Few issues resonate as deeply within me as the trafficking of women and minors for sex. To quote the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah, it is a fire shut up in my bones. I mourn the potential lost through all forms of slavery: the great thinkers, engineers, artists, and leaders whose lives were snuffed out by inhumanity, greed, cruelty, and depravity.
Through one of my blogging connections, I found out about The Exodus Road, a coalition of organizations and individuals committed to fighting human trafficking, particularly in Southeast Asia. So, I’ll be blogging on this topic regularly.
The unsung heroes of the dark world of sexual slavery are the human trafficking investigators who endanger their lives to liberate victims from this horrible trap.
So, to you, Mr. Investigator, I dedicate this blog post.
- Thank you for acting decisively and courageously on behalf of the 27 million modern-day slaves.
- Thank you for leaving behind the known for people you don’t know and for whom the hope of rescue is a distant dream.
- Thank you for recognizing the tremendous value of the life of each woman and child–all of whom bear the image of God–and for sacrificing your time, energy, and well-being to restore themld to a humane existence.
- Thank you for undertaking a job that is often unnoticed, unlauded, unseen, unheard–under the radar.
- Thank you for showing great compassion, mixed with restraint, as you go through the necessary steps to ensure that victims are delivered out of their captivity.
- Thank you for being a first responder to those who have been demeaned and degraded at an age when they should be young and carefree.
You probably flinch and cry inwardly at everything you see and hear in brothels, particularly regarding underage children. Yet, you continue to choose personal peril over your own comfort.
You bring to mind God’s promise in Isaiah 49: 24-25:
“Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save.”
My sincere prayer in this new year is that you will not be disheartened by your harrowing experiences. Please know that a cloud of witnesses supports you prayerfully. You are not forgotten, nor are the precious ones for whose freedom you labor quietly and effectively.
Readers, take a look at this video and please consider writing a thank you letter to an undercover investigator to encourage him in his difficult but necessary work. You can mail handwritten letters by January 5 to The Exodus Road, P.O. Box 7591, Woodland Park, Colorado 80863. Given the short time frame, you can also submit the letter online. You can read here how Laura Parker, the communications director of The Exodus Road, personalized her thanks for the hard work of investigators.