UPDATE! We are almost at $10,000 raised towards the purchase of Dahlia House!!! WOOOOHOOOOO!!! You are all wonderful and we THANK YOU!! We’ve made a sweet little blog badge to put on your blog or website if you are so inclined. We would LOVE it if you would! Just visit our blog badge page to see it. Throwing you big kisses from the Clubhouse!! xoxo
I wanted to continue the story of the trip to Manila. And…at some point, I will reach out and ask you if you feel called to help…and if you do, there are a group of us who have converged and would like to invite you to join with us to help. (At the end of this blog post I’ll share one of the ways that we can all help RIGHT NOW…but there will be more to come). Please please please read on, because we really do need your help if you can help in any way…..
But first….more of the story.
Just remember that we all have stories that are part of us…part of our lives, part of who we are. They are not fiction, and they are not fairy tales…they are not screen plays or movies or short films…..they are the stories of who we are….that is what this story is too….it’s a real life story that has lots of parts…just like yours and just like mine.
I would like to talk about the girls who live in the Safe House. I want to tell you what it is like to be in a Safe House, and what it is like to know and love the women who live inside of it.
In Manila and the surrounding areas….I noticed that many of the homes have gates and walls around them. These are walls that keep the families inside safe.
The Safe House that houses these sisters is much the same. It has a gate, and another gate…and a locked door, and bars on the windows….there to keep them safe.
Inside there is simple and beautiful decor….functional, all of it. What struck me almost immediately was the sacred way they seemed to touch and use every dish, every chair, every bed. What struck me was the way that everything was deliberately placed and deliberately used…and deliberately cared for.
What struck me was the way that the girls held the word HOME with such awe, sacredness….such lack of taking it for granted……..such gratitude. In their words, yes…but mostly in the way that they moved about the home with such ease and belonging and care. They were so eager to use this home to bless us, as their guests….and they did.
I looked around one day as the sun was coming through the bars of the windows and the gates of the balconies and thought….WOW…WHAT A CHANGE FOR OUR SISTERS TO BE BEHIND BARS THAT PROTECT…..rather than bars that enslave.
This is Kenny Sacht … he is one of my heroes….he started the safe house and made all of this possible. See the heartbreak on his face…after years of doing this…..it is still shocking, heartbreaking and vile. He has dedicated his life to this work. He has a foundation called WIPE EVERY TEAR that we all have the chance to help in a very significant way (see later in this post). I love this man……he is a good good good man.
Inside of this Safe House we sat in a room with each girl, one by one……and one on one….and heard their stories from beginning to end…each story taking several hours to get through.
We sat in a safe and warm and beautiful little room, with beautiful barred windows, and heard stories of our sisters being kept in figurative cages…..trapped inside of places with bars and gates and locks of all kinds…..being enslaved to be a body that was used and used and used and used and abused and abused and abused and abused…..repeat again the next day.
They couldn’t leave for many reasons. The bars and gates and locks and captors held them in. To see them as beautiful little bodies and long shiny hair and a THING to pleasure them….a THING to beat up, abuse, use……a piece of property to use like a rental video game…….
AND YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, as I wrote in Part One…that these are our sisters. These are our sisters. These are our daughters, cousins, aunts, friends...these are just like every girl you have ever loved.
I need you to please get a visual of what this means to make the shift from LOCKED GATES THAT KEEP THEM TRAPPED…..to LOCKED GATES THAT KEEP OUT THE BAD THINGS AND KEEP THEM SAFE….being free to come and go….but when they are there…..they are safe.
We all know that everyone deserves to be free.
I will never write about our sister’s specific stories. I won’t because I know for sure that every one of them will be telling you her story on her own…..and we all need that experience. So does she…she need to give voice to her own story, to be the one who tells it…..and YOU need the experience of hearing it straight from her….
But I will tell you what almost every girl trapped in human trafficking has in common……
She was young…..she had dreams…..at some point she started being seen as a beautiful little body instead of beautiful little soul. At some point she started being seen as a product that could bring in money….or a product to hold onto for on-demand sexual pleasure…or even just to torture. So……she was tricked. Or she was stolen. She was told that she was going to be working as a waitress or a home helper…….and it wasn’t true. She was taken somewhere where she couldn’t communicate with anyone who could help her…and even if she could have reached someone, she couldn’t have told them where she was…because she didn’t know where she was. She was threatened, put into debt, and made to feel like trash…….and then used and used and used and used and used. Each one has a different rescue story….all are incredibly brave. But each girl was a little girl who had no one making sure she was safe…no one looking out for her…..and a whole lot of powerful people using her………..
In another blog post I will go more into detail about how the sex trade industry works…..but all of it is so much the same. She is not safe…she is trapped. She needs to be rescued, she needs to be set free…..
This photo is so precious to me…with my friend, Honey…who I love and think about every day. I am reading her the words of the TRUTH CARDS that YOU all made. She picked several of them to hold on to and cherish…she couldn’t pick just one. Oh, how I love her. She is still working on the street….someday I hope we can help her get out of this.
If you made Truth Cards and sent them to us, you must know what how cherished and treasured your beautiful little cards are. How they are kept and held and read and how very much it matters, what it means to them to know that they matter to you, that you are thinking about them and care about them…that they are not forgotten. I hope you watch the video at the bottom of this post so some of them can thank you themselves.
Recently I skyped with our sisters in the Safe House. They wanted to tell you all Thank You!! You can see their message in the video at the bottom of this post. I love these girls!
We’re preparing to send the next batch of Truth Cards with a friend who is visiting Southeast Asia next month…you can be assured that your Truth Cards will continue to spread around the world, bringing some light and hope to our sisters in its darkest corners.
For today, an exciting announcement…we can help them buy Dahlia House
The next phase of our efforts is to help WIPE EVERY TEAR, the founders of the Safe House, do an absolutely wonderful, critical thing….buy a bigger Safe House. Right now, there are already 5 more girls ready to move to a safe place and resto
re their lives…..and there is not enough room for them………..
Can you imagine? As you sit reading this post in your own home, completely safe, protected, secure….can you imagine?
This is soooooooo easy to fix….they just need our help. Thankfully there are a LOT of us……if we all helped just a little bit….they could reach their goal and buy a humble, safe HOME, a place of refuge and healing…Dahlia House. Will you join hands with us? ….this is our opportunity to join hands with Brave Girls the world over and do something extraordinary!!
Please watch this video and then see if you just might be able to help them out, then SPREAD THE WORD to everyone you know…….it will be so incredible for all of us to be able to be a part of this……
Video – Melody with “Manila Part 2″….Let’s help buy Dahlia House!
Wipe Every Tear’s fund-raising site (how and where we can all contribute)
All about our Truth Card Exchange program
PART 1 – Brave Girl Human Trafficking Travel Journal – Manila Trip