LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Six months ago, 25-year-old Kayleigh Stansel had no idea that she would be embarking on a journey that will take her around the world to fight human trafficking.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be used in such a big way," said Stansel. "Six months ago, I was exposed to how big the problem is and ever since then I just knew in my heart that's the passion that God birthed inside of me right then and there."
Millions of women and children are trapped in the sex trade industry. Most live in Thailand. It's where Stansel will join the Tamar group and Youth With A Mission to counsel and minister to prostitutes. Stansel explained they will actually have to pay for time with the women.
"We are going to go into where they are -- the bars, the beaches, places they solicit themselves and we are going to purchase the for the night. And take them to our apartment and just show them there is another way out and love on them. Tell them about God and tell them how to get out - teach them life skills they would need for a regular job," Stansel said.
The cost is not cheap. Stansel will pay upwards of $1,000 a month. It will buy her the opportunity to witness to the women and form relationships to help them break away.
"They are not owned by pimps per say but they are forced into it by their parents because their parents send them out to pay their own debts. So they have no other way out, their parents take them out of school at 12 years old and put them on the streets. The know nothing but that life," Stansel said.
The problem is also here at home and closer than you may think. Baton Rouge recently ranked in top U.S. cities for human trafficking.
"People don't know. They are oblivious, the are indifferent about it. And it does happen. People don't want to see it," Stansel said.
Stansel believes her time and experience overseas will open doors to address the issue when she returns to the U.S.
"I'm really excited because God is using me and I never thought as a young child that I could be used by God but he can use anybody and he's using me," Stansel said.
Stansel expects to leave for Thailand at the end of August and stay for one year.
Meanwhile, if you suspect or want more information on human trafficking you can call the trafficking hotline for confidential help. That number is 1-888-373-7888.