There is a place in the Philippines in a one-and-a-half-mile strip where 15,000 girls are trafficked in the sex trade. Many, if not most, were deceived and tricked into the sex trade believing that they would have a good job making a good income where they would experience a good life in the big city. Now, they just need a way out.
Wipe Every Tear began in the jungles of the Philippines. In 2008 I was still a coach at a local Christian High School in Boise. I went to the Philippines with my volleyball team to hold a camp in a neighborhood slum. I was talking to this girl in a little hut where she told me she was hungry. When I asked her, “How hungry are you?” she replied, “Well Coach,” holding out her hand, “I get this much rice, once or twice a day.” Then she said, “Oh, I have these tooth aches, Coach, and it hurts when I eat.” I asked her if she’d ever been to a dentist. She laughed and told me, “No.”
My heart was broken. As I asked her more about her life, the Spirit of God just came upon me and started to break me. I began to feel God’s heart for the poor. I decided right then that I was going to make a difference in someone’s life. So, I talked with a local pastor that knew her and he helped my wife and I do some things for her.
We began taking continuous trips there every year and as the word got out about what we were doing, others started giving. Soon we began sponsoring another person, and another, and another. We started by meeting their physical needs, like cavities. We took our first young friend, Cecile to the dentist and 28 cavities later the pain in her mouth was gone! What a joy!
I remember one Christmas very specifically. I was home reading about this thing called human trafficking. I had heard a little about it but really didn’t know much of anything. As I began to click, and click, and click, I zeroed in on southeast Asia, then on the Philippines, and that’s when it hit me. “Oh my God! I’ve been in the Philippines but I didn’t see it.” I began to wonder if it was in the places that I have visited. Lo and behold, it was.
So, in 2011 I prepared to take another team to the Philippines, but this time it would be with an emphasis on ministry in the slums in the area of the sex trade. We had no idea what we were doing – we just knew we needed to do something! As we walked the streets at night, we were deeply shocked. We saw what was happening and immediately God began to break my heart again. This time, He gave me a vision of my own daughters and how thankful I was that they had been born in America. I realized in a moment that the only reason these girls on the streets were doing what they were doing was because they were born into poverty and now they were trapped. They were tricked into selling their bodies for sex. I realized that they’d been trafficked, and I was deeply, deeply touched.
Our team saw the need – primarily a safe place to live, so, by faith, a few months later I hopped on a plane with a couple of friends bound for Manila. We found a house and again, by faith, we secured it. I also hired a wonderful lady, Rebecca Angeles, who was a professor of business at a university in the Philippines. God spoke to her to give her life up for these girls. So, Hope House began as our first 24-hour residential care facility.
The girls that come to live with us have such a hope that there is something else they can do other than sell themselves on the streets and in the bars of Manila. We give them a safe place to live and heal where they can attend school or trade schools that we pay for. We are always looking for entrepreneurs or business developers to help us train those girls that are unable to be educated in a formal environment. If you have any ideas that we haven’t thought of, call us, email us, or find us on Face Book or Instagram. We’d love to hear from you.
We have more homes and more girls now but the dream and the work is still the same. Propelled by the Father’s intense love for the poor and his deep desire to see captives set free, we march forward in love and we invite you to join us.
God is doing something new in our hearts by capturing our attention in regards to the poor, the oppressed, and those in chains. I am seeing a response like never before of people saying, we have to help! It’s not an option. We must help. Just know, you are welcome here. If you, your organization, church, or ministry is ready to get involved, man, we’d just love to have you! There are so many ways you can be involved – join one of our short-term teams that go into the bars to talk to the girls, become a volunteer either in the states or overseas, become a long-term missionary living in the Philippines, or go online to donate to support our staff and our work at http://wipeeverytear.org/ways-to-give-2/.
This is a dream, and you can be part of that dream. So, on behalf of our girls, our staff in the Philippines and those of us here in the states, we are just so thankful for you.
Check out “Kenny Sacht | Wipe Every Tear” from Crash Eleven Productions on Vimeo.
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