Kaleilani Grant and Nicole Farmer
DescriptionKaleilani Grant (38) talks to her best friend, Nicole Farmer (39), about her faith in God through many life obstacles. She talks about the period of life that she was forced into sex work and talks about how she is an advocate for the community now and continues to center her faith in her work.
Subject Log / Time Code
- Kaleilani Grant
- Nicole Farmer
Recording LocationVirtual Recording
Partnership TypeFee for Service
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00:03 My name is Clay Grant. I am 38 years old. Today is Friday. June 11th, 2021. I'm in Honolulu Hawaii. My recording partner is Nicole farmer and we are a great friend.
00:23 Hi, my name is Nicole farmer and I am 39 years old. Today's date is Friday, June 11th, and we are recording in Honolulu, Hawaii and my partner Escalade Grant and we are good friends.
00:41 All right. So I'm so glad we're having this conversation today. We like to just always go down memory lane. And remember how we first met. And I remember we met over a decade ago already. It's like over 11 years. We met at church at Word of Life Christian Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, and I remember coming in at that time so broken and just searching for answers. And as soon as I walked in everyone was so caring and loving. And I remember the first person I met was Pastor kuna. Sepulveda and password, aren't supposed to be both shared messages that day, but I was the first one to embrace me and I remember coming in knowing what I've just been through and knowing what I was trying to get out of which was a life of sex trafficking and feeling like
01:41 I was searching so much for something to just,
01:46 Be a miracle in my life and changed my life around and it was from that moment. I was able to take those steps to, you know, make those changes in my life. But shortly after that, you and I are attended we had what we call an encounter at church. And I didn't even know that you were there because I was so emotional crying and just trying to really receive healing from a lot of the emotional things that I have gone through. And you have you remember that day. I do remember, I actually, you know, when we had did, we went to the encounter and I remember going through my own, like a being at the encounter, going through my own situation, my own seasons in life, and then having Play Cher and I like coming out of sex trafficking and are things that like not it was just, it was not in detail.
02:46 And I thought to myself. Oh my gosh. I have no business like, feeling like something's wrong with my life. So much just everything you were going through. So it was like an eye-opener for me. You know, sometimes we hear people say it could be worse and not to like shed light to what you were going through, but I was like, oh my God, it really could be worse. I'm like, this is huge to me or what. I was going through my life with them and I heard you. I was like, I just need to get it together and keep it moving. And yeah. Yeah, and I don't even remember anyone else that was in the room. I was really just seeking God. And just really wanted God to just help me cuz I knew I needed all the help I can get. And so what I love about the time we met and just over the years, our relationship is that
03:45 You didn't have to truly understand what I went through or everything that we experience in our own lives, but together, you know, in this journey, we've come to a place where, you know, we came to Word of Life. We found God, we know God, we continue to strengthen in each other, strengthen each other in our walk with God and ever since then, I feel I'm a completely different person, you know, and it is so great to see that grows in each other. We definitely not, maybe who we want to be though. We're not who we used to be and I'm just having the opportunity and people and just learn that in life, you know, it's not about what we've gone through, but just loving people. I agree with what you're saying because
04:45 I'm sure, I mean, I know when we were in this encounter, the room was full of ladies like clay. I honestly could not tell you who else is in the room because I was, so in God, and what in my own personal, like this is what this is my challenge. This Is My Season like and it was such a hard season for me and so, but I know being a nuts being in that environment and I don't know how I really had to be at least fifty fifty five women, but each one of us going through our own season and each one of us being there because we really believe that the only way that we could have helped us through God. That the only way to get out of whatever all of us are going through with your God, which I find actually really amazing because we were all going through something completely different. I'm sure of, you know, we may have had certain same situation and sore butt.
05:45 Because all of our lives are different. We were going through something completely different, but to be there, seeking the one person that could really help us. I just think was off. I think it's awesome. Now, I may not have thought about all of this in the moment. I like but arrived or maybe we are always trying to be better but it's been a long way. It's been a long way. My background is, you know, I'm native Hawaiian and coming from different cultures races where we were brought up where we where we where we can still come together as people serve the same purpose, you know, and you know living that type of Life of sex trafficking. I really
06:45 I've learned that I have grown so much to where, you know, this type of
06:54 Evil can happen anywhere. And you know, not only being a survivor of sex trafficking but you know within that a lot of people don't realize.
07:08 I'm all because of that, a lot of domestic violence happen, physical sexual abuse. And because of that, I'm a Survivor so much more and that has allowed conversations to happen with other women that I am able to connect with them, but not just for that purpose. But to bring them now, to the person who changed my story that no matter what story we come in with like, hey, I know, I know the one that is a story changer is really being that living example of, you know, what he did it for me. He can definitely do it for you. So just keeping that momentum. Like, when you experience a miracle, you never want to keep it to yourself. You always want to share it with everyone. And that's so important to me. And that's why I'm glad we're having this conversation today about
08:08 So yeah, okay. So what I wanted to ask you, if you don't mind, so you talked about, you know, how God was able to change your story like where he brought you from, but do you mind sharing just a little bit? What what he actually like to give people a picture of where did you actually come from or what? You know, how far and how big of a deal? It was? So typical local girl. I lived a very sheltered life. I attended a private school growing up. I graduated from college. I was I got married. I had my daughter at a young age and it wasn't until I went through a divorce with my husband at the time.
09:07 I know at that point. I was I got back out in the social scene and that's when I met a man in a nightclub. Now, my upbringing, I was never exposed to violence, never exposed to any drugs, alcohol abuse. And so, when I met a man in the nightclub, I thought it was normal. Like, so for two weeks, he's dated me. He wanted to get to know everything about me and at the end of those two weeks. He, he told me, hey, well, I'm a pimp. I own a escort agency and this is what you're going to do for me. And that's when the threats in the violence began. No matter how much I tried to get away. He would always, he would always find me somehow. And because of the violence, they experienced. I really believe him that he would, he would do what he says, and that was the threats that he
10:07 Threaten to take a life of my daughter. My family members, all those that were closest to me. And the severity of that was my life turned into from two weeks of this. Just thinking this man wants to get to know me, it turned into two years of violence and significant abuse. And so, every aspect of me, my soul, my mind, my will my emotions were completely destroyed, you know, the mental abuse to the physical abuse, just had a toll on, on me as a person to a point where I wasn't even feeling human anymore. And where do you humanize thing that we hear about?
10:52 That survivors, you know, that survive this type of situation you it is dehumanizing the words they speak to you just how you're treated these degree to which you go through, such violence is just not as a human should be treated. And so to then be out of place where even when I walk in public, I can't make eye contact with anyone. I can't look at anyone. My whole demeanor is completely changed, you know, and then going coming to a place of healing health and healing. And now being able to not only speak with people but have conversation it just on the completely different end of the spectrum from what even doctors said I could have should have would have done. And so that's how I know. It's
11:52 By the power of God, the grace of God, that I'm here today. And with so many is a near-death situations all the time. On my body was just shutting down. Doctor said, I wouldn't make it at that time. I was 27 so still very young and my body was naturally shutting down because of all the physical abuse that I went through my kidneys, my heart was slowing down and to be at that place having my then, for your daughter come everyday to the side of my bed and really laying hands on me, praying for me, you know, I would wasn't able to speak at that time. But I remember tears just coming down from my face knowing and realizing. My little girl is here praying for me. Like she didn't know much, you still growing up for sure.
12:52 Remember, she remember that? We can pray. There is power in prayer. So she would do that every single day. I'm asked my mother and grandmother would bring her to my bedside and before you know it.
13:07 Everything started turning around. All my tests started coming back, normal. My heart started, my heart, be started, increasing everything, just turned around and saw this days after still cannot put their finger on it, and it'll come up with a scientific resolution of what happened. But I know that it was only because of the grace of God and what he did to turn that situation around, that really saved my life for sure and the power of prayer. So, you know, because you remember how far you've come and you know that, I know that I wouldn't we both wouldn't be here if it wasn't for God's grace on our lives.
14:07 Protection upon us all this time and even more. So now how you know, my mess turned into a message being able to professionally, you know, I just shared on recently that I can I can say it's been about at least over a thousand individuals that has been able to share my story with and that's significant because it's not about the mess that happen. But it is how it transpired in this message, that brings change and impact, everyone else. That is hearing it. No matter what you come from. And that I think is the one thing that we will always be able to convey know that there is hope.
15:02 Yeah, that's it. That's
15:05 Kind of how that when I know that's good. I appreciate you sharing that because
15:12 I think it's important for people to know like sometimes it can say what I've been through this or I've been brought from this or you don't know my past or whatever, but when they can really see, okay, or here and that was just like a small glimpse of what you really went through. Like the details of her to share the details and different settings. We've been in that are just like I think our natural mind cannot fathom actually physically going through that stuff. So, you know, I just think it's important for people to know how you know things that happened. Do you mind sharing how you got out of it or so, you know, you know me, I'm from Hawaii and we would the pimp at that time with and has two different states and it was Super Bowl of 2010.
16:07 I believe we're Miami, Police was able to recover Us in an operation and that is just amazing to me how all of this came together. Eckl, because now, today I work with the attorney general for the state of Hawaii, and with law enforcement to locate and recover, missing children. And so the significance of that. How yes, my situation was a true mess but it really came together now more than just changing my life, you know, but really making an impact in a way I would have never guessed and so at that time in 2010, it was on Super Bowl Sunday, where I was recovered by law enforcement and it was at that time that I was able to come back home. The very next morning. The pimp was detained and arrested.
17:07 And there were others of us other girls in women, and I was able to come back to Hawaii. And from that day. It was trying to figure out. How am I going to move forward and searching for resources, searching for someone to help me? Or cuz I didn't know where to start. And so it was from that moment. I vowed to just commit to ensure that everything. I wish I had every resource every program, even legislature different laws, different bills that would help protect help, help prosecutors convict, perpetrators traffickers, whatever it is. I wanted to be a part of that team and the rest is history. That's kind of how it evolves and continue to just
18:07 Owen and complete that Circle of changed. And so, yeah, it's just been a great journey to continue on in that work and it's amazing that I may have started off and Little Ole Hawaii a place. That's known as Paradise. But, you know, now making an impact Beyond. I'm just Hawaii this nation and the nations of the world is just something so much greater than myself and from being at a place of being. So selfish, you know, always thinking about me, never thinking about anyone else, not really caring about anyone else to living this selfless life. It, it's such a humbling process that I would never change it for the world. Because when you give to others, and you see others with such value,
19:07 You your whole life changes and I love what are pastors. Always share Pastor Ida passed between us that when we changed everything around to everything around us changes and I learn to live that every day. Even if it's a little dispute, disagreements, whatever. It maybe when I changed everything around you will change. And so yeah, it's pretty amazing to always respect and talk about these things that we don't get to do now. I agree. Like you said, when we changed everything around this changes and I ever heard, I heard that for so long before I really was like, what does she mean? I would get mad when I change everything else changes and when I really like had an understanding of that because I was really thinking like, you know, in a season in a
20:07 No, actually this person changes himself, if they change, then everything's going to be great. But when I realized I say, okay, well you don't have to be irritated about that. She don't have to be, you know, the Bible says be slow to anger, quick to listen to get here, don't get frustrated. But you like, you know what, let me hear. This person is like that about myself and it does cause others to change because you call into a higher level, you know, you called them to be better yet. It's a better person and he said, it's full circle. Now, you get to what, you know, how those police in Miami. I think someone tipped them off because they had this suspicion that something was going on.
21:07 Do it. And that's really what, how the police, how we got to this point. And so, what's great about that is, you know, just being aware and conveying the message to everyone. That if you hear something, say something, say something, say something, you know, I think we live in a culture where you may not want to get involved. In other people's mess or you want to, you think that it's not your business or it's not your place, but it's very much is cuz you could definitely save the lives of so many special with domestic violence, especially, you know, now, we're in 2021 and coming out of a pandemic, which alone is historic, you know, conveying that message to everyone that if you hear someone crying for help next door, or you hear dispute or you hear a tip.
22:07 Things happening. You mean happy? Sure and that's okay because there's professionals, the can look into it. So calling the police or calling the police First Responders to respond to look further into, it will not hurt. It will only help. And so, you know, I just, that's always a great message to share to that is if it wasn't for that, who knows where I would have been that is what interrupted the pattern that is, what shift did really the direction, my life was headache and so, or where my life was, and it only would get worse if it wasn't for that. And so, even to this day, I E. No, I all I think about them. I have it. I work with law enforcement so often across the country, but I have not met them and I would love to have that moment.
23:07 Because it's just with appreciation, you know, but yeah, so I'm grateful and it was from that moment that I was able to move forward.
23:19 From that place. So what are you do now? Like when you said it first. What are you doing? How can you help? How do you help? Because I know you say missing children and people just like a runaway kids are kidnapped, you know, but they don't really realize that, you know, a lot of these kids. They're classified as something as one thing, but it may be something different. But I'm and then also, you said, beat on little Hawaii, but I don't know if this is true or not, but isn't who I like one of the top like high up there on sex trafficking. Yes, so
23:58 So, first off, you know, Hawaii is Paradise. So we're place of Tourism and, you know, YES, Prep enzymatic and right now we're getting back opening up. So I'm tourism is back up and running kind of full speed I said, but because many people it also brings traffickers. It brings traffickers to bring individuals which they would exploit no online. A lot of things happened virtually as far as the exploitation but also here on the streets and in different in different venues, and it occurs. And this is a place known to have.
24:54 Every culture, every raise, every mix and and so people are drawn to that not only for the island Beauty, as far as the scenic the beaches and mountains, the people are culture the food, but also there's a flip side to that and we realize heard it said the dark side. You know, the nightlife the underground world that occurs as well. And so, do you know
25:29 So that's sad, but you had asked before that about.
25:36 Ms. Yeah, so, you know the classification of their classified as big.
25:49 Challenge that were faced with and how really these youth. These children. They're running from something or running to something. And in that process we find that they're either running to this boyfriend. Who
26:07 Says, he's her boyfriend, but is posing to be is really there pimp, you know, and they use. They use control power and control. The use these terms of. If you love the babies where it's at. If you love me, you'll do that. And you know, take these nude photos or do this. And if you want a place to stay then you have to do this sexual act in order to live here or eat, or you have to get money. And if you love me, you'll do, you know, it's it's just lies, is constantly lies and because of this and he's run away use on their constantly.
26:59 Running to something or running from something. So, what we're finding the use running from often is if there's abused or things happening in the home, that's in stable. And so just being able to work with and, you know,
27:16 Had Welfare Services. Also, I'm a significant to find the root cause of what's happening in the in the home. And so that's what we're finding that user running for meeting. Even other other children and facilities are transition. Foster use is a great.
27:40 The are a big percentage of the runaway you because they don't have a home, a stable home, a stable environment, you know, and so that's really that's really a lot of the be a lot of the cases that we work with but it's just two significant because all this this work that we do, you know, at the end of the day, it's just about Humanity know. It's about people just being treated of the value that they are, you know, and I think it's just being that hold four. Others is what reignites like something for them. And also there's a lot of work to be done here and you know it
28:35 Statewide Statewide a nationwide and around the world. You know, I'm so we continue to move forward and being that, you know, I remember years ago here and you have to if you're going to be involved in people's lies, you have to be willing to get messy with them because people's lives are messy. And there's always some type of a mess that, you know, we may encounter in someone's life. But like you said, it's about humanity. And we just have to be willing to say yes to humanity in a selfish manner. Like you have a relationship with God. That that is, you know, what's in return. I remember speaking with somebody and I was like, hey, you know, hey, let's meet up here.
29:35 Up and down and she was like, so you get paid for a check right now from your life is going to be better because I realized while people are it's not normal for you to be selfless at for people to experience being selfless and not getting involved in their mess and not be having a heart for Humanity. I think what what you're doing? Now, I'm even, you know, what Kelly has this job and she's working out for the Attorney General, but even when things are going on and it's like, okay that we know it's an intense situation and I really believe like that.
30:35 You know, because people that will never know like you pray for me or they'll never know on the other side, but it's just having that really necessary. Yes. Is that steak? So I'm just pray, she tells us, right? Like, okay. What's your motive? There has to be a motive has to be what's in it for you type of thing. But like you said, that's what it means to live. A selfless, life is not about what I thinking but it's about what you can came. As I'm genuine about it. Two people. They're really in awe of how pure and how genuine that is and that to me is
31:33 Such a beautiful thing, you know, for people to experience that same kind of love that we've encountered because of God and we just continue. And like I said, earlier, you know, the power of prayer, you know, it's the change my life that applying that in my everyday and in our field of work in my job and and it has been used to. So,
32:12 That's the amazing thing about. Yeah, I think when you the reason why you can do something like that are you know, people can do that is in such a selfless manner because you you know how much your life has been changed and it's just out of a desire to like help someone else realize, you know, you don't have to stay in your mess. Do you want to stay with all this stuff going on, like a freedom out there? Not Freedom like, you know, sometime in that way. But in a like, no, there's a freedom in this relationship. You know, that I have with God, that allows me to be able to live in this manner.
33:01 We don't have to feel like we are, we can't love freely because it was given to us, you know, and and be no, really. It's hard for forgiveness to having gone through so much, you know, a lot of times you have to start with forgiving ourselves. And now I realize that when you start, when you have forgiveness in your life, that's what gives you that ability to be able to, to love to not hold onto things, you know, because what that, it's all junk, that kind of adds up, and I was in our hearts and then that's how people become so rude. And that, you know, how your actions on the outside is really a demonstration of what's going on on the inside to just be able to live a life.
34:01 Walking in love and forgiveness constantly. Your fruit shows for through it and how you treat people, how you speak your actions and inactions will demonstrate not having experienced that yet. Don't know how to receive that, you know, and that's why they always think like what's in it for you, but I know really nothing but that's a great one of the, one of the great things about just living a life of Freedom, truly the inside and out. Okay, so just I think wrapping up, I have a question for you.
34:55 So I have a question in 50 years from today. If someone to listen to this 50 years from today, what would you want them to know? What message? Would you want to say to them?
35:10 You know, the one thing that continues to remain the same because no matter what happens in this year in this day and 50 years from now. The only thing that remains the same as the love of God and God's word to us, God's promises to us. And you know, I say that with all of my heart because, you know, just coming out of this pandemic, you know, 50 years from now. The world is going to be very, very different and my children's Children's. Children's children will be hearing this living a completely different life and above all else. The one thing that I would want that Generations know and understand is to continue to hold on to the word of God. Cuz that is the only thing that will remain the same and you know, it's just it's about Legacy. It's about
36:10 The righteousness of God. It's about continuing to, to hold on to that. The truth will always Trump The Facts of Life. And so above, love, God, love people, you know, and when you continue to remain and that place, that is how you contribute to make this world a better place. That's good. That's good. I agree on. That's the one thing that will remain no matter what takes place in this world. I think, you know, we just got out of bed, but so much going on. You know, what the race is. I'm with the one thing that remains constant.
37:10 What else happened in the years to come? The only thing that's going to remain constant is the word of God, the love of God, you know, and allowing that to be what my relationship with God. That's the only thing in my opinion. Keeps Us grounded. Keeps a stable keeps his rooted and keeps his functioning like a contributing mature members of this. I love this conversation time with you and that's always great to be out of place and I'm so grateful to have you in my life, you know, just to have journeyed all these years, but I still remain because we are able to lift one another.
38:10 Prayer and encouragement and support. And that's so important. These days selfish. Thank you Nicole. Thank you here, and had a great time. Thank you for the time. Thank you, storycorps for the opportunity.