“There are a million reasons why upstanding moral men don’t belong in strip clubs. A million. … We couldn’t get past the idea that maybe there was a noble reason for a good man to frequent a brothel, after all.” (The Exodus Road, p. 31)
Matt and Laura Parker didn’t make the decision lightly. Missionaries living in Malaysia at the time, they were increasingly aware of the horrors of trafficking, particularly sex trafficking, happening not only in the country but in their community. When confronted with the realities, they couldn’t sit by and do nothing. So, Matt started going in.
In The Exodus Road: A Wife’s Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue, Laura Parker writes about their experiences with the culture and the beginning stages of rescue from her perspective, as a wife and mom. It’s an honest and eye-opening look at the process the couple went through when deciding how to take action. What resulted is an organization, The Exodus Road, that works with local non-governmental organizations and undercover investigators to locate and document illegal activity in the sex industry. Their work began in Southeast Asia, and they now have partners in India.
I’ve been blogging for The Exodus Road for a year now. (Read my first post here.) And I love the work they do. What the Parkers discovered was a need for people to get in the fight. There were organizations focusing on prevention and aftercare but not a lot of people were going into brothels to gather evidence and initiate rescue.
The book tells the before story. The website tells the continuing story. And while I wanted more of everything from the book–more stories, more details, more chapters–it serves as a good introduction for someone new to the anti-trafficking movement. And it really is just the beginning of the story. Rescues are happening. Investigations are continuing. They are in the fight, and they are doing good work.
And while the Parkers write and speak from a Christian perspective because they are Christians, they don’t limit the work of The Exodus Road to only Christians. They cross cultural, religious and national boundaries to work together for the sake of rescue. It’s a beautiful thing.
I appreciated this book from a wife’s perspective. It would have been easy for Matt to write about his side of it, or for them to write a book together about what they’ve seen happen with The Exodus Road. But I think it’s good to have Laura’s words about her struggles and her journey to accept this part of their calling.
You can learn more about their work at http://theexodusroad.com. In their short life as a non-profit, they’ve supported nearly 200 rescues and have dozens of ongoing investigations.
“Justice is in the hands of the ordinary,” they like to say. Their story may never make the big screen, but they are doing the work of heroes. Every. Single. Day.