Khmer Rouge Revisited

littleboywalkingCambodia is a beautiful country with a complex and very dark history. Recent history, actually.

In the 1970’s, the country suffered an all-out genocide at the hands of the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. These leaders wanted to create an “agricultural utopia” and forced people to work in rural collectives, killing anyone who appeared to be educated or counter to their vision. It’s estimated that over a million innocent Cambodians were executed during this brief period. The effect on the country and the lives of its inhabitants is profound.

Last week, two former Khmer Rouge leaders, now in their eighties, were convicted of their crimes against humanity in a UN-backed tribunal.They were both sentenced to life in prison. Despite the painfully drawn-out and overdue trial, many survivors of the Khmer Rouge era see this as a victory and step toward justice.

This devastating era is one of the many puzzle pieces that helps us to understand the reality of modern-day Cambodia. Thank you for joining with us in our effort to bring the abundant love and compassion of Jesus to these people.


By Caroline Mosey

Faith and Fashion

Nicole speaking at Ladies' Luncheon.

Nicole speaking at Ladies’ Luncheon.

When CGI’s designer Nicole Krajewski poured her heart out for the women in Cambodia at NACC’s Ladies Luncheon, there was not a dry eye in the house.

Let me say, I have been to Cambodia, experienced the stories, and she had me moved to tears. The work that she and CGI are doing in Cambodia is truly changing lives, both in Cambodia, and here in the U.S.
After Nicole shared her heart and the heart of CGI, the fun began. Before we knew it, Kristen Baynai had the whole crowd laughing as she introduced and described each of the 38 models donning the Imprint Collection, designed by Nicole, and sewn by the byTavi and Imprint women in Cambodia. These women were truly brave to strut their stuff in front of 1000 strangers! And, oh my, did they look amazing!


There’s no doubt that it was God’s divine hand that brought all these details together, to display the darkness present in Cambodia, and then the hope that Jesus has to offer. This hour and a half program raised over $15,000 for the women in Cambodia, which is generally the amount raised monthly.

CGI’s beautiful models!

We cannot express how blessed we are by Martha Brammer’s coordination of this event, and the whole North American Christian Convention staff. We would love the opportunity to host an event like this for your women’s ministry. Contact us at

By Whitney Vance

Moody Pastor’s Conference

Booth at Moody's Pastor's Conference

Booth at Moody’s Pastor’s Conference

Last week, CGI staff piled into a rental car–which turned out to be just a little too small!–to travel to Chicago for Moody Bible Institute’s Pastor’s Conference. It was a great opportunity to meet hundreds of pastors that lead church nationwide and get them excited about the work CGI is doing to combat poverty and trafficking in Cambodia.

CGI’s heart is to engage people here in the U.S. to make a positive impact for those in Cambodia. We want to do that through God’s people–congregations and individuals across the country. At the conference, we provided resources to these pastors to do just that. We showed them how to connect with CGI to learn about how mission and then engage.

But this opportunity isn’t just for pastors! We invite YOU to be part of the solution as well. You can play a vital role in empowering the poor, protecting the innocent and sharing the Gospel. Discover creative ways others have done this on our “Do Something” page on our website.

By Whitney Vance


DSC_0238Financial debt plagues a huge percentage of the impoverished in Cambodia. This isn’t like the debt you and I know in the US. There, loan sharks prey on families facing desperate situations, imposing staggering interest that makes repayment almost impossible. In a country where many families earn less than $2 a day, any crisis–a health problem, a natural disaster, a disruption in income–can put them at risk for starvation. So they take out loans for small amounts that snowball into larger amounts over time, and often find themselves desperate once again, this time for a different reason. This is one of the biggest reasons that children are forced into the sex industry.

Not all parents in this situation sell their daughters to traffickers, but some do. This article on CNN explores the issue in depth, and sheds some light on the mentality of the mothers who make these desperate decisions.

Debt is a heavy burden, and follows many of the girls in CGI’s programs. Many of them have shared stories of accrued family debt that they want to help alleviate, even at very young ages. Fighting trafficking is certainly a priority of CGI, but fighting poverty is our main focus. It is the underlying factor–the common thread–in so many trafficking narratives. Our programs in Cambodia emphasize vocational training in the hopes of freeing these girls from poverty, giving them the ability to make decisions apart from the influence of desperation.

Will you link arms with us in this fight? Sponsor a Program Participant

Progress at the Imprint Project

As most of you know, the Imprint Project is CGI’s newest program that began in December. The program consists of girls rescued from sexual slavery, as a collaborative effort between CGI and Destiny Rescue. They learn how to sew (you can find their products on the byTavi site under “Imprint Collection”) and receive spiritual mentoring, along with practical life skills and general education to prepare them for success apart from the sex trade. Now three months into the program, we are excited about the progress we’re seeing with each of these girls and wanted to share it with you!

Last week, the students learned how to make Cambodian formal wear and practiced beading. They each designed their own bead work and did such a great job applying what they’ve been learning and using their own creativity. Join us in praising God for the initiative they are taking to learn, grow and change.

It’s a small but very important step forward.

           bead work 3bead work 2

A Better Ending

betterEndingSometimes, people are exposed to the truth about trafficking and they are overwhelmed. They want to run in the opposite direction, because learning how dark and present the problem is, can make us feel powerless. Those feelings are natural, and we’ve all felt them.

But sometimes, people are exposed to the truth about trafficking and they choose to move toward the issue, fighting back against it. They know that change won’t come unless we act, whether we act as one person or one million on behalf of a righteous cause. Those feelings are supernatural. They are God calling us to lay down our fears and skepticism and fight for Kingdom justice, one step at a time.

Nadine Hill is a person who came face-to-face with the realities of human trafficking and chose not to run away. Today, she runs the Ecumenical Women’s Coalition Against Human Trafficking in Indianapolis, and works each day to combat sexual slavery and provide hope and relief for its victims. She’s teamed up with CGI to empower the women of byTavi, sharing their stories and using her networks to sell their products and pave the way for a stable future.

Read Nadine’s story below and be inspired to act! You may be only one person, but you have the power to bring healing, hope and a better ending.

Click Here to Read Nadine’s Story

Want to find out ways you can be involved? Contact us at

Addressing Gender Inequality

Photo: King Khalid Foundation

Photo: King Khalid Foundation

Saudi Arabia is launching a new campaign to end domestic violence against women. This is considered a major shift in culture for this country, who has long viewed women as second-class citizens. You can read more about it here.

This skewed view of women creates oppression around the globe. It’s the belief that women are inferior that perpetrates some of the world’s most heinous oppression, including (but certainly not limited to) domestic violence and human trafficking. When we change the way we think about women and give them the value they deserve, we can end injustices like these.


Please join with us in praying for a reality in which every person has the dignity and value God intended.


Love Redefined



What is love?

On Valentine’s Day, many of us celebrate romantic love—we shower our significant others with gifts and affection to show them we care. The Ancient Greeks separated love into different types ranging from affection, friendship, and romance to divine love, which they called agape.

Jesus spoke of this divine love when asked which was the greatest commandment—to love God and each other. Agape love transcends understanding and conditions. It’s Christ’s love in us that flows to others through us. C.S. Lewis, in his book The Four Loves, describes agape as a selfless love that is passionately committed to the well-being of others.

As an organization, we strive to be passionately committed to the well-being of others. We are so fortunate to work shoulder-to-shoulder with so many of you who strive for the same.

Happy Valentine’s Day from CGI and thanks for the love you extend through your support.

Signs of Trafficking

Within CGI, our programs work hard to prevent trafficking. As advocates, we want to push away the risks for sexual slavery before it ever begins. At the same time, we also have The Imprint Project, that is designed to help women who have been rescued and need help re-integrating back into a safe community.

Through these programs, we are able to help women in Cambodia who look to us for help on one side or the other: the “before” or the “after.” Today, we want to take a moment to acknowledge the “in between”… the darkness that is sexual slavery, and the signs that someone is entrapped in it.

It doesn’t just happen in Cambodia, or Southeast Asia, or developing countries. It happens in the US. In our cities, suburbs and sometimes neighborhoods. It’s vital to know the signs of someone who is being forced into sexual slavery, and Love 146 has created a list of ways to recognize them. Take a look and share it. You may save a life.

Signs of Trafficking from Love 146


Imagine. Then Act!

Imagine never feeling safe.  Imagine never having that place where you totally relax and feel completely secure.  For most of us, thankfully, this is merely a mental exercise.  But for many impoverished girls and women in Cambodia, it’s a daily reality.

Last summer, my daughter and I had the opportunity to travel to Cambodia with CGI and a group from Grace Church.  The stories from that trip are many and my observations are probably similar to most others. Yes, I was appalled at the pervasiveness of human trafficking.  Yes, I was overwhelmed by the extreme and rampant poverty, and experiencing that poverty first hand was truly indescribable. However, after being home for several months and reflecting on my time there, one thing made a lasting impression: the total absence of a safe environment.

Particularly when you’re a child, you should have that “safe place”. Unfortunately, the children of Cambodia don’t have such a safe place and too frequently don’t have people to protect them.  It is so difficult to convey in words their living conditions.  Their homes would not qualify as such by our standards.  Their walls are made from salvaged pieces of wood, metal, and cloth that have been pieced together. There is no security or sense of safety.  Generally, anyone at any time has access to these children.  Add to this the violence and criminal activity that pervades these poverty-stricken areas and you start to get a feel for the world they live in.

The question becomes – what can we do? Most of us were fortunate enough to be born in the United States where we have safety nets to assist those in poverty, an imperfect but great legal system, and a culture that arguably supports the family.  These girls and women were not.  CGI promotes change in the best possible way.  It empowers the girls and women through training, education, and spiritual development.  I met these girls and women, and saw the real difference CGI has made in their lives. The women in CGI’s programs are coming to realize that they have the ability to control their lives and that they are special and valued.

So…. NOW imagine. Imagine the differences that could be made in so many lives if we all made it a priority to assist these girls and women in whatever ways God may lead us.  The possibilities, like His love and grace, are limitless.

Julie and her daughter with Tavi in Cambodia

Julie and her daughter with Tavi in Cambodia

By Julie Payne