Training Leaders in NZ to Prevent Human Trafficking

March 27 2018

Late last year, I was told that a group of people from New Zealand were interested in taking the HOPE61 MULTIPLY training in March 2018. I admit, my first thought was, how big of a problem can human trafficking be in “100% Pure New Zealand?”

I’d never been to New Zealand, but standing on the other side of the world, it was easy to imagine it as an idyllic little place with pristine landscapes, beautiful beaches, and happy New Zealanders (Kiwis) enjoying the famous dairy and beef the country produces. There was not much room in that image for something as ugly as human trafficking. But within a few seconds, reality took over the image in my mind. Human trafficking happens everywhere. Even in a place as beautiful as New Zealand. New Zealand is more than rolling green hills, black sandy beaches, and make-believe hobbits. It has big cities, small cities, tourist towns, rural areas, farmlands, many cultures (Maoris, Europeans, Pacific Islanders, and Asians are among many), and human trafficking.

In 2016, a man was convicted of trafficking 15 Fijian workers to pick fruit in New Zealand. This was not an isolated incident. Also, there is story after story of young teen girls being lured by “boyfriend figures,” who ultimately traffic them for sex. These types of stories aren’t exclusive to New Zealand. These are the same types of stories we hear around the world. Different names and places, but the same awful horrors.

This year, from March 8-10, I trained 10 New Zealanders how to equip churches to prevent human trafficking in their communities. Our curriculum equips participants to train local churches to be able to answer three fundamental questions. 1. What is human trafficking? 2. Why should the church have a response directed at eliminating human trafficking? 3. How can the church prevent human trafficking? I believe each participant walked away with answers to those questions. I am very excited to know that several of these people will go on to be HOPE61 trainers and will lead ENGAGE trainings with pastors and lay-leaders throughout New Zealand. I pray that through my time in New Zealand, many churches will be equipped to prevent human trafficking in the near future.

By Tonya Overton, Assistant to the Director of HOPE61 and Trainer

Tags: human trafficking prevention, hope61, new zealand training,

Human Trafficking Prevention Training in Japan

March 19 2018

As the HOPE61 trainer for Japan, I had the privilege of leading the first HOPE61 Engage training in Japan with the OMS Christian Mission Church on February 3. Nine people attended the training, with a mix of missionaries and Japanese church members being trained. This training marked the first time that the Japanese and missionary church members sat down together to talk about their ministry and outreach strategy as a church.

It was a joy to see the church getting so excited about reaching out to vulnerable people in their neighborhood and to see them thinking so strategically about how to use the gifts God gave them to help others. The participants came out of the training with a new understanding about human trafficking, but also with a new enthusiasm to make a difference in their community and share the Gospel with their neighbors.

Though I am currently in the U.S. raising support, I hope to move to Japan by late April to continue laying the foundation for the HOPE61 ministry to begin there. God is moving in Japan. So many doors have been opened for HOPE61 in Japan by the grace of God. I have several church groups interested in having me come share with them about the ministry and the training we offer once I move there.

Currently, less than 1 percent of people in Japan are Christian. But I believe that HOPE61 can be a catalyst for the church in Japan, to get them out of the church building and into the community, loving and serving their neighbors in tangible ways. With that, more and more Japanese people will come to know the Lord because they will see that God really loves and values them enough to take action.

~Pam Duhrkoop, OMS Missionary and HOPE61 trainer

Tags: human trafficking prevention, japan, hope61, church

Human Trafficking Prevention Training in Brazil

March 14 2018

My husband, Allann, and I traveled to Brazil to lead HOPE61 workshops in February. Allann is Brazilian, so from the beginning, he had a desire to bring this human trafficking prevention material to his country and his people.

We were invited to lead training workshops in two churches. One was in Allann’s church in the south and the other was in Brasilia, the capital.

The people that attended the first training came because of the relationship we have with them and didn’t initially understand the concept of human trafficking or how that applied to them. Those that came to the second training understood the complexity of human trafficking and wanted to gain better knowledge as to what it was and how to prevent it.

For the first training, basically the whole church showed up, around 35 people, and they were invested in the information and how to make it more impactful in their community.

We had one woman come up to us and tell us she was offered a job in Germany a few years ago, and she was supposed to go work in a factory with her uncles, but they only asked her for a body picture. It didn’t faze her then, but for certain reasons, she wasn’t able to go. She told us that now she realizes that she was most likely going to be trafficked and that now that she knows, she can warn others!

We had another girl come up and tell us that when she went to high school, there was a man who would always follow her and her brother to and from school. They told their parents, but they didn’t take it too seriously. Now, after the training, she realized that human trafficking does happen, that it happens where she lives, and it could’ve happened to her. So she told us she would be more aware and tell others too.

In the second training, we had around 40-45 people come from three churches.

Several people came up to us afterward to show us their projects and were excited to put them into practice. One woman, using her abilities and talents as an artist, created a project to go into schools and use art as a tool to teach kids about human trafficking and how to prevent it.

We handed out surveys in both training sessions. They rated their experience in the training with an 8.25 on a 1-10 scale of helpfulness. All respondents said the training increased their knowledge of human trafficking. Only two people said they weren’t challenged spiritually. And the only thing they wanted to change would be to add more time to the training workshops (keep in mind the trainings were 7 hours and 9 hours each). So, this means they liked the material and wanted the training to last longer!

By Stephany M Eddy, HOPE61 Trainer, Spain

Tags: hope61, human trafficking prevention, training, spain, brazil,

What Exactly Is Human Trafficking?

March 5 2018

Human trafficking, another phrase for modern-day slavery, is the second largest illegal business in the world … only behind the illegal arms trade. Most reputable sources agree that there are more than 40 million people living in slavery around the world today.

Human trafficking victims include those that are exploited in the sex industry; those that are forced to work in other, non-sexual, types of jobs; those that are forced into military service as children; and those that have been tricked or lured into giving up a bodily organ.

The best way to fight a problem like human trafficking is to prevent it from happening in the first place. This is the mindset and vision of HOPE61, the human trafficking prevention ministry of One Mission Society. The local church, around the world, sits in a perfect position to recognize the vulnerabilities to becoming involved in human trafficking and reduce those vulnerabilities through intentional community building and abundant Gospel sowing.

HOPE61 trains and equips churches worldwide to understand the issue of human trafficking, identify the causes of vulnerability of local people to become involved in human trafficking, and discover the gifts, talents, abilities, and resources that God has given each church to reduce the vulnerability of those around them. At its core, HOPE61 is an evangelism and discipleship catalyst aimed at people who are vulnerable to become involved in human trafficking.

One Mission Society has church partnerships across the globe, which has given HOPE61 thousands of opportunities to train pastors and lay leaders on six continents. Through the ministry, in 2017 alone, more than 1,000 pastors and lay leaders were trained in seven countries. There are many more churches that are waiting to be trained, and we pray that the Lord of the harvest would provide more workers for the HOPE61 ministry. There are opportunities to serve as a residential missionary in several countries, opportunities to serve as an itinerant missionary who travels to an assigned country a few times per year, and opportunities to serve in the United States, ministering to the local churches in your community.

Tags: human trafficking prevention, training pastors and church workers, reduce exploitation,

First Human Trafficking Prevention Training in Haiti = Success

November 22 2016

I recently traveled to Haiti to conduct the first HOPE61 training seminars in that country. The problem of human trafficking is monumental across the country, and the pastors and leaders were hungry to learn from the seminar how they could prevent it from happening in the communities they serve.

Haiti is the 14th country to receive the HOPE61 training. It was a blessed time of learning for me and the pastors and church leaders that attended the sessions in Cap Haitien and Port-au-Prince.

It rained for days, and the flooding was severe across the Cap Haitien region, but the day we conducted the training was sunny and warm. One hundred pastors and leaders were invited to attend, but with the flooding in homes and on the roads, we were unsure how many would be able to attend. We praise God for the more than 75 leaders that attended the seminar!

The training was interactive and dynamic. One attendee was Dr. Rodney Baptiste, the director of the OMS-related Bethesda Medical Clinic. Dr. Rodney was so excited to receive this training on human trafficking prevention that he took what he had learned and shared it with the entire staff at Bethesda the next day.

At the end of each HOPE61 training seminar, participants are asked to develop a plan of action to implement what they have learned. Dr. Rodney’s plan was to share the information with his staff as they interact with people every day at the clinic who are vulnerable to become involved in trafficking. Raising the awareness and the knowledge of the staff at Bethesda Medical Clinic will directly reduce the vulnerability of those that come through the clinic. How wonderful to know that the training was multiplied, almost immediately, by Dr. Rodney.

Another 35 pastors and leaders were trained the next day in Port-au-Prince. We are excited to hear stories of the training the pastors received being implemented across southern Haiti, as well. God is working powerfully in Haiti in a number of ways, and it is a huge blessing for HOPE61 to begin work there, as well. Human trafficking is a huge problem around the world, but not too big for God and his church to overcome! Will you join us in praying for Haiti and for the other 13 countries that HOPE61 is working in to prevent human trafficking?

If you’d like to give a Christmas gift this season to help with future HOPE61 trainings, give here.

By Tom Overton, Director of HOPE61

Tags: human trafficking, haiti, training, prevention, hope61,

One Mission Stories "After the Show: - Tom Overton

June 9 2014

We hope you enjoyed Sunday night's (June 8) One Mission Stories, OMS' one-hour missionary interview-style radio program, featuring OMS missionary Tom Overton, who serves as the director of our human trafficking prevention ministry called HOPE61.

The program features Tom's testimony and his calling to missions from a business career to a short-term trip to Haiti to full-time career service. Tom shares his journey of losing his job and how God miraculously worked in his life and that of his family to show them all clearly that missions and OMS should be their next step.

Everyone has a story ... enjoy Tom's!

Here are our "After the Show" resources to better connect you with things you heard about on last night's program.

GO: Do you want to be a missionary, either short- or long-term with OMS? Check out the opportunities, including all the upcoming short-term trips with MFM.

Learn about the Loja (Ecuador) Challenge 2015!

GIVE: If you would like to donate to any OMS ministries, you can do so online.

PRAY: Pray for Tom and his family to continue to complete trust God for their needs. Pray for all those who are vulnerable around the world. And pray for the ministry of HOPE61--for more workers and more finances.

If you would like to pray for other OMS needs, visit our OMS prayer wall.

BOOKS/RESOURCES: You can purchase all OMS books through our OMS store on Amazon or by contacting the OMS World HQ... call or email Barb Sandoz at 317.888.3333, ext. 313, or email bsandoz@onemissionsociety.org.

OMS Outreach magazine was also mentioned on the broadcast. If you'd like to view the magazine, you can see it online here.

To connect your kids to fun mission activities, check out our One Mission Kids website.

If you are interested in attending OMS' International Conference, click here for more information and registration.

INFO: Tune in to next week's One Mission Stories to hear from Paul Cox share his missionary calling and journey from being a head hunter, to missionary in Spain to the director of Mobilization at the OMS World HQ. If you would like to know more about any of our ministries around the world, please email us at radio@onemissionsociety.org.

If you missed this program or any of our previous programs, click here to listen to the broadcast on podbean.

Each week, you can listen live on Freedom 95 at 95.9 FM or 950 AM or live streaming at www.freedom95.us. Our programs air every Sunday night from 7-8 p.m.

Tags: hope61, anti-human trafficking, prevention, short-term missions, life-changing story,

The Safe Place

March 12 2014

The Safe Place

“They are coming! Someone saw men in the village. You must hide now, Marta, or they will find you!” Her mother’s terror piercing her heart, they quickly pull back the rug covering the boards leading to the hiding hole–her safe place. Marta, just fourteen, slides into the hole and rolls into a ball while her mother replaces the boards and rug. It is cramped and stuffy inside.

The only thing she can hear is the pounding of her heart; she prays to God it won’t be audible to them.

Minutes slowly tick by. Now, screams and sounds of a scuffle nearby can be heard from her safe place. She wonders if today will be the day they find it. She’s managed to allude them during their many visits to her village. Each time, they carry away young girls–her friends–never to be heard from again. Just last week, a neighbor’s young daughter was kidnapped on the way to school. When she didn’t come home, they all knew what had happened.

The echo of pounding footsteps on the pavement outside her house reaches her ears. As the sound passes her home and diminishes, she sheds tears of relief. Marta knows that her mother, out of an abundance of caution, will wait another long while to ensure the men are truly gone before she is permitted to leave her safe place.

They didn’t find her today. But Marta fears her luck is running out; all too soon even her safe place will be safe no more.

The above is a fictionalized accounting of some information in a recent news article. The drug cartels have been visiting poor villages and kidnapping young girls, forcing them into prostitution and selling them to buyers from all over the area. Families have their young daughters ripped out of their arms by these men, with no knowledge of their fate or if they will ever see them again. Some families began to dig holes in their homes in which to hide their daughters, but the cartels soon discovered this…and the hidden girls. Families are fleeing to bigger cities with their daughters, trying their best to protect them from these men. Please join us in prayer for those who have been kidnapped, their families, and those who are most at risk of being kidnapped. Also, please pray with us that God will bring conviction to not only the kidnappers, but also the buyers and the “johns” as well. Finally, please pray for those working to stop this horrific practice, that more girls need not know the fear of wondering if their turn will be today.

If you would like to know more about One Mission Society's ministry of human trafficking prevention, HOPE61, click here. If you'd like to talk with the director, Tom Overton, you can call 317.888.3333, ext. 333, or email toverton@onemissionsociety.org.

Tags: anti-human trafficking, human trafficking prevention, human trafficking, become a missionary, be a missionary, compassion ministry, HOPE61, trainingworld missions