This summer I have the opportunity to work with One Mission Society in Greenwood, IN and intern with their human trafficking prevention sub-organization Hope61. I am super excited for this opportunity to learn more about this specific issue and how I can use my gifts and abilities to help fight it, but I am also looking forward to being in an atmosphere that will give me a better understanding of missions and what it means to serve others in fufilling Christ's great commission to "make disciples of all nations."
Yet I realize that without the support of others, this task will be difficult. I am thankful for the emotional support of many people who have helped me through the preparation process so far but request continued support as I prepare and leave for Indiana. I would greatly appreciate prayers as I am immersed in a new working environment, as well as support to cover the finances associated with my internship.
What is Hope61?
Hope61 works within the United States promoting awareness of the issues of sex and labor trafficking, as well as sending missionaries overseas who work on the empowerment of both men and women in areas with large trafficking industries. It takes it's name from Isaiah chapter 61 (vs. 1-3 are below):
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
The passage which it adopts its name from provides a strong basis for the mission of the organization: working towards the healing of those who are quite literally "bound, prisoners, or captives", and doing so in order to glorify the Lord. There are other organizations with equally-important roles in combating this issue (including, but not limited to, advocacy and helping victims re-gain a quality of life). Yet, I found this focus of Hope61's to be relatively unique. Hope61 attempts to stop this injustice by focusing on limiting attitudes which encourage trafficking while simultaneously sharing the gospel with others.
More information can be found at www.onemissionsociety.org/hope61.
What will you be doing?
As an intern for the organization, I will be trained on the issues of trafficking and what our role is in responding to them. The organization strives to use each individual employee's unique talents in promoting awareness of trafficking. In past years, interns have visited area churches to talk about trafficking, worked on the development of curricula to be used by missionaries both in the US and overseas, etc. One communications intern even created the video above as his way of helping spread awareness of the issue!
What is human trafficking?
Human trafficking is slavery. Three main types of trafficking are prevalent in today's society worldwide: sex trafficking, labor trafficking, and organ trafficking. All three involve the exploitation of people against their will, usually for financial gain. The UN states in their description of the issue that traffickers typically use force, coercion, or fraud to bring slaves into the industry. Contrary to popular belief, this injustice is seen even within the United States.
If you have a half hour or so to learn more about the complexities of this issue, I recommend Not My Life- a documentary comissioned by UNICEF to educate others about trafficking (the condensed version can be found on YouTube).
How can I help?
I would greatly appreciate your support, whether it be financial or by praying for me while I am interning this summer. One Mission Society is a non-profit faith-based organization, which means that it is funded solely through individuals and churches. Support raised for my internship will go towards my salary/ living expenses and organizational ministry expenses.
If you would like to support me with a financial donation, you can also do so by going directly to One Mission Society's "express giving" website (here) and put my name and project number (802502) when prompted where donations are going. This should read "802502- Victoria Finch". Checks payable to One Mission Society can also be mailed to me at 166 DeSeyn Drive, Canandaigua, NY 14424.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at [email protected]