After a long, hard winter, Spring brings forth new life. It provides time to reflect on the small things with great purpose and an opportunity to focus on the bigger things with great potential. Spring is a time to breath fresh air and look at things with new eyes.
This last quarter at AIM, we’ve experienced amazing beauty and transformative new life. We truly have a lot to be thankful for.
Something we’re especially grateful for this month is the 1 Year Anniversary of AIM Rescue Team! In just 12 months, the team has helped 236 children, women and men find freedom and start anew.
We’re also thankful for the groundbreaking for our AIM School expansion! It serves as a starting pistol for the community, ringing out the message that new life is coming. Growth is right around the corner. Change is near. Hope is blooming.
And you, our donors, volunteers and prayer warriors, have been heroes this quarter, too. We’re always
grateful for the work that you do, but this spring has been especially amazing.
From medical teams coming to serve and prayers pouring in from all over the world to consistent sacrificial giving and some amazingly creative ways of serving – from the creation of elephant pants and a virtual online run to birthday donations and even crayon recycling — YOU are making a huge difference. YOU are bringing forth new life in a time where growth is inevitable.
But where Bridget and I were especially touched this last quarter was your love for us as people.
We were marooned in the States for months as I recovered from my accident. (Take note: In knee versus truck at 40 miles an hour, the knee will lose every time.)
You loved on us. God loved us through you. And this was transformative.
Bridget and I got to live out what we hope the girls and women in our program experience every day … the love of Jesus through people will heal you and change you.
Thank you, friends. Thank you for everything.
God is good. He continues to provide and encourage. He continues to bring forth growth and new life. He continues to seek and save the lost. We are God’s vessels, willing to go and do that which He’s called us to. Please continue to pour over us in prayer as we enter this next season of new ventures and new challenges.
Spring has come and we can’t wait to see what blooms next.
Committed to Freedom,
Don & Bridget Brewster
Co-Founders of AIM’s Fight Against Sex Trafficking
Updates This Quarter
- Breaking New Ground with AIM School
- New Eyes to See
- Rescue Team – A Year in Review
- Awaiting Rescue
- The Heart of Sek Ron
- Moving from Awareness to Action
- Upcoming Justice Events
- Prayer Focus
- Projects by the Numbers
Breaking New Ground with AIM School
The need for education in Svay Pak is overwhelming, but the expanded AIM School will multiply its impact in meeting that need. Currently educating 409 students, we’ll increase that number almost four times over when the new building is complete.
We hosted the groundbreaking ceremony for the new building earlier this year and attendees included staff and family, government officials and visiting teams. It was a time of prayer, praise and celebration, and ended with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Through the new school alone, 1,500 lives will be taken off the market for sex traffickers. That’s a really big deal! Join us in praying over the lives that the school is already helping and the many more we’ll impact in the future.
Watch the groundbreaking video HERE!
New Eyes to See
Over the course of just 4 days, Dr. Bundy and his wife saw 886 patients all the way from Svay Pak up to Siem Reap. Additionally, 444 pairs of glasses were provided to those who needed restored sight and eye drops were given to many more as well.
Those receiving care included AIM School students, AIM staff, villagers and anyone who heard about the outreach and came for assistance.
Rescue Team – A Year in Review
The AIM Rescue Team has been in existence for a full year already! We’re praising God for His provision and ability to not only rescue these girls and women, but to bring them healing and restoration in conjunction with our other programs.
Wondering what it is the Rescue Team does? Their mission is to address human trafficking and sexual violence in Cambodia by working with police to collect evidence, investigate crimes, arrest perpetrators and rescue victims from situations of violence and exploitation. Once rescued, the victims are provided comprehensive care at the AIM Restoration Home and their cases are handled by AIM’s legal team throughout the trial. Though the majority of cases include sex trafficking and sexual assault, the team also works on others involving labor trafficking and even organ trafficking.
Join us in celebrating the difference this team has made in their first year of operation:
- 236 children, women and men were assisted in the first year. This includes victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, labor trafficking and organ trafficking. The assistance provided ranges from investigation and case management to medical care, legal assistance and aftercare. In most cases, all aspects of assistance were provided.
- 10 successful raids of brothels where children as young as 4 were rescued.
- 198 investigations conducted.
- 107 arrests made.
- 12 trials and convictions.
- 100 court cases handled by our legal team.
The landscape in Cambodia has changed this last year. Other centers, partner organizations that we relied on, have closed or capped their intake of new girls. Organizations, big and small, began pulling out. We looked around and observed, “The need is still great, the time is now, but who will say ‘Yes’ to these girls?”
Within a few months, we doubled our intake at AIM Restoration Home, renting additional space to make room. Today, we continue to grow and expand.
But now we are faced with a new set of very real challenges.
In addition to the landscape changing, we now have the names of over 50 girls waiting to be rescued.
We see the need. We have a working solution. We are still standing when so many are now gone.
This is a pivotal moment and it’s down to us.
But we cannot grow unless our support grows with us.
Will you join us in praying for God’s provision in this next season? Will you tell 5 people about the work that AIM is doing? Will you consider making a donation so our work can continue?
In the words of Mira Sorvino, as reflected in her interview with CNN two weeks ago, “We have to be tirelessly vigilant in this work… I do believe it’s possible, it’s just going to take a lot of doing.”
The Heart of Sek Ron
In the fall of 2014, Sek Ron, the son of one of our staff members was in desperate need of heart surgery to keep his little 18-month-old body alive. While heart surgeries aren’t technically AIM’s mission, we knew we had to do something. Jesus didn’t look at our needs and dismiss them on technicalities. He saw our needs as a means to relationship. Jesus didn’t turn us away and so we set out to help Sek Ron.
Through a combination of foundations and amazing donors like you, over the course of a couple of months, God provided the $84,000 needed to cover his surgery and recovery, and just hours before the surgery was scheduled to occur!
Since so many of you were a part of this miraculous surgery and healing, we wanted to show you just how strong, happy and healthy our little Sek Ron is today (we hope you enjoy the photos!). God is so good! We know He has amazing things in store for this little guy and you played a part in that.
Moving from Awareness to Action
Awareness is key to the fight against sex trafficking. If we don’t draw awareness to the issue, the army fighting the battle will remain few in number, and when we tell others about the challenges and the victories, we grow in our reach and impact. But we can’t just stop with awareness. Awareness alone doesn’t rescue a girl. It doesn’t provide employment and alternate income. It doesn’t put the love of Christ to action. And action makes all of the difference! This past quarter, we’ve had some great opportunities to both raise awareness and move people to action. Below are just a few of those highlights. We hope you’ll continue to encourage others to join the fight. Together we can make, and are making, a difference!
Human Trafficking Awareness Month
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. We took the month to answer the question, “Do you know the face of trafficking?” by sharing what we’re seeing on the ground – the true face of trafficking. The response we received was absolutely amazing with 72 new donors joining us in the fight in January alone! Our focus touched on 4 issues in the fight, with a preview week to introduce the theme. You can catch each video and update through the links below:
- Week 1: Human Trafficking Awareness Month 2015
- Week 2: One Person Can Make a Difference
- Week 3: The Virgin Trade in Cambodia
- Week 4: What Would You Do?
- Week 5: Becoming a China Bride
Nefarious: Merchant of Souls Now on Amazon & iTunes!
From initial recruitment to victim liberation—and everything in between—the previously veiled underworld of sex slavery is uncovered in the groundbreaking, tell-all documentary Nefarious: Merchant of Souls.
To watch on Amazon, click HERE.
To watch on iTunes, click HERE.
The Pink Room Documentary Now on Hulu!
Follow the real life story of Mien’s torturous life in sex trafficking, escape and restoration through the profound documentary, The Pink Room.
To watch on Hulu, click HERE.
CNN Freedom Project’s Every Day in Cambodia Now on YouTube!
The film, Every Day in Cambodia, presented by actress Mira Sorvino, documents the appalling plight of children sold into sex slavery, sometimes by their own mothers, and the people fighting to stop the practice.
To watch on YouTube, click HERE.
You can also get a follow-up interview with Mira Sorvino HERE.
You + AIM Marketplace
People all over the world help AIM by raising funds and awareness in the fight against sex trafficking. They’re always coming to us with great ideas and ways that they’re raising funds for AIM. We also chat with quite a few people asking, “What can I do in the fight, I’m just one person?” So, we created the “You + AIM Marketplace.” This is a great place to see what others are doing in the fight. It’ll spawn creative ideas and raise awareness while moving people to action. If you’re doing something creative, please fill out the form at the top of the page (HERE) so we can add you to the list of creatives!
Below are just a few great examples of how people are using what they have to make a difference.
- Elephant Pants from Cambodia raising funds to fight trafficking with AIM.
- A local Girl Scout Troop is selling cookies with a portion of the proceeds going to AIM. You’re never too young to be a modern day abolitionist!
- Citizens Threads gave $8 per t-shirt order to AIM for the month of February! Buy clothes that help clothe rescued girls!
[button url=”http://agapewebsite.org/marketplace/” color=”turquoise” liquid=”no”]Check out the Marketplace![/button]
Upcoming Justice Events
The Pink Room Documentary Screening | April 11, 2015
The One-Eighty Teen Center | Lodi, CA
For questions or more info, contact Katelyn at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nefarious: Merchant of Souls Documentary Screening | April 25, 2015
The Empire Arts Center | Grand Forks, ND
Featuring the award-winning documentary, Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, on global human trafficking
Get more info HERE.
Thrive Conference | April 30 – May 2, 2015
Bayside Church | Roseville, CA
The Thrive Leadership Conference is North America’s go-to conference for pastors and leaders, offering the best keynote speakers, the most workshops, the most inspirational worship, and the most fun—all in the greatest location. Don will be hosting a breakout session!
Get more info & register HERE.
Justice Conf. Asia | April 30 – May 2, 2015
The Vine Centre | Hong Kong
The Justice Conference Asia is a 3-day annual event designed to promote and encourage a conversation around the key justice related issues facing our communities in Asia today. Through world-class speakers, Asian-based practitioners, humanitarian organizations and NGOs, the conference brings together a network of passionate justice advocates for a dialogue that hopes to restore beauty where it has been lost within our societies.
Get more info & register HERE.
Freedom Summit | May 9, 2015
Levi’s Stadium | Santa Clara, CA
Freedom Summit, America’s largest community-based anti-human trafficking event is happening on May 9th, 2015 at Levi’s Stadium – the new home of the San Francisco 49ers. This event will feature prominent local and national trafficking experts, survivor advocates, and Congressional delegates, along with athletes and musicians. AIM will be hosting a booth with info about the work that we do in the fight.
Get more info & register HERE.
The Justice Conference | June 5 – 6, 2015
The Auditorium Theatre | Chicago, IL
Our vision is to serve the discovery of ideas, celebrate the beauty of justice, and foster a community of people who live justice together. Now, more than ever, people of faith need to come together to wrestle with the injustice in our world. This is the time. This is the place.
Get more info & register HERE.
Abolition Summit | August 6 – 8, 2015
Kansas City, Missouri
Join with hundreds of abolitionists from all over the world in a 3-day event designed to bring hope, healing, and practical applications to the fight against commercial sexual exploitation. Don will be one of the speakers!
Get more info & register HERE.
Trust Women’s Conference | November 17 – 18, 2015
Trust Women is more than just a conference. It’s a fast-growing movement to put the rule of law behind women’s rights through concrete action. This annual conference brings together global corporations, lawyers, and pioneers in the field of women’s rights to take action and forge tangible commitments to empower women. Don will be one of the speakers.
More info to come HERE.
Prayer transforms. It heals. It honors. It praises. It asks the tough questions. We invite you to join us in praying over these needs and giving praise for the many provisions we’ve already experienced. We serve an awesome God!
- Rescue for the 50 – We ask for God’s provision so that we might save these 50 girls awaiting rescue from the dark reality in which they are trapped.
- Protection for the Rescue Team – We pray for continued protection and favor for the AIM Rescue Team. May the right cases be brought to them so that rescue and restoration can be brought to those in need and justice served to those exploiting these precious lives.
- Construction of the School Expansion – We pray for the team building our new school. We pray for safety and productivity. We pray for the children and families that will be a part of the new school as well as those that are part of the current AIM School. We ask for continued funding so that the expansion might be completed later this year.
- School Van Driver – We give thanks for our new school van and ask for God’s hand in the processing of paperwork and insurance for it. We also ask that God might provide us with a driver who loves Jesus and His children and has the specific driver’s license needed to drive our van.
- Retail Store – We seek more customers and more opportunities to expand our product line in our shop in Cambodia. We pray that more tourists would walk through our doors on a daily basis so that we can bring awareness to the issue of sex trafficking and equip them with ways to fight it.
- AIM Employment Centers – We ask that God would open the floodgates on orders through our AIM Employment Centers. We seek orders from businesses, corporations, schools, churches and student groups around the world desiring to make a difference through the way they spend their money. May God provide so that we might employ even more women through our reintegration efforts.
Projects by the Numbers (Quarterly)
AIM Employment Centers
Center 1: 105 employees, compared to 96 in Fall 2014
Center 2: 123 employees, compared to 99 in Fall 2014
Center 3: 18 employees, compared to 19 in Fall 2014
AIM Restoration Home & Transitional Home
AIM Restoration Home: 80 girls receiving care, compared to 71 in Fall 2014
AIM Restoration Home: 140 girls reintegrated
Transitional Home: 27 women receiving care
Rahab’s House Svay Pak
AIM School: 409 students, compared in 394 in Fall 2014
Medical Care: 594 quarterly patient average, compared to 556 in Fall 2014
Medical Care: 150 family members receiving free medicine
Eye Care: 886 people seen and 444 pairs of glasses distributed
Foster Care: 30 kids, compared to 20 at its launch in Fall 2014
Kids Club: 135 kids in attendance weekly
Church: 250 people in attendance weekly
Lord’s Gym: 14 men off the streets as pimps and working out, compared to 15 in Fall 2014
Siem Reap Ministries
Rahab’s Transitional Home: 13 young women housed, compared to 13 in Fall 2014
Rahab’s Transitional Home: 26 young women reintegrated
Rahab’s Transitional Home: 22 young women want help leaving sex trafficking industry
Rahab’s Outreach Center: 32 young women are in relationship with us; compared to 32 in Fall 2014
Rahab’s Outreach Center: 11 women attending new free English classes
Results: 59 women and girls rescued or assisted in escaping trafficking situations & 35 offenders arrested
Investigations: 49 new investigations, compared to 13 in Fall 2014
Legal Team: 100 active ongoing cases
Visiting Teams & Tours
8 teams & 9 tours