Anna's Story, The Exodus Road

My Friend Anna…

Today, as part of my commitment to blog for rescue, I wanted to begin telling you the story of my friend, Anna. While Anna’s story I’ll write about here on my blog is fictional, the events of her life are reality for many in the world. Anna’s life represents one of the 27 million slaves The Exodus Road and other organizations seek to rescue from the horrific reality of human trafficking. Anna could be your daughter or sister or friend. Anna could be you. Each Monday, we’ll get a glimpse into Anna’s prayer journal and see how easily someone can find themselves trapped in a horrible situation with no hope for rescue… but hold on Anna, RESCUE IS COMING!


Anna’s Story: Part One – Sold and Trafficked – St. Petersburg, Russia

February 18, 2013
Dear God,
Well, I turned 15 today. Part of me wants to thank you for those 15 years of life. The other part is just filled with worry of what the years ahead will hold. But anyway, it was a good day! Mama even managed to take some time to have a small celebration with me, Marta, Ruslan, and Liza before heading out for work tonight. We didn’t have much to celebrate with, but ever since I started working at the bread shop 2 years ago, at least we have food on the table most nights and we thank you for that God.

Be with Mama tonight, God. I know I pray for that every night, but worry about her so much. I worry what the men will do to her; even worse, I worry that she won’t find enough men who want her and then she gets in trouble with the owners. Does she really think I believe the lies she tries to use to cover up what she does? I see the bruises. I see the pain in her eyes each morning when she comes home. I guess I should be used to it by now, but I feel like there must be a better way. I trust that you love us, Jesus, but sometimes it’s hard when I see what mama goes through. I also worry so much for my younger siblings. They won’t believe the lies much longer either, especially Marta, she’s old enough to start putting the pieces together. Soon she’ll probably have to go out and find a job as well. I had to give up my dreams of going to college, but I don’t want her to have to too. God, please, show me how I can help. There has to be a better way. Help us, Jesus. Help me find a better job to be able to help my family!

Well, I should probably go check on Liza and Ruslan. Keep us safe tonight God and bring Mama home safe as well. Bless the next year in my life and thank you for one more day to be alive.
In Jesus’ Name I Pray, Amen.

February 21, 2013
Oh Papa! As you know, Mama had a bad night last night. She couldn’t even pick up little Liza as she ran to give Mama a hug when she came home this morning. Something has to change. She can’t do this any more. Pastor always says to pray big, bold prayers. So God, I ask tonight for you to give me another job, one that makes more than the one at the bread shop. Mama can’t keep doing this night after night and as the oldest I need to do more. So give me a job, Jesus. In Your Name I Pray, Amen.

February 24, 2013
Could it be true?!? Are already be answering my prayers for something more I could do. It was just two days ago when I asked for a better job, one that would give us enough money so Mama wouldn’t have to keep going out night after night. And there it was, on my way home from church this morning, the sign in the window of the store:

Nanny’s Needed!
Includes a Free Trip to America
Pay: $1000/month

I couldn’t believe it God. It seems too good to be true, but I know how to take care of kids I’ve taken care of Marta and Ruslan and Liza since papa left. I’ll be a great Nanny. And I’ve always wanted to go to America. And the money… Oh Jesus… with $1,000 a month Mama could quit her job and move with the children to a safer place in town. She could get the medicine she needs for all the illnesses she’s gotten from having to sleep with all the different men each night. She could get better! And maybe I’d be so good, I could get a raise and then bring them all to America to live with me! I can’t wait to tell Mama when she gets home! Keep her safe tonight, Jesus. In Your Name I pray, Amen!

Come back next Monday for more of Anna’s story.

The Exodus Road

Freedom Rocks!

In the month or so I’ve been an official Exodus Road blogger, I continue to find myself amazed at the work of The Exodus Road organization. Every single day they work to rescue people out of slavery and restore their lives!

To think that there are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in history is a mindblowing statistic. However, those at The Exodus Road don’t let that overwhelm them. They simply do what God calls them to do each day and lives are changed because of it.

They currently are in the process of raiding 7 brothels in India at which they believe they can rescue 40 women and children who are slaves there. Thanks to the support of many, they were able to raise the funds needed for these raids in about a week! From what I’ve gathered, they have investigators on the ground all over the world ready to save even more as soon as money becomes available.

Check out the video below to find out how else they celebrate the lives of each person rescued each month and my last post about Human Trafficking for ways YOU can help fight slavery in the world today:

#FREEDOMROCKS from The Exodus Road on Vimeo.

Bekah's Heart, Devotional, The Exodus Road

But what can I do?

Tonight at a Bible Study I attend we were talking about the book of Nehemiah. One of the things I’ve always loved about the story of Nehemiah leading the people to rebuild the walls of the city, comes in Chapter 3. There it talks about how they were able to accomplish the task by simply working on the part of that wall that was right outside their home. Together they were able to complete this incredible task in only 52 DAYS!!! Even those that opposed them were scared as they realized God’s hand at work in accomplishing the impossible.

Like Nehemiah, we live in a world that is broken. Everyone can see it. And often times the issues we see in our world seem too big to accomplish and building a huge wall around a city in 52 days while being attacked by outsiders seems like a piece-of-cake compared to the enormity of the brokenness.

One of these issues is human trafficking. A few days ago I mentioned that God was calling me to “build my section of the wall” by joining “The Exodus Road Blogging Team”. At least once a month, I can use this space on this blog to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. To tell their stories and pray for their restoration.

Today, on the 20th day of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, I invite YOU to do YOUR part in building the wall and restoring the brokenness in our world. Below you will find MANY ways to join in the fight for the 27 million who can’t fight for themselves. Find a way that works for you. Together we can restore brokenness! (And let’s encourage each other in the process. Post in the comments what YOUR part of the wall looks like! How are YOU going to help restore what’s broken?)



God’s Word makes it clear that His heart breaks for the broken and oppressed. He also makes it clear that when we pray according to His will, His heart, He WILL hear and He WILL answer. Let’s bang on the doors of heaven on behalf of those who find themselves enslaved. Here are the top three prayer requests right now from The Exodus Road:
1. Safety for our investigators– especially as they start an intense month-log operation with many nights of surveillance back to back.
2. Unity among the communities where they are working. For continued strong relationships with government and NGOs on the ground so that work can move forward.
3. Hearts and healing of rescued victims, currently in after-care facilities.

Human Trafficking is not just something in “some other part of the world.” Sadly, it happens in our own communities everyday. My heart breaks to think that some of the youth I work with could end up caught in some form of sex slavery, but the reality is there. Another organization that works to fight human trafficking including efforts in the US is called the Polaris Project. One of their resources is a 24 hour resource hotline. You can call this hotline to report a tip, connect with anti-trafficking services in your area, or just to request training or anti-trafficking resources. It only takes about 30 seconds to put this phone number in your phone. You never know when you might be in a position where you might need it. You might save someone’s life just by having this phone number accessible!

Because The Exodus Road has had successful connections in the last few days with local police in the area of SE Asia where they are working, their anticipated workload is multiplied GREATLY. While this is GREAT news, it also means that they will need more funds in order to make the raids a reality. Here are a couple ways to give to The Exodus Road:
* Buy an awesome t-shirt. ($22.50)
* Sponsor an investigator for a night ($35)
* Donate any amount.

My guess is that one of the biggest ways human trafficking has become such a big issue is because we’re just uninformed. We’d rather turn our head the other way or maybe we just never heard about it. Here are some ways to get informed about the issue and begin to advocate for those suffering.
* If you’re in the Buffalo area, come to the University at Buffalo this Friday night for an event called “Unbound” that will talk all about the issue of human trafficking.
* Read the stories and facts on any of the following websites:
The Exodus Road
The Polaris Project
* Explore what organizations are fighting this issue in your own state, and see how you can get involved.

So how are you joining in the fight? Share it in the comments as a way to encourage others and to remind us all that together we can make a difference!

The Exodus Road

I Blog For Rescue

I’m not exactly sure how or when this world issue captured my heart. I know God has something to do with it though and I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) that when God calls, it’s just plain stupid for me to not respond. It was verses and statistics like this that took hold of my heart and made it impossible for me to turn my head anymore from the fact that God is calling me to care for those who find themselves enslaved by human trafficking:

  • There are 27 million modern day slaves.
  • Every 60 seconds, a child is sold for sex worldwide.
  • Human trafficking is the 3rd largest global industry, only behind drugs and guns.
  • “Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.” (Proverbs 21:13)
  • Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the week and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” (Psalm 82:3-4)
  • “But what can I do, God?” came my typical excuse-laden response. Like many of the men and women of faith in the Bible, I came back with to God with the “facts” that I was “too young”, “too busy”, “too insignificant”. I raised some money and ran a 5K to help a local organization fighting human trafficking, but what is that in the scheme of things? I tried to get connected more with that organization but it seemed doors were CLOSING to that ministry rather than opening.

    While away on vacation last week, the perfect opportunity landed right in my lap through the organization called “The Exodus Road.” “The Exodus Road.” is a non-profit organization that fights modern day slavery through covert investigations. Our coalition of operatives work together to gather evidence and conduct rescues for those trapped in sexual slavery. To date they have saved over 600 victims and work to add to that number each day.

    Last week, in an effort to respond to God’s call to “defend the cause of the … oppressed”, I joined The Exodus Road’s blogger team. What this means is that I’m committing at least once a month to sharing stories from the field, from my life, or whatever God puts on my heart in order to raise awareness and funds to save those who find themselves in need of rescue. Watch for more in a few days, but in the mean time, I encourage you to check out “The Exodus Road” website by clicking on the picture below or in the sidebar and see more about this ministry. I’m not sure where this journey will take me, but I’m proud to say: