About Us

The Quick Version: My name is Laura, and this is a shiny, frizzy-haired picture of me with my family one particularly hot day in SE Asia. We have recently returned from hacking out a life there, where we directed a Christian Children’s Home and a humanitarian foundation. We also got involved in the fight against modern day slavery-  specifically in the realm of undercover investigations which lead to rescue and prosecutions. We launched a nonprofit, The Exodus Road, which empowers investigative operations in Asia, and are currently leading the organization stateside.

I am a published freelance writer, run all the communications for The Exodus Road, and launched, lead and edit the collective blog A Life Overseas, for missionaries and humanitarian workers. This blog is the honest recording of my journey so far —

from church ministry to brothel work, from the Rockies to the rice fields, from the dramatic to the quiet,

around the world, and then back again.

 And the longer version. . . . I was born to a family of sweet-tea drinkers in North Carolina.  I was a preacher’s kid and learned to accept my fate of hand-me-downs and attendance at every potluck dinner.  Cancer was a part of my childhood, claiming my dad’s life and stealing some years from my mom, as well.  My highschool years then introduced me to my husband, Matt, and I was actually his date for our senior prom (you can laugh at the picture here).

We got married young, after our junior year of college at Appalachian State University in NC, where I majored in Middle Grades Education with a minor in English.  Wanting adventure, we spent a year on a tiny island you probably won’t recognize (called Saipan) teaching, then headed back to North Carolina where we worked with students at a local church.  After a brief trip back around the world to New Zealand to live (which regretfully didn’t work out), we landed out in the tiny mountain town of Woodland Park, Colorado, where my husband worked as a pastor for a Community Church.   For nearly five years, I reveled in glorious summers and endured cold winters as a stay-at-home to our three little people.  It was here in the shadow of Pike’s Peak that a passion for speaking about spiritual things to others searching for authentic faith developed, and it was here that a desire to love the global poor was cultivated.

And, eventually, in April of 2010, we loaded nine suitcases and three kids on a plane, endured 30 hours of travel, and began calling SE Asia, home. The following two years through the present day form are the bulk of this blog, and the journey recorded is a gritty, messy one full of disappointments, surprising miracles, and nearly 300 brothels.

{You can read the entire experience of my first year overseas in a category of the blog entitled First Year Missionary or you can read the post where I talk about sending Matt into brothels to do undercover work.}

My Writing.  I have found blogging to be a lifeline for me in more ways than one.  I write a fairly full-monty version of our journey overseas (and now back again), which is often humorous and begs for video documentation, including the time when my husband rode an ostrich and the time when my daughter gagged after she tried a local snack of bamboo worms.  I write lots about spirituality, with more questions than answers, and I’ll occasionally throw in a post or two of the more practical nature– like how to survive an insanely long plane ride with children or ways to fight depression.

I have freelanced for Compassion International, SE Asia, and MomSense Magazine. I’ve also enjoyed being featured online at {In}Courage, RELEVANT Magazine, Deeper Story, and SHELoves Magazine.  You can find a full listing of my published articles here.

I am also thrilled to be the co-founder and editor at a new collective blog called aLifeOverseas.com, which fosters honest conversations among missionaries and humanitarian workers.

I also dedicate a wholelottawords to our work at The Exodus Road, as I create all the social media, blog posts, newsletters, and web copy for the organization. My official title there is Director of Communications, and I spend the bulk of my working hours here– telling the stories and communicating the needs of undercover investigators in Asia.

But, mostly, I just write because I’m a happier person when I do.  And, also, because I have a terrible memory.

Regardless of where you find yourself on the globe, thank you for taking the time to visit me here at www.LauraParkerBlog.com

I hope you leave a little more hopeful than when you arrived.

Feel free to email me with any personal questions or comments at lauraleighparker {at} gmail {dot} com .

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