Friday saw an unexpected development in our search for the 34 trafficked children.
High up in the mountainous village where the kids come from, a parent received a phone call from a child care worker in a province near Ho Chi Minh City in the south.
4 of the 34 had somehow escaped their traffickers and were picked up either by a friendly local or perhaps by a police officer and taken to a shelter. The first thing they wanted to do, naturally, was ring their mothers.
We have no idea yet how they escaped or how they ended up in the shelter. We've held off questioning them over the phone because we don't want to scare them. We are complete strangers, after all.
On Monday night our operation will kick off. Thanks to this escape, we're now in a (presumably) better position to find the remaining 30... assuming that these 4 can lead us back to their trafficker, and that the trafficker is still there.
We're expecting that it will still take some days of work; there is still a lot to do, and we want to be sure that the trafficker is caught and punished. We're still not certain what sort of work the kids are doing.
But we're going ahead. It's on.
THANK YOU to those people who have already sent donations for this. Whether it's $10 or a few hundred, it will help.
We are still in urgent need of more funds to arrange this rescue, and I invite our friends around the world to help out with this. You can donate here or drop me a line if you want to ask more: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm excited and nervous about what's to come. Here's to hoping we can get these kids home.