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Monday, April 22, 2013

Rescuing Hope

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and Glass Road Media and Management is hosting a blog tour featuring Susan Norris's Rescuing Hope:  A Story Of Sex Trafficking In America in order to help bring  more awareness to this travesty that resides right beneath our noses her in the land of the free and home of the brave.
A powerful voice for hope, international speaker Susan Norris helps teens and women find freedom from strongholds in the areas of purity and spiritual identity. Up until a few short years ago, she denied that writing would ever be something she would pull out of her bag of tools. But she started to blog, and her opportunities expanded.
As she opened herself to relationships outside her normal sphere, God began to reveal stories of girls as young as nine years old trafficked for sex in her own quiet suburb outside Atlanta. Shocked and heartbroken, Susan set out on a quest to protect them.
A CLASS certified speaker, Susan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Master’s of Education, taught in public and private schools and served as a leader for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes before being called to full time ministry. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and children and considers them to be her highest calling.
Susan networks for organizations such as Resolution Hope and Not For Sale and raises her voice for victims of sex trafficking across the nation by being a catalyst for action and walking alongside rescued girls as they piece together their shattered lives.
You can learn more about Susan by visiting her website at or by connecting with her via Twitter and Facebook.
Book Synopsis:
Every two minutes, evil strips innocence from a child and sells her into slavery for sex.  Not in a third-world country, but in the United States of America.  Before you take another breath, the next victim will be tricked or taken from her family by a profit-hungry criminal. 

At fourteen, Hope Ellis is the all-American girl with a good life - until the day she tries to help her mom with their cross-town moves by supervising the movers.  When they finish, one of the men returns to the house an drapes her.  Held silent by his threats, darkness begins to engulf her.  But the rape proves to be the least of Hope's troubles.  In a grasping attempt at normalcy, she succumbs to the attention of a smooth-talking man on the subway.  He promises acceptance.  He declares his love.  He lures her out from under the shelter of her suburban life.

Hope's disappearance sets a community in motion.  She's one of their own.  They determine to find Hope, whatever the cost, before she's lost forever.  Will you?

At her website Susan states, "The commercial sexual exploitation of children is the fastest growing crime in the world today.  It is estimated it will soon surpass the illegal sale of drugs and arms."

When I first began reading Rescuing Hope, some of my thoughts were: "I don't like this book!"  "The language and the explicit themes are just a bit much for a work of fiction."  "I don't see how this is helpful at all!"

And when I finished the book and turned that last page, I just wanted to weep.  The book is very raw with the details of this "crime hidden in plain sight".  Not only is it the story of a very ugly evil that exists right here in the United States, but it is the story of all the very brave men and women, like the author, who are not afraid to get their hands a little dirty or risk the tainting of their sensibilities to extend hope to the hopeless.

My only word of "warning" about the book would be this:  Don't let your young daughter/grand-daughter read the book alone.  Read it with her.  Discussion starters are provided in the back of the book to help guide as a way to process the information in Hope's story.  I suggest this simply because of the heaviness of the theme of the book.  Also included in the book is a list of organizations that are on the front lines of fighting human trafficking.  This provides tangible places you can start as a family or small group to get involved in the fight.

Restoration and hope...isn't that what we've been offered in the gospel - the good news - of Jesus Christ?  Ms Norris has provided a challenge to us all:  Will we follow in Christ's footsteps and extend the hope He provides to the least of these?



Susan Norris said...

Thank you so much for sharing your platform with me and my book, Rescuing Hope. I laughed out loud when you said your first thought was "I don't like this book." because I felt the same way writing it. Sex trafficking is evil and it takes place every day and destroys lives; however, to turn away allows the enemy to win. Thank you for sticking it out and reading it all the way through. My heart is to raise awareness and empower advocates to join the fight. Bless you for being part of this movement by sharing your stage today.