Meet Mariel | Builders International

Meet Mariel

Ryan Moore January 29, 2016 4min read We Build Hope

Meet Mariel

An incredible ministry opportunity is underway by Assemblies of God World Missionaries, Bob and Michele Perez. Four months ago, in partnership with the Costa Rican Rahab Foundation (NGO), new construction began on the very first government-recognized, safe-house shelter for victims of human trafficking.

Let me take a moment to tell you just one of the reasons why this is a vital ministry.

At just 17 years old, young Mariel (name changed for protection) was presented with the promise of a job that she so desperately needed. Unfortunately, she did not realize that she was being lured into a trap. She would later be held captive and forced into the world of human trafficking.

Using false documents, her captor moved her from Costa Rica across the border to Nicaragua, Guatemala, and then on to Honduras, where she would be used for the sole purpose of sexual exploitation. Mariel was beaten and raped over the next two months by her kidnapper. He even threatened to kill her family if she tried to escape.

Terrified, broken, and helpless, she wanted to die. She once put a knife to her throat, but could not bring herself to take her own life. Mariel continually complained of an ear infection, in hopes that her kidnapper would take her to a clinic. He finally did; and while in the exam room alone with the doctor, she was able to confide in him about her situation. The doctor quickly called in authorities, and the captor was arrested!

Mariel was assured that he would be put away for a long time, only to find out he was released after three short months! She hasn’t seen or heard from him; but he has likely returned to his normal pattern of kidnapping, beating, and raping girls in preparation for the terror of the sex trafficking industry.

Although Mariel has now found help at the Rahab Foundation’s day facility program in Costa Rica, she sees her captor’s face every day when she looks at her son . . . the son of her exploiter.

Sex tourism is a severe problem in Costa Rica, with most of the sex tourists coming in from the United States and Europe. According to the Rahab Foundation, exploitation “recruitment,” begins around the age of 14.

Because of incredible answers to prayer, the Rahab Foundation has developed close ties with local police and government, and is now building the safe-house shelter for adult and minor victims of human trafficking (labor- and sex- related).

Once the shelter is complete, victims can expect to receive medical care, vocational training, tutoring, counseling with licensed professionals, legal assistance, weekly discipleship encouragement, and so much more. Currently, they are offering services at their day facility, but cannot offer safety and security for them throughout the night.

Bob and Michele Perez said, “Our prayer is that together we can give girls back their childhood!” Builders International is now partnering with the Perez family, along with the Rahab Foundation, to make this dream center a reality.

The goal? Building a place where young women discover what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, as well as a place where they can find freedom, hope, and restoration. With shelter space for up to 90 people (60 adolescents, 30 women), YOU can make a HUGE IMPACT!

Would you help us make a difference for young women like Mariel?

$45 will purchase 55 cement blocks and allow construction to begin on the
11-room dormitory that will provide a safe haven for victims of sexual exploitation.

$450 will purchase 550 cement blocks and allow us to continue enlarging the dormitory structure so that even more young women can be rescued and restored.

$4,500 will make measurable progress toward completion of housing which will protect 30 victims, and help them find a new passion for life!

Thank you for investing in people who need to be rescued and restored, to have “shelter and a strong tower from the enemy.” [Psalm 61:3] Most of all, they need the hope of Jesus, which they will find at the Rahab Foundation Home for victims of human trafficking.

Building for Life,


Ryan Moore
Builders International, Director

P.S. The Rahab Foundation Shelter is transforming the lives of girls who would otherwise be continuing down a path of absolute destruction and in many cases, death. Your financial contribution can change the course for many girls just like Mariel!