You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know. ― William Wilberforce
Friends, I just joined the the Blogging Team with The Exodus Road. Here’s my journey:
A few years ago, right before I launched Tribal Marks, I started to hear a lot about this “human trafficking thing”, but like with many others, the concept just wasn’t hitting home… until I actually listened. I was listening to Lisa Bevere with Pearl Alliance and she told the story of an undercover visit to a brothel. She spoke of a lady who was trapped in sex slavery and forced labor. We’ll call the lady “Pearl.” Pearl was accustomed to servicing about 40 clients a day while her children waited under the bed. She had concluded that there was no hope for her, but maybe someone could smuggle away her children… if she could just get them into the right hands, that is. She ran after them and almost blew their cover as she called out “Please, take my children.”
I didn’t know when a wail came from within me as I listened. Not just tears or sadness, but a long, painful WAIL! Oddly enough, Lisa had just said this a few weeks before in another one of her podcasts: “It’s not until you wail on behalf of another. It’s not until the plight of another touches you to the core… then will you do something about it.”
I had considered myself an orphan and abuse victim advocate, yet I had never imagined an industry where perpetrators maximized the very worst of this combination. Preying on orphans, “harvesting” babies, and putting children as young as 7 years into sex slavery and pornography while clients from suits to beach bums took advantage of them.
How did women like Pearl get into this bondage? Was she lured with a great “job” offer that would help her take care of her family? Was she sold off by parents or guardians who couldn’t afford basic neccessities? Was she born into it? Or was she simply kidnapped and never heard from again, becoming another soul lost in the sea of about 27 million in captivity.
Tribal Marks launched, with the Please TAKE My Children campaign, and the brand I were bound to the cause of Freedom. “Please TAKE My Children”, is the cry of a dead or helpless parent, but ultimately, the heart of God– asking us to steward His creation-His children, and take up their cause as though they were ours, just as He did for us.
Our campaigns have allowed us to raise funds in a creative manner with evenings of art, fashion, food, dance, poetry, friends… and then we channel the funds through allies on the field as we build relationships.
This year, I was introduced to The Exodus Road team (and the story of the Pastor-turned-investigator) and fell in love with the coalition’s strategy of intervention. The Exodus Road is a coalition of covert investigators and organizations working together to fight human trafficking through interventions. We gather legal evidence, support raids and prosecutions, and support aftercare facilities in our network.
I joined the Blogging Team to increase the voice of advocacy throughout the world. Hence, this introductory announcement. I also decided to channel this year’s campaign through The Exodus Road. We hadn’t scheduled a campaign party yet, but the need was more urgent than the vehicle of delivery, so here we are online, asking you to join us in hiring an investigator or in funding a raid. Donate here.
But this is what the Lord says:
“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. Isaiah 49:25 NIV