God’s Children Are Not For Sale

By:  Ms. Tiffany Haller, Director of Faith Formation, St. Ann Roman Catholic Church, Williamsport


Have you seen the movie called “Sound Of Freedom”? By the time this is published, show times for our local AMC Theatre will no longer be available. But, if you have the opportunity, I strongly encourage you to see this movie.

I procrastinated about writing this article as no topic was settling well. I even thought I was scheduled to publish a “Footsteps” editorial last month, and then my writing could have been complete! Nope, I was at a loss last month as well. I thought my procrastination odd as I normally don’t like to wait until the very last minute. Hmmm, what is a good topic for the end of July? Weddings and anniversaries are plentiful, but no. No ideas popping up there. Saint Ann is the patron of the church where I attend and am on staff, but I already wrote about her. Saint Mary Magdaline is a good subject too. But no, that topic didn’t spark anything either.

Then, tonight (the evening prior to article submission) at 6:15 pm, I saw the movie “Sound Of Freedom.” It stars Jim Chaviezel and Mira Sorvino. The movie tells the real-life story of Tim and Katherine Ballard’s mission. They chose to save children from human sex trafficking in Columbia (and also Haiti) even though it was dangerous and called for great sacrifice in their lives.

Words can not adequately describe the horror of what this movie brings to light. You hear what people are saying and read the reviews, but there is something to be said for seeing the movie yourself. I asked my kids if they wanted to go as I preferred to have company and knew it was about a tough, but important topic. This was an important subject not only for myself, but for them as well. When we were leaving the theatre, we were quiet. What do you say about such atrocities? We needed time to process what we had seen.

“Sound Of Freedom” exquisitely illustrates the dark world of human trafficking. It showcases multiple heroes including Tim Ballard, the main character. Tim is a man with the heart of a loving, protective father and the training and experience of years working as a Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security. He takes on a mission to save children.

Tim’s wife, Katherine also had a big part to play. He called her from Columbia in a cowardly moment, hoping she would say it would be easier and safer to abandon the mission and just come home. He was hoping she would put their six children and his career ahead of the mission. Instead she said, “I will not let you jeopardize my salvation by not doing this.” In the film, the audience sees Katherine say to Tim on the phone, “You quit your job and rescue those kids.” In actuality, Tim replied that “it breaks my heart because not only is she losing our income, but she possibly, there’s a very good chance, maybe 50-50, she’s gonna lose me.” Their faith strengthened them to continue with their important mission.

Faith does matter. It mattered to Tim and Katherine, their six children (now nine children, including two children rescued from traffickers), and 120 children rescued on the island operation portrayed in “Sound Of Freedom.” Faith matters to those of us who support the movie and this cause. Faith, when acted upon in hope and charity, matters in big and small ways every single day. God’s children are the heroes of this story too. God’s children are not for sale.