The Best is Yet to Be!

The Best is Yet to Be!

When summer arrives in North America the school year is just beginning in the Philippines!  Book bags, shoes, notebooks and the hope that Safe Refuge can help make school possible for these little ones.  Most of the children Safe Refuge reaches out to spend their days looking for shelter, food and medicine for themselves and younger siblings. Can you imagine...many are trapped in crime syndicates where they are forced to do unthinkable things for food and money. Whether she is 7 or 17, the thought of going to school lights up her entire world and gives her hope. You see, going to school means she has a birth certificate, she has someone who cares enough to make sure she gets back and forth from school...and YES...uniforms, books and shoes. Simple things but a life line as she needs to own 2 pairs of shoes (tennis shoes and dress shoes) to attend school and for most children this is an impossibility. 

But for Safe Refuge kids they are living the impossible! 
Would you please consider supporting our education project? Your monthly support goes toward buying shoes, clothes, book bags and everything she needs to thrive this school year? 

If you are already on our team thank you SO MUCH for your faithful giving. 
You are making a huge difference in lives a world away. She is safe and learning and growing and thriving everyday!

Deep Waters

Deep Waters

She looked out on the water 20 feet below her, pinched her tiny nose, and jumped in! It was deep, so deep, and she hit the water with such force it pushed her far into the depths and disoriented her. Even though she could swim, she couldn't tell which way was up and which way was down. When she didn't surface immediately, Andy dove down and within seconds she was in his arms gasping for air with terrified eyes.
And then, she was okay.
In fact, we had to talk her out of doing it again! Obviously it wasn't as scary for her as it was for us, maybe because she knew she would be rescued?

Who Do You Depend On?

 With every new girl who comes to live at Safe Refuge, we hear the same stories of abandonment, exploitation, and no one to depend on for help, for food, and safety.
It's a natural part of life that people fail us, and we teach the girls through living life together, that God is the only one who will never fail us. The reality is He made us to be His hands and feet on earth. So the way He moves and gives us someone to depend on is through each other. It's never going to be one person or one ministry who is the answer but it is through united care and concern that we extend His love and grace.


Fifteen year old Ava* is a child of poverty. I first met Ava when she was eight years old, roaming the streets collecting garbage. A slum of over half a million people was home for her. Being fatherless, she was expected to help provide for her mother's six younger children. She used to literally force her way into my house to get my garbage, as though it were a great treasure she would fight to the death for. She certainly was a fighter, with a mouth like a sailor. Using my handy "Filipino-English Dictionary," I learned many Filipino cuss words from that little girl. However, I knew that underneath the rough, abrasive exterior was a hurting child with no one to fight for her. She eventually left Manila and we lost contact with her; but recently she came back to city. I saw her one-day, in the blazing heat, asleep outside on a bed made of garbage, dead to the world. My heart sank at the familiar signs I saw in her. She wasn’t the little girl fighting for my garbage anymore, but was now one of at least 100,000 children who are trapped in the dirty world of prostitution in the Philippines, whether physically forced or driven to it due to poverty.

May* is 17 years old and was gang raped last year. She came to Safe Refuge six months pregnant and with a palpable air of sadness about her. We provided prenatal care, vitamins, food, and shelter, but these things only just began to cover the needs of this young girl. As she continues to move forward in her life, our hope is that the love and care we surround her with will draw her towards her healer.

Behind both Ava and May’s stories lies a depth we have not even begun to uncover. In the darkness we can't see, but as loves light seeps in, it reveals what can be. Ava can be rescued. May can be whole. The poor can be fed, and baby girls can be protected. Today, Ava is still a prostituted child we have not yet been able to reach. May is getting her physical needs met by Safe Refuge but is still emotionally lost and broken, just beginning her path to healing.

Tonight so many slum children will go to bed hungry, and so many babies remain unprotected.

Yet, I serve a God who has never given up on His children and I know He will not give up on these. There is a cry in my heart that will not let them go; that will not give up on them.

Recently, we shared Safe Refuge’s vision at our local church. The girls sang a song and I want to share with you the words:

"We must go, live to feed the hungry, stand beside the broken, we must go.

Stepping forward, keep us from just singing, move us into action, we must go.

You have shown us what you require, freely we've received, now freely we will give."

(God of Justice by Tim Hughes)

Love, Naomi

*Pseudonyms used for the protection of identities.



Camille* was sold for sex her whole life. Completely uneducated, she doesn’t believe she can rise above and be anything other than what she is. Lies are entangling in her mind causing devastating damage. As a result, she has run away from Safe Refuge, on more than one occasion.

Camille says that when she works as a prostitute it’s simple: she knows what she is and what she will always be. When she is at Safe Refuge, she feels like she can be something more, which can be overwhelming and confusing. These lies that resound in her ears take her far from the truth and my heart is broken over this little girl.

"I will heal their waywardness. I will love them lavishly.” Hosea 14:4


When we first began our work in Manila in 2004, a social worker told me that 80% of girls rescued from prostitution will go back. She told me that the work was too hard and the burn-out rate huge. These women and girls are survivors; they fight. Everyone is seen as competition. Jealousy is so intense that it is almost suffocating at times. They lie and are often hard to love. Right now in Manila, there aren’t any other residential facilities specifically for women and girls coming out of the sex industry.

You can sell a person over and over; it is non-consumable, resulting in a huge income. The Philippines’ entire manufacturing force is equal in number to those in prostitution (500,000). Now the Philippines is ranked 4th worldwide for having the most child prostitutes. The need is great.


Chesa’s* bondage is beyond description. A third generation prostitute, she was sold into prostitution as a child. She came to Safe Refuge suffering from a severe “seizure” disorder; but now, she has been seizure free since Oct 2010. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I wanted to give up on this little girl; it just felt too hard. Now, every day she gets closer to Jesus, her eyes get a little clearer, and she doesn’t run away anymore. Chesa recently celebrated her one-year anniversary as a resident in Safe Refuge. Every day that she continues on her road to healing and wholeness is a miracle.


Recently, before school started we sent two of our discipled girls on a missions trip to an isolated tribe on another island. When they got back, one of them asked me, “Why can’t we just work with the tribal people who would never steal from us or lie or run away?” I answered her, “Because we have to follow what God is asking, and he wants us to reach these girls here in Manila who are living a life of slavery.”

Tears ran down her face as she told me God had been telling her the same thing, but her missions trip was much easier than the familiar darkness of Manila. She said “It’s so hard to rescue; going after Camille, bringing her back only to have her run away again.” I told her that the truth is, she and others who have stayed are miracles. It should be normal that our girls run away, or go back to prostitution, but it’s not. We press on because God tells us to, and we do not lose heart as we thank him for every miracle!

"If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength! Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it?" Proverbs 24:10-12

Love, Naomi

*Pseudonyms used for protection.


“If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday sun.” Isaiah 58:10

The statistics paint a desperate picture. In one minute in the developing world, one pregnant woman dies of pregnancy related complications, seven newborns die (one day to one month old) and 20 children under the age of five die from preventable illness. Every minute an estimated 2 million children die from diarrhea annually in the third world. The statistics on diarrhea and pneumonia are far more devastating than HIV and malaria combined. There are very real solutions to these problems. Clean water, medicine, prenatal care, proper nutrition, and health education all become tools for showing the lost a God who looks beyond the masses and cares for each one. He asks us to literally be His hands bandaging their wounds and His feet going into the darkest of places.

Olivia is 16 years old and came to Safe Refuge when she was 14. Olivia’s mom, Lei, is a prostitute. Olivia was exposed to a life of repeated sexual abuse, rape, and emotional and physical torment. When she arrived at our door, she was 4 months pregnant and very angry. A smart girl, who dreamed of finishing her education, Olivia hated the baby for keeping her from her dreams.

But Olivia came to know Jesus several weeks into her stay at Safe Refuge. She asked a lot of questions and soaked up the words of the Bible, desperate for truth. Olivia experienced incredible transformations and slowly blossomed into a thriving teenage girl. Her heart and mind completely changed, and much to our surprise, she announced she was going to keep her baby boy. She told us how he used to represent the worst thing that ever happened to her. Through his life however, she was rescued in so many ways. He now represented a new start and the revelation that God had a purpose and plan for her life. God could turn the worst things into the best things. Olivia had a high-risk pregnancy, with many reasons to have possible life threatening complications; but God intervened, and she gave birth to little Andrew at Safe Refuge, a few months after she turned 15 years old. With the birth of her son, Olivia visibly changed into a confident mother. She knows with Christ, all things are possible.

Olivia has since graduated from high school and college! She dreamed to become a teacher and God enabled her to reach that dream! She graduated with her degree in education in 2016 and passed her board exams to become a licensed teacher! We are so proud of Olivia and in awe of the miracles God has done in her life.

Those who have been forced into the worst kinds of bondage, are experiencing the liberty and freedom of Jesus Christ.

*Pseudonyms used for the protection.