At a very young age, Serey, was offered a job at a Manila department store. Filled with excitement and overwhelming joy, Serey was ready for her first day on the job. However, she soon came to realize that she wouldn’t be working in a department store, but instead a brothel, where she would be sold and forced to please the highest bidder.
Serey was a beautiful young Asian women who spoke English very well, which made her a popular target. Whereas many are abandoned by their family, Serey was blessed to have a family who deeply cared for her. Her father and brother, having heard nothing from her for a long while, located Serey and attempted to get her out of the brothel. However, their attempt failed, as they were blocked off and banned from entering the brothel house.
In 2008, Serey was rescued, set free, and brought to the Love146 home, after a police raid of the brothel. During her first few months in the home, all Serey ever did was cry. However, as time progressed, she regained her strength and began to open up and share her story, as well as participate in the activities that the Love146 home was offering.
“Eventually her real self emerged. It’s a beautiful self. It’s a self that is concerned for other people,” GundelinaVelazco PhD., director of Love146 Aftercare, said.
After rehabilitation had come to an end within the Love146 home, Serey was reunited with her family. In 2010, Serey got married. On Serey’s wedding day, she embraced her mother, hugged her, and began to sob. She was finally happy.
“When I would take customers, all I would think of was eating,” she said. “Even if I was ashamed of what I was doing, I would do it in order to live.”
Serey’s is just one of 1 million children who are exploited in the sex slave industry every year. While she is a survivor, many are not fortunate enough to make it out alive. Serey’s story has gripped the hearts of many people worldwide. One person who was touched by Serey’s story is a young woman named Lindsey Miller.
Miller participated in a two-year discipleship program known as Masters Commission; she holds a bachelor’s degree in Biblical counseling; and she is currently going back to school for a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene. Miller works full time as a bookkeeper, and when she’s not working, she’s promoting Love146 through support letters, social media, and distribution of annual reports from previous years.
Miller first heard Serey’s story through Love146. “Love146 is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization geared toward the abolition of child sex slavery and exploitation around the world,” Miller said. She gained interest in such a movement when she attended the National Youth Convention of the Assemblies of God in Phoenix, Arizona.
She said a seed was planted in her heart for human trafficking at National Youth Convention in Phoenix. She said she was recently reminded of that seed and started to research programs that suited specifically what she felt like God wanted her to do. Miller said Love146 is that program.
Miller explained that she was looking for an organization that trained rescuers, offered counseling and education, and provided loving caregivers. Also the organization had to be passion-motivated rather than business-minded, and had or offer a mentorship program. She expressed that she has found every one of these in Love146.
Miller said she chose to make Love146 as she grew tired of living a life of no purpose.
“I realized that I was getting too complacent with my life. I wasn’t living for anything that mattered,” she said. “I wasn’t necessarily turning my back on God, but I was definitely distancing myself. I wasn’t going to church anymore. Work, eat, sleep. That was my daily schedule. I finally just asked God to give me something to tithe and donate to. A few days later, I found Love146 and found out I could create my own fundraiser.
I knew then that for the next year, Love146 was going to be my ministry,” Miller said.
“My personal goals are to simply make an impact in the United States for the cause of Christ. For Love146, I feel like $20,000 is a goal that God spoke loud and clear to me. That $20,000 can supply 2,000 kids with recreational activities, 800 kids with vocational training, and/or 400 kids with a high school education.”
Miller is very clear in her intentions – she simply wants to make a difference.
She encourages young people to stand up for something, to do their part, and to make a difference. Donations can be made online at, http://www.donate.love146.org/supportthechildren, or by mailing a check/money order (payable to Love146 – U.S.) to Love146 – U.S., P.O. Box 51683, Midland, TX 79710.