Through traveling on Global Ventures mission trips with John Smithwick and working with the Thailand Harvest Plan, my eyes were opened to a growing evil in Thailand, the exploitation of children. According to Thailand Harvest Plan co-founder Bob Scott, children as young as 10 years old are being exploited daily and sold into prostitution at an ever-increasing rate. Some of the statistics I have found are literally appalling and borderline unbelievable.
* According to the Sirirat Pusurinkham’s article, “Girls who are approximately 10-12 years old are forced to serve men in the sex industry. Most of them have to do sex with approximately ten to fifteen men every day. Sometimes, this limit may exceed to as many as 20 to 30. ”
* 400,000 children under the age of 16 are exploited in brothels, clubs or bars in Thailand (Cook, Robin.”Clampdown on child sex tourism.”BBC News.).
It is a fact that most of the Thai families are given very few opportunities for improving their financial status. Many Thai families face extreme poverty and they could not find out any way to come out for their financial crisis. Such disastrous circumstances simply force many parents to sell their children into a life of prostitution and exploitation in order to get some money.
According to a article in the Pattaya Daily News, “It is very common to hear of a child being rented out or sold by their family for financial gain, sometimes for as little as a Baht 2,000-3,000. That’s approximately equal to 60 to 90 US dollars.” It is really the most terrible truth that people sell their children into the life of prostitution just for the sake of a little amount of money. I really cannot understand how anyone can knowingly force their children to lead a life of exploitation for a mere 60 US dollars.
The whole truth that lies behind this matter is that people of Thailand are in need of the truth of Jesus Christ. Ending of poverty by providing money is not a perfect solution to this problem. There is requirement to take strict actions against criminals who are buying and destroying the future of small children in the life of prostitution. It is also a fact that as long as there are people willing to pay for such exploited children, there are parents willing to sell their children for the sake of few US dollars.
How can things really change in Thailand ? This is really one of the most important questions and I would like to tell you that changes can be only done when the hearts of people change. The only power that can bring about a change in Thailand is Jesus Christ.
Well, I would like to tell you that the current statistics of Thailand is very grim and there is very little hope regarding it. Now, Bob Scott and John Smithwick are working together and making strides for changing the nation of Thailand.
John Smithwick is actually bringing the team of Christians from different parts of North America on Global Ventures mission trips. These Christians are actually provided with some basic tools so that they can effectively handle the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Mass Crusades.
I’ve been a part of five of the Global Ventures mission trips to Thailand. I’ve experienced first-hand the power that is present to change the hearts and lives of the people who hear the Gospel, some for the very first time. As incredible as the Global Ventures Mission trips are, they are just one piece of the puzzle.
Thailand Harvest Plan refers to a long-term plan and it’s actual purpose was to help facilitate the Thai people who have received Jesus Christ as their Lord through the efforts of the Global Ventures teams. The goal is to be able to plant a church in a new city along with mass crusades. This provides a place for all of the new Christians to go and get trained.
Bob Scott, has really helped Thai nationalists to fulfill various roles within the churches. He has also helped to train the nationals to evangelize and share the Gospel of Jesus with their own people. We have seen thousands of Thais won to Jesus through the efforts of nationals trained within the Thailand Harvest Plan. It’s amazing what all is taking place.
It is evident in the Thais who have received Jesus as Lord that there has truly been a change in their hearts and their lives. Change is happening and there is a hope for the future of Thailand, but it’s only just begun.