When Anthony Fong first travelled to Thailand with Destiny Rescue to see their work with children rescued from sex slavery, he was overcome with emotion.
Stepping into a rescue home for the first time and meeting a little girl who couldn’t even look him in the eye, was more than he could handle. The moment changed him.
“That first rescue home we went to in Bangkok was an eye-opener,” he recalled in a chat with Hope 103.2. “As we went to walk into the rescue home I really backed out inside my head—I thought I was ready, but your emotions start taking over.
“The first little girl walked in and she couldn’t even look at me and the state manager, because we were both males. At that point I really got lost in my emotions. I was really sad because I knew these girls have been to hell and back. I was really angry knowing a male had taken their innocence away. I’ve never been lost in my emotions before like that.”
Despite the heavy emotions of that moment, Anthony also felt joy knowing Destiny Rescue is changing such young girls’ lives. They offer safety, shelter, education, emotional restoration and hope to children, after the trauma of being trapped in sex slavery.
What Anthony learnt that day has inspired him to now push his body to the limit, riding 2000 kilometres from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast, raising funds and awareness for Destiny Rescue.
Having never done a long ride of this kind before, it’s been a challenge preparing and there have been plenty of aches and pains in his first 500 kilometres so far. In a break from cycling, Anthony told Hope that he keeps the Destiny Rescue children in mind as he rides.
“That first girl I saw in the he first rescue home I went to, her face keeps popping up,” he says. “Because I saw the pain in her eyes, that’s what keeps me going through the tough times, because what I’m facing isn’t anything like what these little girls are going through.”
Anthony will be appearing at a number of locations along the ride, including Goulburn, Sydney, Newcastle, Port Macqaurie and Coffs Harbour, to speak about his experiences and about the work of Destiny Rescue.
He will speak at a dinner at North Sydney Leagues Club in Cammeray on Tuesday, August 22, from 6:30pm. Tickets are $45 and all proceeds go to Destiny Rescue.