Anti-Trafficking and Old Friendships
For my day job, I work in a hard-to-find office above a tire store.
I am a writer and content manager for The Exodus Road, an international non-profit coalition which empowers the rescue of women and children trapped in sex slavery. We have a small team of stateside support staff — and multiple teams of front line covert investigators around the globe. My boss is the VP of Communications and my friend, Laura Parker.
Our friendship birthed back at a church we used to attend. Among other things, we have co-led spiritual conversation groups, and co-founded a website. I have seen her pregnant more than once, and watched her ferociously love each of her three grade school kids.
About 8 years ago, when Laura’s husband Matt was a youth pastor, my two older sons were in his youth group. Andrew and Ty are adults now, getting married and finishing college, respectively. Matt is now the Founder and CEO of The Exodus Road. A whole lot of life has rushed under the bridge between then and now.
A few months ago, Laura and I took a weekend and headed off on a writer’s retreat. Laura sat on her bed typing. I sat in a chair with my feet up on my bed, also typing. We both chipped away at our book projects. Laura wrote like a rabbit. I typed like a turtle. In between, we’d read sections out loud to each other. I am still plugging away at my project, slow and not-so-steady. Laura has already crossed the finish line. As people continue to buy the book, I am quietly honored to have been allowed to both watch the actual story unfold, and see Laura capture it in writing.
Laura’s book sketches the wild and unexpected journey she took as her little family packed up and headed out as a ‘missionary’ family to SE Asia. What unfolded over subsequent years is the unexpected stuff of anti-trafficking underworld. This is the kind of story I imagine people will re-tell around the dinner table, at coffee shops, and in airports.
The Exodus Road: One Wife’s Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue is vulnerable, quick-paced, and to-the-point. What is it like to send your husband into locked brothels and illegal underground sex establishments? How would it feel to stay home nights, in an unfamiliar country, waiting for text updates? Laura’s voice is extremely relatable — a very ordinary person in very extraordinary circumstances. Buy it. Give it as a gift. A portion of the proceeds will further the fight against sex trade.
If you haven’t already, go ahead and check out Laura’s story on Amazon, now available HERE.
Interested in becoming an Exodus Road Blogger? Check out the link HERE.
Psst. Feel like a social justice slacker?
It’s ok. Me, too.
Read my slacker’s take on Matt and Laura’s journey and the modern day slavery movement over at Burnside Writer’s Collective,”ENTERING THE BAT CAVE.”