**WARNING: This post contains potential trigger warnings and discussion around sensitive topics specifically related to childhood sex slavery **
Did you know that there are approximately 27 MILLION men, women and children trapped as slaves in the world today?
Slavery as defined here: “Slavery occurs when one person completely controls another person, using violence or the threat of violence to maintain that control, exploits them economically, pays them nothing and they cannot walk away.”
I will be honest with you…human trafficking is something that I have either ignored or pushed aside in the past….it wasn’t anything that I thought I could do something about and pretending it didn’t exist was just easier.
And then I was introduced to Exodus Road, an organization that was at Allume last fall.
I attended one of the breakout sessions where Laura Parker was speaking. My eyes were opened to the realities of child sex trafficking and I was horrified.
She, her husband and children were living in Southeast Asia doing humanitarian work when they discovered the enormous problem of the child sex-trade. I imagine that I would be outraged, sickened even…but would I actually do anything about it?
Laura’s husband Matt decided that rescuing even one girl was important enough so armed with undercover equipment and with the aid of some locals, Matt would go into the dark underworld of child trafficking, posing as a “john” and work to rescue children one by one.
From her book “The Exodus Road”…..
“And Sarah shuffled towards the couch.
She was dressed in street clothes, disheveled hair. Her eyes never left the floor, and she fiddled with a napkin, tearing it into shreds.
I watched as men talked over her, laughed around her. Sarah had been sold by her mother in Burma, trafficked across Thailand and now into Malaysia, and had landed here – in a brothel, without money or passports, unable to speak the local language.
Two days earlier, they sold her virginity for $600.
She was 15 years old.”
I don’t know about you but when I read that, I want to cry. And the reality is that this is happening in our own backyards. Yes right here in the USA. I recently read a story about a warehouse in Nevada that held over 20 girls hostage as they were taken in vans to alternate locations and forced to have sex with up to 15 men in a days time.
It is sick and wrong, and I needed to stop putting my head in the sand and pretending that horrors like this aren’t happening!
So what now you might ask? How can you help?
First – pray! We as a body of Christ need to be in prayer for these innocent children. For their families who make the choice to sell them into slavery, for the perpretrator who profits from the innocence of a child. We need to be in prayer about all of it!
Second – Spread the word! Sex slavery of children isn’t fun to talk about. But I don’t feel like we can be silent. We need to spread the word, bring awareness to the world and collectively make efforts to see a change. For more information, please head to Exodus Road. Or check out the #Enditmovement. Both sites have stories, media tools etc. that can be used to help spread the word.
Third – Sponsor an Investigator. You have probably heard of sponsoring a child, but if you want to help Exodus Road keep undercover investigators in the field, making a difference one child at a time, consider a $35 monthly donation that helps cover the daily costs of keeping these men in the fields. We may not be able to do the rescue work ourselves, but we can support those who are brave and able enough to do so.
I know this isn’t a “fun” post to read, but the reality is that this is happening all around us and we can’t keep silent anymore. Will you join me in speaking out? #enditmovement
I have a copy of Laura’s book available to send to one of my readers. Just leave a comment below and you will be entered to win. I will pick the winner on Monday.
**Congratulations Elaine! You are the winner of a copy of Exodus Road – I have sent you an email and will get your book out to you!**
Photo Credit : Exodus Road