Two months ago, Calina vanished without a trace from her home city in southeast Asia.

Luma, a single mother of three children, approached police with news of her missing 17-year-old daughter. With the station busy and officers overwhelmed by their already -strenuous workload, her report was brushed aside. Without financial means to bolster their requests, underprivileged families are often dismissed and discriminated against. Undeterred by the system she faced, Luma relentlessly continued to seek help and find her daughter. In her efforts, she was pointed to one of Child Rescue’s rescue agents in the area. News of finding and rescuing children spreads quickly in tight-knit communities where we are active. More than a week later, Luma shared her frustrations and details about the disappearance with our rescue agent, Jivin. He first consoled her, letting her know he heard and believed her story, and then told her he would seriously try to find her daughter, Calina.

On the case

Jivin went to one of his contacts in upper-law enforcement who agreed to help investigate the case.rnrnTogether they discovered Calina had been in frequent contact with a young man called Riaan, age 20, through social media and her phone. All messages between the two abruptly ended the day before her disappearance.rnrnFrom details on Riaan’s account, the two investigators ascertained his identity and the general location, which was about a day’s drive away from where Calina lived. They figured this was where she was taken.rnrnHer suspected location caused this case to be spread over multiple government jurisdictions, adding another layer of complexity. Authorities were already stretched thin with responding to COVID-19 and were unable to give the case prioritised attention.rnrnJivin remained relentless in trying to find leads to Calina and her suspected captor.

He learned Riaan’s father lived nearby, and knowing the power of rumors in his community, Jivin had an idea. He spread news that Riaan’s father was sick.

As expected, Riaan eventually heard about the news from a friend. Jivin and law enforcement set up surveillance outside Riaan’s father’s house. It was not long before Riaan arrived to check in on his father. At first, only Riaan exited his vehicle. Jivin and government officers saw another male in the car but, with no visual on Calina or proof that Riaan was the kidnapper, they remained on standby. Riaan then circled around the back of the car, opened the door and began to take Calina out of his vehicle. The moment officers had eyes on Calina, Riaan and his accomplice were apprehended. Relieved to be out of his control, Calina was able to share what had happened to her. In her messages with Riaan, he convinced her they were in love. She agreed to meet him and a friend but soon realised the situation was dangerous. She was taken to a different city, held captive and sexually abused. The abuse continued for a month while under their control. Child Rescue helped Calina and her mother navigate the next steps. Our social workers coordinated a medical check for Calina and guided them through the necessary appointments in various government offices. Counseling has been arranged for Calina and she is now living safely with her family again.

Local heroes

In this country, all of our rescue agents are locals. Their intuitive knowledge of customs, culture and their communities is invaluable in their rescue efforts. They build strong relationships with law enforcement and other agencies in the area. Word spreads that they listen to women, they help find children and they truly care about the lost and forgotten. This work is made possible by their relationships and their committed, daily practice of loving and serving the people God brings onto their path

All names have been changed to protect identities.rnThis rescue occurred in one of our undisclosed locations.