Pressing Into Disrupted Lives

When plans are disrupted.  When the ability to plan around those disruptions goes away.  When that inability extends on and on and…….on.

Familiar?  Who isn’t.

So it has been during Covid days (and months and years), but doors are opening again.

On the first of February this year, Debbie and I were able to return to Cambodia for a planned 30 day stay.  Long term visas have remained just beyond our reach but we were able to stay for almost 60 days as we both tested positive for Covid near the end of February.  We experienced very minor symptoms.  We were able to continue working right up to the hours before our departure in late March.

At risk kids.

We were able to get a great picture of the continuing great need for the Gospel in the communities suffering from financial, educational and spiritual poverty.  We are excited that the work we have continued is addressing these three factors head-on and by addressing the first two, folks are more open to the spiritual truth we get to share.  It is beautiful to see transformation.

When these things happen in a community already brittle because the default setting of life is not rooted in the Gospel, a disruption of this magnitude is vast in breadth and depth.   Children are frequently lost in the wake or disruption, “trampled” by those who should care for them.  I am not being dramatic.  This is real.  This is the rolling effect of increased poverty following Covid around the world.

That is where we enter in!

We will return again to our field of work in November.  How long this time?

At this point 30 days is our visa.  Now there are new challenges emerging and new opportunities to help our team of Cambodians change their own community.

We have a full schedule of training and mentoring planned and prepared. The schedule looks daunting but the Lord has given us these days and we find so much joy in seeing the work advance while we encourage, enable and empower these great young leaders.  We will continue to build on a firm foundation.

During this period of being more in the states than in Cambodia, we have found new ways to encourage and train. We meet weekly with our team leaders by Zoom etc., and while this has been effective, it is not the same as face to face.  We need the face to face, arms wrapped around each other kind of encouragement.

If you have been a supporter of IncurableFanatics, we thank you and invite you to join us again.  If you have not previously been in a position to donate to this work, please consider it now.  All donations are tax deductible and so very much appreciated.

Rebuilding our support base is critical to the expansion of this growing work.

If you already support your local church and have it in your heart to do more, please consider a tax deductible donation to Incurable Fanatics.

Uncomfortable with the new normal

Greetings from the heat of SE Texas.   I could be saying SE Asia because the temp and humidity is quite familiar to our life in Cambodia. While the weather conditions are familiar, new normal is not.  For me new normal is is not comfortable.

There is a remarkable tension for us in being grateful to our Lord for new and very meaningful work of church restart/rejuvenation at Westway BC in Huntsville.  I certainly remain humbled at what I see God unfolding in this place and these wonderful people. The tension comes to me as I ponder the enormous difficulty being faced by our teams in Cambodia as they continue in intense poverty brought on by continued Covid related restrictions.  We so long to be at their side day by day to encourage and lift their weary hearts.  It seems so wrong to have the comfort of our homes when our beloved family there frequently goes without food.

Then the tension flips as we see the developing faith of our Cambodian teams, the trust and hope they have in Christ and each other as brothers and sisters in the Lord in spite of their trying conditions.

We love the people in both places.

Daily it seems we search for new alerts that travel might open for us to make a return to Cambodia to be the encouragement our friends so long to experience.  How many times can they say, “we want you to come mom and dad” and we have to say “soon”?

I feel the days passing by.  And Zoom, while we do this nearly weekly with our Cambodian families, is an extremely poor substitute for real touch. They and we long to embrace and move forward with the Gospel spreading plans now delayed since January 2020.

We continue with events and desire to schedule more.   Always well received and helpful when we do them here in the US, they provide both education for those here and a source for selling the goods our teams make in Cambodia and send to us to sell.  For several it has  been significant income over the 18 months.  I believe Cambodia has been set back easily 50 years.  We continue to send financial support needed for subsistence living during Covid restrictions.

The church, not permitted to meet and assemble, is struggling to find underground methodologies. We coach them in the ways adopted in so many places where the church has been underground for generations.

We will go back.   If God will open the door we will go back.  And we will continue our work at Westway as God has given us those people to shepherd.

For your continued interest, prayers, and support, we express our most sincere appreciation.

May we see you soon (in some way other than Zoom). Face to face would be great.

God bless you

Seeing the real message of half-time SB24

Trying to make sense of Super Bowl 54 halftime “entertainment”.

Because of the value of all human life, because of my view of women inspired by God’s Word, because I have worked in human trafficking prevention and recovery and because I have seen the entry doors to brothels with children and young slaves inviting perpetrators of evil to enter in, because I know that these invitations lead to the decay and destruction of dignity, equality, honor, respect and even perceptions of the value of an individuals life; I am appalled by the halftime show of Super Bowl 54.

Last night, for the little I watched, I was peering at the “designed to entice entry to the brothel” value of women and young (very young) girls. I have seen where this goes and it is destructive to life. It certainly debases women and emboldens an objectifying view of all women.

How many men watching in bars, homes and even in their churches last night, were pushed toward lustful thoughts? How many let those thoughts run unchecked?

It hurt my heart to see it elevated as “entertainment”.

Ephesians 5:3 my dear friends is so fitting.

Dads. Next time such a display comes to your TV take your sons and daughters from the room.

Dads. Tell the NFL, and Fox Sports you would not want your daughters on that stage (even if they were paid huge amounts of money – does the dignity of your wife or daughter have a price tag?). You don’t want them aspiring to be stars of openly suggestive behavior. That is well below the design of God for women. And this is happening at a time when there is acute awareness in the US thru #metoo.

Dads, what is your life displaying to your children?

Last night, I had to get up and do dishes. My heart aches for the lost view and value of purity in the world today.

Dads, lead the charge to restore it in your home.

You can join us in this fight by supporting our drive to grow awareness to the pressures resulting in human trafficking and the drive to end it- here, there, anywhere!  DONATE

Reruns, repeats can be great!

Five years ago we set out on a journey to change lives with the Gospel as the essential tool in our tool box and broken education and job environments the workplace that was sending children at a horrendous rate into human trafficking – not by their choice, but as slaves.  It took us two years to gain sufficient context and language understanding to see exactly how God had prepared us to bring transforming opportunities to those affected and to do it so that God is the one who is glorified when the captives are set free.

Now we have seen his transformation take shape.  We have seen local leaders rise up and take charge and bring change.  The joy that surrounds these “change managers” who understand that education and job opportunities alone are only the beginning, that real change only occurs with the Gospel, these are the folks who will change their world.

We are merely their mentors. (Read Isaiah 61)

We are eager to see this movement grow.  But to do it we need financial seed to get more classrooms opened and hopefully new schools started.  Each classroom modestly equipped, staff trained and started.  We have a financial, model now proven, in the first school and want to repeat it to create a dynamic interacting brotherhood of schools all focused on the Gospel.

We have three driving directives:
1.  Glorify God
2.  Teach about God
3.  Witness about God

Each of these gets flooded daily into the staff and student of the school.  It is 8-10 hours a day of discipleship into newly trained teachers who in turn witness into the lives of the local children who also hear and live in the Gospel environment 8-10 hours every day of the week.  Disciples making disciples who witness in their community.

#purpleschool

Here is a picture from the front of Purple School.  It is the first and now clearly demonstrated model of a school established to be self-sustaining and it is growing rapidly both in enrollment and in influence.

Now, we have been offered another site to start another school using the same model.

It takes seed funding to make this happen.  We need deposits, desks, chairs and marker boards.  Supplies and start-up staffing costs.  The model is designed to result in self-sustainability inside of 2 years.  The first school is well ahead of the target.  We have learned a lot.  We have demonstrated a lot.  And the reputation has now resulted in invitations to start new schools in communities where children suffer both financial and educational poverty and therefore are susceptible to human trafficking.  The work we are advancing is a game changer.  The people we work with are community changers.  They are all in with the power of the Gospel.

Consider being a sponsor of this work.  All donations are tax deductible.  DONATE HERE 

Share this link with your friends.  Tell them to join you and get on board.

For short term work projects, contact us.

Ok, I admit it……

I have lost a big piece of my heart.  Hopefully only temporarily.  Or perhaps I have found that a piece of me has been deposited in hundreds of young people whose destiny has been redirected in the work of God for them.

kids love back
Kids love back and they have no idea what could have been.

Oh my!  What could have been that likely for them now will not be.  The future for many of these kids and their families has been diverted by God intervening to establish something for their benefit and long-term growth.

And Debbie and I have had five years to witness and participate in the move.

For a farmer, it is the seed that bares fruit.  It is what is inside the seed that brings forth the crop.  Fertilizer does not yield fruit.  Irrigation does not yield fruit.  Tending to the weeds and chaff does not yield fruit.   Only the seed has the power to yield fruit, the rest is just assistance.  God is bringing forth the fruit!

For us, we have been like the fertilizer or the field tenders who pull out weeds.  Carefully we have instructed, mentored and showed the way to a new generation of “field tenders”; but this next group of farmers are home grown and have risen up from among the people to whom they will now lead.

We will depart Cambodia to assume a different kind of role with these young leaders.  We will still advise but now from a distance.  To truly take hold of the opportunities and conditions of their country, to rise into leadership so that the work becomes self-sustaining and self-perpetuating, we have to step back.

I confess that this is very hard for us.  Not that we lack confidence in those now leading but because we have laid ourselves out without holding back for five years.  The work has consumed and enriched us simultaneously.  We have found new weaknesses in ourselves and new strength in God as we lean into an lay hold of the Truth of his plan.  Stepping back means not seeing daily people we love.  Not soaking in the hugs of children who demonstratively love on us even more than we have loved on them.

The time has come to watch the harvest field grow its own crop.  Time to see those who have been shown how to lead be given the opportunity to lead.

We aren’t disappearing from the work.  We are merely stepping into roles that let those with talent, dedication and now experience assume the roles God has for them.  Leading their own village work and changing their own communities.

We are NOT EXITING the work.  Please stay with us and say what God will do next.  We have one new school site already ready to assemble.  Site selected, now we just need the seed finances to get it moving to self-sustaining and perpetuating.  JOIN us in this next adventure.  DONATE HERE

Stay tuned in for what we are calling the “PURPLE SCHOOL PROJECT”.  Your tax deductible donations will help us repeat the process we have begun.

Don’t hit SNOOZE on this one

Don’t hit snooze on this alarm.

Like many people, I have a snooze button on my alarm clock.  I seldom use it.  Perhaps just once or twice in 10 years.  But I know that when I have hit it, I lay waiting, knowing that it will sound again.

Let me sound an alarm that I hope you will not “snooze” through.

Children are being targeted by human traffickers every minute of every day in the US.  And they are using tools we as parents and grandparents have given them to use.  Smartphones.  The bait of entrapment.

Pay a kid $10 to friend you and then ask all his friends to friend his “new friend”.  Because this second level of “friending” is from a familiar person, kids dive right in.  False profiles, false enticements, kind words, and then…….. the request to meet somewhere seemingly innocent.  Remember, the “target child” thinks they are meeting someone their own age.  From their group of “friends”.  Why not meet up at the mall, the soccer field, a concert (they offer free tickets)?  It all seems so innocent.

But it is not.  It is happening to our kids and grandkids right now and they are too innocent to realize the situation they are strolling into.  Parents.  Dont SNOOZE this one.

Don’t wait to have these discussions.  Don’t wait until a friend goes missing.  Prevent the atrocity.

Help us prevent the atrocity by raising awareness.

Please consider a donation to IncurableFanatics.org.  We cannot fight for you but we can fight with you.

SeeSomethingDoSomething

Increasingly in the US we see signs of human trafficking.  Don’t be surprised!  It is a highly profitable business and there are many young girls and boys easily entrapped then enslaved for a period of profitability to their captors.  Economics without morals is ugly.

But what is even worse to me is turning a blind eye.  But what if turning a blind eye is because you don’t know what to do?   Let us help you with that.

When you see something out of sorts like the US Postal worker in California did last week.  He called police when he found a girl crying on his route.  Or the flight attendant who noticed a young girl on her plane who looked frightened by the man next to her.  She had security meet the plane on arrival.  Or the realtor who noticed trash bins at the street in front of an elegant home that was supposedly empty and for sale.

When you see something, do something.

  1. Snap a photo with your phone. Get a license plate, a street address or facial shot of those involved.
  2. Google human trafficking help near me. Get the phone numbers and save them to your contacts.
  3. As you go about your daily routine, don’t look past what seems odd. Ask yourself if the oddness could be a sign of someone trapped as a modern day slave.  Then follow 1 & 2.

#SeeSomethingDoSomething

Join us in ending this modern day atrocity.  Refuse to turn a blind eye.

If you already support our work, please know how grateful we are to have you with us each time we engage in the fight.  If you are not yet a supporter, please consider a one-time or ongoing donation so that we can continue this fight to spread the Gospel and fight trafficking of children for sex. Donations

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  

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.