It’s Valentine’s Day and lots of people will be talking about love, doing loving things, buying things for the ones they love. That’s one kind of love. Another kind of love is this: “ Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” The folks at The Exodus Road are living this kind of love every day as they work to rescue women and children from sex slavery.
The following are some reflections from the group’s director and founder on a recent trip to Southeast Asia.
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