John 11.43-44 “Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!” [NLT]
When Sreypov Chan was 7 years old—an age when most girls are going to slumber parties—she was sold to a brothel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city, to work as a sex slave. The woman who made the sale: her mother.
For years, pimps forced Sreypov to have sex with as many as 20 men a day. If she didn’t meet her quota, or if she tried to run away, she was punished in unthinkable ways—burned with a hot poker, covered with biting insects. And worse.
What kind of person sells her own daughter into slavery? In Cambodia, a deeply poor, corrupt nation still reeling from the bloody genocide perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge regime in the ’70s, it’s someone especially desperate.
For Sreypov, it wasn’t always like this. She remembers a happy childhood, with loving parents, five siblings, and a house in the rural district of Koh Thom, where her family owned a rice field. When she was 5, her father died. The family, now poor, eventually moved to a shack. When she turned 7, her mother sold her, telling her she would be working as a housekeeper in another home. Sreypov felt it was her duty to obey. In Cambodia, daughters are like property: They are there to provide for the family.
Indeed, Sreypov did do a little housecleaning—for two days. On the second evening, her new employers drove her to another home, in Phnom Penh, where she ate dinner and went to bed. When she woke up, she found that she was locked in the room. It was her first night in a brothel.
Over the next few days she was abused and tortured for refusing to willingly participate in accepting ‘clients’. She had to drink urine, was covered in biting ants and whipped with an electric cable until she finally said yes.
When Sreypov saw her first client—”an Asian man with a cruel look in his eyes,” she changed her mind and said no again, and started to cry. Furious at her behavior, the pimp took his abuse to a new level, crushing up a handful of hot chili peppers with his foot and stuffing them... read more