January 10 2019
Recently, I passed a life milestone, a major milestone – retiring from my “day job.”This wasn’t like hitting age 40, 50, or 60; those are just numbers. Retiring is a significant life change, one which – as my wife likes to point out – does not affect just me.
A friend who has already experienced this passage of life told her a while back, “Retirement is a whole lot less money and a whole lot more husband!” I’m not sure which concerned Pam the most; I think it was the latter.
We are now five months into this new season, and we seem to be enjoying it. It’s a bit like the transition to an empty nest. After a while, it’s pretty nice!
The morning of my final day at the office I penned the following reflections in my journal.
- My daily schedule changes; it’s no longer dictated by my job.
- Who I am does not change. I am not defined by my job but by my Savior.
- No more regular paychecks from my full-time job. My Source does not change.
- My availability for volunteer work, time with my wife and family, time to travel, run, and missions work increases.
- My passions haven’t changed, just my bandwidth to enjoy them.
In the remaining space, I’d like to elaborate on a few of these thoughts.
My Cadence Has Changed
Life’s cadence definitely changes. The alarm only rings if I decide that I need one. I no longer have to squeeze all the yard work into weekends and evenings. Several times already while in the midst of a task I’ve decided “the rest of this can wait.”
My Identity Has Not
But while life’s cadence has changed, my identity has not. Midway through my career, I discovered that my identity was not defined by my job title. So, in some ways, walking away from my career was not such a big deal. There was no sense of loss or lostness since who I am has been defined for the last 51 years by Whose I am.
My Source Is the Lord
I haven’t seen a paper paycheck this millennium, but the account originating the electronic transfer to us is no longer from an employer. We now face a new set of questions. How much is enough? What will the markets do? And so on. What hasn’t changed in this new accounting is that the Lord continues to be our Source (not an employer), and our accountability remains to Him.
The Bible Never Speaks of Retirement
This past February, I told my supervisor, “Work is just getting in the way of all the things I want to do.” I could have re-phrased that as “All the things I feel called to do.” The Bible never speaks of “retirement.” There’s no mention of any biblical character quitting his fishing or farming job and heading off to “Dead Sea Beach” or sailing off to some distant island with no God-inspired purpose in mind. For more on this topic, I’d encourage you to read or listen to John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life.
Run to the Finish Line
My father is fond of saying, “It’s better to wear out than to rust out.” One of my life’s heroes is my maternal grandfather. At some point in his mid-80s, he’d been interim pastor of a small church in southern Indiana and he told us, “I don’t think they’re looking too hard.” Five days before he passed away he delivered his final sermon. He ran all the way to the finish line.
I don’t know what the future holds or how many more productive years will be entrusted to me. What I do know is that I want to make them count for the kingdom.
By OMS missionary Chuck Rapp, Church Multiplication Facilitator for Africa
Blog first appeared in Stone& Table
May 19 2017
December 14 2018
Taran* serves as a church planter in Southern Asia. His ministry includes evangelism, leading baptism services, planting churches, and leading discipleship training. By God’s grace, Taran planted five churches and made four disciples (new leaders) in one year. Taran is also an effective trainer using the Train & Multiply curriculum, which multiplies the work he is doing.
Taran has proven to be an effective evangelist and leader, yet his fruitfulness could be doubled or even tripled.
The distances between ministry locations where Taran serves in Southern Asia are far apart, so he must either walk long distances or use public transport, which takes a lot of time, money, and energy. Most days, he is unable to visit every location that he needs to in order to lead in those towns.
Taran shares, “If the Lord helps me to get a motorcycle for ministry, (this is one he rented) I will be highly encouraged and able to be much more effective in ministry. I sometimes use a rented motorbike, but paying hourly charges is way too expensive for me.”
If you would like to donate toward the purchase of a bicycle or a motorcycle for a national leader like Taran, give here.
* Name changed for security.
December 11 2018
Eleven years ago, Ofrane Saintil and his wife, Gerumene, lived in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Saintil worked as a delivery driver. On one trip from Port-au-Prince to Cap-Haitien, he was in a bad accident, leaving him with a broken arm, leg, and teeth. Gerumene’s aunt attended the OMS-related Grace en Sion Church in Cap-Haitien, and she had the church pray for Saintil.
He accepted Christ at that moment because he realized God had saved his life.
Saintil and Gerumene moved to Cap-Haitien because they believed that was where God wanted them.
Gerumene says living in Haiti is difficult. Even working full time and earning a salary, they don’t have any extra money after they provide food for their family and meet basic needs. There is definitely not enough to pay for school tuition and purchase books for their children.
In 2011, Grace en Sion School became a partner school of One Mission Society’s Starfish Kids program. In 2013, Saintil and Gerumene’s oldest child started attending Grace en Sion School. They have four children: Jonas, Watcherline, Louvens, and Emmauella. Watcherline and Louvens are now sponsored through Starfish Kids.
They are so thankful for the sponsorship because it provides tuition, school supplies, and books for their children to receive a quality Christian education.
In 2015, Grace en Sion hired Saintil as the security guard for the church and school because he had proven to be trustworthy and hard working.
Gerumene says the Starfish Kids program is so important to Haitian families who have difficulties making ends meet. Parents respect the Starfish Kids schools because they know these schools are reputable.
One of their favorite aspects of the school besides the sponsorships and Bible teaching is that Grace en Sion starts teaching children English and Spanish in kindergarten. Knowing multiple languages will help open doors for them in the future. Most schools charge extra money for these courses, but at Grace en Sion, they are part of the curriculum.
God’s grace and provision is evident in countless ways through Saintil’s story and dozens of others sponsored through Starfish Kids. Please consider a gift of $300 to cover one child’s tuition for one year.
December 11 2018
In Haiti, poverty often stands in the way of widows (among others) providing their families with basic necessities. They know they need a sustainable solution to help their family … a goat could be the answer!
However, most widows can’t afford to buy a goat.
That’s where OMS steps in. Our Mercy ministry recently blessed a widow named Carrie* with the gift of a goat. She rejoiced when she received it because she knew this gift would help her and her six children now and in the days to come.
A goat will provide milk or meat for nutrition and fertilizer for her garden, as well enabling her to sell the offspring goats to others in the future.
Just like these widows and other poor families in Haiti have done. One family recently had their herd grow to 10 goats, enabling them to sell a few to pay for a medical need in the family. Another family grew their herd size and sold some to obtain a couple of cows to provide milk and meat for the family to vastly improve their diet. Another widow multiplied her goats and sold several to pay for her children’s education.
For many years, Mercy has provided goats to needy families in Haiti. We donate the female goat and then provide a male goat for reproduction.
For just a $125 investment and years of production assistance and guided help from Mercy on how to properly care for the goats, widows like Carrie and many others have a sustainable income that helps provide food, medical care, and educational needs that these families could not provide before.
November 30 2018
November 26 2018
To date in 2018, Mercy, Inc., a compassionate ministry of One Mission Society, has built 450 clean water wells in South Asia. In total, the ministry has dug 3,300 wells.
In the Rohingya camp where 1.3 million Rohingya people are living on 600 acres of land in the UN refugee camp, we have dug more than 100 strategically placed wells this past year, with each one costing approximately $2200. These wells have provided much-needed clean water. Generally, the wells are 800-1000 feet deep so the quality is good.
With great joy, we see the Rohingya women pump the water into their jugs and happily carry it back to their modest homes to aid in keeping their families healthy.
More wells have been placed in the rural villages to replace the water people were drinking from muddy rivers or shallow wells, where the impurity is high and often causes sickness.
In addition to building the clean water wells, our team provides health education and Gospel presentations. The wells have improved the overall health in the villages, especially for the babies and children. What a blessing for people to have clean water close by instead of having to walk long distances, only to realize the water has many impurities and causes even when boiled.
For a gift of $2,200, you can provide the funds needed to drill a well and provide clean, life-sustaining water for a whole village. Any donation will contribute to the purchase of one well.
November 19 2018
In the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Nygozi* was the first person in his village to give his heart to Jesus, despite a difficult life. His house burned down, and he lost everything.
Thankfully, his wife and children were not harmed. All he had left was his land with a large mango tree. Even through this difficult time, Nygozi remained faithful. When the Christians decided to meet together for the first time, they invited many people, including the village leaders.
On that Sunday, it began to rain. Despite the heavy rain, 125 people came to the first service, including the local chief. The church met on Nygozi’s land, under the large mango tree. After the pastor preached, he asked if anyone wanted to give their heart to Jesus, and the local chief and five other adults responded. Everyone was praising the Lord, and no one wanted to move, even though it continued to rain.
Later, Nygozi was given the gift of his first Bible. He was so thankful for it. He immediately memorized several Scripture verses. The church continues to meet on Nygozi’s land, and he hopes to plant another church soon.
We rejoice knowing that the work of the kingdom is growing and lost people are being saved in Africa … but the people in villages throughout Africa need Bibles!
Many Africans cannot afford to buy a Bible of their own. In many churches, OMS has provided a Bible for the pastor, but then it must be shared with the whole congregation and sometimes even with other villages still without a church.
We’ve even heard stories about pastors ripping pages from their Bible to distribute among the villagers so everyone could read from God’s Word … if only just a page or two at a time!
We have an urgent need for more Bibles if we want the new Christians to grow and the church to expand. Could you donate just $10 to provide one Bible for a church in Africa?
November 12 2018
Daisy lives in Chennai, India, with her husband and two daughters. Both Daisy and her husband come from upper poor class families, with little education. Because of their
economic situation, they have struggled to meet their daily needs, especially once their girls started school.
Desperate, Daisy searched out answers at the Koladi Church, one of our partner churches in the Evangelical Church of India (ECI). She poured out her heart to God, asking him to help meet her needs. He answered through the ECI ministry, Lydia Women’s Fellowship and their tailoring school ministry.
Daisy enrolled as a student and soon learned the different skills and techniques needed to be a skilled seamstress. Today, having mastered the art of tailoring, Daisy is one of the teachers at the school. Nearly 70 women have been trained at this school, and now, there are many similar schools throughout the country, empowering women to earn an income.
The blessings Daisy received through this ministry are countless. Daisy and her family are financially stable. She earns enough to send both daughters to university to ensure their futures. She has also been able to buy a home and manage her own tailoring shop, employing two more women in need. Daisy can now tithe regularly and even sponsors a child in need.
Daisy is so grateful to Kathiroli, the leader of the Lydia ministry in charge of the Sewing for Sowing project, which provides the opportunity to women like Daisy to change their lives both financially and spiritually. A gift of $100 provides one sewing machine or you could provide machines for an entire school for $800.