You Can Join in the Fight Against Trafficking {the exodus road}

It’s been in the news and my Facebook feed is scattered with people who are shocked and disgusted that this type of thing would happen here. In their own country…their own town. It’s a horrific, unnerving surprise, but, yes, sex trafficking is a live and prosperous business in the United States of America. But what can we do to help?

I asked myself this question last summer. I had known about sex trafficking for awhile and had slowly been watching documentaries and reading up on the work of different organizations. I felt burdened and compelled to act, but didn’t know how I could help in a practical, tangible way.

Toward the end of the summer I found out Charlotte, NC, a city only 30 minutes away, is one of the largest trafficking hubs on the east coast. Hearing that I knew I had to do something. I found a local organization working to fight trafficking and began to research them. There were some things about their organization that made me uncomfortable, so I didn’t take part. (The organization no longer exists or at least can’t be found online.)

Enter The Exodus Road’s newest venture: Search & Rescue.

The Exodus Road  - Search & Rescue Program - Join a team for the fight against sex trafficking!

I’m excited about this. It’s a way that you and me can join a real-life covert investigative team. The Search & Rescue program which enables you to personally fuel and empower literal rescue.

From our experience, it takes about $35 for a night for one of our investigators to engage in local surveillance. Since we already have teams on the ground and since most of our teams are volunteers, we are able to fund investigations with a fairly lean financial model.If you’d like to join a team, you will be “hiring” one of our investigators to go literally look for children and victims on your behalf in some of the darkest corners of the globe. Investigators will then take that intel to local police partners and will develop cases and raids from that initial intelligence.
The search fuels the rescue. And by investing in our teams, you will be putting boots on the ground, sending eyes to look for the enslaved.
Currently, we have four designated teams that we’d like to empower. Each team has a code name (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta) and a brief description of their area of focus. You can find the team names and descriptions here. When you choose a team to sponsor for $35/monthly, you’ll have access to their field intelligence (though, as always, for safety, some details may be changed). You’ll get live updates about the ways your team performs investigations, raids, and rescue. We’ll also send newsletters, incentives and even ways for you to connect and support your field team on a more personal level.

Want to become a part of the Search and Rescue Team?

This is your chance to join arms with the guys who are actually kicking down the doors. Hire an Investigator.  Recover a Slave.

SR-TeamBadge-Charlie-Yellow

Our family is working toward joining the Charlie team’s base camp.

Charlie Team is staying home. Recognizing that an estimated 14,500 new trafficking victims come into the United States every year, Charlie Team will be developing efforts to roll out local level one surveillance missions. Currently in very early stages of development, Charlie Team will utilize government and police partnerships to gather tips of possible trafficking scenarios to pass to local authorities. Investigators will likely be ex-military or police and will be highly vetted. Charlie Team will hopefully begin local, ground-level investigations in the late fall of 2013. They are currently investing in field research and networking relationships. 

We’d love for you to join the fight against trafficking and end slavery. We can’t all be in the field, but we can all do something.

I would love to build a community of sojourners who work together to fight trafficking alongside The Exodus Road.

Would you consider partnering with The Exodus Road to see the end of slavery?

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When You Feel You’re Failing & Nothing’s Changed

I always keep a little moleskin in my purse to jot down ideas, notes, thoughts, and random bits of inspiration that come flying through the wind. Sometimes they end up on the blog or as a question in community group, but most of them just stay pressed between the binding. Yesterday I was flipping through a journal and came by an entry that fit how I was feeling.

Nothing’s changed. I woke up this morning feeling stressed, fearful…like I was getting ready to fail.

When You Feel You're Failing & Nothing's Changed

Remember that today. If you belong to Christ, nothing’s changed.

 

 

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Reconciling Comfort & the Sojourner’s Call

I’m writing a book on advent. I don’t know that I’ve told you that. It’s one of the reasons its been so quiet on the blog. (The other is life is busy. Surprise.) As I’m fumbling through words hoping they come out right, I’m wondering if others hear the advent call and the longing to be home.

What’s the advent call? The pleading for our Hope to return again to call us home. But more than a longing to walk on streets of gold, advent is the hopeful anticipation for the day when all will be righted—pain and suffering, disease and abuse, poverty and injustice. It is the daily heart cry of the sojourner to see justice administered, pain ceased, captives released, the flesh dead, Satan chained, and the glory of God to be glaringly, beautifully evident to all.

But what if our lives don’t ache with pain? What if we’re quite comfortable here?

For those who suffer in this life, the hope of an eternal home sustains and motivates. But what of those whose life is full of ease, free from the struggle for survival which much of the world endures? What of affluent Christians who are comforted by their possessions and encouraged by their successes? What of people like me?

In loving the world we experience our greatest loneliness, unaware that are heart cries for a city which is to come. We are strangers here, and no matter how comfortable we make our stay, we will always feel the pangs of homesickness.

I have never known hunger or thirst or any real need. Yet I do know the distress of an unsettled soul. I’m aware that comfort comes only when I count everything as loss in light of knowing Christ. But in a world that flaunts its gaudy baubles in my face, I must be reminded that this is not my home. I am a pilgrim on a journey and one day I will reach my eternal destination.

– Tricia McCary Rhodes, The Soul at Rest

Do you feel the pangs if homesickness? How do you embrace your name called pilgrim?

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Belong. {five minute friday}

I’ve been itching to get back into the rhythm of blogging. It’s been awhile. And by awhile I mean a month. It was a sporadic spring too.

For an easy reentry, I’m joining up with the ladies of Five Minute Friday and writing, just for 5 minutes, with the prompt belong. {you can join in too! here’s the details.}

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Five Minute Friday I’ve been penning words on sojourning and advent. It’s written on my heart and it’s the touchstone of my life. I’m struggling to get them out. I have so much to say…so many jumbled thoughts I’m trying to get straight and a wealth of hymns playing melody. How long have I thought and planned and cycle back over into what it means to be a sojourner, a wanderer, a stranger and alien–to ache for the second advent.

I see the blessed peace of the saints of old who left homelands and family’s going not knowing where trusting even through their misplaced steps. They seek the City that is yet to come. And so do I. Don’t we all crane and ache for the place where all our restlessness will cease? Where our redemption is made full and complete and we stand in the presence of glory and joy—inexpressible and glorious joy! Laugh out loud joy! Literally…that’s the word.

And the arms that beckoned all to come and taste the abundant and pure waters that quenched our eternal thirsts and longing, will stretch wide the feast. And all will eat. And all will be full. And all will be satisfied. And all will be home.

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