“You may choose to look the other way
but you can never say again
that you did not know.”
It's been over 20 years since I accidentally wandered into
a red light district while visiting SE Asia.
Some of what I saw and heard... those mental images and sounds are forever seared in my mind... and they just don't, won't fade...
But for those trapped in this type of nightmare, be they individuals sold by their families, lured by prospects of love or adventure or prosperity, kidnapped or desperately striving to provide for someone they love?
It is reality.
Every. Single. Day.
It's much more than a memory still scorching their minds...
Today, it is estimated there are 27 million slaves worldwide.
...in SE Asia
...In the United States
It is a huge problem.
Illegal worldwide, more men, women, boys and girls are trapped in slavery than at any other time in recorded history. Mauritania, the final country to abolish it, did so in 1981. That's more than 30 years ago... and the problem has only gotten worse!
I say I live my life following the Bible. Does it speak to this issue? I believe with all my heart that it does...
The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor; the wicked does not understand such concern. Proverbs 29.7
But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 1 John 3.17
Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food, and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it. Ezekiel 16.49
If I know it exists, if I know that God wants me to serve others...
I, too, am guilty when I don't do what I can do to make it stop right now, for at least one. I can help be a voice for those who don't have one.
Therefore, I'd like to introduce you to Exodus Road, an organization committed to this fight, particularly targeting slavery issues in SE Asia, working closely with local law officials to do what they can to end this practice.
Here's just one story:
"We met Sarah in a brothel in Cambodia....There was a line of prostitutes behind a glass wall, a fishbowl they call it. They were sitting on high bar stools, with heavy make-up and short skirts, numbers pinned to their shoulders, displayed for the customers on the other side of the glass.
And then, they brought in Sarah. She was “fresh,” the pimp had told our lead investigator over the phone. Sarah was dressed in street clothes, head down, hands fiddling nervously with a napkin. She was 15 and had been sold by her mother in a neighboring country several days before to work off a debt which her mother owed. Sarah’s virginity had been sold three days prior for $600 USD.
Sarah could not speak the local language, was kept under close watch daily, and had no access to a cell phone or any communication from the outside world. She had been slipped illegally across borders by a system of traffickers that has become a global highway of modern day slaves.
With covert cameras, our investigators were able to record the sale of Sarah for the night, capturing valuable evidence that could be passed on to the trusted authorities in hopes of the pimp’s prosecution. Later, behind a closed door, our operative was able to call a social worker who spoke Sarah’s language. He explained that he was there to help her, not to hurt her, and that he could aid her escape if she wanted. Unfortunately, Sarah was too scared to run, too scared to trust a stranger, understandably.
The following day, our investigator returned to visit Sarah in the brothel, just blocks away from a crowded local market. She scribbled a note, “Please Rescue Me,” on a bill and slipped it to him.
She wanted out, but didn’t know the way.
Immediately, our investigator gave his testimony and video evidence to the authorities and asked the government to conduct a raid on Sarah’s behalf. It was believed that 10 or more girls were also being held against their wills at the same brothel where we found Sarah.
And so she waits. And suffers.
But what Sarah doesn’t know is that rescue is coming."
To read the rest of Sarah's story, spend some time browsing the Exodus Road web site, learn a bit about what they do...
~ and as you do, ask yourself the following questions ~
What are you going to do to address it?
How are you going to be God's hands, His feet, His voice...
for those who, otherwise, don't have one?
 "UN Chronicle | Slavery in the Twenty-First Century". United Nations. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
 "Anti-Slavery Society". Anti-slaverysociety.addr.com. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
 By E. Benjamin Skinner Monday, 18 January 2010 (18 January 2010). "sex trafficking in South Africa: World Cup slavery fear". Time. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
 "Mauritanian MPs pass slavery law". BBC News. 9 August 2007. Retrieved 6 December 2012.