There are moments, particularly for the young, when a piece of information sends their life in a new direction – in this case, to Thailand.
For 19-year-old Jeremiah Bergman that moment came when ZOE Children’s Homes came to speak at his Santa Clarita church The Sanctuary.
“They were giving all these testimonies about children being bought and sold in sex trades all over the world,” said Bergman.
ZOE Children’s Homes is an international Christian organization that rescues children who are at risk of being sold into prostitution slavery, already sold, orphans, or victims of other “heinous crimes and abuse.”
Don’t miss a thing. Get breaking news alerts delivered right to your inbox
According to ZOE 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year. Fifty percent are children.
Those statistics had a profound impact on Bergman.
“It was kind of scaring me,” said Bergman.
While others were walking away from the ZOE presentation Bergman was inspired to go to Thailand to help.
Bergman, a 2010 graduate of Golden Valley High School, will leave on January 10 and return on the 21st.
After training, Bergman says he’ll accompany FBI agents and local agents in Thailand to search for children who are being sold.
“They give us the opportunity to go and reach out to them and buy them and just take them off the market basically and bring them into foster homes,” Bergman said.
Bergman, a graphic arts student at College of the Canyons, works two part time jobs plus he and a business partner run an entrepreneurial graphic design business called G Sharp Marketing.
None of those pursuits will be enough to pay for the trip.
Bergman is looking to raise the $3,000.00 necessary to pay for the airfare, room and board. He has sent letters to friends and family to help him pay for this new direction.
The slogan for ZOE Children’s Home is “Fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves.”
“They have no way out of the lifestyles they have right now, they’re stuck in this world. We want them to see there’s another life out there they can live,” said Bergman.
If you would like to help Bergman on his mission he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 661-251-4368.
For more information on ZOE Children’s Homes, click here.