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

Human Trafficking Prevention Starts By Entering Others’ Stories

September 17 2013

Human Trafficking Prevention Starts By Entering Others’ Stories

Today in Thailand there is a teenage boy who is one step away from entering the sex industry. Right now in the Philippines, there is a woman who is one choice away from being prostituted. They may be sitting on the street, begging for change, driven to desperation but hanging on by one last thread. If we saw them, if we knew they were just one choice away, would we be able to prevent it?

Many of us choose to avert our eyes when we see someone helpless or begging on the streets. Because something happens when we look. When we make eye contact with someone, we experience a connection. Looking (really looking) at the person in need causes us to enter into their situation. It forces us to feel something for them. It compels us to act because we become part of their story.

I wrote a newsletter a year ago talking about the Zulu tribe of South Africa. They understand this concept of seeing people. In their native greetings, they say “Sawubona,“ meaning “I see you,” and the other person responds “Ngihkona,” literally, “I am here to be seen.”

The inherent meaning in the Zulu response is “by recognizing me, you brought me into existence.” When they see a person and greet them, they are looking deep into them and acknowledging their humanity, their personality, their dignity.

Everyone has a story. In Acts 3, Peter and John encountered a beggar and chose to enter his situation. Verse 4 says, “Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then, Peter said, ‘Look at us!’” They saw him. Not only that, they made sure the man saw them also. They entered his story, and invited him to enter theirs. In that moment, the kingdom of heaven invaded earth. A man who couldn’t take a step could now leap and run!

He’d expected to receive silver and gold. But he received something more priceless than that. He was seen, he was healed, and because he looked at Peter and John, he entered the Story of Jesus.

We can’t prevent people from being trafficked and exploited unless we are willing to enter into their stories. We can’t bring physical and spiritual healing unless we are willing to enter into their stories. And we aren’t really setting them free unless we also invite them to enter into the greatest Story of all.

 --Bethany Ury, OMS missionary, funding to serve with HOPE61 in Thailand

We are currently looking for more people to expand this ministry overseas. If you or someone you know may be interested in this ministry, contact Brent in our Mobilization Department at: bmorrell@onemissionsociety.org.

Tags: anti-human trafficking, be a missionary, become a missionary, HOPE61, life changing story, missions in thailand, one mission society, short-term mission tripworld missions

Preventing Human Trafficking in Mozambique

April 15 2013

Preventing Human Trafficking in Mozambique

We recently received an email from an OMS national coworker in Mozambique that encouraged those of us serving with HOPE61. It read, in part:

We have all had the opportunity to read and learn about the vision of HOPE61 through various publications, including the latest OMS Outreach magazine. Our missionary colleague, Aimee Howarth, also brought us details about this ministry in June 2012.

Considering the realities and issues facing Mozambique, we believe that the vision of HOPE61 is very relevant and much needed. As a field, we want to express our interest in the development of the HOPE61 vision here in Mozambique.

The African continent is faced with many of the root causes of human trafficking. Poverty, large family size, lack of educational opportunities, unemployment, low status of women and children, and a lack of awareness all help to fuel the trafficking of Africans into Europe and to other parts of the world.

HOPE61's vision:

HOPE61 seeks to PREVENT the spread of and, ultimately, eliminate the issue of trafficked and enslaved humans in our world today by bringing the message of eternal salvation to those that are involved or vulnerable to become involved in human trafficking across the world. One Mission Society sends missionaries to work with the national church denomination or other church contacts to train and equip nationals to combat this issue, through PREVENTION of it, in a culturally appropriate and relevant way with intentional evangelism of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and continuing discipleship to these groups of lost people.

The need is present and obvious, but we need people to go to Mozambique to fulfill the vision of HOPE61 there.

Is God calling YOU to GO to Mozambique to serve as an OMS missionary with HOPE61? Contact OMS for more information.

Tags: anti-human trafficking, be a missionary, become a missionary, HOPE61, missions, missions in africa, world missionsmissions in mozambique

Catching the Missions Vision

March 6 2013

Catching the Missions Vision

“I just need to catch the vision.” said J.

That morning, I’d had coffee with A. He and his wife J. are interested in serving with OMS in the South Pacific. A. is a worship pastor, and J. is considering HOPE61. Her husband’s heart has been captured after several trips to the South Pacific, but J. has only made the trip once. They had me over for supper that evening to discuss HOPE61’s mission in greater detail. After watching the HOPE61 video, we each shared our stories of God’s calling. J. is a sweet, godly woman, willing to go to the South Pacific again and be given the same burden that her husband feels. I asked her to pray that, on this trip, God will reveal how He could use HOPE61 there.

I’ve been in Australia just three weeks, but God began His work through HOPE61 long before my arrival. He spoke to A. and J., and I believe He’s speaking to more people who I have yet to meet. HOPE61 in Australia starts with Australians like A. and J. whose hearts are open to God’s call that they would, “Learn to do justice...” (Isaiah 1:17). 

God can do more than we could ever ask or imagine, and I trust Him to do that in my four months “Down Under.” He can raise up an OMS Australia prayer warrior with a special burden for HOPE61. He can raise up several new OMS missionaries called to serve with HOPE61. He can increase hope and justice here. 

Whether you’re Australian or French, American or Mexican, God asks all His people to care for those vulnerable to slavery. Is God calling you to serve with HOPE61 as we work together to prevent human trafficking? Are you called to GO?

―Emily Rinehart, OMS missionary, serving with HOPE61 in Australia for four months, then to Ireland

Tags: anti-human trafficking, HOPE61, missions, become a missionarybe a missionary

Go Hard Until You Go Home!

February 21 2013

Go Hard Until You Go Home!

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Rock and Worship Tour in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was excited to worship God with 12,000 other people in that environment, one that I had never experienced before. I was excited to worship with Mercy Me, Jeremy Camp and Kutless, but I had not heard of the other groups that were scheduled. Little did I know that one of the groups, a Christian rapper named Tedashii, would leave an indelible message on my heart.

Now rap is certainly not my preference when it comes to musical style. If I were to be honest, I would confess that I would not have even understood what Tedashii was saying unless the words were on the huge screen behind him. But as these words, “Go hard until you go home” were repeated over and over by this artist, my heart was absolutely burdened by his message. As the director of a human trafficking prevention ministry with a global focus, the magnitude of the human trafficking issue can easily become overwhelming and hopeless.

As I prayed and meditated on the words of Tedashii that night, I was reminded in a powerful way that God has already called those who believe in the atoning work of Christ on the cross home. We are already members of the eternal kingdom of heaven, but we still have work to do here. Jesus Christ was the perfect model of these words. He went hard until He went home! The great news for us today is that before He went home, He promised His disciples and all those who believe, that He will go with us as we work. We do not work, therefore, through our own abilities, talents or effort. We work through the power of Jesus Christ to whom all authority on heaven and earth has been given!

I am resolute in believing that through His power, we can prevent human trafficking from happening in our world. Not reduce it or lessen it, but END it forever! In the words of William Wilberforce, “Our motto must continue to be perseverance. And ultimately I trust the Almighty will crown our efforts with success.” 

God sent His Son to die for us as undeserving sinners. He gave us life when we deserved death. Will you be radical in your reflection of that gift? I encourage you to Go Hard Until You Go Home!

Tom Overton, director of HOPE61, OMS’ human trafficking prevention ministry

Tags: anti-human traffickingHOPE61

Breaking the Cycle of Human Trafficking

February 13 2013

Breaking the Cycle of Human Trafficking

From August 2011 - June 2012, I had the privilege of working at a coffee shop ministry in Bangkok, Thailand, reaching out to ladyboys (transvestites) in the sex industry. Along with doing outreach in the bars to encourage ladyboys to leave the sex industry, I also did some prevention work. Part of this was through my relationship with Dom, a boy living in the slums. Dom demonstrated feminine traits, and because of this, he was often ridiculed and labeled a ladyboy by the kids in his village. It was clear that he was insecure and confused about his identity. Our purpose in spending time with Dom was to mentor him and encourage him to look to God for his identity, rather than to his peers.

Almost every week, another volunteer and I would meet Dom in a park nearby his home. We would practice English with him, play badminton and read the Bible. Dom was ecstatic when we bought him his own children’s Bible, full of fun pictures. One of my favorite memories with Dom is celebrating his 12th birthday at an amusement park near the mall. He said he had never celebrated his birthday before. It was so rewarding to see the big smile on his face as he ate a slice of chocolate cake and opened a few gifts. 

I wanted to have deeper conversations with Dom, to figure out what was really going on inside him and offer some advice and encouragement. But Dom didn’t always understand my choppy Thai, and he spoke little English. A Thai guy from the ministry was able to do what I couldn’t and have some significant conversations with Dom. Dom didn’t have a lot of guidance from the men in his family, so this was really pivotal for him.

When it came time for me to leave Thailand, I wondered what would happen to Dom. I was worried that without much spiritual guidance, he would lose sight of his identity. However, since being back in the U.S., I’ve heard that Dom has been very involved with a ministry for youth not far from his home. He’s been going weekly to learn more about the Bible and to spend time with the Christian guys there. I was so pleased to hear this! I believe that God has an amazing plan for Dom’s life, and will continue to place mentors around him to help him through his adolescence.

There are many “Doms” in Thailand. In a city like Bangkok, soaked in immorality, there are more young boys struggling with their sexuality and identity than ever before. With the prevalence of prostitution comes great temptation for young men and women, whether by working in the industry themselves or being a customer. Even if every red-light district was shut down overnight, prostitution would still creep its way back into existence simply because of the fact that hearts have yet to be changed. If we want to change the fruit we see, we have to change the roots. We have to look at what is causing the problem, and take action to prevent it before it happens. Our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood, it’s against spiritual forces. Instilling godly values and purity in young men like Dom is one of the first steps we can take in setting the next generation of Thais on fire for God.

-Bethany Ury

Note: Bethany is currently raising funds to return to Thailand as on OMS missionary to serve with HOPE61, our ministry to train and empower the Church to prevent human trafficking.

Tags: missions, anti-human trafficking, missions in thailandHOPE61