A twelve-hour time difference exists between the United States and Southeast Asia. And over the past few weeks, as we here in the West have been eating our lunches, teams of covert investigators have been searching for children and victims of sexual exploitation and slavery.
With your financial and prayer support, The Surge— a joint effort of the local police and NGO community to target cases in a particular city center in Southeast Asia– is officially underway. The national team has investigated the brothels, which cater to local men, while the Western team, from The Exodus Road (one of our onsite organizations), has targeted the brothels, which cater to tourists and foreigners. After about two weeks of investigations, they’ve met strategically in the middle of the city.
Currently, the surveillance efforts from the past weeks have led them to identify three brothels with likely trafficking scenarios. These three locations hold an estimated 10 underage victims of sexual slavery. The next step of this process is to send in operatives to gather the necessary video evidence of the sale of victims. Once this evidence is gathered, raids and rescues can quickly take place.
The teams are also widening their circle from the city center and investigating several other smaller outlying villages where underage sex is rumored to be sold.
The teams on the ground, both foreign and local, continue to work together. Their coordinated efforts will prayerfully lead to real-life rescues within the month. Our ultimate hope is that the treasures that are these girls and boys will be found and plucked from the darkness.
So, during your next lunchtime prayer, recognizing that operations overseas are perhaps taking place in the same moments, remember The Surge, would you? This effort for justice is your effort, too. Remember to pray and ask God for protection for the brave men on the front lines and for the rescue for the precious ones waiting behind locked doors.