Creative Christian Moments – Blog Article 31: Email Interview with musician Lisa Mitts


Creative Christian Moments

“Reviews of up and coming Christians in the arts community.”

Blog Article 31: Email Interview with musician Lisa Mitts

When one thinks of Seattle and its contributions to the United States of America, often thoughts about art, music, technology, and counter culture trends surface in the mind. But this city also possesses a dark attribute that continues to cultivate and taint this city’s reputation: the epidemic of human trafficking. Seattle ranks third in the nation for cities of human trafficking exploitation while this cancerous pandemic continues to expeditiously grow. Every night, 300-500 teenagers are trafficked alone in the Puget Sound. Human trafficking does not distinguish between races, ethnicities, and income levels: all teenagers are considered targets by traffickers.

To counter this onslaught against our communities’ teenagers and children, a coalition has emerged founded in a motley alliance of religious communities, nonprofits, politicians of all political party spectrums, and law enforcement. Together these groups are sharing information and resources as they work tirelessly to retrieve victims from captivity, heal the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual degradation of victims, and reintegrate them back into society. But this coalition is not enough; often it takes a grassroots movement from artists in the community to shift the paradigm of citizens to act. One such musician answering the call to be a voice of the victims through music is Lisa Mitts.

“From small coffee shops to large outdoor festivals, and worship gatherings to concert halls, Lisa’s music is being heard all over the Northwest and many other parts of the U.S.” (Mitts, 2014b, para. 18). To date, Mitts’ has released four albums entitled My Heart Burns (2009), Deeper Love (2010), You Found Me (2011), Waiting for You (2013), and Songbird (2014). Mitts and her husband were founders in establishing The Defender Foundation’s Seattle Chapter and played a key role in establishing a rehabilitation center for victims of human trafficking called Destiny House Restoration Center in Renton, WA.

Check out her her new album at the link here: http://www.reverbnation.com/lisamitts

I originally met Mitts at a partnered human trafficking awareness event hosted by The Defender Foundation’s Seattle Chapter relaunch in May 2014. Being a writer and always looking for new Christian artists to highlight, I was drawn to Mitt’s music and her work with the Destiny House Restoration Center because she has pledged much of her music to raising funds to support this shelter. In her own words, her album Songbird is “dedicated to the countless numbers of young women held in the chains of sex-trafficking” (Mitts, 2014a, n.p.).

The Interview

Barry Irwin Brophy: For those who may not know about you or your band, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your music?

Lisa Mitts: I was raised in a musical family – my dad had an amazing voice and was part of the famous Cornell Glee Club and had the chance to audition for the Metropolitan Opera. I grew up on the piano from the time I was 6 years old, and then later had some voice lessons and guitar. I then went to college at University of Florida as a Music major but switched to a minor in music performance after my freshman year – I realized I didn’t want to be a concert pianist and chose the School of Journalism and Communications as my major. I then laid my music aside for many years after I got married and had several children… it wasn’t until around the end of 2002 that I began to really play, lead worship and started writing my first songs. Then it started coming very quickly and I started writing in Hebrew also when we moved to Israel for 4 1/2 years (2006-2010). We would come home here to Seattle to visit in the summer and that’s when I began to record professionally- I recorded my first album, “My Heart Burns” in 2009. From there things developed into Lisa Mitts Music and a lot of performing, especially the last two years for raising awareness and funds to rescue and heal women from the sex-trade industry.

Barry Irwin Brophy: How did you come to faith in Jesus Christ?

Lisa Mitts: Oh that’s a long story 🙂 We came to faith through the Amway business we were part of back in 1988…it was really through the example of leadership and testimonies of people we respected. But God had a special plan for us because we are Jewish…we would never have walked into a church, no offense but a lot of churches are not real ‘friendly’ to their Hebrew roots. 🙂 So, The Lord connected us directly to other Jewish believers who were able to relate to us. At the same time, we had been in the New Age movement for 7 years, actively seeking Truth and desiring power in our lives…yet, always coming back to emptiness and feeling lost inside. I also have a personal story that people can read on my website (www.lisamitts.com) – I was raped and attacked at knife point at the age of 25 and lived with extreme fear and anxiety. Even though I was raised in a loving Jewish home, celebrating all of The Lord’s feasts, I still did not know God personally and when this trauma happened to me by a total stranger, I didn’t know how to reach out to God to get healed. It was at a major convention back in July 17, 1988 after resisting the drawing of the Holy Spirit for almost a year, we couldn’t resist any more and attended a worship service at the end of the convention weekend…we gave our lives to Jesus, or in Hebrew, Yeshua (I like His Hebrew name since that is what He grew up with) and our lives have never been the same since! We had a total transformation of our hearts and minds and here we are 26 years later and it’s still an amazing journey with The Lord and His Spirit!

Barry Irwin Brophy: Tell us a bit about your current music projects. Music videos, new songs, tours, etc.?

Lisa Mitts: I am so excited that a recording project I have worked on for more than a year is now finally released! Songbird is my best project to date, and was produced at the famous Castle Recording Studios in Franklin, TN. It is a compilation of many genres including rock, worship, country, ballad and there’s even a song that sound a little like the 70’s band “Renaissance”. Several of the songs have some of Nashville’s most well known and respected musicians on the album (Gordon Mote, Joel Keys, Chip Davis and more). All of the songs are original as all of my albums are…but this one is extra special to me because it is dedicated specifically to the sex-trafficked victim who has lost her voice and is forgotten…the silent ones. This is the meaning of the lyrics in the title cut. I am hoping to do another music video to this but need to sell a lot of albums to raise the funds for it. I also would LOVE to get back on tour as I have taken off a year for this project and to recover from a very busy schedule of performing all over the Northwest the last few years.

Barry Irwin Brophy: How has God been using the band to spread His Gospel message? Any stories?

Lisa Mitts: Well, I have two aspects to my music – one is that I lead worship every week at our small congregation here in the Seattle area. I don’t consider that performing and I have always done that now for 12 years without pay…it is my service unto The Lord and it keeps my heart in the right place. In that arena, I am always spreading the gospel for whoever is there with us worshipping and participating. When I go out into the public arena whether it is at a coffee shop, winery or a fundraiser concert, I always try and share a little about my story and God’s love, how He has healed me in so many ways. I am so dependent on His grace and forgiveness and for that I have to give Him thanks!

Barry Irwin Brophy: What do you think are the biggest obstacles within the Christian Church institution in America and how can we change to be more effective in preaching the Gospel?

Lisa Mitts: I think the institution of the Christian Church in America has become exactly that in many ways…an Institution. It can be cold, big, and consumed with numbers and how big they get. Churches seem to be more ‘seeker friendly’ and less concerned about how God would really feel if He walked in the doors. I know there are a lot of positive things that the church has done in reaching people and helping bring the message of salvation and forgiveness to the lost…but I personally think it needs to be more about discipling and empowering others to live a life worthy of the covenant that Jesus died for on our behalf. My husband always preaches that if it’s only about salvation and going to heaven, then there’s no point in being here on earth now. It has to be about living a life that is holy and dedicated to The Lord in all that we do and helping others to leave a legacy for the next generation…not just about how big our church gets, how big the offerings are, how many people get saved, or how many new cell groups get started.

Barry Irwin Brophy: How do you think your music will influence the coming revival?

Lisa Mitts: My prayer is that my music will draw people to know Him and make Him known. I am not the typical contemporary Christian artist – I am virtually still ‘unknown’…and my music has a different sound than what you typically hear on the radio or in churches today. But I think it is SO vital that we stop trying to sound like everyone else. I know there are tremendous worship bands like Jesus Culture, Hillsong, and too many others to name here, that have made a huge impact in the Christian music genre…I love them and have been blessed but I also know that God has a specific sound He wants to bring into the earth through me and through others that don’t fit into that same mold. My hope is that my music will strike a chord in the hearts of people to have a deep encounter with Him, a real encounter, and not just a performance thing with big lights, etc. I also know that people have told me they love the Hebraic foundations I bring into some of my songs – I think that is missing in the contemporary world of Christian music today and people are hungry for it.

Barry Irwin Brophy: I applaud the work you are doing by educating the community about human trafficking through the use of your music and through Destiny House Restoration Center. Can you give me a summation of Destiny House Restoration Center: its founding, services offered, and any other organizations you’re working with?

Lisa Mitts: Here is our mission and purpose statement found on our website: “Destiny House will be a safe harbor where young women can find hope again and healing for the cruel and relentless attack upon their true identity and purpose in life.”

Destiny House is also a unique and vetted program, unlike any other in the U.S., that will be a model for other treatment homes for the healing and restoration of sex-trafficked victims ages 18 and over.
We are very blessed to have Dr. Stacy Cecchet as our Executive Director of Treatment. Dr. Cecchet is the leading expert in the U.S. and the ONLY Ph.D. who did her dissertation on sex-trafficking in the U.S. She has appeared before Congress and has the support of both of our state senators here in Washington State. We also have Phil Martin on our board who is the director of Compassion2One.

Barry Irwin Brophy: I’m currently working on a novel myself about a human trafficked victim and her Cinderella story of escaping captivity and making something of her life through the power of the Gospel message. How do you think music will play a role in standing up for the cause of anti-human trafficking movements? Are there any other artists or organizations you are working with or know about that are doing the same?

Lisa Mitts: I think music is SO key for this cause of anti-human trafficking organizations because music goes straight to the heart. It was a music video we saw a few years ago by Luke Dowler called “Our Silence is Shameful” that inspired us so deeply in our hearts to do something…my husband turned me and said ‘We need to make a music video from your song “Where Has Love Gone?” specifically about this!” From there we raised thousands of dollars needed to produce the music video and hired a professional company with actors here in Seattle…the music video has reached into many places and has impacted so many people in ways that just words cannot do. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRL3thJQsIE

I am also one of the artists working with IJM (International Justice Mission) and they have been SO supportive of my music and getting the word out on Twitter about my recent album, especially in order to raise money for Destiny House, since I am donating half of the albums profit sales.

Barry Irwin Brophy: I’ve done some work with local anti-human trafficking organizations around the community and I’ve experienced quite a lack of support from the Christian community and just apathetic attitudes in general. What are some of your answers to individuals who want to reduce this epidemic down to something not important or dismiss the problem all together?

Lisa Mitts: Yes, we have encountered the same and it is truly sad. I think a lot of people in the church don’t want to face the fact that this problem is in 3rd world countries and not here in our own backyard…but the truth is it is 2nd largest crime in the world and especially here in the U.S. I think a lot want to just give a one time donation to a large church or organization and then be done with it…they don’t want to roll up their sleeves and do something – at least that has been a lot of our experience. But we are thankful that there are some who have come alongside us and are ready to help especially with a hands on project like Destiny House Restoration Center, where we can take in these women and start the process of healing. I think the answers lie in helping others to know the facts and how they can personally make a difference.

Barry Irwin Brophy: On August 9th, I participated in a Men’s March Against Trafficking Demand representing the Christian author community and there was quite a collaboration occurring with religious and secular organizations in Seattle, WA. Some of the organizations represented were REST – Real Escape from Sex Trafficking, Escape to Peace, Seattle Against Slavery (hosted the event), The Defender Foundation Seattle Chapter, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (hosted the event), Seattle VICE police officers, Project I.A.N.A.O., Washington Engage, and multiple Christians from around the Puget Sound. Have you seen similar collaborative efforts arising within the community of organizations you have participated with? What are your opinions on how these organizations and organizations in general can better work together?

Lisa Mitts: I am well familiar with all of those organizations…just as a side note, my husband and I were the ones who coordinated the efforts and people originally to establish The Defender Foundation, Seattle Chapter. That was THE purpose of my music video, “Where Has Love Gone?” On June 16, 2012, we had our first Benefit Concert at Bellevue Foursquare Church, where we announced and established the Seattle Chapter of The Defender Foundation. In attendance that evening were several reps of organizations including The Genesis Project, Compassion2One…we also had Mack Strong, well known retired Seahawk, the director and producer of my music video, Gary Voelker of Experience Studios, most of the cast and production crew and two other artists I invited to perform before me and my band. It was an amazing night that many still remember.

Barry Irwin Brophy: How can the Christian church get more involved in anti-human trafficking prevention than just awareness? What are some local and international organizations you have worked with that are making awesome progress in eradicating enslavement through alternative means?

Lisa Mitts: I think I shared some of that above…obviously large organizations like Shared Hope International and IJM (International Justice Mission) are making huge headway in the nation, effecting and changing laws for justice…especially changing the mindset that these girls want what they are living out, instead of putting the responsibility on the Johns and pimps. I still think we need to deal with eradicating the demand for buying sex and get to the root of men who would do these kinds of things to children and young women. Until we deal with the demand, we will always have the problem.

Barry Irwin Brophy: What advice would you like to give to Christian musicians just getting started? Please provide any helpful tips or painful lessons of what not to do.

Lisa Mitts: I would say that you have to make a fundamental decision early on…I was given good advice from a friend, Derek Hoiem who owns Save the City Records here in Seattle …I recorded most of my albums at Derek’s studio. He told me “Lisa, you need to stick to your ministry and purpose for your music and not get caught up in trying to be big and famous. God will bless the right motive.” And you know that is really the truth and has been the case for me. I think there are so many young people who are truly gifted and talented, much more than me, but their hearts are so vulnerable to having to be famous and tour the world… I would ask them “what kind of eternal value are you bringing through your music into the lives of people one on one?”

Barry Irwin Brophy: What software, equipment, etc. would you recommend to someone on a tight music budget or just getting started?

Lisa Mitts: HAHA! I am totally clueless about that one 🙂 That’s why I always have to raise tons of money to record because I go to places like the Castle Studios where they have AMAZING equipment! I just show up. 🙂

Barry Irwin Brophy: I’ve also encounter many struggling Christian musicians who have given up on pursuing their calling because of chaotic hardships in every form imaginable. These guys and girls are really in the fire right now and have been severely burned. If you were speaking with them one on one what would you say to them?

Lisa Mitts: Again, like your previous question, I would say “Know why you are doing what you are doing and if God is calling you to this as your ministry, then you need to trust Him. He who began a good work in you SHALL complete it until the day of Messiah”. If we don’t know why we are doing our music and to whom our trust belongs, then the chaos and struggles will be devastating because we have lost our purpose and vision for why we are doing what we are called to. If you don’t know that purpose, then I would stop and get that right first with God.

Barry Irwin Brophy’s Closing Thoughts on the Interview: Like the mythical phoenix arising from the ashes, Mitts’ and her work with human trafficking survivors demonstrates the powerful redemptive work that is accomplished by women consumed with the compassion of God while they are ablaze with the fire of the Holy Spirit. The more and more I work with other anti-human trafficking organizations battling in the trenches of society to end this epidemic, the more altruistic selflessness I witness. Musicians like Mitts understand that their music plays an importance role in the global puzzle piece of God’s redemptive plan for the world. With this understanding, Mitts’ music is honest, emotion producing, and presents her the freedom to state her opinions without the overshadowing enigma of political correctness water down the raw emotions from human trafficking.

I also appreciate the Jewishness Mitts brings to her music. One of the greatest calamities in the Christian faith has been the Church’s willful ignorance of its Jewish roots. Given the rapid growth of Gentile converts to Christianity in the first few centuries after its establishment, the importance of Jewish culture vanished from many western sects. But with such a vast amount of information available in today’s society, the Christian Church has been shifting back to its Jewish roots by understanding Jewish culture. Furthermore, to truly understand the Bible and the birth of Christianity, an understanding of Jewish culture is essential.

You can support Mitts first and foremost in prayer! Volunteers within the anti-human trafficking movement desperately plea for community prayer covering of fellow Christians. Next, you can also support Mitts through registering her for a concert at your church or event. Thirdly, Mitts would also welcome opportunities for people to help support the awesome work Destiny House does in restoring human trafficked victims to wholeness. And finally, connect with Mitts through social media. Like many of the artists I blog about, Mitts values those who support her music and is always looking for ways to partner with other Christians, nonprofits, and community leaders to eradicate human trafficking in the Seattle community. In Mitts own words she writes, “I would love to also hear from you…I value your input and friendship! With so much happening in our lives these days, it is good to stay connected and blogging is one good way to do that!” (Lisa Mitts’s Blog, 2014c, para. 2).

Lisa Mitt’s Pages
Official Website: http://www.lisamitts.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LisaMittsMusic
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/onmmitts/about
ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/lisamitts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LisaMitts
Pinterest: http://instagram.com/lisamitts
Instagram: http://instagram.com/lisamitts
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/lisa-mitts/id359488551
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/lisa-mitts/67/52a/b76

Anti-human Trafficking Organizations
Destiny House Restoration Center: http://www.destinyhouserc.org/
REST – Real Escape from the Sex Trade: http://www.iwantrest.com
Seattle Against Slavery: http://www.seattleagainstslavery.org/
The Defender Foundation, Seattle Chapter: https://www.facebook.com/TheDefenderFoundationSeattleWA
Escape to Peace: http://www.escapetopeace.com/
Project I.A.N.A.O.: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectIanAo
Washington Engage: http://www.waengage.com/

References
Lisa Mitt’s Blog. http://www.lisamitts.com/blog/welcome-to-my-blog/ (accessed September 11, 2014)
Lisa Mitts Music. Profile Picture. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/LisaMittsMusic/photos/pb.154715354545041.-2207520000.1410813267./744266868923217/?type=3&theater (accessed September 15, 2014)
Lisa Mitts – Where has the Love Gone? –  [Official Video], YouTube, 4:42, posted by david mitts, May 30, 2012, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRL3thJQsIE (accessed September 16, 2014)
Mitts, Lisa, email sent to author, August 28, 2014.
Mitts, Lisa. “Home.” http://www.lisamitts.com/index.html (accessed September 15, 2014)
Mitts, Lisa. “Lisa’s Bio.” http://www.lisamitts.com/about.html (accessed September 15, 2014)

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Creative Christian Moments – Blog Article 30: Email Interview with David Zach from Remedy Drive

(Left: David Zach)

Creative Christian Moments

“Reviews of up and coming Christians in the arts community.”

Blog Article 30: Email Interview with David Zach from Remedy Drive

There is a sound echoing in the heavens. It can be tasted in the air we breath and felt within the deepest crevices of the human soul. One of musical proportions cascading through Christians around the world. This melody echoes the sounds of closet prayer intercessors as they petition the Lord for vindication of the innocent in a world naked, inebriated, and typhlotic with a false foundation of relative truth. You can see it in the music of this generation as genres from across the Christian spectrum are uniting with one voice to present the Gospel message; the titanic retelling again and again of the story of the greatest abolitionist archetype of humanity, Jesus Christ Himself whose purpose was to annihilate the enslavement of death, sin, and Satan restoring the paradise lost in the fall. Abolitionist movements throughout history only further reflect and emulate this spiritual reality of what Jesus Christ paid for to ransom humanity on the cross of Calvary. One such band called Remedy Drive reverberates the voices of captives caught in the damnation of human trafficking as they pioneer proclamations of protest of the horrors of human trafficking through their soon to be released album Commodity.

Remedy Drive was originally formed in 1998 by brothers David, Daniel, Phillip, and Paul Zach from Nebraska releasing albums such as Magnify (2004), Rip Open the Skies (2006), Daylight Is Coming (2008) and The Daylight EP (2010). After twelve years of touring, brothers Daniel, Phillip, and Paul placed down their musical mantles to spend time with their families, children, and focus on a more predicable lifestyle. Thus Remedy Drive was reborn as the instrumental mantles of Daniel, Phillip, and Paul were chivalrously handed to new band members Dave Mohr (guitar), Corey Horn (bass), and Timmy Jones (drums). Together Zach, Mohr, Jones, and Horn would release the new albums Light Makes a Way (2011), Resuscitate (2012), and Commodity (2014). If you enjoy the music of bands like U2 and Coldplay, Remedy Drive will also find favor in your musical library.

My journey to interview Remedy Drive began with a simple email to their fan page on Facebook and the band exclaimed they were interested in an interview. I was then forwarded David Zach’s blog about his experiences with anti-human trafficking efforts serving in the trenches alongside The Exodus Road in Southeast Asia as well as an opportunity to present him my questions.

The Interview

Barry Irwin Brophy: For those who may not know about you or your band, could you tell us a bit about yourself and the band?

David Zach: I’m from Omaha NE and I started the band with my brothers 14 years ago. They moved on from Remedy Drive to stay home with families and pursue other options and I found three amazing guys to continue making music with on the road. My younger brother Philip Zach joined us in the studio this past year to produce our new project Commodity. He’s become an amazing producer since he stopped touring four years ago.

Barry Irwin Brophy: How did you come to faith in Jesus Christ?

David Zach: I heard stories as a child like so many of us do about the King and his Kingdom. I continue to have a wavering pursuit to chase after a hope that I can’t see. It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve embraced the idea of doubts and fears being a huge part of what faith is. If we already have all the answers than what need is there for the mystery and the hope of glory (I think I’m loosely quoting the Apostle Paul in one of his letters to an early gathering in Rome). I think most recently the thing that is drawing me to faith is the questions my children ask me about life and death and resurrection. And the realization that for them – the opposite of faith is certainty. It’s their wide eyed wonder that returns me to that awesome realization that all of our hearts know – the only way we can enter that kingdom is the way a child does.

Barry Irwin Brophy: Tell us a bit about your current music projects. Music videos, new songs, tours, etc.?

David Zach: Commodity is a counter trafficking album. We’re releasing a record about freedom and we’re touring to support it and to make the captives dream of liberty loud – at 110db.

Barry Irwin Brophy: How has God been using the band to spread His Gospel message? Any stories?

David Zach: Jesus Christ from Nazareth quoted an ancient profit in one of his early public appearances – he said something along the lines of “I’ve come to proclaim freedom to the captives, liberty to the prisoners and a restoration of dignity to the oppressed and downtrodden.” I think if you’re looking for good news – that’s good news. And I believe we’re supposed to follow his lead in proclaiming it. And acting on it. His message was an abolitionist’s message – and he wasn’t merely talking about spiritual freedom. His followers through the ages have led movements towards freedom. Another profit named Jeremiah said “He defended the cause of the afflicted and needy; Then it was well. Is not that what it means to know Me? Declares the Lord”. Strip all the theological arguments aside – knowing the King of Kings is intimately tied to the action of defending the oppressed. That’s the good news – is that a group of people that formerly lived for themselves, for their own comfort and security – for their own cushioned, insulated, sanctuaries – are being called out to take the cause of freedom – to speak on behalf of those that have no voice – and to put themselves in harms way for the sake of someone else. There’s been some confusion I think in the evangelical community in America as to what it means to follow Jesus Christ – it looks like a really great deal – it’s advertised as a really great deal that will cost nothing. But when I read the words of Jesus Christ I realize that it’s actually going to cost me everything – it’s going to cost me my life, my talent, my time and my treasure. They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and they loved not their lives even to the death. So we’re using our platform, our album, our interviews and our concerts to tell the story of children that need defending.

Barry Irwin Brophy: I hear a lot of negative talk about how Christian rock music is not an effective means of sharing the Gospel. What do you think are the biggest obstacles within the Christian Church institution in America and how can we change to be more effective in preaching the Gospel?

David Zach: Comfort, security, prosperity, overpriced sanctuaries, overpaid celebrity spokespersons and the idea that Christianity is supposed to be safe and insulated. Maybe part of the problem is that it’s an institution. I don’t know – I’m not an expert in any of that. I just know that Jesus Christ promised that his followers would be known by love. Right not the fights that are being fought in the name of Jesus Christ seem to be the wrong fights – and fought with way too much angst and hurtful language. What if there is a time in the future where those following Jesus are known for being really loud about justice for the oppressed rather than an obsession with being “right” on social and political issues. What does it mean to love someone else the way I love myself? What does it mean to love someone else’s child the way I love my child? That’s the direction and the questions I want to move towards and I’d like to see people who claim to love Jesus Christ move towards.

The sweet breezes of change are rustling bringing news from the Kingdom – an underground movement is happening. It’s starts slowly and in small gatherings but I truly believe that change is eminent.

Barry Irwin Brophy: How do you think your music will influence the coming revival?

David Zach: I just hope that my songs contribute to the soundtrack of the resistance and the movement towards freedom.

Barry Irwin Brophy: I applaud the work you are doing by educating the community about human trafficking through the use of your music. I’m currently working on a novel myself about a human trafficked victim and her Cinderella story of escaping captivity and making something of her life through the power of the Gospel message. I saw your videos with the Exodus Road and they were powerful. How do you think music will play a role in standing up for the cause of anti-human trafficking movements? Are there any other artists or organizations you are working or know about that are doing the same?

David Zach: We’re funding The Exodus Road however we can. At a small event in Grand Island, NE we just raised enough money to send over a whole bunch of cyber forensics gear to Southeast Asia. People are doing monthly contributions, doing car washes, doing counter trafficking events and it’s starting to add up little by little. The songs are the soundtrack of the movement – but action must follow. Whenever I meet someone who has been on the front lines or is working for change in this area I’m immediately attracted to them and want to talk to them as much as possible to continue to develop a strategy that’s going to work. I want to contribute to the mobilization of a generation of abolitionist.

Barry Irwin Brophy: I’ve done some work with local anti-human trafficking organizations around the community and I’ve experienced quite a lack of support from the Christian community and just apathetic attitudes in general. What are some of your answers to individuals who want to reduce this epidemic down to something not important or dismiss the problem all together?

David Zach: Apathy is something that you’re never prepared to deal with – but you have to give people time to let it sink in. The righteous must rise out of indifference. I’m confident that there will be a move towards justice – there has to be. You have millions singing on Sunday mornings phrases like “let justice and praise become my embrace”. In the words of the Hebrew prophet Amos: “Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river and righteous actions like an ever flowing stream”.

Barry Irwin Brophy: On August 9th, I participated in a Men’s March Against Trafficking Demand representing the Christian author community and there was quite a collaboration occurring with religious and secular organizations in Seattle, WA. Some of the organizations represented were REST – Real Escape from Sex Trafficking, Escape to Peace, Seattle Against Slavery (hosted the event), The Defender Foundation Seattle Chapter, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (hosted the event), Seattle VICE police officers, Project I.A.N.A.O., Washington Engage, and multiple Christians from around the Puget Sound. Have you seen similar collaborative efforts arising within the community of organizations you have participated with? What are your opinions on how these organizations can better work together?

David Zach: I believe in coalition and in sharing resources. I’m not sure what this looks like in each situation though.

Barry Irwin Brophy: How can the Christian church get more involved in anti-human trafficking prevention than just awareness? What are some local and international organizations you have worked with that are making awesome progress in eradicating enslavement through alternative means?

David Zach: The Exodus Road is the group I work with. This issue should be something that every church talks about and gives updates on how they are involved weekly – justice to the oppressed, food for the hungry, clothing for the naked, restoration of dignity to the crushed.

Barry Irwin Brophy: What advice would you like to give to Christian musicians just getting started? Please provide any helpful tips or painful lessons of what not to do.

David Zach: I think we just need to write honest songs. Those notes will always ring true.

Barry Irwin Brophy: What software, equipment, etc. would you recommend to someone on a tight music budget or just getting started?

David Zach: I use Logic. It’s great.

Barry Irwin Brophy: I’ve also encounter many struggling Christian musicians who have given up on pursuing their calling because of chaotic hardships in every form imaginable. These guys and girls are really in the fire right now and have been severely burned. If you were speaking with them one on one what would you say to them?

David Zach: It’s worth fighting through. There is nothing in the universe like a melody.

Barry Irwin Brophy’s Closing Thoughts on the Interview: “Commodity” is the melodious muse by which I am writing these words. Zach’s words are truly poetic in the responses he gave me during the email interview. From reading Zach’s blogs, watching the videos of Remedy Drive, and my own passion for the anti-human trafficking movement, I feel this blog entry was divine providence as the Lord continues to bring me contacts with a plethora of organizations, Christian leaders, and survivors of trafficking.

In Zach’s own words he states that Remedy Drive hopes that this album will be the anthem for the anti-human trafficking movement. What drives individuals like Zach and myself is one simple word: love. Who will take the hands of these victims and lead them out as Zach so eloquently puts it? These victims do not have the merciful blessing of being born into families with fathers and mothers who will unconditionally love them. This is the part of my blog where I will ascend the soapbox of the bully pulpit and proclaim justice against human trafficking.

The horrifying truth of human trafficking is that it has infested every nook, crevice, and cranny of society. It is everywhere: victims are exploited in our neighborhoods, schools, and dare I say even some churches. Demand for the problem is 100% male! It is time for the men of this world to stop viewing women as just objects of sexual satisfaction and value them for their personalities, intellects, and talents given we are co-equal heirs with Christ. Until society ceases to view men, women ,and children as commodities by which to barter with to satisfy lustful perversions and insatiable sinful desires, human trafficking will continue. Human trafficking is just a symptom of the spiritual cancer that has decimated millions of men and women throughout the world: the loss of the stable family.

Who will arise in this eleventh hour of darkness girded with abolitionists’ mantles of the past. I’m calling upon the William Wilberforces of this generation to shake politics by pushing for intensive consequential laws against pimps and Johns. May orators arise with tongues of fiery rapiers ready to ravage ignorance through eloquence like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I’m calling upon Mother and Father Tereseas of this generation to parent the forgotten youth of this generation orphaned through broken homes of their biological parents. Christian leaders to tackle ignorance and resistance to the factual truths of the damage of sexual immorality honed with conversational diction. May these gifted men and women walk in an unconditional love reflective of the Christian faith; may their wakes abolish the lies of apathy, tolerance, and willful ignorance.

I am calling upon Christian artists to arise in this dark hour of humanity and use their talents to be the voice of the human trafficking resistance. I’m calling upon artists to illustrate tumultuous emotions of all spectrums through the use of photography, painting, drawing, and graphic design. Authors, poets, and videographers to document detailed stories of this horrific tragedy yet also depicting stories of hope found in Chris Jesus. I’m calling on musicians to write musical cries from the heart and soul illustrating the prayers of the victims seeking deliverance.

Christians understand that the battle of human trafficking is spiritual in nature. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” Ephesian 6:12. And I will prayerfully declare, Holy Spirit flow from the throne like a river and drown the principalities of perversion. To accomplish this, good must triumph over evil through acts of ravenous kindness, heartfelt humility, agape love, and fervent forgiveness. I would ask this generation to join with me in declaring the gargantuan Goliaths of this culture shall be overthrown through the humble natures of Christian men and women restoring lifestyles of purity to this culture!

As I sit here I will conclude with a challenge: don’t just read this blog post and shrug your shoulders thinking it was another informative read to add to your intellectual library of literary muses, do something about it by getting involved in human trafficking prevention in your community.

You can support Remedy Drive through prayer, by purchasing their new album on September 23, 2014, purchasing other albums and merchandise from their websites, hosting them at your ministry or church event, or just connecting with them on social media. Zach also has a anti-human trafficking blog below that details his experiences with The Exodus Road and what he witnessed while being undercover with some of there operations.

Remedy Drive’s Pages
Official Website: http://www.remedydrive.com
David Zach’s Blog: http://davidmzach.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/remedydrive
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RemedyDrive
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/remedydriveband
MySpace: https://www.myspace.com/remedydrive
ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/remedydrive

Anti-human Trafficking Organizations
The Exodus Road: http://www.theexodusroad.com/
REST – Real Escape from the Sex Trade: http://www.iwantrest.com
Seattle Against Slavery: http://www.seattleagainstslavery.org/
The Defender Foundation, Seattle Chapter: https://www.facebook.com/TheDefenderFoundationSeattleWA
Escape to Peace: http://www.escapetopeace.com/
Project I.A.N.A.O.: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectIanAo
Washington Engage: http://www.waengage.com/

References
Commodity: A Counter Trafficking Album, YouTube, 3:14, posted by Remedy Drive, May 14, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bE8qGbDOX3I&list=UUiDxk3WI8Q79u6E3wEGPIKQ (accessed September 4, 2014)
Remedy Drive. “Biography.” Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Remedy-Drive/e/B001LH7W3E/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1410062513&sr=8-2 (accessed September 5, 2014)
Remedy Drive. Band Profile Picture. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/remedydrive/photos/pb.6314728663.-2207520000.1410062565./10152675079218664/?type=3&theater (September 5, 2014 )
REMEDY DRIVE // Commodity (official audio – radio version) “I’m not a commodity,” YouTube, 3:39, posted by Remedy Drive, June 30, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VU5Mq-Op0IY&list=UUiDxk3WI8Q79u6E3wEGPIKQ (accessed September 4, 2014)
Remedy Drive Tops Chart with Trafficking Protest Song, YouTube, 7:44, posted by CBN News, July 28, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zTAjyr-TEs (accessed September 4, 2014)
Zach, David, email message to author, August 26, 2014.