Engaging in Human Trafficking Prevention
In the recently released film, Sound of Freedom, we see a man’s determination to fight human trafficking, specifically child sex trafficking, by rescuing children who have been victimized in this terrible crime. Many people, including Christians, are walking away from it feeling angry, shocked, and helpless. Many are also asking, “But what now? What can I do about it?”
HOPE61, the human trafficking prevention ministry of One Mission Society, recognizes that while a few people do have the skills and resources to rescue a victim of human trafficking, most people do not. We also know that God has given a wide variety of other talents, gifts, resources, and skills to every Christian in every church around the world. And we believe that we can all use those talents and resources to connect with people who are vulnerable to becoming involved in trafficking, whether as a victim, a buyer, or a trafficker.
In 2016, the United Nations estimated that only 1 out of every 100 victims of human trafficking are rescued. That’s 1 percent. But what if all 100 victims in this statistic were reached by Christians who shared the love of Christ with them before they ever became a victim? What if the people who were buying and selling them were loved into the Body of Christ and never created and fulfilled the demand for cheap labor, services, and commercial sex?
Why is HOPE61 a prevention ministry?
- Because of the young woman who was making plans to accept an offer of a “good job.” Her pastor helped her realize it was a scam, and she now supports herself by sewing and selling beautiful dresses. She also tells everyone she meets about Jesus and invites them to her church.
- Because of the two men who confessed that they were, the very next day, planning to begin trafficking fellow human beings. Instead, they accepted Christ and were changed from the inside out.
- Because of the mom who recognized the signs of someone attempting to “recruit” her daughter. She was able to explain to her daughter about the tricks that some traffickers use to lure young people into a trafficking situation.
These three examples, which took place in three different countries, have one common denominator: someone in each situation had attended a HOPE61 ENGAGE training. The purpose of an ENGAGE training is to inform and equip; we inform churches about human trafficking and discuss what it looks like in their communities, and we equip those churches to address the vulnerabilities they see there. Once a church body understands how God wants us to live in community and how they can use what he has already equipped them with, then they can go out into their own community and begin to make a difference in the lives of many people.
At our core, HOPE61 is an evangelism and discipleship catalyst aimed directly at those who are vulnerable to becoming involved in human trafficking. God’s will, we know, is for people to come to him, repent, and believe. And we know, because we’ve seen it happen, that when the body of Christ cares for people in their community, vulnerability is reduced, and trafficking is prevented.
Are you asking yourself, “What now? What can I do about human trafficking? How can my church make an impact in our community?” If so, contact us today to schedule an ENGAGE training at your church, and be prepared to see how God moves through your church and your community.
Lori McFall, HOPE61 Trainer