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
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
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
March 7 2018
During this time of physical pain that has brought me back to the U.S. for a time, God has been showing me in Scripture about "greater things" (John 14:12-14) that He is doing, which I believe are eternal things. Physical healing is truly great, but God is also doing eternal things, in and through us, that are even greater.
Bruce and Mabel Callender, who started the OMS (One Mission Society) work in Mozambique, sent me a book about two of the founders of OMS, Charles and Lettie Cowman, The Story Behind Streams in the Desert, which is Lettie Cowman's journal during the last year of her husband Charles' life. (He died of cancer at the age of 56.)
What God continues to show me is that His higher thoughts and ways are for greater things, whether or not they include physical healing. We praise God for healing when it comes, in life or death, but we can know that He is doing eternal things. As I read the book, I was encouraged to see that Lettie had come to the same realization.
"There came to me today the thought which I believe was given me of God that there is something greater than healing for us. God may have a far deeper thought than just healing. We shall yet see it...God is using this affliction to teach us of Himself and when it is complete we shall find that we have more than healing." (L. Cowman)
I do believe that God will heal me in this life. It's hard to wait on Him, feel pain, and trust in His will, but I know that He is doing greater eternal things.
Charles and Lettie were living in Los Angeles at the time of Charles' death, where the OMS offices were. I recently visited the cemetery where they are buried to reflect and thank God for the extraordinary things He did through their lives, their suffering, and their faithfulness.
~Aimee Howarth, OMS missionary in Mozambique
March 5 2018
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.
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.
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
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.
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.