Be On Time

on time

I have entered what I fondly call birthday season.  With that comes reminiscing of my babies, who are no longer babies!  Kamron turns eight soon, that’s right EIGHT!!!  The twins will be five and officially starting KINDERGARTEN, and then there is the “baby” who is turning one this week.  Everybody has told me to cherish each and every moment however, I am looking forward to the future.  I see my kids having kids and I want to be sure that I have done everything to leave them a world they can safely live in.  That is why I blog for The Exodus Road.

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Anna

I have a sweet little baby named Anna.  She is our youngest and the only girl in our brood of kiddos.  Yesterday she turned ten months old!  However, I want to tell you about another Anna.  This is a true story that I am passing on to you from The Exodus Road. 

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Our investigators met them on the street in a major red-light district in SE Asia last week– two European women, one from Moscow and the other from Chechnya.

One wore tall heels, the other trendy high-tops up to her thighs, which were paired with mini-skirts and make-up. Cigarettes in their hands, they stood on the street corner and tried to catch the eye of the Western tourist or local john who happened to be passing by, looking for drinks or fun, parties or sex.

And two of our investigators, posing as tourists, stopped to speak with these two Russian women. We’ll call them Anna and Sophia.

In the course of the conversation, Anna and Sophia began sharing a little more of their stories with our team. The girls said they were 19 and 21 years old respectively and were unemployed in their home countries. With pressure to provide for themselves and families in an impoverished area and with little education, they took jobs with a broker in Asia. They were told they would have solid jobs, making enough income to both live and send money back to their families in Europe. They thought they would be cleaning houses, working in a restaurant, or caring for a wealthy person’s children.

But what they were not told until they arrived in this foreign country was that the job they would be doing was prostitution.

And two months later, Anna and Sophia are still not allowed to leave. With little English skills and trapped in a foreign country, the brothel owner has both of their passports and is demanding that they work off a debt for $5,000 USD, which, according to the brothel owner is what the girls owe him for their plane tickets, travel visas, and housing.

On average, a prostitute in that area makes about $50/night. If the girls sleep with 100 men each, they will earn enough to cover their $5,000 debt. However, the trouble for Anna and Sophia is not that “easily” solved.

For every month they stay in apartments owned by the brothel owner, they owe him money for food and rent. And then, even if they were to pay off the debt in full and the brothel owner did return their passports {which he is not obligated to do}, the girls still would need to raise the funds to purchase airline tickets back to Moscow– another estimated $800USD. Without work visas or a place to live at that point, Anna and Sophia would probably be forced to continue the only job they’ve known in Asia– prostitution (the ticket $800USD ticket alone would equate to servicing about 16 more customers).

At that point, assuming the girls could make and save enough money to travel back to their home countries, the likelihood of Anna or Sophia contracting AIDS is incredibly high, not to mention the emotional, physically, social and spiritual trauma which comes from being forced into prostitution, unknowingly and against their wills.

The investigators are working to build a case against the ring that brought Anna and Sophia into SE Asia.  They could use you to help tell their stories, pray, and give. 

The Exodus Road

I read a post on a blog a month or so ago about The Exodus Road and I became intrigued.  I went to their website, http://www.theexodusroad.com/ and poked around.  I talked to my husband about all that I had seen.  Then, I kept on going to their website and their Facebook page.  I prayed for this group and knew that I had to do something more.  So, I applied to be a blogger for them.  I want to be a voice for those that can’t speak.

I look at each of my four kids and imagine if they were in slavery, unable to cry out for help and my heart breaks.  If they were in that darkness I pray that someone would tell their story, fight for them, cry out on their behalf; and so I have decided to be that voice.  I ask that you go to http://www.theexodusroad.com/ and see what they do.  Then please pray about what you can do.  If you have a blog apply to be a blogger.  If you want to donate to help fund a rain, please give.  Most importantly, please pray.  Pray for all of the kids in slavery, pray for the investigators, pray as you feel led.

I will be posting here every few weeks about The Exodus Road, I hope that you are as moved by the work they are doing as I was.