April 12 2019
In April 2018, ONE man attended a HOPE61 training program in Kiteezi, Uganda, to learn how to prevent
human trafficking in his area. In HOPE61 training,
participants learn what is causing people to be vulnerable to becoming involved
in human trafficking. They also learn that EVERYONE has assets, skills, and
resources to help those in their community who are vulnerable. This man
realized that young men in his community were vulnerable to becoming involved
in human trafficking because they were uneducated and unable to obtain good
employment to provide for their families. Many young men, in this situation,
end up seeking work overseas, and this is one of the easiest traps that
traffickers can use to enslave people.
This young man also knew that he had a skill for
furniture making and other types of woodworking. He decided to begin training
these young men in carpentry and furniture making skills as a way to reduce
their vulnerability to human trafficking. He opened a storefront and called
the business Blessed Furniture. At Blessed Furniture, these young men have
learned to make beds and dressers, as well as more detailed woodworking like
turning bowls and chalices on a lathe. They are making a good wage now and will
soon have the skills to open their own businesses. The activity around the
small shop is all based on the love of Jesus Christ, and the message of the
Gospel is being shared with the young men working there and many other people
who pass by the shop. This young man understood that as he ENGAGES ONE, HE IS ABLE TO REACH MANY.
There is a particular Muslim girl who is a
friend of one of the young men. She has been hanging around the shop with her
friend and hearing about the love of Jesus and his desire for all to be saved
by calling upon his name. Although she has not accepted this gift yet, she is
well on her way to welcoming Jesus into her life. This is what HOPE61 is all about. Encouraging people to use their own gifts and
resources to help those around them,
sharing the Gospel with them, and welcoming them into the community of the
local church to be discipled in the Word is the vision for the HOPE61 ministry.
By Tom Overton,
Director of HOPE61
November 22 2016
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
you’d like to give a Christmas gift this season to help with future HOPE61
trainings, give here.
Tom Overton, Director of HOPE61
August 30 2016
This is part 2 of a 5-part series of stories about millennials working in missions with OMS. This is part two of Anna's story. Anna served with OMS for two summers with HOPE61, our human trafficking prevention ministry.
have such a heart for justice and development. I am deeply burdened by the
issue of human trafficking, specifically because I know there are
vulnerabilities that could have been eradicated through prevention. I feel for
the marginalized, the impoverished, those chained by the sins of addictions.
The Lord has angered my heart about the ways in which the enemy has stolen
life. I desire to see the glory of God bring freedom to those in bondage of
oppression. I desire to see them free.
Because I know it is possible, and this is the will of the Lord. I don’t just
want to see those who have fallen victim to abuse to be set free, but the
abuser as well to come to be a new creation through the resurrection power of
their Savior, Jesus Christ. It’s amazing, the Lord gives you a passion, then
the refinement comes … and the passion you thought you had at the beginning
takes on a whole new, deeper look, one that you know you could not have
understood or thought of on your own prior to the Lord’s renewing of your
my time in the DR, God taught me how to work in community. He gave me a deeper
understanding of the Gospel. He gave me tools physically and spiritually to
fight the good fight. Through this OMS
internship, I learned more about what I believe, what it means to have faith,
about the issue of trafficking, what it looks like to work in ministry, and
what it looks like to do mundane and super-intense tasks. God is working in my
life by drawing me closer to him and equipping me for now and for what is to
come. And I get to work alongside his family, knowing and experiencing the
different members of the body. I get to know him deeper as he loves me.
favorite part of this whole experience was getting to explore more of the
culture and the country and to bond with the people as I learned their stories.
I have met people from different Latino countries and also many Dominicans. But
the best part has been getting to dive deeper into the Lord and his will for my
life, experiencing his refining, challenges, and love in a deeply life-transforming
way. But at the same time, that can also be the most challenging part. There is
a language barrier. There’s spiritual warfare and moments when you are just
reaching around in the dark. But the renewal of our minds needs to happen
daily. The armor of God is our battle weapons, and reminding yourself of who
sits on the throne is key.
been hard to see the poverty, to feel internal and external warfare. It’s been challenging
to have the Lord dig up roots that choke his fruit. It’s been challenging to
live by faith when you see the drugs, the prostitution, and sexual immorality on
all levels. It’s been challenging to make friends with those who do not speak
the language. But we have a hope that will never let us down. Jesus brings
light to the darkness. We may be hard pressed on all sides, struck down, but we
are not abandoned. And it’s weird that among all these challenges, the Lord’s
joy has been overwhelming; his peace, strength and provision have been
abundant. And when we see drug addicts dedicate their lives to Christ, women
who have engaged in prostitution learn that God loves them without strings
attached, when you see children fed and dance in full worship to the Lord, when
you see families being restored, when you see individuals realize they have the
capacity to implement their ideas through entrepreneurship and ministry, it is
more than worth going through this temporary pain and trouble. It may seem to
be happening slowly, but God is reaping the harvest.
children are being delivered from drug and alcohol addictions, from
prostitution, from sexual sin, from homelessness, from marginalization, from
starvation, from broken relationships, from fits of rage, lies, stealing, and
the list goes on. He is bringing hope and a home in him. He is bringing healthy
community and Christ-centered relationships into the lives of others in the
Dominican. It is definitely a process, and it can even get very discouraging at
times. But when you see amazing breakthroughs, you are deeply encouraged, even
if they are small. I’ve seen God work by bringing people to their Savior and
choosing to live a life for him.
is so good, and that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. And writing
this, I am convicted, because as his spirit overflows my soul with hope,
challenges are real. The battle is real. But we have the ability to set our
mind on the everlasting, eternal God.
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:
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.”
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….
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.
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 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.
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
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