At 212 Media Studios, we believe that giving is more than just something you should do out of habit every December. Giving is really important—and can literally change both the recipient and the giver. That’s why this holiday season, 212 Media Studios is spending 12 days focusing exclusively on what it means to give.
It’s an appalling fact: Globally, an estimated 27 million men, women, and children are enslaved.
Destiny Rescue, an internationally recognized non-profit, has given the gifts of freedom and restoration to hundreds of children by rescuing them from red-light districts, brothels, and abusive situations. They also provide prevention programs, which are keeping hundreds more from entering the sex trade and raising awareness.
Currently serving in five nations, Destiny Rescue exists to “rescue the sexually exploited and enslaved, restore the abused, protect the vulnerable, empower the poor and be a voice for those that can’t speak up for themselves.”
These rescuers don’t just sit around discussing the problem, focusing only on raising funds so others can fix the problem. They are in the nitty-gritty, actually freeing the enslaved—but that’s just the first step. Destiny Rescue provides follow-up programs to help bring emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical healing through medical care and counseling at a “rescue home.” Depending on time and age, these individuals can also learn a trade that helps them become self-sufficient and reintegrate into society.
Join me in a Q&A with David Grant as he shares his story and passion:
Author’s note: I’d like to give a huge thanks to David for doing this interview. He is currently in Thailand and did this interview by email while battling motion sickness as he traveled to another Destiny Rescue location.
Leilani: What is your favorite part of the job?
David: Right now I’m on a bumpy road traveling from Chiang Mai in northern Thailand down to Chiang Rai to visit our international headquarters, vocational training centers, safe homes, and prevention programs. These yearly trips are my favorite part of my job. It gives me an opportunity to see the faces we serve and reminds me how valuable each child is. It makes all the investment and sacrifice of our staff around the world worthwhile.
Leilani: Tell us how you became involved with Destiny Rescue.
David: I was on staff at a local church and had an opportunity to hear a small session at a local camp with the students in my youth group. Peter Everett, the COO of Destiny Rescue, led the group. Peter is Australian, and that automatically makes him much more interesting to listen to. You know, “Throw another shrimp on the ‘bahbee,’” and “a dingo ate my baby!” All that stuff. 🙂
I’d never had the issue of human trafficking introduced in a way that helped me connect and feel it in such a real way. I was blown away. This felt like something so real and compassionate. It broke my heart, and I wanted to be part of making a difference in the world. Marah (my wife) and I started sponsoring a rescued child that day for $35 a month, but that wasn’t enough. We had talked about the potential to join the team, but I really wanted to head to Thailand and Cambodia to visit the Destiny Rescue programs and see things for myself. So I went.
Oh, man—these trips! Emotional roller coasters! I visited homes and saw hope. I saw poverty. I saw red-light districts. Tony Kirwan, the founder of Destiny Rescue asked us to consider serving in Thailand as part of a new media team to provide better support for funding operations. Marah wasn’t with me on that trip, and I figured we would come to an agreement. I wanted to be where I would provide the most possible benefit.
Once I returned, I told Peter, “I’m here or in Thailand. Where do you want me?” They asked me to join the team here, and I’ve been part of the team now for almost three years.
Leilani: What exactly is your role at Destiny Rescue?
David: I am the Program Director for Destiny Rescue USA. My role is to connect people with opportunities to participate in the work of Destiny Rescue. I look for opportunities to share our work and develop partnerships with churches, businesses, foundations, and individuals in order to support rescue operations and aftercare in project nations in Southeast Asia.
I also work to expand the reach of Destiny Rescue in the United States by supporting our funding staff. Finally, I work to build advocate support bases in new strategic areas for funding and future staff. Lots of traveling, speaking, and letting my heart break for abused children around the world.
Leilani: What do you like best about what you do?
David: I love the opportunity to be available for people to act on their passion for the hurting. We just said, “goodbye” to a staff member who serves here. She is a beautiful woman from Warsaw, Indiana who came with a trip I led last year. She decided to risk her safety and security to help those in need. I got to see that process take place. I get to visit churches and watch congregations stand together to dedicate their energy and resources to make sure children around the world are safe. I love it!
Leilani: What top three things do you wish everyone knew about Destiny Rescue?
- We are here to be a way for you to do something to help abused children around the world. So often they have no family, no opportunity, no freedom, and no hope, but together we can make a difference.
- We are just people who have decided we will do something, and that’s what it takes to change the world.
- Your voice is necessary.
Leilani: What are you most excited about this month for Destiny Rescue?
David: We are finishing out the year having celebrated a milestone of over 1,000 rescues since 2011. We’re looking forward to kicking off the new year in a big way with Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January and new operations to begin in the Dominican Republic by the end of the year.
Leilani: How can others become involved in giving to Destiny Rescue for their current biggest need?
- Sponsor a child or donate to Destiny Rescue.
- We’d love to have schools and churches host an event in January to get the word out and help us to rescue more children. Email us at email@example.com or call 574-457-2470.
- Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to share our posts and be a voice.
To see previous posts in 212 Media Studios’ 12-day GIVE series, click here. And be sure to come back tomorrow for the final post!