Christians Killed in Burkina Faso

December 19 2019

Recent events in Africa break our hearts. But you can give hope this Christmas!

Terrorists recently attacked an OMS village church plant in Sirgagui, Burkina Faso, killing eight individuals for their Christian faith. Two were pastors. These are the widows of those pastors.

Terrorism in this nation has led to the displacement of thousands of believers who are unable to return home.

Relief assistance for these families is needed now.

With your help, we can provide basic aid kits to these displaced families, including rice, corn, and cooking oil, as well as help cover funeral costs, purchase chickens and sheep for future income, and provide scholarships for the children of those slain to attend school.

Tags: missions, give hope this christmas, christmas giving, terrorism, persecution,

Triple Your Ministry Impact

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.

Tags: bikes for ministry, faster pastor, give hope for christmas, impact,

A Brighter Future for Starfish Kids

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.

Tags: give hope for christmas, starfish kids, christian education

No "Kidding," Goats Change Lives

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.

Tags: christmas, give hope, goats for christmas,

Never Thirst Again

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.

Tags: give hope for christmas, clean water wells, mercy inc,

History of a Special Christmas Carol

December 19 2017

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

This popular Christmas carol is based on the 1863 poem "Christmas Bells" by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The song tells of the narrator's despair, upon hearing Christmas bells, that "hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men." The carol concludes with the bells carrying renewed hope for peace among men. Many regard Longfellow as America's greatest poet. The first Longfellow came to the U.S. from Yorkshire, England, in 1676. Henry was born to a prominent New England Lawyer in 1807. He became a respected scholar and was a college professor at the age of 19.

Wadsworth had many tragedies in his life. His first wife Mary had a miscarriage six months into her pregnancy and died a few weeks later while they were en route to Europe.

It was seven years before he recovered from his loss to remarry. Together they had five children, but again tragedy happened.

On July 11, 1861, his wife Fanny had clipped some long curls from the head of her 7-year-old daughter, Edith. Wanting to save them in an envelope, she placed the curls inside, then melted a bar of sealing wax with a candle to seal the envelope.

Somehow, the thin fabric of her clothing caught fire, and Fanny quickly ran to Longfellow’s nearby study for help. He immediately tried to extinguish the flames with a small rug, and when that failed, he threw his arms around Fanny to smother the flames, sustaining serious burns on his own face, arms, and hands. Tragically, his heroic act did not suffice to save his wife. Fanny died the next morning from injuries. Longfellow himself was injured to the point where he was unable to attend the funeral.

Photographs of Longfellow taken or made after the fire usually show him with a full beard, since he was no longer able to shave properly due to the burns and scarring.

The coming of the holiday season in the Longfellow house became a time of grieving for his wife while trying to provide a happy time for the children left at home. It was during Christmas 1862 that he wrote in his journal, “A ‘merry Christmas’ say the children, but that is no more for me.”

He had also suffered another disappointment when his oldest son, Charles Appleton “Charley” Longfellow, 17 at the time, quietly left their Cambridge, Mass., home and enlisted in the Union Army much against the wishes of his father. The Christmas of 1863 was silent in his journal.

Later, Charlie was injured. He was hit in the shoulder, and the ricocheting bullet took out portions of several vertebrae. It was reported that he missed being paralyzed by less than one inch. Longfellow traveled to where his injured son was hospitalized and brought him home to Cambridge to recover.

But then, on December 25, 1864, he wrote the words of this poem. Perhaps it was the re-election of Abraham Lincoln, the possible end of the terrible war, or a deep, renewed hope that stirred in his soul which brought us this timeless message.

I heard the bells on Christmas day, their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the words repeat of peace on earth, good-will to men!” His original words spoke of “each black accursed mouth the cannon thundered in the South” and it was “as if an earthquake rent the hearth-stones of a continent, and made forlorn the households born of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

The music to this American poem were written by an Englishman named John Baptiste Calkin.

When published, this combination of British music and American lyrics quickly made “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day one of the most popular carols in both Europe and the United States.”

Tags: christmas carol, bells of christmas, longfellow,

Peace on Earth to Every Person

December 18 2015

By Kathleen Thompson Howarth, Mother of OMS Missionary Aimee Howarth, Mozambique

Christmas 2015 is different. Part of me is still in Africa in some sense. One doesn't make the transition after three months, in sharp order. I find many nights I am still having dreams about life there, and concerned about getting this or that ready, not having the right tools or availabilities to get something done, thinking about supplies, and getting up early to go somewhere all day. But then I wake up and here I am in Malibu, bright and slightly cool temperatures, sustained electricity and water, plenty of food, different agendas for the day, driving on streets twinkling with Christmas lights on my way to and from my house.

Christmas lights already are 30 percent off as if the season was over ... People, like myself, living in neighborhoods with little thought of a world outside our own. Unless one specifically tries to watch the world news, most of the news coverage is local or national about charitable toy giveaways, the newest Christmas gadgets, Arnold Schwartzenegger becoming vegetarian, and fractious debates about Muslims.

In this season, which bespeaks peace, we have wars and rumors of wars, and yet it seems faraway to most of us. So important to get a grasp on what real peace is. Not necessarily quietness on my own street, nor inactivity, nor just getting along with the people I know, nor peace at any price … nor for a season.

Isn't the peace that Jesus promises an order above all these superficial signs of peace? If it isn't, than I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop, and my perfect world will be shattered in an instant. It may very well be shattered, but from the dust, my heart will still beat with an enduring peace that only the Prince of Peace can give.

Thank You, Father, for giving me that peace that surpasses understanding. The peace that says, You and I are all right, we are reconciled, I am forgiven, You are sovereign, I am Your child, and You love me forever and always.

May peace on earth pierce to our very hearts where true peace can reign despite world chaos.

Tags: christmas, culture, peace, peace on earth, africa,

Rethink Christmas Again

December 17 2015

In Deuteronomy 6:5, we read, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” These are beautiful words any time of the year, but at Christmastime, they tend to ring more loudly and clearly. After all, God’s most precious gift of his Son was given to us. Why wouldn’t we love him with all of our heart, soul, and might? Receiving the most wonderful present of Christ prompts us to give back to him with overflowing hearts.

At One Mission Society, we are taking the time to “rethink Christmas.” And we want to invite you on a journey to do the same. As we refocus on what and to whom we give, we may just remember that giving sacrificially on behalf of someone else may indeed be the godliest way to give. Giving generously in this manner is apt to prompt humbleness, joy, and a sense of awe.

Christina Rossetti, in her poem, In the Bleak Midwinter, gloriously writes the following as her last stanza:

What can I give Him, poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;

If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;

Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?

When we give from the heart, many people can be affected. Take, for example, the scores of vulnerable people worldwide who have been involved in human trafficking, children and youth exposed to the harsh streets of Mexico City, or the growing population of illiterate people in African countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi.

Aiding the country of India with Bibles would greatly help those in areas of deep poverty. Imagine your donation of $100 providing 150 New Testaments or 40 complete Bibles in that nation. If you have a vision for ordinary people doing extraordinary things, consider giving $100, which will provide Train & Multiply materials for 10 new church planters. And Colombian children will certainly be glad to receive a soccer uniform and ball for a $27 gift.

We at OMS hope you will not only rethink Christmas but that you will give sacrificially to support people, ministries, and God’s kingdom work around the globe. Every continent could be touched if we unite together to give out of the fullness in our hearts. Let’s prove together that anything can happen “in the bleak midwinter!”

~Angela Chandler, OMS Communications Team

Tags: christmas, giving, generous, rethink christmas,


December 15 2015

Dr. Gary Chapman’s book entitled The 5 Love Languages has inspired many people (10 million copies of the book have sold) and has transformed a myriad of relationships. At One Mission Society, we are encouraging people to reTHINK CHRISTmas. Two of Dr. Chapman’s love languages mentioned in his book have to do with the subject of giving and receiving: acts of service and receiving gifts.

If you see yourself as one who believes actions speak louder than words, please consider giving to one or more of the eight projects OMS is highlighting this Christmas. Many other people feel loved when they receive a gift. Imagine the smile on the face of someone in India who receives a Bible, a Colombian child or youth who receives a new soccer uniform or ball, or a Ukrainian university student who can attend a summer English camp.

Your act of service can be big or small. If the Lord has blessed you abundantly, consider providing $300 to put a Mexican street child into a rehab program. Picture your gift of $250 putting a disabled Mozambican into an all-terrain wheelchair. Do you have a passion for human trafficking prevention? A gift of $150 will provide training materials for 100 people. Thinking of giving something on the smaller side? A donation of $10 will buy a set of knee pads for someone who cannot use a wheelchair. To help Mexican youth get off the street and stay off, $48 will provide a set of schoolbooks.

There are additional opportunities to bless others too, including blessing one of our Evangelical Church of India pastors affected by the recent flooding. Your gift will not only transform others’ lives, but will change you and your family as well.

God gifted us with unique love languages, so as you consider the way the Lord created you, also consider the reality of men, women, boys, and girls receiving blessings because you took the time to rethink Christmas. Thank you for participating with OMS to give generously during this season of joy, memories, and celebrating the birth of Christ. Donate to one of our featured Rethink Christmas projects here.

~By Angela Chandler, OMS Communications Team

Tags: christmas, gifting,

Santa Needs to Know

December 9 2015

It is more blessed to give than to receive,” writes Dr. Luke in the book of Acts 20:35. He was quoting Jesus, the One who gave us God’s love in extraordinary ways. I like the way The Message paraphrases this quote when it says, “You’re far happier giving than getting.” Of course, many of us are looking to receive. We make Christmas lists to let people know what we want. After all, Santa is coming, and he needs to know! Besides, turn on your television or pick up a magazine and the message is clear. “Buy this” and “get that” so that you can have the best Christmas ever … and a happy life. For those of us who like to shop (yes, some men do enjoy it, but just won’t admit it!), there is a nice buzz that comes over us when we get what we want. Personally, I like eBay. The bidding only adds to the thrill! Unfortunately it is not long before we are looking to buy something else we need!

Maybe we should consider the words of Jesus more carefully. Does he know something that we need to pay attention to? Could his wisdom actually lead us to a happier life? The answer is “Yes” and “Yes!” We are designed by our maker to give. When we do so, we imitate and tap into the very heart of God. The challenge is to re-program our thinking so that giving becomes a way of life. It is fun to shop for others at Christmastime and surprise them with a nice gift. However, it is even better to look for ways to give every day.

Let me challenge you as I will myself. Make these days leading to Christmas an opportunity to test what Jesus said. Look for a way to give to at least one person every day. Don’t lie down to sleep at night until you have given something to someone else. Be intentional and specific and ask God to show you how and to whom to give. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. In fact, often the most precious things, money cannot buy! Be creative and the Lord will guide you and help you. Let it become a journey of faith as you partner with the Savior born in Bethlehem.

Finally, take note of the joy meter in your heart right now, and then again after you establish regular giving each day. Will God’s Word prove true? Will you discover that giving = happiness and spread that same joy to others? That would truly make for a joyful Christmas and a blessed New Year!

By Roger Kruse, OMS Missionary

Tags: santa, joy in giving, happiness, giving christmas,