Rescuing the trafficked: A Chain Reaction in Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia
Anna D'Souza // December 4, 2018, 1:20 am
Chain Reaction has two Selah Safe Houses sheltering 29 girls who have been rescued from horrific conditions. All photos courtesy of Chain Reaction.
In July 2001, Singaporean pastor David Chacko received a vision to heal the nations through the power of love – but he didn’t have the complete blueprint as yet.
A few years prior, in Dallas, he had met and married Liney, his Indian-born American wife. The couple had relocated to Singapore where Pastor Chacko began serving in a local church as a missions pastor.
A prophetic word released over them declared that God was about to give them a new ministry. A clear mandate and name were downloaded from heaven: Global Renewal Ministries.
The instructions were straightforward – they were to serve the nations through community outreach and leadership training, and to combat human trafficking through the power of love.
In 2004, the Lord laid a burden on Pastor David to pray for Cambodia for three months, after which He directed him to take a step of faith and go to Cambodia.
As their close friend, I had the privilege of praying with them to discern the heart and will of God in this matter.
We prayed. The Lord responded.
It was only a matter of time before Cambodia Training Center was established.
Healing the broken
The Lord began sending from across the Khmer provinces young and old, men and women, laymen and leaders, to be taught and trained in the Word and ways of God.
The students were released to the villages to minister the love of Jesus to the hurting, the helpless and the hungry.
After training, the students were released to the villages to minister the love of Jesus to the hurting, the helpless and the hungry, while also teaching them the awareness of trafficking and how to identify potential victims.
I remember in some of the early outreach efforts how we combed slums that skirted dangerously close to railway lines, and sat inside smelly wooden rooms on stilts in which humans and animals lived together in filthy conditions.
Women infected with HIV would willingly accept prayers and hugs, and inebriated men would sober up momentarily to listen to the worship and the encouragement by visiting ministry teams.
Gifts of rice bags and other rations would be eagerly welcomed, and on Sunday mornings, hired tuk tuks would bring families to the small church for worship and lunch .
After Cambodia, the Lord graciously extended the reach of Global Renewal Ministries to Indonesia and Vietnam.
Warfare over the trafficked
Meanwhile, the Lord also began stirring Liney’s heart towards the abused and helpless children in this region.
Liney’s experience was akin to the seed that had to die in order to produce a harvest.
She recalls: “Sixteen years ago, when my sons were infants and our family was stationed in Singapore, I sat transfixed before a television set learning for the first time of the plight of women and children in Batam, an island situated a mere hour away.
“I heard of women coerced through feigned promises of a better life, only to be taken to abandoned islands where they were raped for profit, and I learned of children growing in a culture of exploitation and sexual conditioning.”
A few years later, Liney and a team of three women arrived in Cambodia to ascertain God’s assignment for them. They met in a small café in Siem Reap.
That day Liney had woken up to nausea, weakness and excessive purging.
By afternoon in the café, she was utterly spent as her strength ebbed and the room began to spin.
She collapsed on the hard floor, her eyes rolling back and her body turning limp.
An American nurse who was in the café rushed over and checked her pulse: No beat. She looked for the rise and fall of breath: No movement. She examined the eyes: Pinpoint pupils.
By all definitions there were no signs of life and Liney’s skin started turning pallid.
This was like a last ditch attempt by the Enemy to stop her from fulfilling her call to rescue the defenceless.
Panic was threatening to overwhelm, when one of the women exclaimed that this was a spiritual, not a physical, attack, even as the nurse prepped for CPR.
Immediately spiritual warfare mode took over, and all four women began praying authoritatively in the Spirit, commanding Liney to come back to life. The distressing thought of her three young children and husband waiting for her return fuelled their Spirit-led prayers with urgency.
After what seemed like hours, but was mere minutes … finally a soft breath exhaled.
Liney had returned to life.
In Liney’s own words later: “It was at this point that I began to hear my name being called. You see, what I remember is that I went somewhere that was filled with huge, bright, kaleidoscope-hued orbs – somewhere serene. I knew that Christ was near.
“The strongest and clearest feeling was one of satiation on every level – my entire being (molecular, physiological, emotional) was satisfied. I wanted nothing more. This sensation is what I cherish most from my experience – the closest comparison to that is when we’re in deep worship.
“Finally, I remember hearing the sound of water, like a brook, but it was children laughing. The sound filled me with inexpressible joy and I wanted to join them, when suddenly I heard my name being called – faintly at first and then louder. My first reaction was, ‘Why are they bothering me? I wish they’d leave me alone!'”
Helping her to her feet, the sombre women returned to their hotel to worship God and seek understanding as to what had just happened. It was Pastor D, as she’s affectionately called, who received the revelation.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.” John 12:24
Liney’s experience was akin to the seed that had to die in order to produce a harvest. Here was the confirmation that this was the land of her inheritance. And what was that inheritance? The children, waiting to be rescued from slavery and abuse.
This was like a last ditch attempt by the Enemy to stop one woman from fulfilling her call to rescue the abused, the defenceless and the unwanted.
Within days the Lord led them to their first rescue.
Ruthie, as she was later named, was discovered chained to a post in front of her grandmother’s hovel. She had special needs and looked to be four to five years old.
Her mother had been sold by her own mother into the sex trade, and had recently died from HIV. Now the old woman couldn’t cope with raising Ruthie, so she chained her and threw scraps of food on the ground for her to eat. Considered the village idiot she was often slapped around for amusement, and repeatedly violated at night.
Horrified, Liney asked if they could care for the child instead, and the grandmother couldn’t sign her off quick enough. When the doctor examined Ruthie, he was shocked at the extent of physical and sexual abuse that this little girl had endured.
Ruthie was the catalyst that sparked the Chain Reaction, the arm of Global Renewal Ministries that combats human trafficking.
We trust that, as He sends more rescued girls, He will also stir compassionate hearts to respond with help.
Today there are two Selah Safe Houses sheltering 29 girls ranging from four to 16: One in Phnom Penh and one in Batam.
Rescued from horrific conditions, these precious girls are now being given an education and a hope for a dignified future.
Over the years, I have witnessed how the love of Jesus has healed and transformed the girls – but there are still so many more to be rescued.
The needs are immense. But we trust in God’s faithfulness.
And we trust that, as He sends more girls, He will also stir compassionate hearts to respond with help.
Will you be one of them?
How can you help?
- Skills: Whether you are a musician, craftsman, medical provider, designer, photographer, or have another talent that you feel would be useful, Chain Reaction would like to hear from you.
- Miles: If you can’t send yourself, use your air miles to send someone who can go on-site.
- Monetary resources: Your financial generosity allows Chain Reaction to proactively rescue children, feed them, clothe them, and point them in the direction of love, hope, and restoration. You can donate here.
Get in touch with Chain Reaction here.