The purpose of this mission trip was to SEE, HEAR, LEARN about our surroundings, from rural villages to urban hotspots, in order for us to understand the situation in Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam and Cambodia. Not only did we dig deeper into the human sex trafficking issue, but through conversations with local were we able to understand other important problems like extreme poverty, human rights violations, and social marginalization and discrimination of Vietnamese people.
Jan 10 - The girls are amazing. My first impression of them are that they are so well behaved, polite, respectful, cheerful, fun - the way every girl should be. I met M. first, one of the youngest girls at the house at 8 years old. I wouldn't have guessed her older than five. She's small, though she carries the brightest smile. I fell in love with her instantly.
I met the girls throughout the day as they came home from school and work. Each of them greeted us individually. There are 15 girls in the house, with the oldest being H. at 20 years old. They are all so young and beautiful, so innocent, so playful. I often forget why they live in that house.
What I admire most about the girls are that they take care of each other. They look out for each other. They serve each other food first. They do each other's hair. It's quite a warm feeling when a house of 15 girls can live so peacefully together.
Father Martino calls them his children, while Sister Ngoc is their "Mother". The girls call him and Sister Ngoc "Bo" and "Me" respectively. Father Martino and Sister Ngoc raises the girls as their own. They do not run a shelter. They are raising children. They are a family - a symbol of which the girls have never been introduced to in their lives. The girls have been raped by family, sold by family, or been kidnapped by traffickers. The OBV house offers them love, discipline, respect, dignity, and a HOME.
I am truly blessed to share a part of this family, and I WILL see my new family every year.
Unfortunately I can't show you pictures of the girls in order to respect their confidentiality, but I can show you everything else!