“I wasn’t close to it,” said Doris Waters. “I thought it was for the courts.” After joining Hope61staff, her perspective on justice changed. Even though “justice doesn’t always happen in this life,” Doris has learned to recognize prayer as a way any Christian can fight injustice. Justice is “when evil people are punished…[and] there’s comfort in knowing God is justice.”
Doris first heard Hope61’s director speak in their Sunday school class at a local church. Her interest was piqued but she wanted to be sure before committing. After three “table talks” – when Hope61 comes to a home or event for an informal discussion on trafficking and how to get involved in fighting it – and further prayer, Doris felt God’s confirmation. “Every time I was a little more convinced.” she said.
Volunteering with One Mission Society and Hope61 in particular has been a part of Doris’s belief that Jesus Christ makes all the difference. He should be the reason Christians look at exploitation and move to do something about it.
Hope61 office life for Doris has included calling churches, contacting youth leaders and other church leaders, and placing three Hope61 interns for the summer. She also made sure the proper books and materials got to each of the five people who attended Hope61 training in June. Doris sees the past year as great experience that will be used to improve her work in the next year.
Despite working in a positive atmosphere like OMS headquarters, trafficking and abuse can soon weigh on a person’s heart. Doris said she approaches this work with the attitude that “every bit that is done…is very important” and it simply must be done. Doris added that it is key to realize “This is an area that may take some time really to show results.”
When it seems like giving up would be easier the word “hope” keeps her going. “And a firm belief that every little step is a step towards its resolution.” added Doris.
Hope61’s scripture, Isaiah 61, is a portion of the Bible that best speaks to Doris’s heart on justice and dignity.
“Instead of your shame you shall have double honor,
and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.
Therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs.”
Isaiah 61:7 (NKJV)
Doris defines freedom as “having choices that you are free to make on your own.” This is something that trafficked men, women, and children worldwide do not have – but could. Doris pointed out Hope61’s goal: “Release. Redeem. Restore.”
Hope61 approaches human trafficking with the ambition to plant seeds through prevention and education. If slaves will be freed, we must recognize who is enslaving them. It’s not only the traffickers, pimps, and john that we envision as an ocean away. It’s us, in our silence…unless we become vulnerable; open to any possibility in which our righteous God wants to use us. His love is unfailing.
Hope61’s motto is: Release. Redeem. Restore. How can you offer yourself to God for those three actions?