We’ve been talking about Bali a lot lately. It’s our next place of expansion – and a place we would already be working except for hard shutdowns due to Covid-19.

The purpose of this communication is to let you know where we are at in our progress towards full operations in Bali – progress in a time where it seems like very little is progressing. It seems that there is not a place in the world more affected by shutdowns than Bali. The streets are empty, businesses are shuttered, and some say that more than 90 percent of economic opportunity has vanished due to severe travel restrictions. Meanwhile, our friends and staff on the ground say that the brothels are fully populated. Much of this is informed by pure desperation as people continue to migrate to find whatever work they can.

We know that Bali will be back as soon as restrictions are lifted. It will return to the unbelievably beautiful destination that it always has been – and, we know, the pipelines that underaged girls are transited through will repopulate with robust black market efficiency.

There are a lot of reasons why Bali is next for us. While we truly believe that God has uniquely called us there, there is also an origin/destination relationship with our work in East Java. An overwhelming percentage of the girls being trafficked into forced prostitution in Bali are transited from East Java. With that, our established operations in East Java will directly serve girls who are rescued in Bali as they return home.

We have a long way to go, but we are making tremendous progress, even in the midst of a year of Covid-19 shutdowns. We would like to thank our church partners who have come alongside us in our efforts to get things off the ground. The financial support through Christmas offerings has been such a tremendous encouragement and further affirms our hopefulness as we anticipate borders opening soon. We have also been incredibly grateful for the Foursquare Church of Western Australia who are sponsoring and sending Lee and Michelle Hastie to begin our Bali efforts in earnest. The Hasties will be deploying as soon as the borders open to join our Denpasar staff.

What the Work in Bali Will Look Like

Bali will be unique for us in many ways. First, at this point, we do not intend to set up aftercare in Bali as we have in other locations. Rather, we will be serving survivors who have been trafficked to Bali and need to be returned home. This has us preparing for the following:

  • Case Management – There are rescues taking place in Bali, but there is a lack of professional services to properly care for survivors. CF will provide all willing partners, including law enforcement, with case management for both survivors and families, with the goal of safely returning a girl to her home or into proper care when necessary.
  • National Development – Due to the large expatriate community, we are already gaining supportive relationships in Bali. We are hopeful that this will only accelerate our work throughout Indonesia and beyond.
  • Law Enforcement Conferencing – One of the greater tasks of our Bali office will be the coordination of nationwide law enforcement conferencing. This is a portion of our work that needs to be reinvigorated and is absolutely essential to our success as a whole.

Last, I wanted to say that we have a group of prayer supporters who have given specific attention to our Bali efforts. We cannot say enough about how necessary this has been. While each new station of work has presented us with tremendous difficulty, we are realistic in expecting Bali to be the most challenging. We have been so grateful for this faithful group who have come alongside us as we tackle the realities of this next venture.

Join the Bali Prayer Group

If you would like to join the group of prayer support specific to our Bali efforts, please email emily@compassionfirst.org and we will add you to our Bali Update email list.

Support our Bali Expansion

To learn more about how you can support our work in Bali, visit compassionfirst.org/bali.

We look forward to sending more updates as the story unfolds. We’re certain it will be a beautiful one.

Your friend,

Mike Mercer
Compassion First

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