by Brandon & Natasha Butler
Jordan was born to a poor farming family, in a small village, outside the Cambodian city of Siem Reap. With very little formal education, she and her five siblings did what they could to help the family survive.
Jordan received little encouragement as she grew up and was often called “stupid” by her parents. In order to respect her family, Jordan accepted an arranged marriage at the age 18. She was divorced and alone with an infant son less than two years later.
Alone with a child and being from a family with no money, she left her village to go to Siem Reap. There, she tried to find a legitimate job in a restaurant but ended up working as a prostitute to survive. After one year of working in a brothel, a regular customer became her boyfriend and it seemed as though things were looking up for Jordan. This was not the case as, 8 months later, this “boyfriend” would leave her pregnant, with a $25.00 payment to assist with her birth. He never contacted her again. She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.
With no opportunities, she sent her son and daughter to live with her parents in the village, while she continued to work in a brothel in Siem Reap. It did not take long before her poor, aging parents were not able to care for her children. With little education, self-worth or opportunities it seemed as though Jordan was going to have to try to give her children to an NGO. Jordan wanted a new life, a clean start but this seemed like an impossibility to her.
Jordan’s younger sister had also come to Siem Reap in search of work but ended up at a brothel similar to where Jordan worked. One night, however, she met some outreach workers from an NGO who referred her to Rahab’s House Siem Reap. There, she was able to start a new life with safe housing, a good job, and a loving Christian community. She had been scouring Siem Reap to find a different job for Jordan with no luck, but after arriving at RHSR, she introduced Jordan to the social work staff. They began to meet with Jordan and AIM helped pay for her son to attend school.
They explained that the AIM Employment Center was the job she had be looking for. Not only was it going to be a safe place and a new job but it would also love and take care of her children. God had provided a way out for Jordan, and Jordan took it. Jordan began working at the AIM Employment Center on December 2, 2013.
It required a huge amount of sacrifice and perseverance from Jordan to make it through the first few months at AEC, but with the help of a loving AIM staff, she made it. Jordan began to bloom in her new surroundings becoming one of AEC’s most infectious personalities.
Not every day at AEC was easy for Jordan. People from her old life would call or show up at work and hijack the small progress or healing that had been taking place. With the help of loving staff and friends, Jordan has been able to fight off many of the weeds that have grown up around her to choke her out.
On March 30, 2014, Jordan attended church with our family. What started as a slightly awkward time soon gave way to the beautiful work of the Spirit. In a moment that brought us to tears, Jordan gave her life to The Lord.
On Easter Sunday, April 20th, less than one month later, I had the extreme privilege of baptizing Jordan and her younger sister. Our whole family was there to join in the celebration. We cannot wait to see the rest of the story that God will write in Jordan’s life.
The Lord is Faithful,
Brandon and Natasha Butler
Directors of AIM Employment Center in Siem Reap