Two weeks ago, I attended the Allume Blogger's conference here in Greenville. If you didn't get to read about it, you can go here and check out my perspective. Ya'll, it truly was amazing! One of the speakers was Laura Parker with Exodus Road. I had heard bits and pieces of her story, and I wanted to sit in on her session to hear more about it.
Laura, her husband Matt, and their kids were led to Southeast Asia for humanitarian work a few years ago. It wasn't your typical mission trip as we Americans have come to know such as to rebuild homes, dig wells for fresh water, or have a vacation Bible school. Let me share with you just a little bit of what Laura's book says: "Laura Parker didn't expect to enter the undercover world of sex trafficking. Through a series of events, the couple quickly became immersed in a world of body worn cameras, changing aliases, and mafia driven red-light districts." Y'all, this sweet girl is for real! She and Matt are your very ordinary down the street couple! Period. God uses each of us in different ways to accomplish His purpose during various seasons of our lives.
Think about it this way. Imagine that you are standing in Laura's shoes. And, that your sweet hubby is wearing Matt's shoes as well. Now, imagine that you both know God has called you to help rescue precious little girls--think middle school age-- who have been taken against their will to work in a place that you cannot even imagine. I know that I can't. Your hubby goes out several nights a week and is up until dawn while you are at home trying to act like all is normal with your children. Can you sleep while he is away? Can you handle the "wait" to see how many girls were rescued or worse case scenario, your husband winds up getting caught? This is the life that the Parkers lived for months on end. Their courage and trust in God is amazing!
Here is an excerpt from the book:
It was 9 p.m., and though I should have been tired, adrenaline had kicked in. Tonight Matt was going out again. This time, alone. The idea was to ask a tuk-tuk (motorcycle taxi) driver for young girls and see where he led. The plan made both of us nervous and would have been far better if it involved backup—a partner to go with Matt or to at least track him remotely. But we’d already asked everyone we knew and had found no takers. “You shouldn’t be doing this by yourself,” we’d heard from friends, missionaries, humanitarian workers. “Then come with me,” Matt had said to each. “No, no I couldn’t do that,” was the usual reply. And we got it, we did. There are a million reasons why upstanding moral men don’t belong in strip clubs. A million. There are marriages, triggers and dangers. There are reputations to protect and pitfalls to avoid. There are entire organizations whose work might crumble if they sanctioned undercover work in brothels. Yet, yet. We still couldn’t get away from this idea that if it were our daughter, we’d want someone to go looking for her, want someone, somewhere, to fight for her rescue—regardless of the red tape or danger. We couldn’t get past the idea that maybe there was a noble reason for a good man to frequent a brothel, after all.
“The Exodus Road: One Wife’s Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue” by Laura Parker. All Rights Reserved.
“No one ever overcomes difficulties by going at them in a hesitant, doubtful way.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder
Laura Ingalls Wilder, my Little House on the Prairie gal, spoke such wisdom so long ago.
“God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them.” – Bono, U2
This book, The Exodus Road, is their true story of the time spent in danger and trying to make a difference with the injustice that occurs daily. If you would like to have your own copy of this book, just leave a comment on the blog and tell me why you think you would like the book. I will be drawing names this weekend and would love for you to have this. Both my husband and I have read this book. It truly encourages you to step out of your comfort zone and serve. For more information about this nonprofit organization, go here.
The Exodus Road is available for purchase on Amazon.com and is currently DISCOUNTED through the month of November.
Y'all, if you are on Facebook, please follow The Exodus Road. The more "likes" they have, the more people just like you and me can find out about this amazing coalition. You can go here to find them on Facebook.
Again, thanks for leaving a comment on the blog. I am looking forward to giving away this book--it's my first book giveaway EVER!