Cambodia: Debbie and Pete Livingston
The Battle for the Lives of Enslaved People Worldwide
What an eye opener to pull back the covering of a culture to see the striking reality of human trafficking; and if that isn’t enough, child sex-trafficking. Children are being sold by their own families into the atrocity of abuse at the hands of those who seem to have no conscience. Welcome to the work we are called to in Cambodia and around the world. There are over 27 million slaves in our world today. Never in the history of mankind has the number been so high. Continued below.
Livingston Mission At-a-Glance
- Serving in Cambodia
- Mission focus: sex trafficking rescue & rehabilitation
- Livingston team: Debbie & Pete
What People Are Saying
Testimony or endorsement
More About the Livingstons
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners …” (Isaiah 61:1).
Debbie and Pete Livingston are in Cambodia to enter the spiritual and physical battle for the lives of enslaved children.
Eighty percent of those are enslaved in horrendous sexual exploitation. Fifty percent are children, many under the age of 12. Every year over one million children are forced into sex slavery. Approximately 30 million children have lost their childhood through sexual exploitation over the past 30 years. This is not a choice to enter prostitution, this is forced slavery. This is sex trafficking.
With a profit of $32 billion yearly, it is second only to arms trading in worldwide annual revenue.
An epicenter of this atrocity is in Cambodia where children are forced to endure what one freedom fighter calls, “The ugliest, most preventable man-made disaster on the globe today.”*
Here, and in many tourist cities throughout underdeveloped Asia, there are dens notorious as havens for international pedophiles and their craving for prepubescent sex – boys and girls. Children as young as five or six are forced to suffer at the whim of the rich and powerful who come from around the world to force their lust upon their un-wanting victims. These children are trafficked from surrounding areas and countries, kidnapped from rural communities, sold by impoverished family members or exploited by others in their community. Once a child is controlled by a pimp or brothel owner, they are sold (raped) up to 12 times a night. Often chained to a wall in a stark room, this is the existence during the years this PERSON can bring revenue to their “owner.”
Debbie began her work in Cambodia in 2014 as the Teacher Trainer/Curriculum writer for an elementary school focused on educating children at risk of sex trafficking. That work completed, she now works with Cambodia women in mentoring programs to help them see the hope of the Gospel and the value they have to the Savior Jesus Christ. She teaches classes so simply named like, “Good boyfriend, Bad boyfriend” which is essential to learning how to avoid the luring ways of those who would enslave them. She also teaches classic World Literature in an international school where she has the opportunity to pour into the lives of some of Cambodia’s more privileged and likely next generation leaders at the critical age of high school. Debbie is literally on the front line of changing a culture.
Pete concluded almost 2 years with an NGO engaged in human-trafficking where he turned around three enterprises that were in deep financial “red ink”. New models were developed and implemented, Cambodian nationals were mentored into leadership and the programs were placed on sound footing. Now, the next phase of his work involves engaging the next generation of emerging entrepreneurs. He has established mentoring roundtables and assisted fledgling enterprises to develop beyond local sales and into international presence where higher margins become available thus reducing the financial strain that contributes greatly to the trafficking of people. These entrepreneurs are forming a base of confident leaders building their businesses on Gospel principles. They are young nation changers.
Civil War era abolitionist William Wilberforce said, “If to be feeling alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.” May this be said of us!
So what can you do to get involved? Get educated. Get engaged. Spread the Word.
1. Visit Made27.com for information on human trafficking and what you can do to build awareness through an event in your church, community and school.
2. Sign up for our blog: aim.radicallymarried.com for the stories of the work
3. Buy goods from Made27.com where at risk, social entrepreneurs sell their fair trade goods for fair prices in western markets to provide income to their families and in some cases, jobs to their neighbors who are also at risk
4. Host a Human Trafficking Awareness Event in your church, school, community.
5. Become a sponsor of the SENDHELP! Campaign by donating through IOM on this site.
*Gary Haugen of International Justice Mission in testimony to the Sub-committee of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, April 9, 2003.