Transformed by HIS Love in Loja, Ecuador

June 27 2017

About a year ago, I went with another OMS missionary to check on our short-term missionaries working in the province of Loja, Ecuador. It was a trip we made regularly to encourage our short termers. We didn’t know that this visit would be a God-divine appointment.

A short time after arriving at the short termers’ house, we heard a knock at the door. Dario and Isaac, two friends of our short-term missionaries, were welcomed inside. They sat down and began to ask questions about God. They asked us to share more with them, thus beginning their faith journey.

Fast forward 12 months and the roles have shifted. Our team of 8 now lives in Loja. Recently, I was sitting in the home of Dario’s family, listening to him share about the Scriptures. He presented the plan of salvation and led two family members and a neighbor to Christ. Dario is the director of one of the main schools in town and is using his position to spread the Gospel. He has been inviting the students' parents to come together and listen to us (OMS Loja missionaries) share about godly parenting. He is casting a vision for children and youth programming so that all ages can be reached for Christ.

Why such a difference? Shortly after we began regularly meeting with Dario and his wife, Dayana, we learned that she was having trouble getting pregnant. In a culture where family is everything, a couple with no children was considered damaged goods. They shared their hearts with us, and we prayed together. We assured them that they were valued and important to Christ.

A few weeks ago, when our missionaries arrived for the discipleship meeting, Dayana had a sweet smirk on her face. As greetings were passed around, she motioned for her husband to look at the paper on the coffee table. Right there, the team and Dario found out that Dayana was pregnant!

Dayana and Dario did not choose to ask Christ into their lives to get what they wanted. They asked Christ into their lives so that they could be transformed by his love. They went from brokenness to restoration. After giving their all to Christ, they received the desires of their heart.

God is at work in Loja Province. This is just one story of how God is moving in the hearts of his people. Sometimes, the progress is quite slow; sometimes, the progress seems to come in like a rushing river. Please continue to pray for workers to help us reach a province full of hungry people searching for the truth of God’s Word.

By OMS Ecuador missionary, BJ Williamson

Tags: loja, ecuador, short-term missions, discipleship, following god,

Doors Open at the Right Time: Summer Intern Relies on God

June 23 2017

"I had prayed for a long time that God would just open the right doors and shut the wrong ones. I prayed for God to put me in situations where I would have no other choice but to trust in him."

And that’s how God intervened in Maranda Grabbe's life and brought her to OMS as the Missionary Care intern for the summer. It’s clear to see that her passion for people was instilled into her heart by God the minute she was born. Having gone through her own trials and hardships over the years, she found herself wanting to pour into others who were going through similar things. Maranda shared how important it is to have someone to lean on because "it was very evident when I was lacking those people to cling to." It is for this reason that she is finishing a degree in Christian Counseling at Central Christian College of the Bible in Moberly, Missouri.

God recently revealed in her a passion for missions, for reaching the lost and the broken. Nearly a year ago, she and some friends were provided an opportunity to visit Greece on a mission trip. Maranda felt herself being called to this mission trip, but she had to acknowledge that she was struggling with various personal issues. She shared how contradictory her emotions were in these moments. She was deeply happy for her friends and the good work they would do, while equally disappointed that she couldn't help serve others. She knew, however, that she first needed to explore where her anxiety and depression were coming from, and learn how to give them up to God. But this desire to serve in Greece was placed on her heart for a reason, and she didn't let it go. With hard work, dedication, and prayer, she was able to serve in Greece just two months ago.

But she didn’t accomplish this on her own. “God had been working on me,” she shared. The mission trip to Greece "changed my life and wrecked my world." When the time came to choose an internship, Maranda wasn’t sure what it would mean to volunteer her entire summer to a mission, but she relied on God for the decision.

This reliance on God, the one who provides and protects, led Maranda to choose OMS.

“I love how welcoming and caring everyone is. They are truly happy to have me here serving with them, and it has been very encouraging knowing that."


By Mykaela Alvey, Summer Communications intern

Tags: internship, summer intern, counseling, missionary care, servant heart,

​Not Alone: Maria's Story

June 16 2017

Down a steep, one-lane, curvy mountainous dirt road, across a little river, and up the other side sits a little adobe and wooden farm house. There are chickens, ducks, dogs, and kittens running around the yard. A hammock, table, and bench are on the little porch. Our friend Maria is always ready to welcome us.

We met Maria last May when she heard about the medical team that was in Chaguarpamba. On her paper she marked that she would like to receive a visit from us. The first time we went, we weren’t sure how to find her house. After asking around, we were told, “to go down the road and, where you see the big tree, that is where her home is.”

Maria used to live in Guayaquil, but when her parents were sick, Maria moved back to their house to take care of them until they passed, leaving her the farm. One day, she told us about her sisters in Guayaquil and how they were Christians. She shared that she used to enjoy going with them and hearing God’s Word. She prayed with us to dedicate her life to Christ and shared how her heart breaks for others who place their faith in idols that can't help them. She feels alone because no one near her has faith in Christ. I handed her a little card with spaces to be filled with seven names for people God places on her heart to pray for. She was excited to be able to play a part, through prayer, in the lives of people she cares about. Every time we go and share a Bible story with her and ask if we can pray for her she answers, “Sure!”

We loved being a part of bringing the Good News to her, and we hope to eventually plant a church she can invest in.

Maria's generous heart means we rarely leave her place empty handed. Even though she doesn’t have a steady income, she always has something to share, like papayas, oranges, and bananas. She invites us to go with her to pick the fruit that she wants us to take home. It is her way of saying thank you.

We are praying that Maria will have the boldness to generously share Christ like she shares her fruit; that her family, friends, and neighbors will know her by her willingness to share Christ; and that one day, there will be a church out in this little farming community of Achiotes.

By Jennifer Riggs, OMS missionary, Loja, Ecuador

Tags: loja, ecuador, ministry, missions, evangelism, unreached,

A Sense of Home at OMS: Summer Intern Fits in

June 15 2017

"I always knew I had a heart for international people, for helping others, nurturing them and loving and caring for them … that's when I really found my faith and my identity in Christ …"

Devondra Wakefield is taking her passion for people and applying it in the Human Resources Department of One Mission Society. She is serving as a mobilizer this summer, a job that compliments her major of Missions and Ministry at Kentucky Christian University.

Devondra grew up in a home that wasn't always focused on Christ, but she was fortunate enough to have an aunt who always invested in her spiritually. Devondra reflected on her search for Christ, "I didn't really grow up in a household where Christ was the center … where we talked about Christ, [or] where I learned anything about Christ, so anything outside of the prior knowledge I already had, I had to go seek." And that's exactly what she did on June 2, 2013, when she was saved and gave her life to Christ.

Upon graduating from high school, she made the decision to seek a nursing degree at Kentucky Christian University, but God had other plans about her future career. After spending two years in the nursing program, Devondra noticed God closing doors that led to her becoming a nurse. As a result of this, she made the split-second decision to change her major to Ministry with a focus in Missions.

Every ministry student at KCU is asked to fulfill an internship before graduation. It was this requirement that led Devondra to the International Conference of Missions (ICOM). She quickly saw that there were many organizations who were not keen on giving Devondra information on what she would be doing, except for one. Devondra talks about how throughout the entire day she just kept bumping into Heather, one of OMS' Mobilization workers, and it made an impact on her. Devondra felt a sense of home when she was talking with OMS, something she didn't feel with the other organizations. She reflected, "I really felt like I was wanted and someone really cared about my spiritual journey."

It was this feeling of "home" that brought Devondra to serve with the OMS this summer.

"OMS is a team that is always willing to walk alongside other coworkers, missionaries, and those coming to Christ."

Tags: internship, summer intern, missions, mission organization, hr, mobilizer,

​Bread and Fish

June 13 2017

“Jennifer! Jennifer!” I heard my name being shouted. I turned around to see a nine-year-old girl with her New Testament open. “Look, I found the memory verse in my Bible that you taught us last week.” I looked at her New Testament where she had the verse circled in blue ink. She was so excited to show me how she had found it on her own.

During our Christmas program, we gave the kids each a New Testament as a gift, which they proudly bring with them every week to our Bread and Fish kids club.

Jaclyn, one of our Loja Challengers who served for a year, started Bread and Fish a year ago while living in Chaguarpamba. This ministry involved her playing soccer and sharing Bible stories with them. When she left, we took over what she started and kept it going.

We hold the kids club every Saturday in the open-air basketball court. Most of the kids come running or riding their bikes, but some of them are dropped off by their parents. We sing songs, learn Bible stories and verses, make crafts, play games, and have snacks. We also have some special events throughout the year, like a Christmas program and VBS.

The kids are learning and growing in their faith. They come hungry to learn and desire to be loved.

I was teaching the story about how Jesus healed Jairus’ daughter, and my heart was filled with joy as I looked at these kids sitting around me with their open Bibles. I asked for a volunteer to read a verse and was met with a chorus of “pick me, pick me.” They were so eager to read from their Bible’s that they didn’t want anyone else to have a turn.

Most of the kids are between six and ten years old, but there are two older girls who come and enjoy it as much as the younger kids. One of the older girls, a 16-year-old, has a desire to be a leader. So, we invest in coaching her. As she grows in her walk with God and in her ability as a leader, maybe someday she will be leading the next generation of kids.

God is touching the hearts of the young.

By Jennifer Riggs, OMS missionary, serving in Loja, Ecuador

Tags: kids club, ecuador, loja, evangelism, outreach,

A New Way to Pray: Summer Communications Intern Grows in Ministry

June 9 2017

“I am excited to explore how I can combine writing and my faith.”

Mykaela Alvey, a recent college graduate, is the journalism intern in the Communications Department at One Missions Society for the summer 2017. Despite her current desire to be a part of a mission organization, she only recently listened to this call from God.

Mykaela grew up as a preacher’s kid. From a young age, she fell into the image that she thought a pastor’s kid is supposed to have. “I was a leader in the youth group, I volunteered for the children’s ministry and Bible camp, which is not a bad thing, but it made it easy to have this mask and make it look like I had it all together.” Behind this preacher’s kid façade, Mykaela’s relationship with God was actually stagnant.

It wasn’t until her junior year of college, after watching the movie War Room, a story of a woman who turns to prayer when her life becomes difficult, that Mykaela felt her faith changing.

Afterward, Mykaela felt a nudge to buy a journal. “I later realized this nudge was from God.” This purchase radically changed her faith in God and propelled it forward. She had spent her entire life feeling like she couldn’t pray, but this purchase made her realize that this journal was her link to God, her own way of praying.

Mykaela began to grow stronger in her faith and by her senior year, she felt a call from God to go into either ministry or missions. “I think it [the call] was there my entire life, but I just chose to ignore it because there were more 'important things'—worldly things to do.” She finally decided to listen to this nudge from God and explore it.

Mykaela, has a degree in history and writing and was not looking to give up her specific interests. She wanted to find a job in ministry or missions where she could still pursue her writing passion.

So when she learned about and applied for the journalism internship at OMS, she was excited about what God had in store for her. Then God answered. Mykaela shed a few joyful tears when she officially received the internship position.

“Even though I’m only a summer intern, I feel like I am one small drop in this pool of water of making a difference, and I really like that I get to be a part of something like that.”

By Chelsea Long, OMS Summer Communications and Marketing Intern

Tags: internship, missions intern, communications intern, missions, summer intern, writing,

Reaching the Unreached in Loja, Ecuador

June 6 2017

In 2015, God opened the doors for a few OMS missionaries serving around Ecuador to come together with the goal of reaching the unreached population of Loja Province, a mountainous area in southern Ecuador with less than 1% evangelical Christians. This team is actively working to make a difference in the lives of people who may never hear about Jesus Christ from anyone else.

OMS:Who makes up the Loja team?

BJ: The Loja team is made up of BJ and Andrea Williamson,Tom and Susan Stiles, and Jennifer Riggs.

OMS: What is the ministry focus in Loja? What do you hope to accomplish?

BJ: Our focus is to raise up house churches in areas where there is no church.We do this by discipling new believers as the leaders of these house churches.We look for key people who are interested in the Gospel and disciple them in the Word, and encourage them to make a list of people who need to know the Gospel so they can pray for those people on the list. Each week, we share a different evangelistic passage that they will, in turn, share with one of those people they are praying for.

OMS: When and why did you relocate?

BJ: Two years ago,we prayed about where the Lord wanted us to start a ministry and found out that the western part of Loja Province is one of the least reached areas of Ecuador. We have since then relocated to Catamayo, our center for being able to travel to those unreached areas.

OMS: What different cities or villages are you focusing on? How many evangelicals are in this area? How many churches?

BJ: Our focus is on the Chaguarpamba and Balsas counties and the northern part of Paltas county. Combined, these areas have a population of roughly 20,000, but they have only one small church. Even with the church,there wouldn't be 50 believers. This is truly an area untouched by other ministries.

OMS: What are the biggest challenges you face? Your greatest joys?

BJ: It is challenging to travel as much as we do and to adjust the traditional beliefs held by 99% of the people we are in contact with. The religion we often see finds its roots in Roman Catholicism, but it has been mixed with other religions over the years, making it an interesting combination of beliefs,practices, and superstitions. Most people fear the change that Christianity calls them to make because the religion they are familiar with focuses on salvation through practices or tradition. But, our greatest joy is seeing people reading God’s Word and getting excited about learning about Christ and putting their faith in him.


Editor’s note: We will be sharing several stories of changed lives in Loja in the next 4 weeks, so keep watching for updated blogs.

Also, to learn more about Loja and what the team is doing there, here’s a video that will help make you see it through the team’s eyes:


Loja team interviewed by OMS summer Communications intern, Mykaela Alvey.

Tags: ecuador, ministry in loja province, evangelism, church planting, house churches, unreached,

Beyond Babysitting - One Mission Kids

May 31 2017

People are often surprised at all the items we travel with for a One Mission Kids (OMK) event. Our SUV is often filled to the roof with storage tubs, background sets, hand props, tables, a media projector and screen, audio speakers, and anything else we can pack in. That’s because OMK programs are packed with high-energy music, missionary stories, Scripture memory, games, and a Gospel invitation. We strive to make every event an interactive mission learning experience, using every minute to help grow missionary hearts in today’s generation known as iGen (kids born after 1996.)

When you book One Mission Kids for your event, like a VBS, camp, school, mission conference, or workshop, it’s important to understand one thing, we are OMS missionaries, we are teachers, and we are trained evangelists, but we are not babysitters.

After attending an OMK closing program, one evangelist at Peniel Holiness Camp shared, “What you are doing in this room is undoubtedly the most important work of the conference. You aren’t babysitting, you are equipping these kids for future ministry.” —Rev. Gary Bond (Revivalism coordinator, Church of the Nazarene)

A mom of one of the participants shared this, “Sometimes a mom needs a break. A moment where she can sit and listen to the Word of God being spoken without a child pulling on her shirt, asking a question, or trying to keep the kids quiet while someone is praying. These moments became possible during our annual missions conference when Jason and Lora lovingly took our children on a missions journey. As parents, we want our children to learn and grow in Christ but sitting through a sermon isn't an easy task for an active 4-year-old. Jason and Lora don't just bring our children to another room to occupy them, they help them discover Christ and who they are in him. Each night, our son came home, raving about what he learned, practicing his verse, singing songs, and having a genuine excitement and love of learning about his Lord and Savior. Even now, a month later, he sings songs and talks about stories from the Bible he learned with the Campbells. Knowing he is learning in a way he connects brings joy to our hearts and a sincere gratitude to those God has blessed with a gift to teach them.” —Janelle Bowman, mom

While it is true that we spend most of our time with kids, we understand the privilege that God has given us to interact with these children, a responsibility we take seriously, even though we are big kids at heart.

After a decade of doing children’s ministry with OMS, Mr. Jason discovers that many of the kids he taught are now teenagers and young adults enthusiastically helping in their children’s program. “My 19-year-old still remembers Jason when he came to our church when she was very young! As my kids have become teens and leaders themselves in children's ministries, they've asked him to send them some of the songs he's done after they spent a week with him at summer camp.” —Donna Asche, Neshannock Alliance Church.

Currently, OMK offers a variety of mission-focused programs, many of which can be tailored for VBS or used as a stand-alone mission event for kids. OMK also offers workshops to help equip parents and teachers to grow their kids’ missionary hearts too.

For more information about One Mission Kids resources, email info@onemissionsociety.org.

To give to OMK, click here.

Tags: kids ministry, one mission kids, kids missions, children's ministry not babysitting,

Dynamic Women in Missions Trip to Taiwan

May 19 2017

Tags: dynamic women, mission trip to taiwan, ministry to women,

Dynamic Women in Missions Japan Trip 2

May 19 2017

Tags: dynamic women, ministry to women, japan mission trip