One of the hardest things about being an author, for me, is marketing. Blech. I love books and I love to tell people about other books. But I have a hard time selling my own. It’s too close to tooting my own horn and I hate it.
I’ve always wanted to be a writer but kept that part of my life mostly private. I’m not sure I ever would have been brave enough to write a novel and pursue its publication on my own.
But the Lord knows His people. And in spite of that, He uses us.
I think the only way He was able to get me to write and be brave enough to share my manuscript with strangers was the drive to do something about a horrific reality of the world we’re living in: human trafficking. I’ve been revisiting my blogs from when The Earth is Full was released to remind myself of why I began this series in the first place.
This post explains best why I wrote the story. I wanted a way for people who care about this cause to show their friends what is happening. I wanted to celebrate the amazing work that God is doing through organizations like Destiny Rescue.
**For a limited time, my publisher is giving away free copies of The Earth is Full. Follow this link to request your copy.**
This might be hard for you to read. To know. To face. To understand.
It was hard for me.
As I told you yesterday, this book came to me while I stood in the back of the fellowship hall at my church listening to two women walk about an organization that they served with in Thailand. An organization that is battling the sex trafficking industry.
There are an estimated 1.2 million children trafficked each year – the majority of them being lured, bribed or forced into the sex-trade.*
I stood in that room and I could hardly keep from crying out as they shared picture after picture of the poverty stricken areas they had visited. As they talked about the effect that poverty has on the helpless.
Currently, there are up to 27 million men, women and children enslaved in human trafficking worldwide.*
I heard about families that are so desperate for the basic necessities of life that they are easily tricked into selling their children into the sex industry, believing that they are sending them off to work in a restaurant or something similar. I listened as these women from my church told stories of parents working hard to provide for their families, leaving their young children to fend for themselves during the day because they have no other options. These children become easy prey for kidnappers and traffickers.
Human sex trafficking is the most common form of modern day slavery.*
I heard about families that abuse the children in them. I heard about rape. And incest. And cruelty beyond my imagination.
I heard that children as young as four are often sold to depraved men on a place called Walking Street in Pattaya, Thailand for forty American dollars.
Human Trafficking is a $32 billion (USD) per year industry.*
When I thought I couldn’t hear another word about the evil in our world, these women reminded me that they had gone to Thailand to help an organization.
Destiny Rescue works to rescue children enslaved in the sex trade. Destiny Rescue staff members risk their lives to pose as customers to seek these children out of the darkness and bring them into the light.
They give them a safe place to live, an education, opportunities for work. They give a voice to those who cannot be heard above the din of hustling and trafficking.*
They go into the depths to find those that are lost and give them hope and a future.
Most importantly, they tell these children about the Lord. About His love and goodness and compassion for each and every one of them.
Of course, it’s not free. They need financial aid to support these children, to give them all that they need to live and survive outside of the sex industry.
I wrote, The Earth is Full, to raise awareness for Destiny Rescue and all of the work that they do. The story is pure fiction, but the issues in it are very real.
I titled the book, The Earth is Full, because it is really hard to face the evil in our world and remember that God is good.
But He is. I assure you, He IS Good. Psalm 33:5 says “He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the LORD.”
We are truly evil at heart. Our sins and our wants and our stubborn ways are bad. When we don’t align ourselves with His plans for righteousness, we will never be anything but sinners.
But He is good. He works good for those that listen to Him. That surrender to Him.
He provides ways for the people of Destiny Rescue to seek out these children. He enables them to provide prevention programs that help children and families avoid the life shattering reality of slavery.
He’s letting me be part of this through the book. We also sponsor a girl with Destiny Rescue because after all that she’s been through, the last thing we want her to face is hunger or hopelessness ever again. For less than what it costs to take my family to dinner, I can provide an education for her, food, clothes, a safe home, and the ability to be surrounded by people that love the Lord and as such will treat her with decency and honor. It’s hard to face. It really is. But it’s real, and refusing to listen doesn’t make the problem go away. We can’t turn a blind eye to the injustice being done to innocent men, women, and children around the world.
I know it’s hard. It churns the stomach and slices the heart. But we must listen. We must act. We must not let this continue to happen on our watch.
He has given each of us talents and gifts in order to serve and love Him and care for His children.
Let’s use them to go get those babies out of the depths and be God’s tools to bring them into His glorious light.
*Facts taken from Destiny Rescue website.
B.D. Riehl is the author of The Earth is Full and The Heavens Are Telling, both available here