On Independence Day 2023 (and again a couple of days later), I saw the most important movie of this millennium. Sound of Freedom exposes the horrific “business” of child sex trafficking. The film was very well made, keeping the most awful deeds off-screen but implying enough that any viewer couldn’t possibly miss the dark intentions.
Y’all, this movie broke my heart. No child should ever have to go through what those kids endured. Thankfully, this was only a movie and the children involved were not actually harmed. However, it was inspired by a true story about real kids who are kidnapped and sold into sex slavery—two million per year!
No matter what controversies and “conspiracies” spark up around this film, the fact remains that “God’s children are not for sale” (Sound of Freedom, 2023). He doesn’t sell His children; He saves them; He avenges them.
This movie is important because child sex trafficking is swiftly surpassing the drug trade, and millions of children are suffering horrible experiences for years upon years, beginning at shockingly young ages. What might surprise people the most is that the United States of America—yes, my beautiful home country—is the number one consumer of such a nasty, disgusting “service.”
The film made me wonder if the real-life criminals—for abusing children in such a fashion must be criminal at the very least—felt no shame. How could they abuse children in such a way and not feel an ounce of guilt? Had they long ago sold their souls to the devil, leaving nothing but an empty pit of darkness in the core of their beings? Were they now unreachable to Jesus Christ, the Savior of souls and Forgiver of sins?
There is a character in the film by the name of Vampiro (portrayed spectacularly by Bill Camp) who has a heartbreaking backstory. Yet, in the telling of it (which I will not spoil for you, but do have tissues at hand when he shares it in the movie; I wept both times), I sensed a moment of redemption, of turning away from his sins against humanity and God alike, and embracing the forgiveness God extended to him in his gut-wrenching desperation. It was powerful to see that moment but also that he chose then to actively do something to save the children in the sex-slave trade.
Forgiveness is possible for even the worst of sinners: those who commit crimes against children.
My prayer is that the people who steal and sell children as well as those who buy them would turn from their wicked ways and seek true forgiveness from God Almighty, Who has the power to judge and the heart to forgive, if asked. His forgiveness is a free gift, provided by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the cross and His resurrection from the tomb. He died and rose again to bridge the gap between sinful man and the Holy, Eternal God. All it takes to accept that gift is a genuine turning away from our sin and asking God to forgive us, for Jesus to then come into our hearts to live and make us better people than we are on our own.
Would that every child trafficker and child abuser would turn to God for the help they so desperately need!
Sound of Freedom rang this truth home strongly to me yet again: this world is in dire need of a Savior.
The good news is, we already have One in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. He is the One we each need at the center of our lives. He is the One Who has the power to change the evil hearts of those in this disgusting “trade” of child trafficking. He is the One Who will forgive each and every person who has committed crimes against children… or judge them if they refuse to repent and ask for His help.
The choice is set in front of these people: repent from your cruel abuses against children or be judged by the God Who created you, Who created each of the children you steal, traffic, or abuse.
As long as a person is breathing, I believe there is still time for them to be reunited with the God of all creation. Please, if you have committed crimes or abuse against a child or many children, consider your sin with the weight of where your eternal soul will be sent after you die (to the fiery pit of Hell or the glorious haven that is Heaven). It is not too late. You still have a chance to choose to live in Heaven with God for all eternity. But to do that, you must turn away from the abhorrent choice of abusing children.
Note: This is also true for all other sins; child trafficking and abuse just happen to be the themes in this article.
If you would like to turn your life over to God and turn away from the sins you’ve committed, whether that’s child trafficking or having a marital affair or lying habitually, please pray with me this prayer to accept Jesus as your personal Savior:
Dear Jesus, I acknowledge my sin against You and humbly ask You to forgive me. I know I am in need of a Savior and ask You to come into my life and save my soul. I receive You now as my personal Savior and commit my life to You. Please teach me how to truly live for You for the rest of my life. In the name of Jesus Christ, the risen Son of God, I pray. Amen.~ Prayer of Salvation
If you prayed this prayer and meant it in your heart, you are now a Christian. Welcome to God’s family!
I recommend seeking out a God-fearing pastor or deacon in a local Protestant church, to seek his guidance and mentorship in learning how to truly live for God. (Note: These people are human and imperfect, but if you find the right one, they can be a great help especially in the early stages of your faith journey with God.)
But even more importantly, I recommend purchasing a Bible, God’s Holy Word, and reading it for yourself. This will help you understand God in a meaningful way and gain a personal relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.
You might want to begin reading in the book of John in the New Testament, which will teach you more about Jesus Christ and the way He lived while on the earth. He is our Guiding Light and the best example of how to live a righteous and holy life.
If you’re wondering about what God can do with your life after you’ve committed such egregious sins, take a look at Acts and Romans. The apostle Paul (whose name used to be Saul, prior to his conversion to Christianity) is a great example of what a truly changed life can look like.
If you have been a victim of child trafficking, my heart goes out to you. You have my sincere sorrow and grief for what you have lost, for what you have been through. And you have my heartfelt prayers that you will find healing in Jesus Christ. He is the Healer and Restorer, and He is ready to help you this very moment, if you’ll ask Him to. The road might not be easy, but it will be joyous and free, because Jesus grants us spiritual freedom through salvation and joy even through our hardest trials. It is my prayer that you will seek Him and ask for His salvation—of your soul as well as your body—and live your life for the glory of God from this moment forward. May your testimony of salvation be an inspiration to many others who come behind you in the journey toward true and everlasting freedom.
Friends, Sound of Freedom is still in theaters right now. It’s not an easy movie, but for me, it was well worth the time and money to go see it a couple of times. It’s very powerful and emotional and tells of a piece of our current-day history that needs further exposed and to be stopped completely.
Please be aware of your surroundings and reach out for help if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. It’s important that we help watch out for each other as well. All it might take is for one Good Samaritan to step in to make a huge difference.
You might be wondering why I’m so passionate about this subject, other than the fact that it’s atrocious what’s happening to these children. I actually have a very personal reason. When I was three, I was nearly kidnapped while my family and I were in a local mall. Thankfully, God protected me from that situation and gave my mom wisdom on how to handle the tense moment that involved a trio of guys attempting to snatch me.
Sound of Freedom was impactful for me, because it showed me the horrible things that could have happened to me if the young men had been successful.
My heart broke all over again, because while I was spared such pain and misery (and I thank God for that), there are millions upon millions of children who are subjected to it every single day. They have not yet been rescued from the dark atrocities that this movie revealed—and much worse.
Let us keep these children in our prayers, that God will indeed save them and bring them back to a place where they are safe and cherished and loved.
Let us also keep their captors and abusers in prayer, for they need saving spiritually just as much as the children do physically.
And may each of us realize our own need for salvation in this crazy, mixed-up world. The battle is spiritual, my friends. Be aware and have faith in Jesus.
May the will of God our Heavenly Father be done in these, and all other, matters. Amen.
In Other News…
If you missed the third article in the Dreams trilogy, please visit Little Blossoms of Jesus to catch up.
Springtime in Surrey, the debut anthology from Wild Blue Wonder Press, releases on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. Find out more information below.
My novella in the collection is entitled The Cottage on the Hill, and it features a former ballerina who cries into her tea every day and the sheep-farmer neighbor who wonders why… and what he can do to cheer her up.
All eight stories are charming, so if you decide to pick up this book, you’re in for a treat!
The Springtime in Surrey Tag
Have you ever participated in a bookish tag on Instagram or Twitter?
They’re pretty fun. You find books that match the categories and post pictures of them to your social media, remembering to use the hashtags for the bookish tag.
We have one for Springtime in Surrey, hosted by Katja H. Labonté, this month. The instructions and original graphic are posted on her blog, Little Blossoms for Jesus.
Feel free to snag the graphic above and get your books set up and photographed (or borrow the book covers from Goodreads like I did) and let us see what books fit the categories for you.
The hashtags to use for this bookish tag are #TheSpringtimeinSurreyTag and #WildBlueWonderPress. We would appreciate it if you also tag our hostess, @KatjaLabonte.
If you participate on Twitter, you could also tag me: @screenwriter87. That way, I’ll get to see your lovely pictures as well.
I’m participating in this bookish tag on that account. Here’s one of my entries:
Blog Swap Schedule
Please visit any or all of the following articles on the dates given or after. Feel free to share them with your friends, too.
Note: There was an issue with some of the links being broken recently. I have corrected those now, so all the links should take you to the appropriate articles. Please let me know if you come upon an issue. I am still waiting on some of the links, so please hang in there. They are coming.
Kellyn Roth on Resting Life
Erika Mathews on Prose Worthy
Andrea Renee Cox on Resting Life
Erika Mathews on Writing to Inspire
About Springtime in Surrey
This collection of novellas, set in County Surrey, England, features both historical and contemporary stories by new and old authors!
Springtime in Surrey contains the follow eight novellas:
Jesus, I Am Resting by Faith Blum
An orphaned young woman must fight to survive after WWI breaks out, praying her beau doesn’t die on a foreign battlefield like her father did years ago.
The Cottage on the Hill by Andrea Renee Cox
A former ballerina seeks hope amongst her lost dreams, as a sheep farmer tries to bring her joy.
If I Knew You Were Coming by Bailey Gaines
An exhausted mother balances her duties to both her biological and evacuee children with preparation for an unexpected visit from her soldier husband.
Her Heart’s Home by Grace A. Johnson
A destitute woman is pursued by an unexpected suitor and finds blessings from God in the way she least expected.
The Tussie-Mussie by Katja H. Labonté
A disgraced debutante flees to the country, only to meet a reclusive writer who may change her life forever.
The Odd Duck Society by Rachel Leitch
An insecure university student returns to a tea shop after a mysterious letter summons her there.
Fear Not Tomorrows by Erika Mathews
A hard-working sister-of-seven struggles with contentment as her marriage is postponed by her fiancé’s absence.
Courage to Stay by Kellyn Roth
A young bride chases her husband into the forest to rescue him from himself, which goes about as well as one would expect.
Springtime in Surrey may be found at the following links:
About the Authors
Faith Blum is a wife, mom, author, and entrepreneur. She’s published over 30 books, most of them in the Christian Historical Fiction genre. She loves stories because they can teach history, but in a fun way. It is also her way to have a creative outlet while taking care of a household and toddler.
She’s been a proud small town resident her whole life and wouldn’t have it any other way. She lives in Central Wisconsin with her husband, son, and cat, Smokey. She’s blessed to write as a part time career. You can find her books on books on most eBook retailers.
When not writing, you can find her cooking from scratch, reading, figuring out social media content, or spending time with her family. She also loves playing piano for church and being part of the Author Conservatory.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Faith-Blum/e/B00GSPBHW6
Born and raised in north Texas, Andrea Renee Cox is a born-again child of God who enjoys writing stories that inspire, copyediting fiction manuscripts, tutoring middle school students, and going on road trips with her family. Whether she’s working on historical or contemporary, women’s fiction or romance, she uses her skills in research and writing techniques—as well as a large dose of prayer and guidance from God—at every turn in the journey to produce the best story of her ability every single time. Her books may be found on her website, and readers are welcome to follow her blog for the latest updates in her journey.
Bailey Gaines is a Georgia girl who loves history. Through her writing, she hopes to show how God works in all periods of history, bringing healing and helping people know they have value because of their identity as a human created in God’s image. Her stories range from King Richard the Lionheart’s England to 1930s Appalachia to 18th century England to 19th century America.
Bailey is a student of the Author Conservatory, and has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When she’s not writing, she’s helping homeschoolers with their writing or working at an escape room. Her hobbies include playing the piano, sewing, and exploring the world of vintage fashion.
Grace A. Johnson is a Christian fiction authoress, book reviewer, and avid reader. She lives in beautiful (but humid) South Georgia, surrounded by farmland and forestry, with her parents and six younger siblings. She has indie-published the first three novels in a Christian historical romance series, the Daughters of the Seven Seas, and a smattering of short stories and novellas, as well as a devotional. She’s also a marketer and editor who loves helping young authors through her editing business S&J Editors and her small publishing company Sky’s the Limit Press. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook @graceajohnsonauthor or blogging on her website at www.graceajohnson.com. Join her for a virtual cup of tea and a free preview of her debut novel when you sign up for her e-newsletter!
Katja H. Labonté is a Christian, an extreme bibliophile who devours over 365 books in a year, and an exuberant writer with a talent for starting short stories that explode into book series. She is a bilingual French-Canadian and has about a dozen topics she’s excessively passionate about (hint: that’s why she writes). Katja writes both contemporary and historical fiction, as well as non-magical historical and contemporary kingdom fiction, and covers themes of worth, love, peace, and Christian growth. She spends her days enjoying little things, growing in faith, learning life, and loving people. You can follow her life journey, find free books, browse her services, and more on her website and blog.
Rachel Leitch discovered the book of writing when she was seven. She’s been turning pages ever since! She lives her own adventure in northern Indiana, with her parents, three sisters, two brothers, and a dog who thinks he’s the hero of her story. She writes young adult historical fiction with a dash of adventure or a spark of magic. When she’s not hidden away writing, she’s trying to fit all her reads on her shelf in a somewhat organized manner, obsessing over character arcs, drinking chai, daydreaming at the piano, or teaching students to be just as bookish as she is. In all her adventures, she learns how to shine brighter for the Father of Lights. For more bookish ramblings (and a free digital short story involving a magical violin) follow her adventure journal at https://racheljleitch.com/!
Erika Mathews is an author and editor who writes family-friendly Christian living books, both fiction and non-fiction, that demonstrate the power of God through ordinary people, transforming daily life into His resting life. Her works include Truth from Taerna, a kingdom adventure fiction series with deep spiritual themes, Resting Life, a Christian living nonfiction book about finding rest in Jesus in modern life, and a variety of historical fiction and poetry.
Erika lives in the farm country of Minnesota with her husband and children. She’s a homeschool graduate with a Bachelor’s in Communications, a Master’s in Biblical Ministries, and a passion for sharing Jesus Christ and His truth. When she’s not working with books, she enjoys reading, outdoor activities, piano and violin, organizing, and using the Oxford comma.
Kellyn Roth is a historical romance & women’s fiction author who writes about the empty places where hope has the most room to grow. Her novels include the inspirational Victorian family saga, The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy, and the Kees & Colliers series, which follows a broken family in the tumultuous years of the first half of the 20th century.
Kellyn is a student of the Author Conservatory and a writing coach. When not building her author career or her indie-author-helping business, Wild Blue Wonder Press, she is likely getting lost somewhere in the Pacific Northwest with her friends, watching period dramas and facetious comedies, or spending time with her husband.
Books to Read
Want to read one of my books? Explore my books page.
Purchasing one of my books directly supports my writing career.
Posting an honest review of one of my books on Goodreads or your favorite retail site helps other readers know whether or not they’d also like to read my books.
Want to read free short stories? Explore my short stories page.