Last month I turned twenty six, and half of the year is gone. For my teammates and I the month of July also signals a change of direction. In January I shared my vision for the first half of the year. In one word, strength. Or to put it another way, ensuring that we were equipped to do our jobs properly. My teammates in Australia and New Zealand agreed with these goals and we spent the past few months “sharpening our tools.” We made a New Zealand-specific brochure, familiarized ourselves with the HOPE61 training curriculum, “translated” the training from American English to Australian/New Zealander English (That’s a real thing, people.) and more. I’ll detail how strengthening differed between countries in my upcoming June/July newsletter, so look for that in your mailbox or inbox.
Our 2016 Action Plan Summary:
“In order to strengthen and grow HOPE61 Australia & New Zealand, 2016 ministry will be guided by prayer, connections, training, and mobilisation.”
Prayer and connections were two things that especially came up as we strengthened. Now, our eyes turn toward a new word: grow. With that, training and mobilization are on the table.
The HOPE61 training curriculum – which comes in a few forms: high school, 1-day, 3-day intensive – is the key tool with which we seek to equip the global Church to prevent human trafficking. This curriculum informs, studies our role as Christians, assesses vulnerability factors, and guides the participants to create an action plan. It also gives us a chance to follow up with people who create an action plan. We can hear their stories and be available as a supportive resource. As you’ll read in other posts on this blog, it takes connections and relationship for a church or group to agree to take this training.
In Australia and New Zealand I’ve spent a lot of time trying to build a network of people that may eventually participate in this training. Other good things have happened, but the training itself has not been used as much. Following the strengthening phase, holding training sessions is important. One of my teammates in Australia has been able to schedule a training in Queensland this August, a great start to this goal. Two of my New Zealander teammates have been asked to speak in Thames and Hamilton, both places on the North Island, which could open the way for more training as well.
In order to maintain an effective ministry of human trafficking prevention, it is important to think long-term. Mobilization is a way to do this, establishing workers who will continue the ministry, and also creating a “for the future generations” mindset in our current teams. Our 2016 plan involves mobilizing Australians and New Zealanders to serve both in-country and abroad. When it comes to sending people overseas, I’d like to be strategic. Six countries have come up as possessing considerably fewer evangelical Christians than Australia or New Zealand. Two of the countries are European.
I think this may be a way God is using my 19-year-old burden for Europe, but I’ll wax eloquent on that in a separate post. I’d like us to work with OMS Australia and OMS New Zealand not only so that more missionaries are sent out, but so we continue to become an integral part of these OMS branches. I’m excited that we are already on the way with this goal, too. The New Zealander woman who I first met almost three years ago has started her application process to join HOPE61 in New Zealand!
In addition to training and mobilization as key facets of the growing phase, I’ll continue my coaching sessions so that I can develop as a coordinator. HOPE61 Aus/NZ will also work on intentional promotion and fundraising. (Again, establishing sustainable ministry that can rely on funds and support from Australia and New Zealand – not only from one source, the US branch.) Each month an element of the strengthening phase will be on my radar to ensure that we keep up with what has been planted in the first half of this year.
Please keep praying for me, and my teammates. Hopefully I can catch up on some blogging soon as I have a few good stories to tell.