Free at Last
How Christians worldwide are sabotaging the modern slave trade.
Deann Alford | posted 2/21/2007 08:51AM
Seven years ago, Sandy Shepherd got an unexpected phone call as she headed to her daughter's high school musical rehearsal. A mother of three, living in affluent Colleyville near Fort Worth, she was already beginning to imagine life as an empty nester. She wasn't thinking about changing the world.
On the line was Deacon Neel Choate from her church, First Baptist. He told her that the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) had just picked up seven Zambian boys—all part of a touring choir they both knew. First Baptist had hosted the choir previously. Choate said the boys needed a place to stay or they would spend the night in jail.
Could she house all seven overnight?
Shepherd took a deep breath. For two years, Shepherd had passionately supported this choir, utterly unaware that she and her church were being duped.
A Baptist missionary, Keith Grimes, had recruited the boys to tour America with his ministry, TTT: Partners in Education. Grimes had made big promises to the boys and their families. He had inspired them with talk of salaries, an American education, and stipends for families back in Zambia. Grimes had also claimed the tour would raise money for Kalingalinga, the grindingly poor shantytown that provided its fresh-faced sons for these tours 6,000 miles from their homes.
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