Intensity is enormous

In all my years of coming to Cambodia and living in Cambodia, I have never seen this many small packs of older foreign men roaming the streets. Never have I seen a refreshing of the child trafficking business like I am seeing now.

The depth of financial, food, education, and spiritual poverty is staggering and results in children being offered for sale for the vile  atrocities often at the hands of these foreign men.

Rarely have I made a direct appeal for support to continue this work in changing communities, we are helping leaders change themselves, and change their own communities.

This is Giving Tuesday. Internationally a big day of support to nonprofits. I am asking that if you are considering a gift to a nonprofit on giving Tuesday, that you consider incurablefanatics.org/donate here, donations are tax deductible and work to help the local community change from within the conditions that result in child trafficking.

And it’s working! In the communities f our work, there is great change.  Please, if you are giving on Giving Tuesday consider.

 

Thank you,

Pete & Debbie

 

incurablefanatics.org/donate.incurablefanatics.org/donate.

Again! We take the Good News

They love to come to school.

All around the world, the face and practice of missions is changing. In the Middle East many missionaries have had to go underground to continue their work. In places like Afghanistan, some have moved their mission work to nearby countries.  In China, the movement continues underground and at great risk and usually by nationals.  But the work of the gospel continues to advance, He continues to save, it continues to change lives.

For Debbie and I, the face of our mission work has changed. Our ability to reside permanently in Cambodia is presently not possible, but the work we do continues every day.  And we return in just a  few days.

Every day in Cambodia. We are at work. Consistently. Persistently. And differently.

What seemed to us to be a good idea, being mentors and not the official leaders in each of our work environments in Cambodia, has turned out to be the sovereign direction of God. As we developed young leaders, they learned to lead while we were at their side to encourage to promote and to prepare. Covid changed that way of success in our work and kept us stateside. Now, while we no longer reside in Cambodia, we continue every day in the work there electronically and in person as frequently as possible.

The advance of technology permits us to do zoom meetings, and training with our growing leaders, who have accepted the responsibility of in person leadership in ways we could not have foreseen. We will continue to return to Cambodia on intermittent and as frequent as possible trips to move into this stage of expansion with our now mentored leaders who know well how to manage what has been started. Now they need to be mentored in expanding.

On November 8 we will return to Cambodia for whatever time is permitted and develop the strategies and plans and identify and begin work with the next group of leaders to expand the work.

It is a very special time of opportunity there right now. Many of the people who professed Christianity professed a prosperity faith that didn’t work out very well during Covid.  But they have heard the name of the One.  Now the work is to point them to the Truth of being a follower of the One.

If you can partner with us in this work, we would be very grateful. First, pray that we would be effective for whatever time we have to be there.  Second, if, after giving your tithes to your local church, you have something left over to give please consider Incurable Fanatics.

IncurableFanatics.org/donateIncurableFanatics.org/donate

And join us with a team to be onsite in the work.  We have some select opportunities.

Yes, Child exploitation in the US is on the rise.

©271 EAK MOTO/shutterstock.comWe are hearing more about human-trafficking in the US due to the flow of lives across our southern border, many are children who are accompanied to the border from the south and are abandoned as soon as the “adult” transporting them can flee into the US.

This is human trafficking:

“the unlawful act of transporting or coercing people in order to benefit from their work or service, typically in the form of forced labor or sexual exploitation.”

The purpose of this post is not political.  It is protective.  The children being exploited as “tickets” to cross into the US in a presumed family are frequently exploited sexually along the way to our border and then abandoned without education, income, safety or guardians once they get across our border.  Such children are then prime for another round of exploitation after arriving in the US.

Be against human-trafficking.  For the safety of the children,  be against it.  Don’t pretend it isn’t happening or is just a handful of cases.  It is dominant and the success of exploiting children in this way increases the number of people who do it.

Stop it!

Join us in the battle.  Invite us to hold a Human Trafficking Awareness Event in you church, school, business or neighborhood.

You alone can make a difference.

 

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

#purpleschool Reaching the Lost

Our work is focused on introducing the Gospel through education and business.   Then advancing forward into the communities through the local believers.

#purpleschool has been at the forefront for the last 2 1/2 years for our emphasis and we are so pleased to see the reach it has.  First, to more than 200 children (and growing) and then to the teachers who come for training.  The Bible flows through the education everyday.

AND THE PARENTS LOVE WHAT THEY ARE SEEING DEVELOP IN THESE KIDS AND THE TEACHERS.

Second, something outside our plan is happening.   In a country with <2% believers, finding Christian teachers has been difficult.  So, we are home-growing teachers from within the Christian community.  Equipping the called.  Sound familiar?  It is the way of God and we did not see this part coming but we are enjoying the wonder of his ways.

Praise him with us!

To join this work with your support, click DONATE

To join us in prayer, pray for the work of Incurable Fanatics.

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!

We are in “banner days”

To you, our followers, donors and senders, we have so much to say and hope that you can accept that for security reasons, we can only tell part of the story of this last year and these present weeks.  The fruit of your faithfulness in keeping us going is beyond our expectations.  Beyond a simple thank you.

May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners!  …..(Psalm 10:5 ESV)

These are “banner days” as we see both educational initiatives and business initiatives taking hold.  As these take hold, the local Christians gain influence.  They can raise the banner and find new levels of leadership.   It is slow but it is really happening, one life, one place at a time.   These Cambodian friends are taking ownership of the work they are doing and the opportunities they are finding.  Some do it well quickly, some need more encouragement.  Whatever they choose and whatever pace they choose, they own it. They are the emerging leaders.

We will be home in July for rest and meetings and we encourage you to call us while we are stateside so we can share more openly and face-to-face whenever possible.  Ask us about the school growing so fast there are 30 kids in a classroom and the waiting list to enroll.  Ask us about the sisters.  Ask us about starting a business to repair roofs made of scrap steel.   We have some banner stories.

Host an Awareness Event.  We are scheduling in-home Awareness Events for weekdays and weeknights in July now.  Gather your neighbors, friends, small group and we will open your eyes to modern day slavery and how you (and we) so often walk right past it.   Oh the difference open eyes and an informed mind can make.  Oh the joy of freedom fresh on the face of a new freed man or woman.  You can be engaged in setting captives free.  Do it!

Support.  If you support our work on an ongoing basis we cannot express strongly enough our deep appreciation.  If you have not yet had the chance to join with us as partners, perhaps that time in now.  Click here for donor information and tax deductible giving.

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.

It’s all about quitting

Garmet worker 1We all set goals.  Things we want to accomplish personally and professionally.  Steps that help us see where we are in the process of doing more with our lives.  I was trained in business in classic MBOs, Management By Objectives.  We used CSFs, Critical Success Factors, to measure progress along the way.  This became a habit for me and something that seems to be more natural now after many years of use.  The objective of Reintegration Programs is to vocationally train and assist in the recovery of victims of trafficking so that they can support themselves in honorable, self-sustaining work and thereby end the cycle of trafficking in their own family by taking charge of their own life.  In the process, we get to show them that we do this because Christ first loved us and commands us to love others, a command that has become a joy to follow.

We now operate four garment production training centers.  One produces custom silk screen t-shirts, polos, pajamas and anything else from a pattern for business, churches and events and can produce several thousand shirts a week.  One produces “part work” – connecting sleeves, collars, cuffs, etc. to bodies of sweaters – known in the industry as “linking”.  These garments produced here in Cambodia can be found in various major stores in the US and Europe but under the lead company’s label not ours.  One produces accessories such as bracelets, necklaces, ankle wraps and has grown into a substantial supplier to a US boutique called Apricot Lane.  One makes accessories like scarves, headbands and also provides creative design work for our local store “MADE” locaated along the riverfront here in Phnom Penh.

But here is my #1 Critical Success Factor.  Get the workers to quit!

I want them trained and measured for their level of achievement.  I want them to make a fair wage with us and feel loved and valued in Christ.  I want them to experience a personal relationship with Christ as their Lord and Savior and them I want them to quit.garment worker 2

Young children go into our school when they are rescued, but mid-teens and up come into our training centers within weeks of their rescue.  They are still recovering.  They are suspicious of everyone – rightfully so.  Scared and anxious are understatements.  But they walk into a training center and see other workers, some they might even know, and the faces they see are inviting, encouraging.  Some have even reached the stage of finding happiness for the very first time in their memory.  So in come the new workers and we interview them and begin the process of preparing them to quit.

You see quitting is the graduation day for many into a life reintegrated.  It is a day of celebration when they leave to fulfill a dream.  Sure we have some who drop out; many of those come back just days or weeks later.  But the ones who “graduate” by quitting represent a very important Critical Success Factor to this Incurable Fanatic.

In November, we had three “graduates”.  They came into our work with no self-respect, no hope for tomorrow, no belief in God, no concept of love.  We got to see the light come on for these graduates.  While with us, one developed a dream to become a baker, another to become a mechanic, and yet another, to independently run a sewing shop.  All three quit in November – or better said, graduated to pursue those dreams.  SUCCESS!  CRITICAL SUCCESS.

garment worker 4Thank you for being a part of the stories we get to engage in.  Lives are changing.  These stories are not ours alone but also the stories of those who support this work to fight a battle for the lives of sex-trafficking victims.

If you support us already, we are ever so thankful.  If you have not yet engaged this way, keep praying for us anyway.  If God provides, perhaps financial support will be something for the future.  Either way, stay with us for the stories and help us end this atrocity of our generation.

DONATE when/if you can to continue to work to Rescue|Restore|Reintegrate|Prevent child trafficking.

If you would like to promote awareness in your church, business or community we invite you to host a human trafficking awareness event in your area.  Bring churches, concerned citizens, schools and neighbors together to fight back for the lives of children.  For information on an event, contact Meredith W Ramsey.  It’s simple.  It’s effective.

Time to talk turkey

imageWe will be back in Cambodia and re-energized (and I will add, healed) in time to search for a turkey (albeit likely pretty skinny) and all the fixins’ and our own celebration of Thanksgiving.

This was not our schedule or plan. We had planned to be preparing to return to the states for Christmas with our family, but God had a different plan. It involved an unexpected blessing. His ways and plans are so much better than mine.

A year ago we spent Thanksgiving with an amazing family in their home in Jefferson City as we longed for our work in Cambodia. Now one year later, little did we realize what the next 12 months would entail.  Amazing, powerful, life changing work.  Cancer, healing, return to the task.

I am grateful for each day of life. I awake each morning and wonder why? Why did God choose to extend his mercy to me and cure my illness? There will come a day when my “cure” will be to graduate and go home to be with my Lord but right now that cure is to remain on this earth. So the answer to why seems abundantly clear to me. He still has work on His agenda for me to engage in. So, this morning I woke up here, on earth. The only answer I have to “why me?” is He made that choice. I know I have not earned it nor do I have any special thing to offer in my service to Him. He just willed it to be so. I need no other answer to why.

So the tickets are purchased. We depart for Phnom Penh on 11 November arriving in PP at midnight on the 12th. At noon on the 13th (we will sleep in a little) we will be back with our beloved friends in Svay Pak, Cambodia. Back to the work we are so wonderfully blessed to have in front of us, the Rescue|Restoration|Reintegration|Prevention of child-sex trafficking globally. We are in it to end it.

And we will give thanks to the Lord for confirming the work of our hands.

“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭90:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬”

For your prayers and support, I extend my deepest appreciation. Please remember us for yet another year in your prayers and to your friends and associates as the topic of child-trafficking and the battle to end it emerges in our western society. This is a battle for which the Gospel has ready answers. We just need believers to respond, especially men who will lead other men into the light.

Blessings to you. May your Thanksgiving be a time of understanding even more fully that the great Blesser is even greater than the blessings He bestows.

If you are a financial supporter of our work, please know that we are unable to fully express to you the depth of our appreciation.  You make our continued work to Rescue|Restore|Reintegrate|Prevent child-sex trafficking possible.  This is when enabling is a good thing.

If you have not yet become involved with us financially, please consider this opportunity to engage with us to end this modern day atrocity.  Use the DONATE tab at the top of this page to see how you, your church or your business can sponsor us.  We welcome your support of any amount.  All donations are tax deductible when made through this page.