The Exodus Road Archives - Sarah Mae
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Category Archives: The Exodus Road

Why Good Christian Men Go Into Brothels

I met two of the men who go into brothels on a regular basis.*

These two men go in and sit down and order a drink and they see girl after girl after girl up on stage. They are looking for minors and girls with signs of abuse. Sometimes the girls are naked. Sometimes they have a bikini on. I asked Matt, one of the men, why some girls have bikini’s on and some don’t. “The girls have to pay the bartender to take their bikini’s off.”

Oh.

The topless girls might be chosen quicker, meeting their quotas quicker. 100 men a month. The more men, the more money, the more quickly you can pay off your debt bondage. It’s all so complicated and layered, this business of human trafficking.

So these two men go into dark, dirty places and see dark and dirty things. Some of which I won’t tell you. What I will tell you is this: these men, these good Christian men, will be the first to say that they are not good.

They are not above any other man. They are not more righteous or holy. They are just men, who go into brothels by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit in order to help set captives free.

Humble is a word that comes to mind.

Willing. Able. Knowing they are flesh and blood men, full of normal humanity, willing to go in and see beyond the skin to the girl who might be trafficked and needing rescued.

I have the highest esteem and respect for these men who keep on despite the narrative that men aren’t able to have self-control, that they are owned by lust.

They’ve been bruised by this work, by people who can’t understand why good Christian men would go into brothels.

Well I’ll tell you why good Christian men go into brothels, and I’ll tell you using Matt’s words:

“The Kingdom of God is supposed to be ushered into this world by Christians. And freedom is a big part of that for these girls, these victims. And if those who follow Christ, who love Christ, aren’t the ones who can go into battle and charge the gates of hell in the name of Christ, I don’t really know who else should be doing that…for us to have the courage to go into a dark place and perhaps see some things we’d rather not see, but we do that on behalf of a child. I think that’s what Christ actually did. He came from heaven to the brothel of earth to save a prostitute or a victim like me, and He offered me a new hope, He offered me freedom, and a new life. In my mind, this is the gospel.”

I mean, AMEN.

THIS is the gospel. It’s going to dark places and being light, and offering hope and a new life. Yes, it’s awful. But it’s also really, really good work.

And right now, these men, this organization, The Exodus Road, they need our help to keep on in this good work. Will you please help?

They need 20 more monthly partners to help fund raids in the brothels of India. 

The brothels in India are horrific. You can read my post about them HERE. We need your help. $35 a month. 100% of the money goes to the investigations that lead to freedom. The goal is to have these partners signed up this month, as in, by May 31st. 

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As a THANK YOU, when you sign up THIS MONTH (May) to become a monthly donor (and for those who already have), you will get this artisan bracelet, made in Thailand, as a gift. 

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I also have one more special treat for you: A GIVEAWAY!

I want to get the word out everywhere about this organization and this need, so please enter the giveaway and SHARE SHARE SHARE about it! What is the giveaway? Read on…

GIVEAWAY!

A gift set of The Exodus Road products is up for grabs! Here’s what one person will win:

The bracelet (as shown above)

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An Exodus Road water bottle

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This T-Shirt

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And a copy of Laura Parker’s EXCELLENT book, The Exodus Road: A Wife’s Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue

By the way, you should buy this book anyway because it’s only $5.99 and it’s a must-read.

To enter this giveaway, just fill out the form below! The giveaway ends Tuesday, May 31st. And thank you, THANK YOU for your support and for spreading the word. Deeply grateful to all of you for “listening” to my stories.

The winner of this giveaway is Amanda Abrahamson!

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Joe and Matt

Love, SM

*The Exodus Road has protocols in place, training, and accountability that is top-notch for all those who go into brothels to help find and rescue slaves.

P.S. Watch the interview I did with Matt Parker, CEO of The Exodus Road by clicking below.

Can’t see the video? Click HERE.

Related:

Superheros are real. I met on.

Learning to Not Look Away (and the gift of the burden)

When Life Has Killed the Dream You Dreamed

Being Baptized into the Red Light District

I Said Yes

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Should We Embrace the Life We Have?

Recently I’ve seen this quote going around, with no context to accompany it:

“Occasionally weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God. And embrace the life you have.”

It sounds really good, doesn’t? We want to trust God with the life we have. I understand this; I agree with the sentiment depending on who it is directed towards. But I have to tell you that when I first read that quote I was in SE Asia seeing girls in brothels and learning about 10 year olds being held as sex slaves. And so I felt angry. I thought, “What a privileged thing to say. I would never show that quote to these girls who are trapped in slavery. I would never encourage them to embrace their life.” In fact, that is what their captors would want them to do, just embrace their fate, their lot. See in their culture there’s this idea that you are where you are in life because of your past life, so if you’re a girl, you’ve already done something wrong, but if you’re a girl who was trafficked, this is your fate. You deserve it. So be resigned to it.

No.

I would show them this quote instead (hat tip to Dawntoya Thomason for sharing it with me):

“I was a father to the needy, And I investigated the case which I did not know. “I broke the jaws of the wicked And snatched the prey from his teeth.” Job 29:16-17

Yes, that is what God does. He uses ordinary people to go into the dark places and snatch the prey from the teeth of the wicked.

So no, we will not tell these girls to wash their faces and embrace their lives. We will go forward to creating a better life for those who are in the teeth of the wicked. We will advocate for the prey, the vulnerable, the snatched.

We will not give up.

And that is the life I will embrace, the one that keeps on in this:

Learn to do good;
Seek justice,
Reprove the ruthless,
Defend the orphan,
Plead for the widow.

Isaiah 1:17

God’s heart is of hope and a better way, a new way, new life. I’m so grateful that the God I love is for the weak and is for justice and is for using us ordinary people to do His good work.

That is a privilege I can get on board with.

If you feel that way too, you can help snatch the prey from the teeth of the wicked by linking arms with The Exodus Road, an organization that does just that. They advocate for the weak and vulnerable and they go into the dark places and they gather evidence and they work with nationals and local police to do the snatching. They are being the hands of God.

Here’s how you can tangibly help fund investigations and raids that bring actual freedom to real girls: Go HERE and sign up to donate $35/month to help get young girls out of brothels (we’re looking for 50 monthly donors). This is specific to India, and 100% of your donation goes to funding investigations that lead to the freedom of these minors. I know it’s hard to read these stories and feel so helpless, but you *can* help. You may not be able to go onto the front lines and kick down brothel doors, but you can hire those who can and who are.

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To join the 50 who are willing to not look away, to carry the burden that is a gift, head HERE

Countdown: We need 50 30 more to donate. Become a stateside snatcher now!

Thank you.

Love, SM

Related:

Superheros are real. I met on.

Learning to Not Look Away (and the gift of the burden)

When Life Has Killed the Dream You Dreamed

Being Baptized into the Red Light District

I Said Yes

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Housework and Going into Brothels: the Holy Work of Both

It seems so insignificant doesn’t it? Writing and caring about homemaking (the #MarthaHomeMaryWay challenge started yesterday) when there are girls stuck as sex slaves around the world.

But here I am, writing about homemaking and motherhood and the daily stuff of life. This is my privileged life. And I mean that in the purest sense; I am privileged to be able to write and mother with all the tools I need at my disposal, and keep a home. I’m thankful. I’m grateful.

So how can I go on normally after learning what I’ve learned, after seeing what I’ve seen?

I just do.

I go on. I keep on. I have a family to take of and people to love and disciples (my kids) to teach.

This is good, holy work.

But I will also not look away anymore. I will continue in my work with The Exodus Road. I will pray and support and write. This is also good, holy work.

And I will teach my children to not look away, but to care and to help. Age-appropriate and in the seasons of time, but I want to nurture into them the holiness of justice.

So I will clean my house and do the laundry and live available where God has me. It’s worthy to rescue those trapped in sex slavery and it’s worthy to keep a home in order to love others. And I can and will do both. This is life, the holy and sacred and burdened life we wear.

Joy and heartache.

Good and evil.

Housework and brothels.

We intersect.

The key is to live well and open where you are, but to look and see and give and work in the holy dark.

To stay bright. To sit in the darkness with those who are in it; to push it back where we are able. And we are all stronger, by God’s grace, and more able than we think.

So keep on. Keep on in your holy homemaking and normal days and keep on in looking and seeing the broken and not giving up. Your kids need you, your community needs you, girls trapped in sex slavery need you. But no need to be overcome. Remember, Jesus has overcome the world. You just need to be tender to it.

In the tenderness God will speak and He will use you.

SM

Want to join in the #MarthaHomeMaryWay challenge? Click here for deets.

If you want to help The Exodus Road in the fight to end slavery, here is a tangible way: I need 50 people who are willing to donate $35/month to help get these girls out of the brothels. This is specific to India, and 100% of your donation goes to funding investigations that lead to the freedom of these minors. I know it’s hard to read these stories and feel so helpless, but you *can* help. You may not be able to go onto the front lines and kick down brothel doors, but you can hire those who can and who are. To join the 50 who are willing to not look away, to carry the burden that is a gift, head HERE. Thank you so much!

brothelhomemaking

Related:

Superheros are real. I met on.

Learning to Not Look Away (and the gift of the burden)

When Life Has Killed the Dream You Dreamed

Being Baptized into the Red Light District

I Said Yes

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Superheroes are real. I met one.

Trigger Warning: sexual abuse, sexual content

This past week I met a man who is no less than a superhero to me.

As a matter of fact, I’ve met a few superheroes this week, but I’d like to highlight one man in particular today. I’ll call him, “S”.

S is an Indian man who works with The Exodus Road and goes undercover into the brothels of India to gather evidence of minors being bought and sold for sex. And when I say minors, we’re talking as young as 7 years old.

Take a minute.

I have a 7 year old daughter and a 10 year old daughter. Not too long ago S was part of a rescue that included 7 and 10 year old sisters who had been found in a brothel. See in India brothels are a bit different than the ones in Thailand. It’s all horrific, but there are certain places in India (always the lower castes) where daughters are sold by their parents so men don’t have to work, and where there are street-side brothels with minors set up for miles and where “fresh” young girls (ages 10-13) are sold for a premium. These young ones being forced to have sex with 35-45 men a day.

A day.

Take another minute.

Remember the gift of the burden. Don’t look away.

We asked S how he got into the business of rescue and he said his sister was trafficked. He found her and he rescued her, and that is how it all began for him. Since then he has worked for last 20 years tirelessly, putting his life literally on the line, working with local nationals and police to free hundreds of girls from sex slavery. He is a hero, a superhero. Oh, and by the way, his sister now helps with the rescues. She works in aftercare. Incredible. Beautiful.

“I don’t do it for the numbers. To me, a single girl is very important. I do it for the one.” -S

One last thing I want to share about our time with S (there are so many things). One of the stories he told us is that they went undercover in a brothel recently, gathered evidence, and was able to be part of rescuing a couple of minors. During this time they found out that the brothel owner, a woman, was planning on selling her own 15 year old daughter in the brothel. They had a team in place to try and rescue this girl before it was too late.

We wrapped up our session and just as we were sitting down for lunch, S got the call. Right then. He said, “They got her!” She was rescued.

Friends, this is what The Exodus Road does. They go to battle for the vulnerable. They go under cover. They put their lives at risk. They gather evidence. They work with nationals (so important) and local police, and they are effective in rescue. 700 girls (and counting) have been rescued because of the collaborative efforts of nationals and The Exodus Road.

If you want to help The Exodus Road in the fight to end slavery, here is a tangible way: I need 50 people who are willing to donate $35/month to help get these girls out of the brothels. This is specific to India, and 100% of your donation goes to funding investigations that lead to the freedom of these minors. I know it’s hard to read these stories and feel so helpless, but you *can* help. You may not be able to go onto the front lines and kick down brothel doors, but you can hire those who can and who are. To join the 50 who are willing to not look away, to carry the burden that is a gift, head HERE. Thank you so much!

superheroes are real sarah mae protected

With S

Related:

Learning to Not Look Away (and the gift of the burden)

When Life Has Killed the Dream You Dreamed

Being Baptized into the Red Light District

I Said Yes

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Learning to Not Look Away (and the gift of the burden)

I know it’s overwhelming.

The ache of the world. The injustice.

So often I just keep scrolling past the hard news because I can’t carry the burden of it. I look away. Pretend it’s not there or say I’ll look later. It’s my privilege to do so.

But this past week I heard “S” (an Indian man who goes into brothels to rescue girls) pray, “Thank you God for the gift of this burden.”

This burden, this weight of all the injustice, a gift?

So it is.

A gift to know the truth and a gift to not look away and a gift to be a part of the efforts of rescue. Yes, what a gift. Thank you God.

Thank you that the girls who are trapped in slavery aren’t hidden from our knowledge; it is known. We know. And we have a choice.

I have a choice.

I can look away and hide the knowledge, because it feels too much to bear. Or I can look and sear my mind with the truth that there are girls (and boys) enslaved and who need me to see them and not ignore them.

I will not look away. I see you.

I will do whatever I can to help rescue you, whether that’s going into the brothels to look for you, or whether that’s learning all I can about human trafficking, or whether it’s writing a check to help buy gear for investigators. Whatever I can do, I will do.

And if you want to do something, if you want to help be a part of changing the culture of darkness across the world or right here in our own backyard, you can.

Maybe you can’t go into the brothels yourself, or be a part of a raid, but you can support those who can and do.

There is so much you could support, I know. Injustice and need are everywhere. So this work, this need, is only for those of you who know this is what you want to be a part of. Don’t feel guilty if your heart is drawn to another need. But if you want to help The Exodus Road in the fight to end slavery, go here to learn more. In a couple of weeks I’m going to ask for something very specific that will tangibly help rescue girls from brothels, so please subscribe to my posts (or keeping checking back) so you don’t miss it.

I have more stories (and hope!) to share, so keep reading along. I’m not done. Thanks for looking.

SM

If you want to help The Exodus Road in the fight to end slavery, here is a tangible way: I need 50 people who are willing to donate $35/month to help get these girls out of the brothels. This is specific to India, and 100% of your donation goes to funding investigations that lead to the freedom of these minors. I know it’s hard to read these stories and feel so helpless, but you *can* help. You may not be able to go onto the front lines and kick down brothel doors, but you can hire those who can and who are. To join the 50 who are willing to not look away, to carry the burden that is a gift, head HERE. Thank you so much!

Related:

When Life Has Killed the Dream You Dreamed

Being Baptized into the Red Light District

I Said Yes

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Thank you God for the gift of this burden.

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