The worldwide shut down caused by the COVID-19 virus continues, although breaks are starting to appear in the cloudy skies. I pray and hope that we are nearing the end of widespread isolation and quarantine across the globe. At HOPE61, we have been using this time to work on many important projects and plans. It has been a blessing to have time to complete these projects that we were having difficulty finding time to complete in the rapid pace of pre-quarantine training loads. But while it has been good to accomplish these things, my heart breaks for millions of people who are living lives of extreme vulnerability to human trafficking and those who are already confined within the evil grasp of this worldwide scourge.
As the pandemic eases and we are able to resume travel and trainings, HOPE61 is committed to being on the front lines. Human trafficking thrives in times and places of economic and political instability, where people are desperate for money and jobs and governments are ill-equipped or uninterested in helping the people. A tremendous number of new people will be at great risk for becoming involved in human trafficking as things begin to return to whatever normal will be in the days ahead.
The church has the best opportunity to provide real hope to those in need, but the church must be equipped to confront this evil well. HOPE61 trainings do just that, providing the community with a much-needed resource to prevent human trafficking. While we have mostly shut down our trainings due to the pandemic, we are prepared to ramp up and restart the trainings quickly. HOPE61 trainers in Uganda, Spain, Haiti, the United States and other countries in the world are standing by and ready to provide churches with what they need to reduce vulnerability to human trafficking in their communities once things open up. As soon as government and health officials lift restrictions, we will begin the trainings once again. The opportunity is soon approaching, and HOPE61 is ready!
By Tom Overton, HOPE61 Global Director