Did You Get What You Wanted for Christmas?

Present

Present (Photo credit: ejorpin)

All I wanted for Christmas this year was to stop doing nothing about the condition of the world, to be more like Jesus in the exact way he calls his followers to be – light.

After calling himself the light of the world, Jesus passed the mantle. WE are now the light of the world and WE are meant to shine like a city on a hill. It’s so simple, but I have sipped countless lattes with my smart, beautiful friends discussing hunger and poverty and slavery and AIDS, fixing our hopes on some opaque redemptive body and wringing our hands.

But Jesus Christ did not ruminate over why the Jewish mental health system failed the demon-possessed man. He just stopped what he was doing and healed him.

So a month ago, I began raising money for The Exodus Road, a coalition of covert investigators rescuing child sex slaves out of SE Asian brothels.

By Christmas day, 18 people, from my parents, to friends, to complete strangers had contributed $1000 of our $1400 goal. That means all of us are engaging the problem of sexual slavery, not just talking about it. We are advancing an army of light, which the darkness cannot suffer. We have done as Proverbs 31:8 says:

Open your mouth for the dumb, for the cause of all who are left desolate.

And yet many people still gaze at all the sticky, black tar fouling the earth and say, “It’s too big, too dark. God can’t possibly be here.”

But He is and here’s how I know:

Careful readers will note we fell short of our $1400 goal. I did the best I could by my deadline and handed the rest over to God.

Yesterday, a couple I don’t know in Minnesota donated the last $400 – our biggest single donation.

candles

candles (Photo credit: rogerglenn)

They gave on behalf of Urban Servant, a blog written by my childhood friend Dorothy, who has adopted nine of her eleven children, many of whom were damaged in utero by booze. If there were no Dorothy, there would be nine more needy, little people dropping through the system like metal balls in a game of mousetrap.

But there is a Dorothy and she is a beacon. This woman has 13 mouths to feed thrice daily, yet she made time to blog about us in such a compelling way, people I don’t know made a sizable gift in her name.

This is how God works. After we agree to serve Him, He uses us like melodies in other people’s songs.

When we get less selfish with our time, our money and our hands, when we accept that we don’t know what we’re doing and may mess things up, when we engage one another in sometimes slow and inefficient ways, that’s when the light shines through us and people can see it. Then the world is a little less dark.

I’m grateful for all of you. Happy New Year.

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Team Kirk is the #3 Exodus Road Fundraiser!

Did you know we are the #3 Exodus Road fundraising team now? Fifteen of you have joined me in raising nearly $700. Thank you!

We have one week to raise the other half. I blogged here about my commitment to help this non-profit raise $1400 to raid a brothel selling imprisoned children for sex. The Exodus Road is taking two of its top fundraising bloggers back to SE Asia to see the operation firsthand. That could be me!

Here’s why this work matters:

1. There are more human slaves now than at any other time in human history.

2. An estimated 600,000-800,000 people are trafficked over international borders, including into the US, each year. Seventy percent are female and half are children.

3. Human trafficking is the third largest organized crime after guns and drugs.

Ugh, thanks Erin, I really needed more bad news.

Don’t despair! It is easy to help and you don’t have to solve the whole problem, you just have to refuse to do nothing. Your contribution matters to rescued sex slaves like Sarah.

So here is not one, but two options for fighting sexual slavery.

Donate to The Exodus Road coalition and support the people performing covert surveillance and organizing raids on SE Asian brothels.

dream_centerDonate to The LA Dream Center, which operates the United States’ largest transitional care and recovery center for victims of human trafficking. Even though I was at the Dream Center in November, I know little about this program, because security for it is super high. In LA that is expensive.

As Chris Caine, founder of the A21 Campaign says, no one can do everything, but everyone can do something.

Tomorrow, I’m bringing the noise from Sweden – a nation which sex traffickers consider “inhospitable for business.” Solutions abound y’all. Be a part!

How To Free A Sex Slave – Part II

Yesterday I posted about Sarah – a 15-year-old victim of sexual slavery in SE Asia. It was our second highest page-view day Online fundraising for Erin Kirk fundraising for The Exodus Roadever, and we are almost halfway to funding a raid on a brothel with The Exodus Road partners. Thank you!

Twenties are the denomination of the day. Will you take one out of your pocket and help us fight the fact that every 60 seconds a child is sold for sex worldwide?

Which brings me to a question that has been bugging me since we started this.

Q – Why is there a supply of child sex slaves to begin with?

A – Because there is a demand for sex with children.

Aaaaaarrgggggghhhhhhhhhh.

So, is anybody prosecuting men who solicit prostitution? Why do some people decry that, as unnecessary government intrusion into commodity transaction between consenting adults? But who ensures the consenting part? Who ensures the adult part? Is this really a “victimless crime?” What’s the relationship between prostitution and human trafficking of women and children?

Tomorrow’s post will get a little sticky, especially for those fellas who believe prostitutes happily trade their bodies for money. Do you believe that? Tune in tomorrow.

Sarah’s Rescue…

Several weeks ago, the team of investigators The Exodus Road helps fund, engaged the local government in Cambodia to raid Sarah’s brothel.

It was a collective effort of several NGO’s, two of which work with The Exodus Road, and several government and police agencies. It was a professional operation, spearheaded chiefly by our lead investigator. It took three days and resulted in the discovery of 8 underage victims and the arrests of the brothel owners.

After weeks of waiting, Sarah’s door was kicked in. The note she scribbled to the investigator on a piece of currency which said, “Please rescue me,” finally got answered.

And while it did require more time, money, and manpower than first assumed, the team pursued Sarah’s freedom with tenacity.

After her rescue, Sarah was transferred to a government facility, but The Exodus Road coalition kept lobbying for her. Now, Sarah and other victims rescued from the brothel, are being transferred to an after-care facility in The Exodus Road network. There, they will receive counseling, rehabilitation, education and therapy. They are welcome to stay there while they decide whether or not to return to their home countries….

So yes people, it’s painstaking. It can be slow. It’s expensive and it’s heartbreaking, but it’s working. Sarah by Sarah, it’s working.

Will you help rescue more Sarahs today?