“I began to wonder what would happen if men everywhere embraced their God-given destiny to defend and protect the vulnerable women and children in their communities. What would happen if, in addition to unleashing their strength, skills and passion on the sports field, in the office or behind their computer screens, and they discovered their true masculinity by answering this call to arms and action.”
–Daniel Walker, God in a Brothel
The words “God” and “brothel” in the same book title strike a provocative take on the role Christians have in fighting the darkest of human tragedies. Daniel Walker, an undercover investigator in the field of sex trafficking and committed Christian hailing from New Zealand, reveals the successes and pains of serving on the front lines of a battle both physical and spiritual. Readers are led on a Mission Impossible like journey from South Asia to Latin America and even the United States to retell of what is taking place behind the scenes to restore freedom to today’s slaves.
The structure appeals to both those with a love for well-told narrative as well as the facts behind the stories. Each chapter unpacks a real-world account of a Walker operation followed by a list of “facts” on the topic, ranging from sex tourism to organized crime.
Walker captured my attention early in chapter one when he questioned, “I began to wonder what would happen if men everywhere embraced their God-given destiny to defend and protect the vulnerable women and children in their communities.” Here, his longings connected with mine, as my personal work and writing to stand against human trafficking have challenged my past lack of action and forced me to act in ways that have likewise called others, especially the Church, to increased awareness and involvement.
Yet Walker’s passion is somewhat his one key weakness in the book. The narrative communicates like a film where the reader is walking the dark alley or entering the brothel as a hero. While effective in story telling, it would be wise to add the disclaimer applied in many television commercials, “Do not attempt.”
Many of Walker’s undercover activities are far beyond what the everyday reader could duplicate and would cause more harm than good. Further, he claims in the final chapter that “…compared to other crimes it is relatively easy to effectively combat.” With estimates by experts of 27 million slaves or more, and many of these in sex trafficking situations, this statement appears a gross understatement.
Despite the limitations of God in a Brothel, its message is clear and effective. I found myself personally inspired once again to commit to the task of standing for those living without freedom due to the bondage of sex trafficking. Likewise, I discovered in Walker a common voice calling for a generation that will not only grow more “aware” of sex trafficking, but “act” to change the situation. If other readers grasp and apply this message, the goal of seeing fewer people as sex trafficking victims will occur.
This is not light reading or entertainment to pass the time. God in a Brothel is an example of one person pursuing freedom for those without. May its words compel many others to do the same.
To learn more or to support Daniel Walker’s work, read God in a Brothel and visit http://www.nvader.org.
Dillon Burroughs is the author and coauthor of numerous books and is handwriting a copy of all 31,173 verses of the Bible at HolyWritProject.com, a blog of Patheos.com. Find out more about Dillon at Facebook.com/readdB or readdB.com.