The other day someone asked me what my book is about. I always find this hard to explain, partly I worry they’ll think it’s stupid and partly because I’ve yet to come up with a clear, concise two-sentence descriptor. I tend to stumble over my words, proliferating the ones that do escape with “Umm” and pauses nearing the point of incoherence.
But—my novel is about a girl, a young woman in a brothel in an ancient, fictional world. It’s about redemption and freedom. It’s about fighting for light, for hope in the darkness. It’s the struggle for freedom from within and freedom for without.
Why this? I’m sure people wonder. I’ve always been fascinated by the redemption story, particularly as depicted in Hosea. The wayward wife wooed back again and again.
“I will betroth you to me forever…”
God is always faithful.
I’ve been working on this novel for years and it has transformed over and over again (thankfully!), and now I think it has the potential to tell a true story.
When I began researching brothels and prostitution in the ancient world (particularly in the Roman culture), the history was heart-wrenching. Prostitutes in brothels were almost always taken as slaves from foreign conquests. The woman would often be lined up naked for men to see what they were purchasing. In some brothels, the rooms were sorted by sexual act depicted in an engraving above the door. The beds—a concrete slab.
In England, archaeologists discovered an ancient mass grave of infants, most full-term, in what they believe was the seedier side of a Roman town. The only logical explanation they can think of? Brothel houses.
But it’s the reality of 27 million people today.
There are more slaves today than there were at the height of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, more than any other time in history. And the conditions between ancient Rome and today aren’t so different.
It feels a near silent fight. But there are those—many—fighting.
The Exodus Road has supported 250 rescues. That number is small, so tiny when compared to the millions still bound.
But when you stop seeing the rescues as numbers and start seeing them as people, as children of God created in His image, these are lives changed. The flicker of hope being restored, the beginning of freedom. There is hope.
- Pray for those waiting to be rescued, for investigators, for current cases to convict traffickers, and for the healing process of the rescued.
- Join a Search & Rescue team and commit a $35 monthly contribution to the undercover investigation efforts.
- Read the Parker’s What It Takes to Free a Sex Slave.
- Spread the word and help educate others.
Rescue is coming. And it matters to every one.
To read this story of the rescue in this video, click here.
(In February, I’ll be reviewing Laura Parker’s book The Exodus Road: One Wife’s Journey into Sex Trafficking & Rescue and giving away a copy. Subscribe here so you don’t miss it!)