They also serve those who serve the children and are committed to working through national leadership. Serving them, not leading them. Equipping them, not directing them.
Q: When was Compassionate Hope established and what sparked the birth of this organization?
A: The birth of Compassionate Hope and our heart for the Least of These (Matthew 25:40) in Southeast Asia began over 30 years ago when our founder, Dr. Al Henson, started making his first trips to Thailand and Laos. During these trips, God used him to walk alongside the persecuted church, plant churches, make disciples, and train church leaders. As part of his journeys, he saw firsthand the horrors facing children and the perfect storm that was sweeping them toward a future of exploitation and trafficking.
Because he had already spent decades being a servant to the servants of God in Southeast Asia, God had him and his wife Susan uniquely positioned to found Compassionate Hope in 2011. Compassionate Hope exists to serve and support these national leaders who are in turn caring sacrificially for 850+ children in over 50 Homes of Hope in Thailand, Laos, and the Philippines.
Q: What are the ways in which Compassionate Hope is combatting human trafficking in Southeast Asia?
A: We help rescue children from trafficking, and we also focus on the prevention of human trafficking by breaking the cycles of poverty and lack of education that contribute to trafficking.
A significant way we fight human trafficking is through our work in the Philippines. One of the most horrific atrocities in the world is taking place behind closed doors in homes every day in the Philippines.
Children are being forced into OSEC, the online sexual exploitation of children, and their perpetrators are often family members.
All OSEC needs to thrive is an innocent young child and a camera connected to the internet.
Our Village of Hope in the Philippines works with the government to provide a safe, loving home where children who have been rescued from OSEC can heal, thrive, and find hope.
Q: From your experience thus far, what would you say is the toughest challenge Compassionate Hope has faced in fighting human trafficking?
A: The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the toughest challenges we have seen in our ministry. Besides the health and economic ramifications of COVID-19, authorities are also seeing an alarming rise in OSEC trafficking because of the restricted lockdowns. The US Department of Justice charted approximately 25,000 lead hits to OSEC streaming sites in October 2019. But in October of 2020, the lead hits jumped to approximately 350,000, which is fourteen times higher compared to 2019.
Remember, in many cases, the perpetrators of this trafficking are family members….parents, aunts, uncles, and other family members who are desperate for funds, and overseas “customers” are only too willing to pay.
Many of the viewers and participants in these despicable live shows are in the United States and Europe.
Q: Could you share with us a favorite story of victory that Compassionate Hope has witnessed?
A: One of my favorite stories is the story of Ning. Ning is from Thailand and she was trafficked to the United States as a child bride. Let that sink in for a minute... Ning was sold into slavery in the United States. But praise Jesus, Ning was able to escape miraculously and made her way back to Thailand. She was then discipled and mentored by Dr. Al Henson, our founder. As time passed, Ning desired to open her own Home of Hope for girls just like her who have been trafficked or in danger of being trafficked. Ning’s Home of Hope became a blessed reality, and I wish you could meet the beautiful, precious girls who have found hope, a future, unconditional love, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ because of Ning’s love for the Lord and His children.
Q: What are the current needs of Compassionate Hope? How can we, the every day person, support you in fighting human trafficking?
A: We are grateful for all those who have come alongside us. Our children are God’s children... and your children. We thank God for everyday people praying faithfully, supporting our children, and sharing the news about the miraculous stories God is writing every day in Southeast Asia!
One of our most significant needs is the ongoing support of our Homes of Hope. Sponsoring a home helps provide for the food, clothing, educational, and housing needs of the children. We also don’t stop providing education when our students graduate high school. We are delighted to care for them just like we care for our children in the United States by helping them attend university, Bible college, or vocational school.
A practical way for people to start getting involved with Compassionate Hope is by taking part in our Christmas for the Least of These project, which is going on right now.
For $25.00, you can give the gift of a joy-filled Christmas to a child in our Homes of Hope. For many children, this is their first opportunity to have a love-filled, Christ-filled Christmas. Your donation will help cover the cost of a Christmas party, a special meal, and a gift for a child. Also, in some areas, we can make this special Christmas party a community event, where we can share with the community about the gospel of Christ. To learn more and take part, visit our website at www.compassionatehope.org/christmas.
You can also support Compassionate Hope by purchasing 139MADE's shirts and other products, while sharing about the amazing work they are doing to fight human trafficking. 10% of all our sales until JANUARY 12th, 2022 will be donated to Compassionate Hope. CLICK HERE TO SHOP
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