Creative Business Prevents Trafficking
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 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 work like bowls and chalices, which they turn 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 man understood that as he ENGAGES ONE, HE IS ABLE TO REACH MANY.
A particular Muslim girl 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 the vision for the ministry of HOPE61: encouraging people to use their abilities, talents, and resources to build relationships with those around them, sharing the Gospel, and welcoming those people into the community of the local church to be discipled in the Word.
By Tom Overton, Director of HOPE61