Pearl is a precious, spunky six-year-old who was molested by a monk at the Pagoda near our Center. Right in the middle of our investigation Pearl was hit by a car as she crossed the street leaving our Kids Club program. She was in the hospital for weeks, as her leg was badly broken. Recently she came bouncing into our Center to meet with our investigative team, the bones in her leg held together by steel-rod casts that protrude out of her leg. In this environment, her leg is at high risk of infection as the steel rods stick right out of her skin with no covering. We are trying to get Pearl into a Safe House because her mom admits she can’t protect Pearl from further abuse since her hands are full with several other tiny kids. Pray that Pearl will be in a safe place soon and that the monk will be prosecuted! Abuse by monks in the Pagodas here happens far too often. Young girls are sent by their families to take care of the monks who in some cases have raped or even gang raped the girls. In spite of everything, Pearl is a happy kid who is full of life and promise. We can’t wait to see what God has for her!
George, the Australian pedophile who has been the focus of our work in Cambodia for a long time, is finally in jail awaiting trial. His partner, Patty, is still at large. She would beat the kids into submission if they didn’t do what George said, and posed as his girlfriend. Patty has two kids who lived with George and were abused by him, and while one is in protective custody, the six-year-old ran from the police and is still with his mom on the streets. Last week when a foreign team was here, the little boy named Nate showed up for Kids Club on the Riverfront. He was having a great time until his mom came and beat him with a stick right in front of the team just for being with us. She hates HPC now and doesn’t want Nate to have anything to do with us. Please keep Nate in your prayers, as well as the dozens of other kids who were abused by this man. Patty has been going to all the parents involved in the case and trying to convince them not to allow their kids to testify against George. We have a lot of factors against us, so please continue to pray that justice prevails!
Last month the Hard Places Community was able to have our first ever international gathering where our core staff members from all over America and all over the world were able to meet in Portland, Oregon for a full week. We spent times of fellowship hiking in the mountains, exploring Portland, and reconnecting with each other. This was a valuable time for HPC as we have grown so much over the 6 years we have existed. We were able to worship together, learn from each others stories, and cast visions for what the future will hold. We will see the fruits of this week for a long time to come as new dreams begin to take shape.