Summer and Fall seem to have slipped away and somehow here we are in November already! While the months have flown by, they were full seasons for sure. They’ve had many moments of celebration – from our underdog 3rd graders overtaking 4th and 5th graders in a Cambodia-wide school competition and the redemptive healing God is bringing to a victim of the Svay Pak fire to our new Freedom Mandate initiative and the overwhelming response we received from our first-ever AIM Family Gathering challenge.
We have much to celebrate; we also have a lot to lift up in prayer. With great victories in this war on the evil of sex trafficking come many obstacles – health, opposition in ministry and other unforeseen circumstances.
As 2015 begins to wrap up, we’d especially like to ask you to stand with us in prayer for the work being done on the ground in Cambodia. We ask that you’d lift our girls and women up in prayer for healing, restoration and the known presence of our loving, gracious Father. Pray over our staff and visiting teams, for health, stamina and a humble heart to sense the moving of the Holy Spirit. And pray for continued financial provision in these last two months of the year.
This November, we’re thankful for the victories, for the rescues and for the difference God is making through our efforts at AIM. We’re also thankful for YOU, our partners, and your continued support, both financially and prayerfully. You are very much a part of everything that happens on the ground in Cambodia and we just wanted you to know how much you are appreciated.
Thankful Partners for Freedom,
Don & Bridget Brewster
Co-Founders of AIM’s Fight Against Sex Trafficking
Updates This Quarter
- Beauty from Ashes; an update on the Svay Pak Fire
- An Underdog Victory; a story from AIM School
- Gift Matching Success; an update from AIM Family Gathering
- A New Coat of Paint for Our AIM Restoration Home
- Coming This Winter!
- Why Partnerships Matter; an interview with Jim Holst
- The Value of the Red Seed; a new opportunity from 3Strands
- Prayer Focus
Beauty from Ashes; an update on the Svay Pak Fire
After 13 homes were lost in the Svay Pak Fire on June 16, we’ve seen great healing in the community because of your prayers and efforts. We were able to give each family 50kg of rice, a case of water, a case of noodles, a blanket, a mosquito net, and some school supplies. As we move forward in the rebuilding of the homes, your continued prayers are greatly appreciated.
Although no lives were lost, there was one victim who was severely burned. By the grace of God, the medical team had the supplies available to begin treating her. Along with taking steps to heal her physically, we’re doing our best to show her and her family God’s never-ending love and hope. Please keep this young woman in your prayers as her physical and emotional healing still continue.
An Underdog Victory; a story from AIM School
Earlier this year, Prudential Company and Kids City Asia teamed up to host Cambodia’s first-ever STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Competition. Schools across the country known for their strong academic programming were invited to participate. Initially, AIM was overlooked due to its strong reputation in preventing Svay Pak’s children from being sold into sex trafficking rather than its academic excellence. Upon reconsideration, AIM was invited to join those in attendance.
The STEM Competition was made up of the strongest 4th and 5th grade students in each participating school. Meanwhile, AIM sent a handful of 3rd graders, our highest education level at the time. Those underdog 3rd grader were able to edge out some of the top schools in the country and take second place in the competition!!
Gift Matching Success; an update from AIM Family Gathering
Our first-ever AIM Family Gathering was an incredible success! Hosted at Bayside, a local church active in their support of AIM, attendees received updates from the ground from Don & Bridget Brewster and Clayton & Emily Butler. They were also given the opportunity to learn about the purpose behind AIM, hear about the challenges that are being faced in Cambodia and receive the personal testimony of a survivor, Reaksmey.
Our goal for the two evenings was $200,000, which we were able to reach and even exceed! We had 300 donors give $102,000 in support along with another private donor who offered a $100,000 gift match that came directly from the sale of their only home.
If you’d like to double your impact on an ongoing basis, check with your employer about gift matching programs; they truly make a HUGE difference.
A New Coat of Paint for Our AIM Restoration Home
Great things are happening for our girls at the AIM Restoration Home.
Earlier this year, our William Jessup team spent a week painting various murals in the girls’ rooms. Each girl was given the opportunity to choose what color their room would be painted as well as the mural design. They turned out beautifully and the girls could not be more excited for the chance to make the rooms their own.
Coming This Winter!
Through last year’s efforts, we were able to raise over $40,000 in individual and church-wide giving. We partnered with a few churches that encouraged members to donate to the project and receive an ornament – made by a survivor in Cambodia – as a token of gratitude. The ornaments differed depending on the size of the donation. Individuals were also able to make donations online and receive their ornament through the mail in the time for Christmas.
For Christmas 2015, we’re once again launching the AIM Tree Project! Businesses and churches have the opportunity to promote the cause to their community by displaying a tree with the ornaments and receiving donations on behalf of AIM! The deadline to pre-order your kit is Friday, November 13. To order kits, simply email Christmas@aim4asia.org. Quantities are limited.
Ornaments for individual donations will begin Wednesday, November 18 through a unique giving page. Stay tuned later this month for more information on that!
Why Partnerships Matter; an interview with Jim Holst
“The only institution anointed by God to bring freedom to the enslaved is the Church.” – Agape International Missions
For years, Bayside Church in Granite Bay, CA has been an incredible partner to us here at AIM. We were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to hear from Jim Holst, Bayside’s pastor of outreach, about their partnership with AIM and what it means to them.
Jim has been with Bayside for over 14 years. He has handled the church’s outreach both locally and globally for a large portion of that time. Before Jim began there, Bayside had been spending time in Cambodia working with different organizations, but none of the partnerships they’d tried out really stuck. When Jim arrived, he’d inherited the vision for Cambodia from Bayside.
“Bayside had a heart for Cambodia already, but was looking for the right partner to come alongside.”
Jim first heard about AIM through Don Brewster, who he met through Adventure Church (now Hillside). He knew that Don had a reputation as someone who could take a vision and produce results. The strategy of AIM also aligned well with Bayside’s mission. Jim described the mission as “a combination of passion, justice and evangelism,” three qualities that must be seamlessly integrated to fully support a cause.
From there, Bayside began slowly sending out teams, followed by longterm missionaries. They’re also monthly financial partners and have run a few long term campaigns to raise funds to support AIM in different areas.
One of the strongest reasons Jim believes in the partnership is because of the direct results of AIM’s presence in Cambodia. Jim elaborated on those results by explaining the difference you see in Cambodia now vs. 8 years ago. We’re no longer seeing trafficking boldly taking place in the open as we were before. There have been arrests AND convictions. Brothels are being physically shut down. Women are not only being saved, but restored and given life-skills, job-skills and the Gospel.
“It’s not just rescue, it’s true restoration and a future, and I love that.” – Jim
Jim believes Bayside will continue to grow as a partner with AIM. A large part of their duty as a partner is to be led by AIM, according to the efforts of the organization itself. This means, if AIM calls Bayside and needs a Rescue Team on the ground (often referred to as the SWAT Team), Bayside will focus their energy on delivering those results. Bayside will continue to help wherever AIM sees a need, because they so believe in the cause.
Jim shares Bayside’s passion in the partnership: “I personally believe in AIM so much that my wife and I sent them the largest personal check that we have ever sent an organization.”
As AIM continues to build new partnerships with churches like Bayside and individuals like Jim and his wife, we can’t tell you how much we appreciate the people, resources and prayers that we’re being blessed by everyday.
To become an AIM church or individual partner and assist with ongoing prevention, rescue, restoration and reintegration efforts, take up your Freedom Mandate and join the movement. We believe that people set free by Jesus have a mandate to bring freedom to others. Learn more HERE.
The Value of the Red Seed; a new opportunity from 3Strands
One of the unique aspects about AIM is our holistic approach in the fight against sex trafficking. We not only save women and girls from trafficking, but we restore them. We also give them the chance to become a key part of their community by setting them up with job opportunities. These jobs not only challenge and teach them, but they offer a chance for the women to become self-sufficient and provide for themselves and their families.
As you may already know, AIM and 3Strands have been partnering in the area of job sustainability for a while now. AIM provides survivors with employment opportunities where the women make t-shirts, bracelets, scarves, headbands, ornaments and many other items. 3Strands is a key partner in the distribution of our products and works with our employment center to build a sustainable solution.
Each 3Strands bracelet has a red seed in its design. The red seed represents the beauty and value of each of the survivors who have been freed from human trafficking, and those waiting to be rescued.
With the focus of sustainable solutions in the forefront, 3Strands has launched two new home party opportunities to support AIM and remember these survivors! Check out shop.3strandsglobal.com to learn about how you can become a host or Red Seed Rep! Simply put, the more bracelets that are sold, the more women and girls can be helped!
We’re on the verge of historic breakthroughs with a lot of hope and promise in the weeks and months to come. And with all of this, the opposition is heavy.
Please stand with us in prayer and join your faith with ours!
- Bridget – She recently had emergency gallbladder surgery! Please continue to pray for her recovery.
- Don’s health – He recently had a heart ablation procedure and has more follow-up to come. Please pray for recovery and rest.
- New employees in Cambodia and US.
- The AIM Rescue Team – We have operations lined up through the end of the year!
- Building needs – Our beautiful Restoration Home that we rent was just sold. Please pray for the right new building for our girls. Also, our school building is still in the works and we are praying for God’s timing and resources to come together perfectly.