Our family went rock collecting the other day. We drove to the local sand and gravel place and unloaded the kids in front of the river rock pile.
And then we started picking up rocks– flat ones, red ones, oddly shaped-ones. It was Colorado-cold and our fingers started to hurt, but we dug and selected until the trunk van was heavy.
And we went home and filled the sink with warm water and scrubbed every. single. one. Kid-hands washed those rocks until they were dark-wet.
There were 24.
And a few days later, we prayed over those rocks. And cried. And celebrated with friends over cake and amid a million kids.
Because those rocks had sharpie-written details and now represent the 24 children the community at The Exodus Road has been able to rescue from sexual abuse or human trafficking over the last seven months in SE Asia, with the tenacity of those in the field and in part because of many of your financial gifts and prayers.
And Matt told the stories that night, as our friends and supporters turned over these Ebenezer stones in their hands. He told the stories of investigators he works with bravely going into locked brothels, of boys that were saved from abuse at the very last minute, of Sarah who wrote, “Please rescue me,” and then tasted what that really meant.
And with fancy plastic cups, we toasted to freedom, like we were at a living-room wedding celebration.
And I watch our story unfold, and the stories of those around me that catch my breath, and I remember Jesus– this Jesus who was always piercing individual hearts, who seeped the gospel of the brothel, and who took five loaves and two fish– the smallest of offerings– and did the miraculous.
For all of you who have given, supported or prayed for our family over the past three years, these rocks are your victory, too. Your support of us and of the cases we’ve put out to our community have provided fuel for these 24 rescues. As always, the local police and in-field investigators are the true heroes who continue to battle on the front lines. Remember them in your prayers, would you? Our partners in SE Asia and India are currently working for the freedom of an estimated 60 victims.
If you’d like to see these #Freedom Rocks in (almost) real-life, check out this video of me talking about them from our office. . .