Two million children are surrounded by Angels as Tim Ballard and Francesca Battistelli warm the Rexburg Tabernacle on a cold and windy Friday night.
Tim Ballard, founder of Operation Underground Railroad shared the history of his non-profit as Miss Teen Rexburg, Annie Barton, sang a beautiful rendition of Francesca Battistelli’s “Angel by Your Side,” both capturing our attention and moving the crowd to ask “how can we help?”
Founded in 2013, after Tim Ballard was prompted to quit his stable government job, Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.) was alive, and on attack mode.
Their purpose: rescuing child sex trafficking victims across the world.
Two million children are manipulated as sex slaves. These children, who are often under the age of 18, are stripped of their voice.
In less than two years of existence, O.U.R. has rescued 413 victims and arrested more than 136 traffickers around the world.
Both Ballard and Barton have used their voice to rally the people and educate them of human trafficking.
Ballard stated that many people always ask “How can I help? What can I do?” Tim answered with a question: “How did we end slavery? It was the people who rallied together who ended it.”
But how can we start finding the solution when we haven’t fixed the problem?
In addition to executing rescue missions around the world, Ballard’s team is developing software that will track child pornography and lead law enforcement to the pornographers.
“The problem of child sex slavery is 100 percent the societal consequence of our pornographic world,” Ballard explains via LDS Living. “Pornography is a drug. Adult pornography is marijuana, and child pornography is the cocaine. When people move on to child pornography, eventually they want the real thing.”
As O.U.R. is fighting the back end of the problem. Fight the New Drug is combating this on the front end. Both working side by side to save not only the 2 million children but to change the fate of the children who could be in danger.