This blog was originally posted on donbrewster.org.
When we are faced with overwhelming needs, a lack of resources, and limited experience, the need for prayer becomes evident.
This is actually how the ministry of AIM began. It was nothing like how you might expect an organization to begin. My wife Bridget and I knew about the need. And while we understood that there was much for us to learn, we were confident in moving forward as the funding we needed was there. So we packed up and moved to Cambodia to launch our first aftercare home for rescued victims of child sex trafficking.
The first year was a year of preparation. There were physical preparations, but more importantly, we needed to hire and train staff and ensure they were prepared both emotionally and spiritually for the work ahead. Of course we experienced some bumps along the way, but overall, things went amazingly well. At the end of our first year living in Cambodia, we were just one month away from accepting girls into our new restoration home.
But then, we received this email:
“Dear Bridget and Don, We are sorry to inform you we will not be able to keep our commitment to donate $250,000.”
What?!? That was our funding for year two! The girls were coming in less than 4 weeks! What were we going to do?
The answer was simple: Pray.
We knew that we needed to pray, but had no idea what to pray for. Over several days, we cried out, “Please help us, Lord!” As much as we would like to tell you this prayer was based on Romans 8:26, it was just a desperate response to what seemed like a hopeless situation.
And yet, it was this prayer which led to the first miracle of many…
Our phone jolted us awake around 2:00 AM in Cambodia. After a groggy hello, the caller asked where we were. “Uh… we are in Cambodia actually,” we stated, to which the caller replied, “Well, we’ve been meaning to send you a donation for some time and are finally getting around to it. Can someone come by to pick up the check today? It’s for $250,000.” Stunned, we paused to pick ourselves up off the floor and stammered, “Y-Yes!”
This experience taught us to pray, pray, pray; not only when desperate, but every day. We still have a lot of room to grow in this practice. But when we’re faithful, even in the slightest, we’ve seen God be so much more faithful in return. And by His grace, we have experienced 15 years of miracles.
– Don Brewster; Co-Founder of AIM
Over the years, we’ve seen how prayer directly impacts the fight against trafficking. Here are just a few times, out of many, at AIM that miracles happened when we prayed:
2010: Five Cambodian girls arrived in the US to testify against their perpetrator. We prayed for each one that they would be brave and courageous as they sat feet away from him in a courtroom. We prayed for justice and that he be found guilty for his crimes against these young girls. We prayed for healing and restoration for them. GOD GAVE EACH OF THEM COURAGE, THE COURT FOUND THE PEDOPHILE WHO ABUSED THEM GUILTY, AND THESE YOUNG LADIES HAVE SINCE THRIVED. This is a victory against trafficking because often victims do not testify and the perpetrators are never brought to justice.
2012: AIM was contacted by a young woman trapped in a brothel. Her name was Anna*. The brothel owners were tipped off that a raid was coming and moved the girls so we wouldn’t find them. We prayed for Anna to be found and rescued. After 3 days, Anna bravely faced her trafficker and told him that AIM was still coming to get her. IN RESPONSE, HE LET HER LEAVE. God intervened and moved the trafficker to let her walk out of the brothel.
2014: We couldn’t wait for others to rescue these girls after what happened with Anna. It was taking too long to get to them, or traffickers were being tipped off before raids. We prayed for a solution and for the ability to rescue girls on our own since we had the best intel on where girls were. Despite being warned that our request would never be taken seriously, AIM presented a proposal to partner with the anti-trafficking police and it was accepted, and THE AIM SWAT TEAM WAS FORMED. This allowed our team to work directly with the Cambodian anti-trafficking police to rescue victims of trafficking and arrest their traffickers by conducting our own investigations and raids. And so God provided a way for more girls to be rescued.
2016: The owner of the building that housed Rahab’s House in Svay Pak (where our church and community programs live) informed us that they had to sell the property immediately. They were concerned the building would land in the hands of brothel owners or used for trafficking and they wanted to sell the building to AIM so we could continue our ministries. However, we only received this news in October which historically does not bring in many donations. and we did not have the needed $300,000+ funds to make this purchase. We prayed for God to provide an answer: a donor or a path to a new location in Svay Pak…
…and He delivered. Don and Bridget shared the news about AIM’s pressing need with a missions team who was visiting at that time, and THEY IMMEDIATELY OFFERED TO HELP COVER THE COST! From its inception, Rahab’s House in Svay Pak has been the center of our prevention efforts and now continues to be a beacon of hope and an example of transformation.
– Julie Morales-Harrold; Chief Operating Officer of AIM
*A pseudonym used to protect the identity and privacy of the survivor.
Read part 2 of this series here.