate sponsorship or tax-deductible donations please visit Or contact us: or

We can help you prepare your community, school, business and church be a positive impact for fighting back where you live. Contact to begin an Awareness Campaign in your area.

Connect – change lives


imageOur job is to do all things we can to end the trafficking of humans.  This is a crime we can all find a way to fight but we must fight it together.  Jobs change economic conditions, education changes opportunities but it is the Gospel that changes hearts.  These three need to be brought together to bring lasting change.  That is what we endeavor to do – in Asia, in America.  Through Awareness events and the sale of victim-made goods. Through on the field work with families at risk.

We hope you will read below and see how lives are joining in the battle. We pray you find your role in fighting in this cause. We hope you will consider supporting our work and sharing our partnership with your friends.

As awareness of child trafficking grows and as the Lord sets people free wherever and however they connect.  We share notes of our work enabled through your support.  This is from a person who attended a recent event.  Blessings abound!

“Hi Debbie, I heard you & Pete speak on Friday night and I wanted to send you this picture & a message to pass along. I love this beautiful bracelet, but more importantly, what a blessing to pray for the beautiful lady that made it. Her name is known not only to our Father, but also halfway around the world to another woman whose shame has been undone & redeemed in His presence. Thank you again for sharing! Enjoy your time with family.”

imageJoin us in Florida, Oklahoma, Missouri, Ohio and California as we continue to share the stories of freedom that come from the work of the Gospel in the lives of people who have been abused and trafficked but are now being restored.  (Contact us for dates and locations)

What joy will fill your soul as you become a part of new beginnings in lives of otherwise forgotten people.

Please engage with us.  If you are a donor, thank you so much.  If you are not yet, please prayerfully consider joining as supporters in the battle.

And please, share this post.

Donate here when you can.

Sok’s new life.

What is the life situation that results in someone being sold by their own family into slavery?  Are modern day slaves people who have chosen a fringe life and then get stuck there?  Have you thought much about modern day slavery? How does someone get trapped?  What does it take to get out?  How does someone in a sex slave environment climb out and reach a point where they can reach back and help others?  It’s happening and we are engaged in the battle to see that it happens more. Let me introduce you to my friend Sok (not actual name).

As an orphan child, he was cared for by his already impoverished aunt who had children of her own – two girls slightly older than Sok.  Poverty and no education were circumstances his aunty could not overcome by usual means.  She was poor, very poor.  In their village the schools required students to pay each day they entered the classroom.  No money – very harsh treatment from the teacher and no school that day.  There was never money for school.  The waters were low in the rivers and fish ponds and the heat was intense so there were no fish too eat.  The same drought conditions caused rice paddies to go dry and there were no rice planting jobs to earn a meager living. So there would be no harvest – no food. They would go hungry.  The animals were starving and could find no water either.  Conditions were bleak.  But this was what every year’s dry season was like.  Always, six sometimes seven months there was no rain.

In order to survive, Sok went to a pagoda and began training to be a monk.  He was there more than 10 years.  Monks could go door to door and even the most starving household would have to give them food even if onKTV signly a morsel.  But it was more than what was at home and it reduced the burden on his aunty.

Remember the two girls, Sok’s cousins?  Things finally got very desperate and without food aunty encouraged the girls to go to a local KTV (local karaoke/night club) where they could earn some money if they sold themselves to men who for a few dollars could touch them at will, for a few more dollars could hold them and touch them any way they desired and for a few dollars more…………  Every day. Continue reading

Learning a new language at 60- What was I thinking?

Sell everything and move to Cambodia.  No prob.  Say goodbye to family, church and friends.  Not easy!  Take on the issue of sex trafficking in a rural Khmer village the former epicenter of all child trafficking in the world.  Okay, it’s getting harder now.  Learn a completely new
language at 60?  OH.MY.WORD.words photo

When I contemplated the exotic notion of the mission field at 60, dreams of grandeur settled in.  Notions of lengthy, complex theological discussions were my goals with my new Cambodian friends.  I would wax eloquent with perfect intonations and excellent grammar.  Oy.

Honestly, most days my conversations go like this:

Me:  I go work Svay Pak.

Tuk tuk driver:  blank stare

Me:  Money?  much how?

Tuk tuk driver:  blank stare and grin

Me:  Comprendo?  (Oops!  wrong language- Parlez-vous Francais?  The only thing I remember from 4 years of high school French)

Tuk driver driver:   Smile (another dumb farang trying to speak Khmer)

I have noticed in my new brain-stretching endeavor there have been 4 stages:

1.  Denial- when our Khmer tutor (God bless the monk patience of Mon Sinet) gave us our first list of 10 vocab words Pete and I looked at each other and said there is no way, Jose!  What?  How?

2.  Reluctant acceptance- After a few months in, it became crucially apparent I needed to know some Khmer just to exist here:  How much is that?  Where is the toilet?  Have Diet Coke?  Coffee  sweet milk please?   I dug into those vocabs list and practice conversations despite every time I tried them they either had no idea what I was saying (Who is the toilet?  Why is the toilet?  How is the toilet?  Okay, Debbie get it right, Where is the toilet? ) or they couldn’t believe actual Khmer was coming out of an old white lady like me.

3.  I will do this!- And so I began to practice and study with a vengeance.  I tried all my new words and phrases on my precious teachers and they lovingly just smiled and corrected me over and over.  Occasionally I would get it all right and they would applaud.  I even started dropping in words, phrases and sentences I had learned and they answered back!  Sweet success!!

4.  Determination- one of my new teachers in training is a 50 year sweet lady who was born and raised during the reign of terror with the Khmer Rouge.  She painfully remembers no books, no schools, no glasses, no teachers, no pastors, again I say no teachers.  To have or be any of these brought a death sentence.  After coming to Christ, she began to look flower photoearnestly for God’s plan for her life.  Speaking no English and having never taught before, she applied for a teaching training position at our school.  Her heart for Christ and passion for kids won her that job.  But how would she work with a bunch of American white folks who speak English and she spoke none?  She started English classes at 50!  She is a daily inspiration to me!
Every day we BOTH muddle through the limited language of the other, yet God allows us to communicate profoundly by loving nods, hugs,  sign language and tokens of newfound friendship.  Not able to afford real flowers, she spent hours and weeks making me a gift of paper flowers.  The beauty is real, the friendship is profound.

Fourteen months in, on our last language test, our tutor proudly pronounced we were no longer language beginners, but now intermediates! Rejoice, Hallelujah, Praise the Lord, the gift of tongues has returned.  LOL.   I pray for the day I can have a long two-way conversation with my teacher and share the awesome things God has done in both our lives.

Preahyesaouv sraleanh anak!  (Jesus love you)


We are 100% donor supported.  If you would like to be a part of our team of donors who keep us engaged in the work to end child sex trafficking and bring restoration and reintegration to victims, please consider a one time gift or monthly support.  All donations are tax deductible.  Donation information is available here.

If you are already a donor, we thank you deeply.  Our stories are also your stories.  Please share them with your friends and invite them to sign up for this blog by entering their email in the box near the top right of this page.  Thank you.

Lesson’s from Grandma’s Kitchen

grandmas_kitchen_signWhen I was a little boy, pre-school age, I used to love to be in the kitchen with my grandma.  We called her “Ouie” but that is another story filled with fun, but not now.  Right now I want to focus on the joy I used to have to be with her in the kitchen.  As I think back, I loved being there with her because when she was in the kitchen it usually meant great treats in the works.  I can actually remember during one of her visits to our home making the decision to not go out and play with the neighborhood kids because Ouie was making her way to the kitchen with a bag that looked like it contained chocolate chips.   I was at least going to investigate before what she was up to before heading outside.  Sure enough, I caught a glimpse of the ingredients coming out of the grocery bag and I quickly forgot the call of the outdoors.

Interesting to me is to think back on what drew me to my grandmothers side.  At that early age, I was not thinking, “wow, this lady loves me.  She has my best interests in mind all the time.”  No, that would have been a level of critical thinking that I just did not have yet.  But, I did think, “wow, this lady loves me.  She makes great stuff that I like.”  At this stage of my life it was all about me.  I did not understand the depth of commitment that compelled Ouie to go to such lengths to demonstrate her love for me.  I just knew she gave me good stuff in a measure that exceeded what my Mom or Dad might let me have.

One day, I remember it oh so well, she was melting some chocolate chips on the stove.  I was at my place sitting on the counter closer to the stove than she had told me to sit and when she lifted the pan from the burnt orange burner on the stove she said, “now don’t touch that, it is HOT!”

Guess what I did next?  I can look at my hand all these years later and still remember well the lightening quick pain that shot through my entire body as my hand came away from that burner with the crescent shape of the rings clearly marked on my little hand.  I have never come close to making that choice again.  I learned “first hand” that stove burners are HOT.

As I ponder this event from my early life I wonder what kept me from being obedient to Ouie who I knew loved me?  Why had I so quickly disobeyed her direct guidance?  Sure, easy to chalk it up to childishness but is that all there is to it?  I think there is more.

You see, I did not understand love at that time.  Not understanding it did not keep me from experiencing it but it did keep me from understanding how it works.  Where it comes from and how it directs my path.  At that stage of life, I thought love was about getting something.  If someone, in this case Ouie, loved me she gave me stuff.  End of love story.

But love is so much deeper than that.  Love is about a commitment that.  If I had been a deep thinking 5 year old, I would have thought, “now why does this woman who loves me want to keep me from touching something so inviting?  What could be her reason for keeping me from something that looks like fun?”  Not me, not at 5 years old.  Ouie told me that because she knew the outcome before the event.  She warned me of the eventuality of touching that hot burner and she cared enough to say “NO.”

God is the same way.  Before I understood love, God was  loving me.  Before I knew the pain of disobedience God was loving me.  Before I knew to ask for forgiveness, I was forgiven.  Scripture tells us in Romans 5:8, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (ESV).

grandmas hugThat brings me back to Ouie.  She is the first example of love that I remember in my life.  God placed her in my life for me to learn about love.  When I touched that hot burner, I learned about love.  The very person who advised me not to touch it was quickly holding me tightly in her arms and working to comfort and care for me.  She did not cast me aside for disobedience.  She did not quickly pull out a ruler to spank me (though that did happen on a number of other occasions).  She knew my pain and that a lesson was being learned but right then, at that moment, what I needed most was love.  And I got it from my Lord through Ouie.

This is a blog about life and work in the field of ending sex-trafficking.  Specifically, this is a blog about our work where we are presently engaged in Cambodia.  So how does that life event fit this cause?

This is a country with very few “Ouies”.  An entire generation of children have been raised up with parents, relatives neighbors and other adults who not only fail to love they failed to protect.  They often have been the inflictors of pain.  The young people here have not had the learning experience of love to even conceptually understand it much less believe there is a God who loves and LOVES THEM.

Let me be careful to avoid misleading.  It is not knowing that activates love but it is knowing that activates understanding.  The fact is God loves me and you even if I don’t know it.  But understanding that has changed my life decisions.  I had many “Ouies” in my life.  They helped me move from knowledge to understanding to action.  That is what witnessing does.

Here, in the world of sex-trafficking, young people don’t see any “Ouies”.

That is why we are here.  That is why missionaries are sent.  Sometimes we spend a lot of time even on the mission field focusing on the rules of faith when we need to focus on the purpose of faith.  We need to help people here and wherever we are – wherever you are – understand that, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16 ESV).

We are in Cambodia, we are in this cause to show the love of Christ to a generation that has few examples.  We are here to help them to be transformed by knowledge to activate understanding so that it becomes action.  So that a new generation will grow up with “Ouies”.

If you support our work here, we are so very grateful.  If you don’t yet support our work, please consider a monthly gift to keep us engaged in this work.  We have been called to this I am certain.  Are you perhaps among those called to send us?

Perhaps your church would find a co-mission by partnering with us with monthly support or even your business might want to be aligned with the work of the Gospel to end sex-trafficking of young people.  Click a link and find out how you can be a part of sending us.

Thank you to all my “Ouies”