Meet Our Founder: Carl Ralston

Carl Ralston has been married to his wife Laurie for 28 years. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Malone University and a Master of Arts degree in Religion from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. For years prior to Remember Nhu, Carl owned an insurance agency and attended Hope Church (Christian and Missionary Alliance) in Brunswick, Ohio, as well as Living Hope Church in E. Canton, Ohio.

Remember Nhu was conceived in 2003-2004. Carl was attending a conference hosted by the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Cambodia when he was made aware of the horrific problem of child sex trafficking. Particularly striking was the story of Chup Ly, a 16 year-old who was sold into the sex-slave trade and died three years later of AIDS.

After telling Chup Ly’s story, the missionary speaker then told of Nhu, a 12-year-old girl who had committed her life to Jesus Christ, was baptized, grew as a Christian, and began to share publicly her faith. However, a Buddhist family member then sold her virginity, partly as an act of disapproval of Nhu’s conversion to Christ. At that time, the missionary did not know what had become of Nhu. It was in that moment that Carl felt inspired by God to “Remember Nhu,” and in December of 2003 committed to God that he would do everything in his power to eliminate the use of children in the sex trade industry around the world.

In 2004, Carl finished a master’s degree in Religion in which his final project created Remember Nhu: an organization that would prevent children from entering the sex trade by meeting the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of potential victims. Meanwhile, Carl took 6 trips to Cambodia to look for Nhu and try to meet her in person. Finally in July of 2006, when Nhu was 17, Carl met her for the first time. That meeting would forever change the course of Carl and Nhu’s lives. Carl & Laurie Ralston welcomed Nhu into their own family, and she was given a father and mother who would always love and support her. Not only that, but Nhu also became Remember Nhu’s first official employee.

Today Carl Ralston serves as the Founder and President of Remember Nhu (which was established formally in 2005). Looking back at the day in which Remember Nhu was conceived, Carl recalls: “When I heard Nhu’s story of being sold into the sex trade, God impressed upon my heart, ‘Remember Nhu!’ I immediately broke down, overwhelmed by the thought of this young girl being raped up to 15 times per day. That day Jesus wrecked my life in a great way! Now I have the best career of anyone in the world.”

In May of 2016, Carl experienced one of the greatest joys of his life: walking Nhu down the aisle at her wedding. He had the honor of handing Nhu over in marriage to a man of God, as a free woman, by her own choice. Nhu’s story of redemption had come full circle. Carl’s dream is that this would become the story for thousands of children around the world who would have otherwise been sold into slavery.