Rathana with Summer. SAMS missionaries seek to bring “the hope and healing of
Jesus Christ” to each person they encounter.
RATHANA AND SUMMER
At the age of 11, Rathana* was sold by her impoverished Cambodian parents to an ice shop owner who beat her and left her malnourished.
Then, Rathana was sold a second time, to a master who held her prisoner and exploited her for eight months. At that time she was miraculously rescued and taken to Transitions Global, an aftercare shelter in Phnom Penh. There, girls liberated from the snares of human trafficking find healing and learn life skills.
Over half of Cambodians aged 7-14 are child laborers. Pray for Cambodian children and
freedom for all captives.
SAMS missionary Summer Benton arrived at Transitions Global about the same time. She had heard God’s call to missionary service at the age of 17, but it wasn’t until she began hearing of the plight of the weak and powerless caught in the net of human trafficking that she knew how God wanted her to serve. As a social worker in Boston’s child welfare system, Summer acquired the skills that Transitions Global needed in someone to train Cambodian social workers. As Summer explains, “it takes Cambodians, with their understanding of the language and culture to be effective in the intervention and healing of these brave girls. The best thing I can do is build them up to serve.” When God opened the door, Summer stepped through.
Ministering to these deeply wounded girls is emotionally and spiritually draining. Complicating the task is the fact that there are no “experts’ in aftercare, so Summer and her team develop new approaches together. Summer relies not on her education or experience but trusts the Lord, and it is exciting to see what God is doing through this partnership.
Over a year has passed since both Summer and Rathana arrived at the aftercare shelter. When they met, Rathana rarely spoke and cried constantly, but now she smiles more and more each day. She attends school and dreams of becoming a chef. God is bringing healing to Rathana and others like her through the work of missionaries like Summer, supported by senders like you.
*In order to protect her identity a pseudonym is used.