Friday in New Zealand was spent at the OMS New Zealand headquarters. OMS New Zealand has a beautiful office with plenty of room for meetings like the one planned for that night.
After praying about it, I decided to keep the meeting informal. Instead of me just talking about HOPE61 and human trafficking prevention, I thought it would be better to discuss. After Avalon & Owen (incoming OMS NZ directors) introduced me, we showed the HOPE61 video.
I was so pleased at the turn out. Not only were there long-time OMS supporters, but there were also three younger men. This is really exciting because injustice is so often taken up as a cause by women, but not as quickly by men. HOPE61 would love to send men overseas as well as women, and when it comes to prevention, men are an important place to start.
Following the video I sat down and began discussion on human trafficking. What have you heard about it? What causes it? Where does it happen and who is at risk – of being trafficked, becoming a trafficker, or buying slavery? The wide range of age and experience led to a great variety of questions and opinions. We talked about human trafficking in western countries like the US, Australia, and New Zealand, and how legalized prostitution always leads to a rise in human trafficking.
Eventually I moved the discussion to response and how HOPE61 is involved. Because so many were already familiar with OMS, I took some time to explain our place in the OMS family. HOPE61 is a ministry of One Mission Society and, though we’re young, we’re an important member of the team. It feels so good to see people understand HOPE61’s vision and get excited about what God is doing in us and the rest of OMS.
Since I’ve been in Australia/New Zealand, I’ve been able to clarify HOPE61’s role to many OMS supporters, prayers, and even other missionaries. Some of these missionaries are in countries where HOPE61 particularly looks forward to working, and it’s amazing to be a part of laying the ground work. If the current OMS missionaries in a place understand HOPE61, then when God sends HOPE61 trainers to join the team in that country, they will receive much more support. Never, ever, did I think that I would have a role like this. But thinking about what this could mean for the future…for HOPE61 in other countries…is making me crazy with excitement!
Since I’ve been in Australia it’s become a new, strong dream for me to see a prayer leader and a HOPE61 team leader in every office of every affiliate country.
I am seeing why God brought me here, at this time.
Every OMS Australia missionary is coming home from the field this year!
We wrapped up the meeting in New Zealand with prayer time. Each person received a paper listing seven prayer requests for HOPE61, from Lauren & Beka in the Philippines to Bethany funding for Thailand to what’s happening in Australia & the US. We split into four groups of 3 or 4 and spent some time in prayer.
The meeting officially ended with Owen delivering an incredible call to GO. Owen speaks quietly but with intense conviction. He called upon the young men to take the time to pray and genuinely ask God if they are called to GO with HOPE61. If I wasn’t already called to Go, I think I might have been after that!
Everyone enjoyed coffee and dessert and I had the chance to talk with several attendees. I’m really encouraged by how God spoke to them and moved their hearts during that time. When people asked what they could do I responded with the three things OMS asks every Christian to consider: Go, Give, Pray.
Twice, something amazing happened.
At different times two different people came to me with a word of knowledge from God for me. I’ve received words from God, sometimes for others, but I’ve not had people come to me like they did that night.
I’d had the chance to talk a little about my vision for Ireland and to share why that country weighs so heavily on my heart. One person told me God gave them a word, showing people being released and healed from the injustices holding them back, just taking off. (When I’m in Ireland and having a rough day, wondering why I’m even there, I want to remember this.)
The second person told me he saw the Holy Spirit filling me up and flowing out. He added that he saw the color blue. “I don’t know if that means anything to you, but that’s what I saw.” At the time, I didn’t think much of the blue. THEN.
Kiana and I returned to our motel room and were chilling out by the TV, tired from a long day of preparation and an adrenaline filled evening. And I remembered.
On the plan from Melbourne to Auckland I was begging God.
I needed New Zealand to be an amazing trip. I just needed it to break through barriers I felt up against but wasn’t sure how to break.
“Please give me your Holy Spirit,” I prayed. “I need it. Like a lot. I need it completely filling me. I can’t do anything on my own.”
My words felt inadequate to express the intensity of my need, but that’s all I could do.
During that prayer time I’d thought of the book “Heaven is For Real,” and how the Holy Spirit is seen as a blue fire ‘shooting down from heaven.’ So I’d added to my prayer, “Fill me with blue fire.”
Yes. Blue DOES mean something to me.
I am so grateful and still reeling from the way God chose to confirm my calling to missions and my place in Australia & New Zealand. And the way He reminded me of my sanctification, and His hand upon HOPE61.
Thank you so much for praying and sending me encouraging emails and Facebook notes before & during the trip! Your prayers are so powerful. God hears you!
So what does HOPE61 look like in the future of OMS New Zealand?
While I’m in Australia, my responsibilities will include keeping in contact with those interested. The OMS NZ office is keen to grow HOPE61 and I’m really grateful for their support. I will Skype, email, and do whatever I need to do to see HOPE61 grow there. And I trust God that it will and already is.
Life is hard. But it’s beautiful, too.
This week on the blog…
Tomorrow. – “The Dingo & the Baby” (promised post on Australian culture)
Thur. – “Boys and Love and Stuff” (just that)
Fri. – “Whereupon God Speaks and I Don’t Want to Hear it” (News for you, faithful reader)