It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. –Luke 17:2
When Nary’s mother died, she was left to live alone with her father. Nary was only 11 when her cousin raped her. When her father began sexually violating her as well, Nary ran away to live with her aunt in a neighboring province. Nary asked the bus driver to take her to the province where her aunt lived. Instead of taking her to the city, the bus driver took her to a brothel and sold her to the brothel owner. She was only 13.
There are countless examples of children like Nary. Cambodia is a nation inundated with sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking. The International Labor Organization projects that more than 250,000 Cambodian children spend most of their childhood in sexually exploitative activities—one of the worst forms of child labor. Child labor is certainly a major issue in Cambodia. A U.N. study on child labor has estimated that nearly 1.5 million Cambodian children between the ages of 7 and 17 routinely engage in child labor. This represents approximately 40 percent of the country’s youth, and the figure is considered to be a very conservative estimate.
Numerous other Cambodian youth are vulnerable and severely disadvantaged by being disabled, orphaned or without national citizenship. Cambodia’s children need protection, assistance, guidance and love. Cambodia’s children need caring adults who are willing to take action. Cambodia’s children need the hope of the gospel.
Ways to pray:
- Pray for holistic transformation of lives and healing and hope through faith in Jesus so that Cambodia’s children are able to become all that God has intended.
- Ask the Lord to guide organizations to partner together in the effort to protect Cambodia’s youth.
- Pray for vulnerable communities and families to become stronger through the practical support of mature churches and believers.
This story was taken from Pray for Cambodia, a prayer guide published by OMF International in 2012.