This is an update on the case of the kids from Vietnam.
When Phimpha arrived in Vietnam a couple of weeks ago, the relatives of many of the children came to meet her to tell their side of the story. She wanted to know how 17 children and 7 adults ended up in Thailand. Twenty three different families were involved. They told Phimpha a woman who calls herself a Reverend and is on the committee of the churches in their area was the person who told them about Mr. Tang. Because of her position they believed her. We have yet to talk to her directly. (Her name is Mai.) Mai told them Mr. Tang has an international school in Thailand. If you send your children to him he will teach them in Thailand for two years, then the international school in Alberta Canada will accept them and they will finish their education in Canada. They will not have to pay anything. It will all be free. She told the adults if they wanted to be a share holder in the International school they could do so and get rich. They could buy shares from Mr. Tang. She said one share cost $7,000.00 USD. She told them Mr. Tang said they could put $1,000.00 down on a share and make payments for the rest. They were promised they would make a lot of money on the dividends. They did not have to buy a share to send their children to him. Mai told them the school had already started so they needed to quickly send their children to Thailand. She left a few days later with 17 children and 7 adults that had borrowed $1000.00 as a down payment for their share in the school. Because these are poor families and because of the urgency they took the loans outside of the financial system from loan sharks. The reverend took them all by bus across Cambodia into Thailand. She then returned 4 days later, to Vietnam. When she got there she talked with the families of the children and told them things had changed because their kids were late to arrive. She told them they would need to come up with $700.00 for each child because all the uniforms and such had already been given out to the other students in the school. They only had to pay this first time, after that everything would be free. They were worried about their children so they too, loaned from sharks, and gave the money to Mai. She sent it to Mr. Tang in Thailand.
For the most part, these are poor uneducated families. They thought this was a dream come true for them to educate their children and to lift them out of poverty. When Phimpha seen the situation there, the poverty these children and families live in ever day, her heart was very heavy. These poor families living in the worst of conditions were looking to get ahead, but instead they were now in debt. Before the scam they were poor but surviving. Now they were in debt because of their being taken and the loan sharks are threatening them. They told the families they will take the child and sell him as a slave in repayment for the loan and exorbitant interest. The sharks told them the boys would go to fishing boats and the girls sold to the sex slave trade. This is common in Vietnam.
Phimpha visited many of the families. One of the boys she visited had been raised by his grandparents; they were in their upper 70’s. They lived in a three meter by four meter box in a slum area. What she seen, the way they lived and the poor conditions they lived in made her literally sick for two days. She could not get it out of her mind. The grandparents would not tell her how much they owed for the loan. They begged her to just take the boy out of Vietnam so he would be safe. They said we are old and they can do to us what they want. We just want the boy to live. The grandmother and the boy had been Christians for over ten years. The grandfather was not, but because they always came home happy, he never objected to them going to church. After Phimpha left she heard from others that because of her visit he went to Church the next Sunday with them and gave his life to Christ. He said he was amazed that a person from another country would take the time to visit him. He believed God must be working in her because it is not normal that someone who is not related would do something like that. He said your God must be real. He said only a God can make someone do this. It is not normal.
satan wants to kill steal and destroy. He does it many different ways. Sometimes he plants doubt about others. He creates fear in our hearts, even physical pain. He makes people ignore others with problems. Just take care of yourself he whispers. He turns Christians against Christians making us all look bad. Some claim to be a Christian and steal from those in Churches. Trusting Christians are easy prey. he will not succeed against the power of prayer. We do not need to fear him. he will lose and he knows it. Do not fall into his deception. We must stand together in unity. Keep each other strong and fight him with all we have. Let us never forget. The power we have in Christ far exceeds anything he can throw at us.
We currently have 4 of the children living with us. We still need to bring two more over for safety. Beyond that we do not know. It is hard to get any kind of a visa for them yet because of the way they were run back and forth by Tang. It is an ongoing case and probably will be for some time.
Rodney and Phimpha