Monday, November 22, 2010

The Defenders USA: A Call To Action For America's Truckers

The Defenders USA (, an initiative of Shared Hope International (, is stepping up to the plate, and taking on an important role in the fight against the sexual exploitation of minors: calling men to action. While many seem to be taking on the project of victim services, this organization is getting down to the nitty gritty and cutting right to the source of the problem: demand. Without the buyer, which in most cases is a man, there would be no need to supply the product, which in most cases is a female child.

The Defenders USA is a group of committed men who are willing to challenge other men to oppose all forms of commercial sex. They understand the harsh reality that many of the people involved in the commercial sex trade are not willing participants, as many would like to believe, but are victims who are forced to perform such acts. Their goals are to, “raise public awareness about the realities of pornography and prostitution, while offering restoration for victims of sex trafficking. Defenders also encourage public discussion and empower activists, political leaders, members of the media, civil society groups, faith-based organizations, and churches to stand against this harmful market.

One of the initiatives of The Defenders USA is their Truck Stop Campaign. Minors are bought and sold under the control of pimps at truck stops daily. The trucking industry also provides a ready-made route along which to transport minors who are being trafficked from city to city throughout our country.  Approximately two times a month, The Defenders USA hosts peaceful demonstrations at major truck stops throughout the country. Groups are assembled to display signs and banners, as well as to pass out information regarding domestic minor sex-trafficking to truckers who are interested. The Defenders USA’s goal for the campaign is to, “encourage other men to join The Defenders USA’s cause.”

If you are a man who is appalled by this horrendous crime you can get involved! The Truck Stop Campaign is open for applications for team captains. All it takes to start the process is a desire to make an impact and a willingness to answer a few questions on the organizations website. Once you are approved, you can begin organizing a team of likeminded men and hit the streets!

For more information about The Defenders USA and their Truck Stop Campaign visit:

Exposing the "Lot Lizards"

My dad is a truck driver. He has been a truck driver all of my life and for a while, he was a “long-haul” trucker. I vividly remember riding in the car with him one day when we passed a tractor trailer with a “no lot lizards” sticker displayed very obviously on one of the cab doors. “Dad, what’s a “lot lizard?” “Oh, it just means the hookers at truck stops.”

According to the renowned “urban dictionary,” a “lot lizard” can be defined this way: trashy, street-level, female prostitutes who frequent some truck-stop parking lots and rest areas at night. Most lot lizards openly "advertise" using CB radios; others boldly walk from truck to truck randomly knocking on doors.

Prostitution is not a new issue, not even close… especially prostitution surrounding the trucking industry. But, who are these women – really? Just a few minutes of perusal of the online community of truckers (such as will give you their answer to this question. Some truckers aren’t shy about posting such opinions as, “…the Lizards are coming out of everywhere and infesting the parkin’ lots lets run over ‘em,” or “I’m envisioning a device modified from a TAZER that ZAPS the SKANK when she touches the mirror mount for instance.” It seems the prevalent opinion among truckers is that these women are simply a dirty nuisance.

It turns out, in fact, that the term “lot lizard” could easily be replaced with the term “victim.” What would happen if a trucker saw someone who was underage, abused, forced, threatened, and enslaved knocking on their window instead of someone who is a dirty, STD infested, smelly hooker just trying to earn a buck? The former is proving to be more and more of the case in our country. Many estimate that around 300,000 U.S. children are forced into sexual slavery in our country every year. They are recruited, manipulated, addicted, and used to meet the demand of buyers and feed the money hungry pimps who enslave them. And it happens every day, probably within a few miles of where you live.

Fortunately, this perception does not have to continue. Many are stepping up and speaking out among their communities about the reality of the lives of these victims. Agencies such as The Defenders USA ( and Truckers Against Trafficking ( are focusing on educating truckers and calling them to action. We can also be a part of this change by being aware and being a voice. Most of us know a trucker or know someone who knows a trucker. Talk to them. Educate them. If you suspect there is a situation happening like this near you, you can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888. Together we can change the atmosphere.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November Update!

Dearest Brothers and Sisters,

It seems as if every month I struggle with how to put into words everything that the Lord is doing here at On Eagles Wings and in my heart personally. I find myself desiring to tell all of you how wonderful it is to be serving the Lord and how He is using us and how blessed I feel but to be completely honest, that is not always the case. And I’m beginning to learn, that maybe it isn’t supposed to be. Don’t misunderstand… I am incredibly blessed to be here, through Christ, striving for this cause and working among such an incredible group of women. But I am realizing over and over again that God refines us through fire, not through long walks in fields of flowers as we sometimes hope He would.

As far as ministry here goes, we have had our trials this month, just like every other month I have written to you. But we have also truly been able to seek His face and be conformed more into His image through those trials. Recently one of our volunteers (who is actually really “staff” lol) went to a fundraising class for non-profit organizations and she said, “As we were taking turns sharing about our organizations, it was finally my turn and as I shared an obvious hush covered the room. Later, at a meal we had, it seemed as if no one wanted to sit by me. Finally, a gentleman came and sat by me and told me two things… 1. You’re subject is ugly. People don’t want to talk about that. 2. What you’re doing makes the rest of us feel like we don’t deserve any money.” He is exactly right… the work we are doing is ugly. People don’t want to believe this is happening in OUR country, to OUR kids. But, alas… this is reality and so we press on.

We are still reaching out and making contacts with multiple organizations and agencies across the country in regards to the space we have available for victims. Right now, we have 3 girls who we believe could be a really good fit for our program but their circumstances are preventing them from coming right now. Keep praying that we will be patient and that God will allow our paths to cross with the girls that He has for us in His timing. We are gearing up for one of our major projects of the year… our strip club outreach. On December 18th we will be delivering over 200 gift bags to strip clubs in Greenville SC, Asheville NC, and Hickory NC. These women are those that many in the church have labeled as “dirty” or “untouchable” but many do not realize the situations these women are in or to what abuse they are subjected t. Sometimes, we’ve learned, this can even be a form of or a tactic used in trafficking circles. In the past, we have had women who couldn’t believe that “Christians” would do this for them, which is such a sad commentary. Please pray for this event and that we would be able to shine a light into the darkness of this industry. Our speaking engagements and awareness raising endeavors have also continued to take off. The Lord keeps giving us opportunity after opportunity to shed light on this subject and we are so humbled and grateful to be used by Him. If you would like to request a speaking engagement or know anyone else who may be interested please let me know!

In our devotional time in the house we just finished reading through Job and this passage has been such an encouragement to me as it sometimes seems as if we are fighting a losing battle with this cause. It is an awesome reminder that no matter how big the mountains may seem, God has given us an eternal hope that we can rest in.

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and AT THE LAST HE WILL STAND upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I SHALL SEE GOD, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!” – Job 19:25-27

Covered by His grace,


Monthly Supporters:
Don’t forget to send in your support for the month of November!
Check to: On Eagles Wings PO Box 9737 Asheville, NC 28815 (“Shannon support” in Memo Line)
Online: @ (“Shannon support” in box for extra information after you submit your donation)

Prayer Requests:
Victims that the Lord would have to come to Hope House!
Continued discernment/direction for this ministry
Trust in His timing
Grace and open doors for our upcoming strip club outreach
Softened hearts for awareness of the issue
Victims who are separated from their families during the holidays

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