Foreword Review — Sept / Oct 2011
God in a Brothel is a gritty, frighteningly graphic memoir about one man’s journey to use his faith, vocation, and humanity to help women and children who couldn’t help themselves. Page after page, the author discloses the depravity and desperation of people participating in sex trafficking.
While in college in his native New Zealand, a Christian speaker influenced Daniel Walker to follow Christ: “I decided there and then that I could spend the rest of my life searching the world over and never find a greater purpose or a nobler mission.” Later, he applied to become a police officer and a soldier, but was rejected for both vocations because of poor eyesight. He eventually entered the police force through the Traffic Safety Service.
Most of the book describes his work as an undercover investigator deployed to several places, including Southeast Asia and the United States. His job was to rescue victims forced into prostitution—all while remaining professional: “When a pimp walked into a … room with a little girl to sell, rather than seeing his actions through the eyes of an uncle with nieces the same age, I saw them solely as an evidence gatherer.”
Walker rarely talks about his family, and when he does, he’s vague; but he reveals that his marriage was compromised while he was with a woman he’d hoped to question: “Within the space of five seconds, I’d betrayed all that I was, all that I stood for and believed in as well as my marriage vows.” Yet, Walker’s passion for helping others and his firm belief that he should “take the light of Christ into the dark places of sexual slavery” never dissipates.
Many of the short chapters end with a bulleted list of factoids about topics ranging from corruption and prostitution of children to pedophiles and HIV/AIDS. The facts about online crimes emphasize the ease with which people can “render national borders meaningless. Lawmakers … worldwide have been left scrambling while organized criminal syndicates have used the Internet to their advantage, displaying all forms of sexual exploitation and recruiting unsuspecting women.”
Sexual slavery lurks in places the average person is unaware of and Walker’s memoir forces readers to open their eyes. He rescued many and watched as others slipped away, but his account urges Christians to join him, to leave their comfy church pews and take their message to those who need it most.