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What's Happening


Updated: Nov 22, 2022

Annabelle’s dramatic escape from her traffickers before Christmas last year was just the beginning of her journey.

When our team met her, she was freezing and hungry. In desperate need of medical care, God brought someone across her path. Like the good samaritan before him, he took her to a hospital and told them he would be back to take care of her medical bills. Anabelle had several broken ribs and severe injuries, and she weighed less than 80 pounds. One of the most urgent concerns for survivors is their health and this critical need was met.

As our relationship with Annabelle has continued, we continue to see healing happen. She was placed with a loving family and later connected with Luminita, another survivor who began to mentor her. When members of our staff were spending time with her, they noticed when she was reading, she would have to get within inches of the book. She was stumbling when she walked and couldn’t see what she was eating.

A local Pastor arranged for us to meet an eye doctor and our staff took her to see him. He told us that Annabelle’s condition was so bad if it continued to deteriorate, she would lose her sight. She was visibly frightened and didn’t want to look the doctor in the eyes or look into the machine for testing.

She would make up things if she couldn’t see them so no one would know how bad it was. The doctor told our European Director the problems with her sight were severe but he didn’t want to frighten her as another doctor had when he told her she would lose her sight.

He was very sensitive and careful with her, explaining everything carefully. After spending some time trying on glasses and combining different lens options he mentioned how her sense of humor reminded him of his own daughter. She enjoyed some chocolate and tea while she tried on glasses and he assured her, “you will leave this office today with glasses.” He called someone who was supposed to pick up their glasses that day and told her about the situation and she gladly agreed to get a new pair the next week. He put the right lenses in and handed them to Annabelle.

The owner of the business was watching the interaction and came over with his son and daughter to talk to our staff. “Consider us as your partners in every case you need glasses,” he told us, not willing to take any money. He told us he wants to get involved in helping survivors.

Remember, when you join Uncaged in this fight against trafficking, you are part of this kind of transformation. It’s not quick. It’s not inexpensive. But it is worth it for girls like Annabelle when we see the joy, hope, and transformation in their lives! We will be with them every step of the way.

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Alexandra arrived at The Sanctuary looking sad and overwhelmed. The day before our program started, she told us she wanted to go home. It was just too hard to face her trauma.

We presented her with a Comfort Kit - a welcome bag just for her provided by gifts from donors like you. We told her it was a joy to have met her and we hoped we would see her again. We said our goodbyes and put her in the van.

Our European Director, Beni, leaned in the window and said, "It was a pleasure to meet you. Take care of yourself.” Then he paused and asked her, “Can you?” Her head dropped and tears started to stream down her cheeks. She shook her head, “No, I can’t." She didn't have the tools she needed to care for herself.

Another team member began to talk with her, while we stood by praying. When she got out of the van to rejoin us ten minutes later, we were overjoyed!

When she arrived, Alexandra was quite literally curled up in a ball. Her shoulders were slouched and her eyes were always downcast. When someone walked by her she would flinch in fear.

Throughout the week she was confronted with new ideas. We told her in many ways that she was loved, that she was not her trauma, she was strong and resilient, and she had our support.

By the end of the week, she was standing tall. Her eyes twinkled and she had a huge smile on her face. Unlocking the cage means freeing survivors from the effects of trauma and equipping each one for a full, sustainable life. You can bring total restoration to survivors like Alexandra.

Be the key!

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Sometimes it felt like the dream of The Sanctuary would never become a reality. During the pandemic, we were not able to move forward with many of our programs, but our team remained hard at work creating a world-class program.

In 2021, we said yes to many new opportunities and saw more survivors freed! Then, this year, The Sanctuary was finally ready!

We paid off The Sanctuary in full! We also received the accreditation and licensing to be involved in social services in Romania and as a center for assistance and protection of victims of human trafficking. Because of the generosity of donors, we were able to: upgrade the equine therapy facilities, get new showers, install heating and AC, update the electrical system, refurbish the kitchen, and install a ropes course. We have new, comfortable furniture and new storage in our laundry and art rooms. Just recently, our outdoor facilities team received new garden equipment and a tractor to assist in log cutting and tending to our orchards and gardens. They are overjoyed!

Our first survivors arrived on the property this year and the transformation we are seeing in them is even more amazing than any improvements to The Sanctuary. One of the girls told us, “you really made this place feel like a home, and made us feel attracted to it. To come here is like coming home.”

Because of people just like you, we’ve been able to say yes to the transformations that need to happen. We’ve been able to see The Sanctuary become a place of healing.

The Sanctuary in Romania is a big part of how we’re unlocking the cage to start healing in Romania. But we want to see slavery eradicated on a global scale! Learn more about how we’re doing that in our new brochure! There are so many more possibilities waiting to be unlocked!

Through the Sanctuary model, our mission is to care for thousands of survivors. Will you help us make that possible? If you're reading this online, subscribe here so you don't miss the exciting updates we're sending in the next few weeks!

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