Going Above and Beyond

September 21 2018

As I explained the vision of Hope61, One Mission Society’s human trafficking prevention ministry, to my new friend Amanda, she looked at me thoughtfully. We were paired together to practice support presentations with one another, but God had a bigger purpose for our meeting. When I finished my presentation, she said, “I think that our two ministries might be well-suited to work together. Do you have someone here in Tampa who could come and do your Hope61 training with our staff?” Um, no. Nor do we have someone in Florida who could do the training. Amanda was surprised when I told her, “If we can work out a training opportunity, I will come from Indiana to do it.”

As a homeland missionary with OMS … a missionary who works at the OMS World Headquarters … I have developed this work ethic, this understanding that we do what God is calling us to do to get the job done. And if that means I travel 1,000 miles to conduct training, then I do it.

For 16 years, I have assisted, worked with, and been helped by homeland missionaries in Finance, International Ministries, Human Resources, and my former department, Communications, just to name a few. Every day, I see ministry happening as homeland missionaries email and talk with field missionaries, helping them with a situation or a problem, or just getting them the resources they need to do ministry. I see missionaries working hard every day, going above and beyond what their job description states, to see the Gospel move forward throughout the world.

I have often heard field missionaries, in town while on home ministry assignment, speak in chapel, humbly thanking the homeland missionaries for all the hours we work, the time and effort we spend so that they have what they need on the field. And that humbles me. We are all called and equipped by God. It just so happens that some of us work outside of our home countries, and some of us work at the home office.

For this reason, when someone asks me where I work or what I do, I always respond, “I’m a missionary at One Mission Society.”

Tags: homeland missionary, hope61, kingdom work,

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,

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,

Young People Stepping Into Missions: Clarissa's Clear Call

September 20 2016

This is part 5 of a 5-part series of stories about millennials working in missions with OMS.

In God’s Word, the message that Jesus values children is evident. He says people must have a childlike heart. King Solomon highlights the joys of youth. Paul encourages young Timothy to set an example for believers everywhere in his ministry. The importance of young people is evident throughout the Bible. And it doesn’t just mention their importance, but it speaks of their responsibility. Just like other believers of other ages, Christian youth have a role to play in glorifying God and bringing his Good News to the world.

Fresh out of college, Clarissa Hunter has felt God calling her to the mission field in Budapest, Hungary. On the field, Clarissa will serve in communications and ministry coordination. As she begins the funding process, she is working at the OMS World Headquarters in Greenwood, Indiana, as the administrative assistant for Development and Marketing.

Clarissa’s journey started in 2014 when she interned for HOPE61, OMS’ human trafficking prevention ministry. She enjoyed that summer and considered applying for another OMS internship, seeking something she could do for a three-month period right after graduation. She found two internship options that interested her.

As she researched the two options, one of those in Hungary, Clarissa connected with Jonathan Long, the OMS field director for Hungary. She learned more about the vision for Hungary, the passion for transformation in that country, and the desire to come alongside the church in a supportive role to impact people’s lives. Clarissa was drawn to that vision, and after praying and thinking more about her decision, she chose the internship in Hungary.

Clarissa’s three months in Hungary was an affirming experience. She spent time writing and editing materials, helped mediate situations, and worked in teams to serve the Hungarian people. Who she was and what she liked to do seemed to line up perfectly with her jobs, and people recognized her God-given skills.

During Clarissa’s time there, Jonathan pitched the idea of her joining the Hungary team. At first, Clarissa was unsure if she should pursue that idea. Yet, before she even returned to the United States, she had applied to serve in Hungary and for a position at the OMS HQ. She soon had interviews lined up. Both of these interviews ended in success, as she was accepted to go to Hungary and also to work at headquarters during her funding and preparation process for the field.

Doors were flying open for Clarissa, but she still didn’t know what to do. Finally, she came to terms with the fact that she had subconsciously made her choice already to go to Hungary. It was almost as if, when she had left Budapest, she knew she would return. So, she jumped in and took the opportunity.

Currently, as she works at headquarters, Clarissa wants to invest her time where she is right now and to be present in this moment, focusing on her work here instead of always looking to Hungary. But when she does go to the mission field, she wants to continue to have that mentality, to be present in her work and choose to make the most of her time wherever God calls her.

Clarissa has a passion for understanding people and also helping people understand each other. She wants to reach out to those who are marginalized and connect with people who are overlooked by others. Her prayer is that God can work in and through her in Budapest, and also where she is now, to do this. She is thankful for the people that have helped her through this journey, and above all else she's thankful for God’s goodness in opening so many doors of opportunity for her.

As a young person stepping into missions, Clarissa encourages other young people to not let the vast opportunities keep them from choosing somewhere to serve. So many youth struggle with shutting down in response to an overload of information and tragedy, Clarissa said. Instead of letting that overwhelming feeling stop them from being involved somewhere, young people need to see what their God-given talents and skills are best suited for. Then, they need to choose a cause they care about and take steps to help others. The more involved you are, Clarissa added, the less focused you are on just yourself, which creates greater empathy and understanding about what is happening in the world.

Please pray for Clarissa as she works at OMS headquarters and prepares to serve in Hungary. Pray that she seeks to be present and relational, that her focus is on others, and that she chooses to always make the most of her time to serve people and God.

To learn more and to give to Clarissa, visit https://onemissionsociety.org/give/ClarissaHunter.

By Jess Mitchell, Communications Intern

Tags: mission call, hungary, serve, hope61, internship, intern, communications,

​Young People Stepping Into Missions: Anna’s Story

August 23 2016

This is part 1 of a 5-part series of stories about millennials working in missions with OMS. This is part one of Anna's story:

“One Mission Society When I applied to OMS last summer, my application went through, and I was accepted. But there was a catch … the internship was international. This decision was officially made after my application was sent into HOPE61. The Lord had a lot more in store than I had planned.”

One Mission Society’s (OMS) HOPE61 ministry welcomed Anna Ferri to the team in the summer of 2015 when she applied to work as an intern. Anna returned this summer 2016 to continue to work with HOPE61. She shares her story of how God called her to serve both at headquarters and abroad in the Dominican Republic….

I truly believe I got this position by the Lord’s grace. He opened the door to this awesome opportunity to serve alongside some of the most amazing, obedient servants of our King.

Last summer, OMS said that my internship was contingent upon whether or not I got accepted to work with Teen Challenge in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Teen Challenge Dominican Republic just partnered with HOPE61, and OMS was desiring to give an intern the opportunity to work in another country doing missions. When I found out that my internship was contingent upon this, I had peace. I knew the Lord was opening this door; and sure enough, in June of 2015 I was heading over to Santiago, Dominican Republic, as HOPE61’s first “international intern.”

Since I am an international development major, my school requires that we study abroad for a semester to gain hands-on experience in the field and deal with the challenges and blessings that cross-cultural experiences bring. When I met with my professor at school this past year, I had no idea what I was going to do for my overseas experience. I was not even thinking about OMS or the DR experience from the summer before. But then when I sat down to talk with him, it was as if the Lord began breaking my heart all over again for the ministry of Teen Challenge and the people of the Dominican. And I’ll be honest, I was fighting this desire. Although my time in the DR the summer before was a blessing, it was challenging, and the last thing I planned on was returning.

But I started getting excited and began to have passion for what the Lord was laying on my heart. Then I started sharing with my professor the development vision HOPE61 and Teen Challenge see for the Dominican and how Teen Challenge has been expressing their desire to deepen their ministry. Thinking I was somewhat crazy and unsure if this was from the Lord, I decided to ask and see what would happen if I proposed going there for my international experience. There were so many doors that needed to be opened for this plan, and I could not do it on my own. I not only had to get my school to approve my idea and trip, but I also had to be re-accepted by OMS. I had to share my vision with Tom. I had to fundraise. And finally, I had to ask Teen Challenge.

But then … the doors opened. I wanted to return to OMS because it was the place I knew the Lord drew to me the first time. With the way things lined up so perfectly this second time, I knew it was God continuing this work.

This summer has consisted of helping Tom and Tonya Overton around the OMS office, formatting and writing training material for HOPE61 (OMS human trafficking prevention ministry) training, and preparing for my time in the DR. I also enjoyed my ministry time in the DR with Teen Challenge. During my time there, the vision of both ministries was to combine and see how HOPE61 could come alongside Teen Challenge in furthering the development of the communities in the Dominican Republic.

Teen Challenge is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation ministry that works with people with any life-altering issues (drugs, alcohol, prostitution, anger, sexual addictions, suicide, etc.). We hope to be able to incorporate a curriculum that teaches about the prevention of human trafficking through program design, training students and leaders, and implementation. Our goal is to help students with re-entry into their communities with the right physical, spiritual, and emotional tools after graduating the program. They are currently receiving vocational training and discipleship classes through the ministry of Teen Challenge. The vocational training consists of learning skills like the art of jewelry making, agriculture, sewing burlap bags, selling coffee, and many other types of work. We desire to see their vulnerability to the exploitation of human trafficking, drug addiction, etc., to be diminished. Both HOPE61 and Teen Challenge hope to help them build a foundation that will ready them to integrate back into their communities as new creation who will shine their light for Christ and produce sustainable development efforts in the DR, winning the nation to Christ.

Tags: internship, hope61, human trafficking, dr, missions, teen challenge,

One Mission Stories "After the Show" - Joyce Oden

August 21 2014

We hope you enjoyed last night's (Sunday, Aug. 24) One Mission Stories, OMS' radio program, featuring OMS missionary Joyce Oden. Joyce and her husband Bill served for many years in the Philippines. They helped start a church that grew from 250 to 1,500 in just two years! They have also served in Ireland, as regional leaders in Europe, and at the OMS World HQ in leadership. Joyce founded the OMS ministry to help prevent human trafficking, HOPE61.

Everyone has a story ... enjoy Joyce'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! Check out the Facebook page.

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

PRAY: Pray for their health as they are aging. Also, pray for more workers for the harvest, especially for the Philippines.

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. If you'd like to purchase Joyce's book, Snapshots in Time, you can order here on Amazon or contact Barb.

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.

INFO: Tune in to next week's One Mission Stories to hear from OMS missionary Roger Kruse. Roger serves as a church multiplication facilitator for India and the South Pacific 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, missions, philippines, book, missionary,

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