About the Author

After returning from living in SE Asia with her family, Laura now writes from the mountains of Colorado. She runs the communications efforts at The Exodus Road, a nonprofit focused on fueling investigations into human trafficking. She also leads conversations for international humanitarian workers at the collective blog, ALifeOverseas.com. Laura...

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  1. Thank you for this post, I am always following different human trafficking organizations and looking for ways to get involved because these stories touch me so much. Hopefully one day I’ll find one that I can work for, because I would love to fight for girls like Sarah full time!

  2. Awesome, Beth– love your heart and your desire to get involved! Keep searching and I am confident God will make clear to you what role to play in the fight for freedom.

  3. Sarah’s story is heartbreaking. And hopeful! Thank you so much for highlighting this little known, but hopefully growing movement. I pray for these unknown girls (and boys) and look forward to learning more about these precious ones and the ones who fight for them.

    • Missy, thanks for your prayers and your heart for the oppressed. I agree that this is a growing movement of awareness and action to stop modern day slavery. We have only been in the field 2 years and are hugely encouraged by people’s recent responses. I can only imagine those who have been working to fight this for decades and their encouragement at the last years of growing awareness and concern for the issue.

      Thanks again for your prayers!

  4. This is powerful! I have an area in my life like that – one that I’ve prayed over for years and have pretty much given up hope of God ever answering my prayers. Thank you for reminding me that there’s a lot more going on than I can see right now!

    • Praying for you tonight that you will have the faith to hold on to the reality that there is a God at work behind the scenes and He’s after redemption . . . in your situation.

      Praying for faith and hope and trust and white-knuckled perseverance for you tonight.

  5. Laura, I love this story of Sarah’s rescue…especially the part about her door being kicked down!

    It made me think of Moses going to Pharaoh the very first time with his demand of “Let my people go!” and the discouraging result of Pharaoh actually making things harder for the Israelites. They complained to Moses and Moses complained to God, “Why have you mistreated your own people like this, Lord? Why did you send me? Since I gave Pharaoh your message, he has been even more brutal to your people. You have not even begun to rescue them!” (Exodus 5:22-23)

    Just like you what you wrote: how easy it is when we see nothing happening, to assume that nothing is happening. When actually God was in the process of moving mountains on the Israelites’ behalf (like He did for Sarah) and they were going to see redemptive miracles before their very eyes.

    “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh,” the Lord told Moses. “When he feels my powerful hand upon him, he will let my people go…You can be sure that I have heard the groans of my people Israel, who are now slaves to the Egyptians…I am the Lord and I will free you from your slavery…I will redeem you with mighty power and with great acts of judgment.” (6:1, 5-6)

    May we cling to a steadfast trust in God when we we’re in a “dark place where we can’t see hope of rescue, a prison of self or circumstance.” May God keep our ears open to hear the words of Hope that He whispers. May we not close our ears to His promises like the Israelites did because of their discouragement and continued bondage (6:9). May we truly believe, as we wait, that God is working in ways that we cannot see.

    • YES! Love that you talked about the Israelites here– their story of slavery and rescue and waiting is one that has spoken to me time and again. In fact, it was this story of The Exodus in the Bible that spurred the name of THe Exodus Road– this idea of the way out of slavery.

      I love that you beautifully bring in Scripture here– thanks for taking the time to share it!

  6. YAY, Laura. So beautifully told, my friend. So glad you’ve gotten this lovely platform for your ministry and your heart. Prayers for all of you tonight – your family and all those working behind the scenes for rescue.

  7. Yes! The One who rescued us from darkness calls us to rescue others from whatever prison they’re in, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual. I love Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” We’ve been set free to love!

    • Yes, FREEDOM. Such a theme for me this past year. I think I am learning that so often the freedom doesn’t come without a price.

      And you are right, our bondage can take oh-so-many forms.

  8. It breaks. My. HEART. That it takes so long for these girls to be rescued because of government red tape. Human trafficking is one of the things that makes me ache.

    • Thanks, Melissa. I love your heart of compassion. I think it’s a rarely beautiful thing to feel deeply on behalf of the oppressed seemingly so far away. I think that speaks a lot about the tenderness of your heart.

      And yes, trafficking– whether in labor camps or fishing boats or brothels– it makes me ache, too.

      • Thank you for saying that. I’ve hidden my tender heart before because I have experienced ridicule for it, but I’m getting to a point where I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God made my heart that way. 🙂

  9. While I understand the concept of this post and the idea of comparing our own waiting to Sarah’s waiting… I can only imagine the horror someone like Sarah goes through and while each of our own struggles have to be acknowledged… I fear calling anything we go through “a brothel of sorts” cheapens what girls like Sarah actually go through.

    • Janet,

      Thanks for this comment. I loved your honesty and caution. I know that you know from experience about the realities of suffering. Believe me when I say that I have journeyed to dark places from rubbing shoulders personally with stories of girls and women like Sarah. Her journey, and the brave work of those who rescued her, deserve the utmost respect.

      I do think, however, that a person’s experience of suffering, whether its cancer or a divorce or a hard marriage, etc., has value that can’t really be “rated.” While logically it may not be “as bad” as a person like Sarah’s suffering, the pain is no less tangible. And can in many ways feel as dark and hopeless as being trapped in a brothel.

      • Caring for, helping and telling the stories of the Sarahs of the world is a tremendous work and I applaud you and everyone else who is battling human trafficking on the front lines.

        You are right, pain and suffering cannot be rated, it all matters and all needs recognition. But one problem I have (and I have many, but that’s another issue) with Christianity is the tendency to allow caring for others to morph into feeling the need to identify with others to the point of convincing ourselves and them (both the people in pain and others looking on) that we “feel their pain”.

        My caution is simply this as we acknowledge our own pain and the pain of others, can we do it without trying to equalize the pain, especially when we don’t (and can’t) totally understand the pain of others?

        • And one more thought…

          I want the work that you and others do with the Sarahs of the world to be successful!
          Wildly successful!!

          So allow me to try to explain farther what I mean from the two sides of my experience.

          Because I had horrific injuries doesn’t mean I know what others that had horrific injuries are feeling or what life is like for them. When I meet an amputee or someone who uses a wheelchair to be mobile, yes we probably share some similar feelings, experiences, etc. but I do not assume I know what they feel just because I almost had my leg amputated or because I used a wheelchair for a few months. Instead I ask them about their own personal experience.

          And because I had horrific injuries doesn’t mean I don’t realize that a paper cut hurts you. I’ll be the first to acknowledge your pain (and curse the paper with you) and get you clean water to wash it with. But if you then tell me you now know what I went through with all my injuries, I will not believe you. Which means you’ve created distrust with me and any future connection we have will have less value for me.

          I want every Sarah to trust her rescuers, counselors and others that help her to the moon and back… and I think falsely identifying with her pain will only put unnecessary barriers in the way.

          Hope that makes sense….

          • Janet,

            Thanks for taking the time to explain this– I totally get you and see where you are coming from. I think in retrospect, it would have been better had I put something in the original post about this very thing– a bit of a disclaimer that doesn’t paint pain with such broad strokes. Hearing you has helped me see that, and will shape the way I communicate in the future. 🙂

            God’s really used this image/analogy in big ways to shape the way I think and the ways I identify with the precious Sarah’s in my own life this year, and that was really the heart of what I was attempting to share.

            Thanks again for your honest dialogue. It’s made me think and that’s been really helpful for me as I move forward in communicating, truly. Thanks for taking the time to engage!

            All the best, Janet.

  10. I knew just from the title this story would make me cry. I once met 3 siblings who were trafficked by their mother. Now almost 11, 12 years later I am beginning my last semester of grad school and will be an MSW in a matter of months. …all because of those 3 kids who ripped my heart apart. My desire is to be the social worker in the back of that police car telling the kids they’re safe. We may need to talk. 🙂

    • Wow, Gloria, what a neat story! It’s amazing that meeting those three sparked such passion and drive for you to fight for justice for little ones. Oh, that is beautiful. I can’t wait to see how God will use YOU to bring His Kingdom to future little ones.

      And, yes, please contact me. 🙂

  11. Thank you for sharing this story and continuing to fight for girls like Sarah. And it is so true that we are not so different…waiting in the darkness and not understanding why the door hasn’t been broken down already. So I guess it is in these dark pits that we must endure and trust because if we do, one day will reign with He who sits on the throne in heaven. Until then, He who began the work is faithful to complete it…

  12. Love that reminder that “He who started the good work will complete it”. Such a rich truth to remember in times of darkness and seeming “hopelessness”. Thanks for the reminder, Courtney.

  13. Wow. Stories like this both break my heart and give me hope all at the same time – hope because she was rescued. Human trafficking is something that really hits my heart hard and so I’m excited to read about the opportunity to share more about this through my blog. I will definitely be checking that out.