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Is Sound of Freedom Based on a True Story?

5 Min Read

Jul 13, 2023

A movie that’s caught the attention of the country and even the world in a heartbreakingly beautiful portrayal of one of the darkest trafficking rings our world has ever seen – child sex trafficking. Sound of Freedom is based on the powerful true story of Tim Ballard, a former Homeland Security agent and his fight against human trafficking around the world. Having performed many rescue operations through his undercover position within Homeland Security, Tim saw the evils of child slavery up close and personal. With government limitations causing roadblocks with his abilities to cross borders to rescue children in undercover situations, Tim began his own organization, Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.)

Sound of Freedom portrays this true story of Tim Ballard and his journey in fighting human trafficking by focusing on the ways in which children are lured into human trafficking situations, sold time and time again – often across borders. The film illuminates the hard truth that human trafficking is happening all around us. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has reported that human trafficking is a $150 billion-per-year business, which has eclipsed the illegal arms trade and is well on its way to eclipsing the international drug trade.

Just as Sound of Freedom has brought light to the epidemic that is child slavery, it also has worked to highlight those that are fighting to end it. Among Tim Ballard and his organization, Operation Underground Railroad, are others with the same vision of a world where every child is set free from the bondage of human trafficking.

How Set Free is Combatting Human Trafficking

Set Free is working to empower their South Asian partners in their faithful quest to set thousands of children free from slavery. To date, Set Free has rescued over 70,000 children and won’t stop until every child is free. Here’s how we’re doing it:

  1. Prevent slavery
    • Children are taken as payment for predatory loans that families take out. Many families agree to these loans under false pretenses – that their child will work for a stipend to pay it off, be treated fairly and protected, and come home to their families. Instead, these children are taken and sold as slaves.
    • Set Free’s solution: To stop the cycle of child slavery, Set Free’s partners pay the lenders directly and in-full, receiving the paperwork and ensuring that children will not be taken as payment.
    • After Set Free pays off the lenders, the families pay us back in terms they can afford, either in cash or the equivalent in rice or firewood. This repayment is used to care for the children rescued from slavery in our care that have not been able to be reunited with their families.
  1. Rescue children – There are more people enslaved in India than anywhere else in the world. Despite slavery being illegal it does not operate in the shadows. The process of rescuing a child usually starts with a phone call. Our partner network of over 9,000 pastors are regularly tipped off to the locations where children are being held in slavery. Some of these locations include quarries, brick factories, brothels, medical testing facilities, and even child sacrifice situations. The process varies depending on the situation and the location, but after receiving a phone call tipping our partners off to the location of child slaves – they will travel to visit the location for themselves. These pastors work to develop a relationship with the children. They work to gain their trust, offer hope, and eventually rescue them from the bondage of slavery.
  2. Reunite when possible – There are numerous reasons why children are victims to child slavery and trafficking. While some children were sold into slavery by family members, many have been kidnapped or manipulated into those circumstances. When our partners find villages where children have taken, they work to build relationships with these families. We want to reunite as many children as possible with their families, but we must also ensure that their home will be a safe environment for them. While the large majority of families are desperately longing for their children, there are some families where the risk of the parents selling their children into slavery again is too great. These children are then cared for long-term, loved, and equipped for a successful future under the care of our partners.
  3. Share the love of Christ with all – We believe that breaking the cycle of poverty will only happen when hearts are changed and opened to the love of Jesus, a love that tells us we are all equal, and that

God’s children are not for sale.

Are you interested in making an immediate impact in the fight to end child slavery? Consider making a gift here.

Thanks to our partners at Sovereign Financial, we are excited to offer a free showing of Sound of Freedom on Wednesday, July 26th at 6:30pm at Camelot Cinemas in Greenville. If you are local and haven’t seen it yet, this film addresses the global issue of Child Trafficking and Slavery. If you have seen it, please come and invite a friend. Set Free Staff will speak briefly after the movie to share how the film relates to our work. Get your tickets here.

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