David Zach, lead singer of Christian rock band Remedy Drive, has been on a mission to very literally save lives, partnering with an anti-human trafficking organization to go undercover in an effort to rescue women and young girls from the sex trade.
Zach’s journey started after he began learning more about trafficking and felt compelled to action — a genesis and journey that he detailed during a recent sit-down interview with “The Billy Hallowell Podcast.”
Then, a chance dinner with Matt Parker, founder of anti-trafficking group The Exodus Road changed everything. As Parker told Zach about the organization’s investigations, rescues and raids around the world, Zach had a visceral response.
“I can’t just sing about this. I’ve got to join you,” the singer recalled telling Parker. “Would you train me and take me with you?”
Listen to Zach share his incredible story:
Parker complied and Zach jumped into the mix. Flash forward a bit and the singer has now gone undercover nine times — all in an effort to try and collect evidence and subsequently shut down human trafficking operations abroad.
“I can’t believe there’s more slaves today that at any time in human history,” he said, going on to explain that the rescue process is anything but easy, as corrupt politicians, police, brothel owners and international crime syndicates make it quite difficult.
It’s also not as simple as walking in, grabbing the young victims and fleeing. Zach and The Exodus Road must strategically plan how they will enter these establishments as faux customers, collect evidence using covert surveillance gear and equipment and then partner with local authorities in an effort to try and take down each operation.
Sometimes, those efforts tragically fail; other times, they are successful.
“We cannot just run with these girls,” Zach said. “It’s not going to contribute to systemic change in the region.”
The singer recalled the first time he met with a victim face-to-face — a young girl who he said was “for sale.” It was a haunting experience that truly put the horrors of trafficking into perspective.
The hardest part, Zach said, is leaving the victims behind inside each establishment during his missions. Zach and other undercover operatives must keep up the appearance that they are truly customers seeking to exploit women, all while they collect the evidence.
“That is the worst thing that I’ve ever had to do in my own life,” he said. “And I’ve done it hundreds of times now.”
It’s truly an incredible story of how one man was moved to take action.