Rescue is Life Changing

Life is good.  And the Exodus Road is bringing that goodness to victims of modern day slavery all over the place these days.  They are bringing hope, life, and Jesus to these women and children and it’s powerful.

I hope to bring you encouragement that change is happening.  That lives are being redeemed.  That hope is alive and well across the globe for freedom.  That you can play a very real part in ending modern day slavery.

To start, I encourage you to watch their videos and subscribe to their blog.  This will keep you up to date and informed of their different projects and opportunities to participate in rescue efforts.

One of their current projects is, in my opinion, really awesome.  They are collecting rocks.  And each rock represents a rescue.  I love the visual aspect of this.  Each rock (currently 23 and quickly growing) represents a life that is now free from slavery.

John Bergquist, who traveled with Exodus Road this January, has compiled some pretty mind blowing statistics.  You can check out his blog here.  I would like to highlight some of them.  {Note, these are courtesy of Exodus Road and John Bergquist’s research.}

  • According to the International Labor Organization, in some Asian countries, their economies are built on the sex industry — from 2% up to 14%!
  • According to UNICEF in their The State of the Worlds Children 2012, somewhere between 22% – 50% are children, of which most are trafficked for the sex industry.
  • The UNODC report on human trafficking states that much of that activity happens in SE Asia.
  • However, don’t be fooled…trafficking happens right here in the US every day.  CNN is home to The Freedom Project and they report that the number of US trafficking victims is roughly equivalent to the number of murders each year. {The Slave Next Door by Kevin Bales}  And only 1% of human trafficking cases are prosecuted in the US.  See the graphic below from the Freedom Project:

freedom.number.t1larg.4.ok

Pretty incredible, right?  The Exodus Road is dedicated to changing these statistics.  But these are more than just statistics to them…they are real people who need rescuing.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? – Isaiah 58:6

From Passion 2013, which was focused on ending modern day slavery http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K69NdzPvwj0

Watch the Video

And finally. I would also like to share some of Matt’s, the Executive Director of Exodus Road, thoughts and his powerful words.  You can read the full post here.  He writes:

Victims of human trafficking are not lost forever, unless the very last one of us gives up.

And till the day they are free, I choose to hope and set my eyes on the horizon. There I see freedom coming–  freedom for victims of human trafficking and freedom for me as I seek it for them.  Freedom is the very aroma of God and love is his firm step.  I have never known joy as I know it today, as I too take up the smell and step of God.  Justice is the mix of these two elements, freedom and love.  When both are present, the Kingdom of God is realized.

Last night I witnessed the slavery of over two hundred women.  On my left sat a young virgin and on my right a young girl maybe twenty years old. Both for sale. All for sale. And I wanted this justice fueled by love for them so very badly.

This work that we are doing is a powerful thing in my own life. It stretches beyond my comfort, calls me to be courageous in the face of fear, costs me greatly and has shown me the face of God in ways that have surprised me.

Many people claim to know God.  If the work of rescue has taught me anything, it is that I know very little about God and am a fool to claim that I do.  I now believe that he is so much bigger than I will ever comprehend and his love, justice and mercy are equally unfathomable.

This is a big story, after all, that we are living.  A story of impossible odds, brokenness and courage, passion and justice.  It is the best story I have ever read, and I still do not know how it will end.

I am forever changed, and we are only at the beginning.

-Matt Parker.  Executive Director, The Exodus Road.   Jan. 2013

 

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Book Review: Unglued Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst

{Full disclosure:  Booksneeze.com graciously sent me a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing it.  These thoughts listed here are my own and have not been influenced.}

Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress

Basic Info…

Title: Unglued Devotional: 60 Days of Imperfect Progress

Author: Lysa TerKeurst

Publisher:  Zondervan

ISBN-10:  0310320321

ISBN-13: 978-0310320326

Website:  Lysa TerKeurst

My thoughts….

I love how by the end of this book, I felt like maybe Lysa and I would be friends.  I have not read the book Unglued, so I wasn’t sure if that would alter my opinion, but I found the opposite to be true.  I found that the devotional was easy to read and it did not matter that I had not read the companion book.

I had heard of Lysa, but I was not very familiar with her work.  I am hooked after reading this!  I can’t wait to read more from her.  I also highly encourage you to hear her speak, she is phenomenal.  She’s so open and honest about her struggles, it’s easy to relate to her.

I found one of the best parts of the book is that it somewhat shatters this image of the perfect life that I would have assumed Lysa lives.  I realize that we all have struggles, but some people’s lives seem a bit charmed…not to say that they don’t have struggles, however they are not necessarily public struggles.  Lysa comes across as being authentic, without dramatizing or exaggerating  as a fellow woman who has her moments of becoming “unglued.”

I also how easy they are to read.  They are also short enough that if you only have a few minutes, you can still fit them in.  They are well written, begin with a thought for the day and end with a prayer.

I thought that this was a solid devotional and I can’t wait to read more from Lysa!