Tom Davis Is Priceless
A few years ago, I heard that a guy named Tom Davis was going to be in Charlotte for some kind of celebrity sports event, a fundraiser for the organization he led called Children’s HopeChest. I knew we had a number of friends in common at the time (193 at the latest count, according to Facebook), so I hit him up for a meeting, and he agreed to meet me for coffee in the restaurant of the hotel he was staying in downtown (or uptown, as we say here in the Queen City).
I think we hit it off, because on one of his next trips through Charlotte, he invited me to a small, private dinner in the basement wine cellar room of Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House — paid for by our host (well, to be accurate, Tom’s host – Tom just invited me along for the ride!), the CEO of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated. It was a beautiful night, just getting to hear Tom share in that intimate setting his story and his heart for orphans around the world.
Novels on the Edge of the World
Tom quickly became a hero of mine. Not only for his tremendous work on the behalf of the poor across the globe, but also because he’s managed to do one of the things I’d most love to do: publish a novel.
His first novel, Scared, opens a window onto the HIV&AIDS epidemic in the country of Swaziland — a place Tom has spent a good deal of time and where Children’s HopeChest is doing remarkable work. By the end of chapter two, I was in tears. It’s just a fantastic book.
Now Tom has a new novel coming out called Priceless. This book promises to shine a light on the tragedy of sex trafficking and human slavery in Russia and Eastern Europe.
Tom was recently in Moldova—where I had the opportunity to travel with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 2005—with a group that included blogger Anne Jackson (aka Flowerdust). Anne wrote a riveting blog post called “The Sex Cafe” that instantly transported me back to Chisinau, the capital city of Moldova. I was excited to learn that Tom had connected with my Moldovan friends Oleg and Vitali Turlac, whom I met in 2005.
This issue of human trafficking—or, let’s call it what it really is, modern-day slavery—was really driven home for me when I read David Batstone’s groundbreaking book Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade—And How We Can Fight It. Batstone’s book sparked the Not For Sale Campaign that is one of a growing number of organizations, including Children’s HopeChest, that are part of the movement to end slavery in our day and time.
Just as Not For Sale opened eyes through its non-fiction stories of pain and suffering, I hope that Tom’s new novel Priceless will reach an even wider audience and open more eyes to the tragedy unfolding on the world stage.
By the way, Tom is now blogging about social justice over at Beliefnet — just another thing to make me envious but really just appreciate him more.
Sex Trafficking in the U.S.
On a related note, Halogen is getting set to air a new TV series later this year on the subject of sex trafficking, called Tainted Love. The same tragedy that’s happening in Russia and Eastern Europe and Asia is happening right here at home, as well, and Tainted Love will be telling that story to raise awareness and prompt people to take action.
You can watch a full episode of Tainted Love over at HalogenTV.com, if you like, but here’s a preview to get you started: