PHOTO CREDIT: “DOWNTOWN PATTAYA AT NIGHT” BY LYNHDAN
You’re cold, scared, vulnerable. You stand in the flashing lights wearing clothes that make you feel exposed and on display as men walk by and make gestures and unwanted advances toward you. The worst part, you know that they are watching…the people who have brought you into this hell that you now experience night after night. You know that you can’t run away from the fear and discomfort. You know what’s coming. It won’t be long and someone is going to come up to you and offer money for you to do things that make you shudder at the thought…and you’re going to have to do them. You feel sick and sad and alone and empty inside.
Can you even begin to imagine this being your reality? I have thankfully never experienced anything even remotely like this, but the fact that so many women and girls (and don’t be deceived, boys too) do, makes my heart literally ache. It gives me a sick feeling that climbs up from my deepest being. How can this be the life that so many endure?
You know what the bright spot in all of this darkness is? It’s not hopeless. There is a hope and a future for these girls and women. There are people out there fighting to set them free and return them to their homes or to a safe place where they can recover and thrive and go on to live wonderful lives. There is love waiting to be shown to them by people who have hearts that cry out to save them. Rescue is coming.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the need in the world and just feel like you can’t possibly help everyone and that’s true, you can’t help EVERYONE but you can help SOMEONE and even one SOMEONE is better than NO ONE. You can join with The Exodus Road to help free these slaves and give them a new life. You can see amazing things happen when you help fund teams that go into these dark places to bring light and hope to these girls. YOU can make a difference.
I want to help in a tangible way and if you do too, I hope that you will donate to this fundraiser that I have set up in partnership with The Exodus Road through Pure Charity. The funds will go directly to investigation costs. I have set up a fundraiser with the hopes of collecting enough to pay for one full week of investigations ($245.00) but I would absolutely love to see this go above and beyond that! Imagine if we could work together to fund 2 or 3 weeks! Imagine the lives that could be impacted! I can’t help but get excited about that! If you would like to be a part of this great cause, please consider visiting my Fundrasing Page and donating. I would be extremely grateful and I know that the lives that will be touched through your donation will be thankful as well.
Together, we can make a difference! I will be sure to update with information on any progress that is made from investigations and raids. There is nothing more thrilling to the heart and soul than seeing lives changed radically for the better. I can’t wait to share about it with you!
A couple of weeks ago, while my family and I were at our church camp, we had the surprise and excitement of having the band, Remedy Drive, do a concert. Our family knew and liked several of their songs and we were really excited to be able to see them in such an intimate setting. The concert started off like most others, with the music blasting and the energy level high. We were singing and jumping around and enjoying the music…and then my world got rocked.
After some great songs, the lead singer switched to a more serious tone. His name is David Zach and the things he said have stuck in my heart and my mind ever since. He started telling us about an organization called The Exodus Road. Their mission is to free slaves of human trafficking by working with law enforcement to intervene and rescue these victims. He went to SE Asia for the first time last year and is headed back for his 4th time in September. After the concert, I spoke with him and he said “Once you have seen them, you can’t un-see them. It’s always in your mind and you have to do something about it.” (That is not a direct quote, but very close to what he said.) His intense passion for The Exodus Road and what it is doing just embedded itself into me and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. It has caused me to research human trafficking for hours and my heart and soul are crying to make others aware of just what it is that is going on and what we can do about it.
Here is a little video of him speaking at an Exodus Road event a few weeks ago. Some of the quotes he uses here are ones that he used at the concert, that really stuck out to me.
My first instinct when I hear about these kinds of things is to think “How can I help? What can I possibly do that will make a difference?” I know he’s right though. I know that even the most ordinary people can do something to make a difference. I know that awareness is a huge part of what can make a difference and shed light on something like human trafficking. I know that I have a voice (and so do you) and that we can use our blogs, social media and the like to get the word out and make this injustice known and get it in the forefront of peoples’ minds.
My heart is begging to share this with you. I knew I couldn’t wait another day to do so. Waiting even one more day means missing the chance to get it out there and into peoples’ hearts and minds as soon as possible. I will be writing monthly and sharing things about The Exodus Road and what they are doing. I will be praying diligently for the people that are risking their safety in order to go in and regain the safety of others. I will be sharing things via facebook and other social media. This is too important to sit by and be silent about. I can be a voice for these victims.
I would love for you to join me in this. Like them on facebook. You will see updates of raids and rescues and it’s such an amazing and hopeful feeling to rejoice with them when rescues are made! Check out their website and read all about who they are and what they are doing. Help spread the word. Together, we can make a difference.
I would like to end this post with a song that I have to say I had only known the chorus to and didn’t really realize what it was about until I saw Remedy Drive perform it that night and then talked to David afterward about it. I think it’s an amazing picture of the value of each and every human being. I think it’s such an important message. I think it’s a cry out to each of us to do something. The picture below is of my youngest son and I with David after the concert. I want to make sure my boys know the value of each and every human being. I’m so thankful that Remedy Drive introduced us to The Exodus Road.
“I’m a soul inside a body. I’m not a commodity.”