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Reflection: My Destiny Rescue Trip to Thailand Part 2

Mission Part 2
by
Kimberli Denton

So how does Destiny Rescue save these girls? The answer may surprise you. Destiny Rescue has male volunteers that go into the brothels and buy them. By doing this they build trust and pray with these girls while providing hope for a new life. Keep in mind the majority of these girls are broken and hopeless. Few choose to leave but others choose to stay because their ties to making money to support their families are much tighter compared to those who choose to leave at a very high risk.

Once I had a better understanding of how Destiny Rescue works, my heart sunk just walking into the salon I would be working in. While I was unaware of each of their stories or the trauma they had endured before being rescued, I only knew I loved each of the girls I met right away. While each of them knew very little English, the girls were very welcoming, and thankful for all the luggage full of salon supplies and individual presents we brought them. They really loved all the nail supplies, and the passion they showed for nails far exceeded the haircuts or up do’s we taught them. My team member, Kinsey Henry, from InsideOut had a lot of fun teaching them about manicures & pedicures.

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Their hair braiding skills were also just as amazing, they probably taught me more than I could ever teach them! They also instructed us how to cut Asian hair as the styles, and preferences in Thailand are different than what we are used to here in America. In the end, I think they were just as happy teaching us as we were teaching them. We also took them out to ice cream. I know that in our country that may sound like a normal, everyday thing but to them it was a real treat. Beautiful from the inside out, they all looked so beautiful all dressed up.

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We also helped Tina cut hair at a Destiny Rescue home. A rescue home is where the girls that are rescued go to stay. Once rescued, they are counseled, schooled, and taught about jewelry. They also have a small beauty school that teaches them salon basics before going to a school where they can become licensed. Its important to note that when many of the girls are first rescued, they have short attention spans mainly because very few of them have had any sort of education. Destiny Rescue works very closely with each of the girls they rescue as some of the girls are also handicapped. Depending on their family circumstances some are allowed to go home on the weekends and holidays. In the end my heart ached for all the girls, and all I can say was that I was honored to teach & cut their hair.

Series Links:
Boise Hair Salon Making a Difference in Thailand – Mission Part 1

Reflection: My Destiny Rescue Mission to Thailand

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Mission Part 1
by
Kimberli Denton

Sitting down to write this, it is very hard for me to know where I should start. Upon returning from Thailand, the last week for me has been very emotional as I reflect on the time I spent over there. Having seen, heard, and learned so much about the girls I helped there I also gained a much better understanding of their culture as well. We are so blessed here in America, and as I sit down to write this, its important to note that we should all count our blessings and be thankful for so many of the everyday things we so often take for granted.

People often ask why I don’t support local organizations within our own country. Actually, yes I do. In fact, I am involved in helping those affected by sexual exploitation within our own backyards. I have helped to organize, sponsor, and promote multiple fundraisers to help those in need including: children dying of cancer, abuse victims, shop with a cop (Christmas) while helping children who come from abusive homes (or) families that simply don’t have much. Helping others has always been a soft spot for me, and it hurts knowing how many children are out there suffering.

Over two years have gone by since I first heard about children getting sold into sex trafficking or sexual exploitation to help support their families. I cant tell you how badly this filled my heart with sorrow. As a mother to a nine year old daughter, it is so hard for me to think about how lucky she is and how unfortunate other little girls her age are. Inside I felt this was a calling for me to help, and I remember thinking to myself, “How can I possibly make a difference?” Since God blessed me with the gift of hairstyling, I realized it was important for me to help provide these girls with a trade so they would never have to be sold into sex trafficking again.The more my heart was pulled, the more I dug into what I was eventually called to do. That is when I learned about Destiny Rescue. Less than a year later, I contacted them, and asked to help at a Destiny Rescue Salon.

For a person like Tina Marie Cairo however, it was a much bigger calling. Having met her during my mission, she runs a salon in Thailand for girls that have been directly involved in sex trafficking. Not only does she sacrifice her life for these girls, she lives in Thailand and only goes home once or twice a year. Working with her was such a blessing. For me it was only a week, but that one week would change my life forever.

Reflecting back on what I learned about the culture over there was amazing to me. Flying into Bangkok was like flying into New York. It was a busy city with lights, action, and really no sign of poverty. Flying into Chiang Rai however, was a completely different story. Tina explained to me that while Bangkok welcomes more visitors than any other city in the world it views its surrounding cities much differently because they are very poor and still developing.

Outside of Chiang Rai are additional villages that are extremely poor. This is where the importance of sex trafficking comes into play. Because their culture is so different than ours, many people simply depend on having children for survival. When a child comes into age, they are often pushed out to work. With no education and a need for money, girls are often sexually exploited to support their families. While the bonds that hold these families together are strong; abuse, drugs and alcohol are often just as powerful.

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With no other way to work or support their families, girls either sell themselves on street corners or are sold into brothels or mamma saunas for money by their families. One brothel we visited in Bangkok was three stories high with curtains hung in front of the doorways of each room. As you walked by the young girls & boys standing outside would simply open the curtains to let you peek inside. Mind you this was only five blocks away from a busy mall and anyone could walk in.

Each girl had on them a number so it was easy to identify and ask for them. What really affected me was when I reached the 3rd floor.  I saw two small boys just standing there. They couldn’t have been any older than six or seven years old. No parents. Just hanging out. I was informed that this was very common as their parent(s) may have been busy working in one of the rooms nearby. Disgusting. My heart dropped and all I wanted to do was take these little ones home with me. Do brothels sell children you ask? Well of course… No age limit applies! Although it is against the law to sell a child under ten years of age, it still happens. All you have to do is ask. At least I can proudly say that it was Destiny Rescue that first brought down a brothel in Thailand, that was known for selling children and that brothel is still closed to this day…