"Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not
believe if told." - Habakkuk 1:5
"Compassion is never compassion until you actually get involved, until your live gets interrupted." -Christine Caine
Serey was an ordinary girl. The sixth of seven children, she was getting ready for her fourth year of high school, but money got tight and her parents could no longer afford schooling. Her life was disrupted when a woman came to her home and offered Serey work as a salesgirl in a big department store in Manila. Serey’s parent’s agreed to let her work.
Upon arriving in Manila, instead of taking them to a department store, the woman took her to a bar. Her parents did not hear from her again. The bar was a front for a brothel. Serey spent months in this dark reality. No two girls in the brothel were from the same province, in order to prevent an escape. She was not allowed to go outside.
After a month in the brothel, she managed to get hold of a cell phone and relayed a message to her family. Her father and brother rushed to Manila to look for her, but after finding the Bar where Serey was held, they were not allowed in and were told she wasn’t there. In early 2008 police raided the brothel and rescued Serey.
After moving through three facilities, she found a safe place in the Roundhome, and began to come to terms with what happened, pick up the pieces, and build a new life. After over a year in the Roundhome, Serey said, “I have passed many trails and I have no worries anymore. My past experience was the most difficult in my life, but I have survived now and everything is peaceful and I am so happy and my life is bright.”
Serey missed her parents and siblings terribly and longed to be by her mother’s side. Last year, after 16 months in the Roundhome, Serey was finally ready to reunite with her family. When asked how she would remember the Roundhome, Serey replied, “It’s where my life changed. It’s where a new angel was born and grew. There were sad and happy moments. It’s the best safehome. I do not want anything changed.”
Her homecoming was emotional. She was embraced by her mother who, through many tears, said again and again, “My baby, my baby, my baby!” Four years ago, her days were spent in a brothel. Today, she is strong, healed, married woman.