God in a Brothel: An Undercover Journey into Sex Trafficking and Rescue
by Daniel Walker
IVP Books, 2011.
This book tells the true story of one man’s efforts to free women and children from the shackles of modern-day slavery. It tells of the huge emotional cost involved in his undercover work and the bigger cost of ignoring this tragedy that so severely affects millions of those in captivity around the world. This book is written by a God-fearing and imperfect man who implores others like him and everyone who is part of God’s church to do what they can to fight this growing epidemic. As God’s hands and feet in this world, Walker urges us to no longer sit idly by while so many are suffering and in need of rescue.
The United Methodist Church, and especially the United Methodist Women, have the issue of human trafficking on their radar. Servant Church, a United Methodist church start in Austin, Texas, did a Lenten study with materials from Not for Sale to promote awareness of trafficking and develop a Christian response. These resources are available from the NC Conference Media Center. As we educate our church with the facts, more of us are looking to take action. Not many of us will go undercover into brothels around the world as Walker has, but he believes more of us should. His book tells this story and many of its gruesome details. It is not for the faint of heart, but these facts should be known; this world should be exposed; and we should all seek a place in the fight.
Walker alternates between telling of how he got involved in this work, what it entails, and the devastating effects it has on his personal life with the stories of some of the women and children he has rescued or those that he has met and lost. The book abounds with sad stories and triumphant victories ending with the hope that God’s people will work to free God’s children of these physical bonds just as Jesus freed us from our own spiritual slavery. Walker writes in the style of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “I have a dream that churches around the world will come alive with a passion for justice and a hatred of evil, that their goals would no longer be centered around revival or church growth, but the freedom of humanity from all that enslaves and oppresses” (p. 200).
I recommend this book to adult women’s groups, men’s groups, mission teams and church leaders who are in need of a challenge to live a bolder faith. A free discussion guide is available online. This book was provided for free to the NC Conference Media Center from the publisher and is available to borrow. Here are some additional resources on the issue of human trafficking:
Lives for Sale: a DVD documentary on human trafficking available from the Conference Media Center.
United Methodist Women – Human Trafficking: the UMW are actively involved in this fight. They have posted bible studies, program resources, stories, fact sheets, actions, bulletins, and more.
General Board of Church and Society – Trafficking: a position statement from the GBCS, as well as links to the relevant Social Principles of our church, a list of organizations involved in the fight, and news articles.
NC Stop Human Trafficking: join the fight locally and help your church partner with the community. Read the news on this site. People are enslaved in our own communities.
NVader: Daniel Walker’s non-profit that carries on his investigative work in rescuing victims.