PUBLISHED ON 8 JULY, 2016 BY BETH STOLICKER
Dominican Republic (MNN) – In the Dominican Republic, adult prostitution is legal, but it easily opens the door to a world of sex slavery. Actually, out of all the countries in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic has the highest rate of human trafficking.
What’ s Happening
In fact, a lot of young women and girls are brought across the border from Haiti into the Dominican Republic for this reason.
It’s a sad truth that’s been encouraged by both the deep poverty in these two countries and the high tourism the Dominican Republic experiences.
But even in the dark corners of the world, where incredible evil prevails, God is still at work.
Making a Difference
A couple of years ago, Family Christian partnered with Destiny Rescue, to help girls coming out of the sex trade by sharing the Gospel and providing a safe environment to heal. Steve Biondo, with Family Christian, says,
“Destiny Rescue is a powerful, worldwide organization that pursues the restoration of children who are enslaved in the illicit sex trade, or in some other way, trafficked against their will. Potentially in forced labor.”
For these girls and women coming out of the sex trade or forced labor, their skills are few. Their family relations are often damaged, and they themselves have experience brokenness to a nearly unimaginable degree. They need time, healing, and genuine love. That’s where a safe, restoration home is needed.
A Safe Place
“These are safe homes, a safe home, that is operated by Destiny Rescue. Competent social workers, medical staff, and care providers who receive girls who have been trafficked in the trade, and then care for them on five dimensions,” Biondo explains. “They care for them spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and intellectually [and socially.]”
The restoration home, Dominican Republic Restoration Home, is the result of Destiny Rescue’s partnership with Family Christian and the support of Family Christian’s staff and customers. The work for this home began nearly two years ago in November of 2014.
During nine days of fundraising, Family Christian raised more than $166,000, covering the $150,000 needed to establish Destiny Rescue and this restoration home in the Dominican Republic. The remaining funds have been used to cover the home’s first year operating costs. Then in 2015, a year after the initial fundraiser, the ground work began and Destiny Rescue was finally in-country.
But the restoration home isn’t only a safe place, it’s a place where these girls can encounter Jesus and truly learn what it means to be loved and whole once more.
Biondo shares the story of when the first girl who came to the restoration home, who was so broken, but then she encountered Christ’s love.
“She just became this young girl of joy. She was discovering she’s a new creature in Christ and that she’s not defined by what had happened to her, but she is now defined by what has been done for her because of Jesus’ death and sacrifice and the cross and His resurrection,” Biondo recalls.
This girl, who had experienced so much trauma, was discovering she has a heavenly dad who loves her more than an earthly father ever could. And it has been this love that has flipped her world upside down.
Now, this girl shares the goodness of Christ and his healing with every other girl who comes into this home. But because of her past and the things she’s experienced, she offers something to these girls no one else in the home really can. She offers credibility. And she’s using that credibility to share the bright and shining light of the hope found in Christ.
So if you would, pray for the girls entering this home, for their safety and transformation. Pray for them to encounter Christ and for their hearts to open up to the Gospel. And pray for these girls to heal. For them to realize their identity as a daughter of the King and just how loved each of them truly is.
To get involved or learn more about this restoration home, click here!