By Del Duduit
Over the past several months, I have interviewed many professional athletes. Most of them are grateful for their positions in life and do their best to give back to their communities.
Some give money to hospitals while others have established foundations for some worthy causes. Some choose to help area youth while others focus on veterans.
But I was humbled and astonished when I found out what Blaine Boyer does during the offseason.
His job is a pitcher for the Kansas City Royals, but his greater focus is on helping exploited children.
And he does something about it. He puts his life on the line.
The married father of two went to Southeast Asia for 10 days with former MLB pitcher Adam LaRoche in 2016. This was not a vacation but a mission to help people who were victims of human trafficking.
“Adam and I were thrown into a situation that changed our lives forever,” Blaine told me as we sat in the dugout at Great American Ball Park. “It went from scary, to fulfilling and everything in between – from confusion to jubilation. It wrecked us both.”
Blaine and Adam were involved with The Exodus Road, an organization which strategically fights human trafficking. They went undercover and took video in secret of what happens inside the dark brothels to help stop this “business.”
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According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, one out of six runaways will be bought and sold into the sex industry. Numbers from the National Human Trafficking Hotline provide astonishing statistics. Since 2010, they have taken more than 156,312 calls and received more than 11,058 emails. They have launched more than 40,200 cases and have reported 45,241 victims. In 2016, there were 7,500 cases. In the United States, California had the most incidences in 2015 with 1,300 reports.
The last statistic I’ll throw at you comes from the International Labor Organization (ILO) which estimates there are about 20.9 million people being sold and trafficked around the world. The majority are young women. Perhaps the most disturbing figure in all of this is that the “industry” recently brought in $44.3 BILLION.
“When we came back to the states, we knew we had to be involved with this mission,” Blaine said.
The two baseball players found themselves in brothels instead of on the diamond. They were used to seeing little boys and girls at ballparks with their families eating ice cream and watching America’s favorite past time. Instead, they saw young children being sold into slavery to make money.
“It just ruined us,” he added. “We were in some nasty situations. It broke our hearts, and now this is what the Lord has called us to do – to fight for these people who have been stolen.”
Blaine and Adam found themselves in some sticky predicaments. If they made a wrong move while inside the brothel, they would be at risk of being killed. “We were in deep,” Blaine said. “But that is why we were there – something needed to be done.”
“Lord, let me see people the way you see them. What breaks your heart, let it break my heart too.”
Blaine’s prayers and focus changed at that moment. “Lord, let me see people the way you see them. What breaks your heart, let it break my heart too.”
That is exactly what God did for him. “I could hear the Lord telling me, ‘This is what I have for you boys to do.’”
Blaine sails the flag of human trafficking both domestically and internationally. “We have spoken to a lot of non-government organizations and some non-profit ministries,” he said. “But the one we have become intimately involved with is the DeliverFund.”
In fact, Adam sits on the board of directors for the organization.
“They are unbelievable,” Blaine said. “They are former CIA, ex-special forces and ex-Navy Seals who hunt down these traffickers.”
“But Jesus said, ‘Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
MATTHEW 19: 14
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear about sex trafficking? Probably the movie Taken, right?
In the movie, the main character’s daughter and her friend are kidnapped and sold as sex slaves overseas. Liam Neeson’s character, a former CIA operative, goes on a mission to bring his daughter back alive and eradicate the traffickers.
“Take heed that ye despire not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”
MATTHEW 18: 10
“That movie sheds some light on the situation and helped start a discussion,” he said. “But we need to do more to stop it once and for all.”
Blaine has kids and would do anything in this world to protect them.
What would you do to help children you didn’t know? Would you put your life on the line for them?
Jesus went to the cross and gave His life for you. What will you do in return?
Let me know your thoughts on this post.
For more information on The Exodus Road, visit its website.
For more information on DeliverFund, visit its website.
Del Duduit is an award-winning writer and author who lives in Lucasville, Ohio with his wife, Angie. They attend Rubyville Community Church. Follow his blog at delduduit.com/blog and his Twitter @delduduit. He is represented by Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency.