A Resolute Heart: How Ren Protected Her Daughter At All Costs

Others, Trafficking , Women & Girls

Contributed by: Ratanak International


Ren grew up in terrible poverty. She never knew her biological father and never learned to read or write.

As a child, she lived in fear of her stepfather’s abuse. Then her mother passed away when Ren was only

17 years old, and she was completely alone.

A few years after Ren’s mother died, she started working in a restaurant. There, a woman approached her. This woman was a broker, and she knew girls like Ren were especially vulnerable.

“You could make more money working abroad! I have a contact who’s hiring, if you’re interested. I can arrange everything, but I need your answer soon,” the broker said.

Hoping this job would change her life, Ren decided to accept.

But as soon as she arrived in China, she realized there was no job and she was trapped. She was sold three times into forced marriages. The third “husband” she’d been sold to was an alcoholic who was cruel and violent. When he drank, he would threaten to kill her.

Alone, with no one to turn to, she was terrified, just like when she was a child. Then, she got pregnant, and suddenly her “husband” was overjoyed. He even started treating her more kindly. Four months into her pregnancy, he took her for a maternity check-up. That was when she learned she was HIV positive. Her husband seethed with fury. “Get an abortion!” he demanded. When she refused, he struck her hard and pushed her outside, locking the door.

Thankfully, she found help through the police. Their office helped repatriate her to Cambodia. 

When Ren arrived at Ratanak’s transitional home, she was six months pregnant, carrying a heavy burden. The shame she felt was overwhelming. Ren blamed herself for being trafficked, and she was angry. Never again would she innocently believe a stranger…from now on, trust had to be earned.

But our Ratanak staff understood, deeply—and they were prayerfully committed to helping her. 

Over time, their care and dedication paid off.

Bonds of trust were built and Ren started communicating more freely. Ratanak staff encouraged her, “You have many strengths! You’re perseverant, independent, and have a big heart for others.”

Thanks to donors like you, she was given a welcome package to make her feel more at home and she learned vital information about her rights.

But Ren couldn’t stop worrying, “Will my baby be ok?”

Our team reassured her that she wasn’t alone and gave her a safe place to share her fears and worries. Their highest priority was caring for her health and the health of her baby. It was challenging for them to find medical professionals that specialized in HIV care, but they were incredibly persistent and found ways to help Ren. And when it was time to deliver, they stayed by her side in the hospital for two days—she felt so loved and cared for as she welcomed her precious daughter into the world.

Your gifts made it possible for our team to be such a strong pillar of support for Ren, demonstrating Jesus’ love for her. She was so relieved when she learned that her baby was healthy and did not contract HIV.

Today, Ren is back in her community receiving financial support and career counselling from Ratanak to ensure a safe future for her family. She’s grown so much, her joy is an inspiration to our team.

In time, she’d like to start a small business. “I want to earn money to send my daughter to school because when she has knowledge she will not get trafficked like me,” she says.

Thank you for empowering Ren and survivors like her!



*Names and or/some details have been altered as appropriate to protect the identities of those in our care.

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