Human Trafficking Prevention Training in Japan

March 19 2018

As the HOPE61 trainer for Japan, I had the privilege of leading the first HOPE61 Engage training in Japan with the OMS Christian Mission Church on February 3. Nine people attended the training, with a mix of missionaries and Japanese church members being trained. This training marked the first time that the Japanese and missionary church members sat down together to talk about their ministry and outreach strategy as a church.

It was a joy to see the church getting so excited about reaching out to vulnerable people in their neighborhood and to see them thinking so strategically about how to use the gifts God gave them to help others. The participants came out of the training with a new understanding about human trafficking, but also with a new enthusiasm to make a difference in their community and share the Gospel with their neighbors.

Though I am currently in the U.S. raising support, I hope to move to Japan by late April to continue laying the foundation for the HOPE61 ministry to begin there. God is moving in Japan. So many doors have been opened for HOPE61 in Japan by the grace of God. I have several church groups interested in having me come share with them about the ministry and the training we offer once I move there.

Currently, less than 1 percent of people in Japan are Christian. But I believe that HOPE61 can be a catalyst for the church in Japan, to get them out of the church building and into the community, loving and serving their neighbors in tangible ways. With that, more and more Japanese people will come to know the Lord because they will see that God really loves and values them enough to take action.

~Pam Duhrkoop, OMS Missionary and HOPE61 trainer

Tags: human trafficking prevention, japan, hope61, church

​Five Years of Waiting

July 13 2016

Mayelis Licea, a prayer group and Bible study leader, waited five years until she received a Bible of her own. Before that, she had used her mother-in-law’s or a borrowed copy of another believer. But now, Mayelis has her own personal copy of the Word of God in a version that is more comfortable and easier to read.

The exponentially expanding Cuban church desperately needs Bibles. Without the Word of God, which is God-breathed truth and our roadmap for the Christian walk, individuals cannot progress far in their spiritual journeys. Cuban believers need guidance and truth so they can develop in their relationships with Jesus Christ.

One Mission Society’s (OMS) Bibles for Cuba project provides Bibles to the people of Cuba—people like Mayelis, who, after five years, now has her own copy of God’s Word.

Delivering Bibles may sound like a simple thing, but the impact it makes on people is eternal. For Mayelis, having a Bible is a blessing from God and also an opportunity to share the Gospel with her husband, Vladimir Herrera, who is not a Christian but is interested in learning more about the Bible.

“Now we can read it [the Bible] together,” Mayelis said. “Sometimes I ask him to read with me a passage or we comment about any particular Bible story. In that way, he is more involved and he can not only know the Word of God but also Jesus.”

Mayelis thanks God, first and foremost, for using OMS, through the Bibles for Cuba project, to deliver the Gospel to her nation so that more and more people can have their own Bibles to study with and grow in their relationships with God. Her prayer for Bibles for Cuba, she said, is that “the Lord continues blessing them in such a way that they can continue blessing Cuba.”

Please join us in praying for Cuba:

  • That God will work in Mayelis’ and Vladimir’s lives and in their marriage through the power of his holy Word.
  • That the Cuban believers will receive more Bibles so they can study God’s Word and develop in their relationships with Jesus Christ.
  • That the Bibles for Cuba project can continue to help deliver these Bibles and serve our brothers and sisters in Cuba.

Please also consider how you can give to help Bibles for Cuba bring the precious Word of God to a nation that so desperately needs it, a nation where some people, like Mayelis, must wait a long time to have a Bible of their own.

To learn more about Bibles for Cuba or to give to this project, visit https://onemissionsociety.org/give/bibles-for-cuba.

By Jess Mitchell, summer communications intern

Tags: bibles, cuba, bibles for cuba, project, prayer, reading, need, church, relationship,

​Hunger for the Word Grows in Cuba

July 1 2016

How do believers keep the Bible as the authoritative Word of God … when they don’t have one?

With a church that is growing exponentially, Cuban believers rejoice in the spreading of the Good News. At the same time, they face the epidemic of a lack of Bibles in their country. Richard Yoder, One Mission Society (OMS) field director for Cuba, shares praises and prayer requests for this island nation of 11.5 million people.

The body of Christ in Cuba has grown steadily for the past 20 years, but in the past four years, it has grown exponentially. We thank the Lord for pouring out his Holy Spirit on the Cuban people so that their hearts and minds are open to his transforming power. Praise the Lord for impassioned Cuban believers who have gently witnessed and testified to the goodness of the Lord in their lives.

The growth of the church body has developed through the house group movement and through using existing mother churches for larger gatherings and trainings.

This growth has not come without sacrifice and a price.

Recently, a member of the OMS Theological Team, Rachel Coleman, listened and learned to fellow believers in Cuba on how to come alongside two denominational seminaries to help them meet the great educational needs of the body of Christ. “It is important that collections of house groups have a seminary-trained person among them. Strengthening the seminaries is a way to strengthen the growing church,” shared Rachel.

Observing all of this, Rachel commented, “There were many moments when I felt like I was walking through the Book of Acts on a 21st century stage.”

A critical need at this moment in Cuba is Bibles. About four years ago, while in Cuba, I met two men from two different organizations who had received the same vision from the Lord: “to get one million Bibles to the Cuban Church.”

However, the reality is that there are many more Bibles needed. At one point, there was a group of 20 pastors sharing five Bibles and another group of 11 pastors sharing only one Bible! This is not a good situation for the church. Many agencies and ministries have entered Cuba and offered the Cuban leaders money if they use their materials, wanting to be part of the great work of the Lord there. While some of these materials are good and needed, the most crucial need is for Bibles.

Thanks to the work of Men for Missions (MFM) Canada and MFM USA, Bibles are getting into the hands of Cubans, and the Lord is working to grow healthy, Christ-centered leaders.

Please pray for the Cuban church as the body of Christ grows and develops in their country, that more Bibles will be sent for the believers and pastors, and that the other needs of the church are met.

The Word of God is the basis of our faith. It is needed for healthy, rich growth in our Christian lives and our relationships with God.

Will you donate today so that more Bibles will get into the hands of the Cuban believers and church leaders?

For more information about Bibles for Cuba or to give to this ministry, visit https://onemissionsociety.org/give/bibles-for-cub..

Tags: cuba, bibles, hunger, church, pastors, believers, men for missions, cuban,

The Little Church With a Big Heart

February 26 2016

To say our little church with about 175 attenders has a love affair with missions would be an understatement! Nineveh Christian Church has supported One Mission Society missionaries for longer than I have been a member (2002). But over the years, our involvement has grown in so many exciting ways, and I count myself fortunate to be part of that growth.

Our pastor, Tom Knight, and our elders have a unique philosophy that if we expect blessings from the Lord, financial or otherwise, then we must first bless others. 2 Corinthians 9:10 expresses that philosophy: “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.” As you will see, the Lord has fulfilled that promise for our church many times.

As I recount the many ways our church has increased our missions giving and involvement, it is not to pat ourselves on the back, but to inspire other churches to realize you don’t have to be a mega church to do great things for God – you just need to be a church with a “mega” heart.

At first we supported several OMS missionaries. But in 2007, just as we were in the middle of building an addition on our own church (a $460,000 project), God impressed on our leaders that we should simultaneously plant some seeds by building a church in India through OMS. Due to the generous giving of our congregation, we ended up borrowing only $50,000 toward our remodel and took on the India church build of $13,500. Paying off both of these projects was not a long, drawn-out process, but rather, was completed in less than a year.

Soon, we were building two churches/schools in South Asia, broadening our missionary support, and in 2010 – 2012, we gave $25,000 to build one floor of a training center in South Asia.

Just as exciting as our congregation’s giving heart was the fact that we had become a sending church. I took my first mission trip with Dynamic Women in Missions in 2012 to Ecuador. Of course, my excitement spilled over and within the next couple years, the women of our church were involved in two trips to Haiti. The second of these trips had 10 women from our church, including our pastor’s wife.

In 2014, we tore down the parsonage across the street from our church to build a Life House – a building suited to our junior and senior high youth. This $360,000 project should have been a challenge for our small congregation, but once again, our building fund had grown due to our generous congregation. Our pastor and elders prayed about where we could sow some seeds of blessing. We had grown to love the people of Haiti, so while we were paying off our Life House, we also financed two homes for earthquake victims in Bon Repos, Haiti.

God continues to challenge the hearts of our people for missions. It is so exciting that this spring we will be sending a work team to Haiti, a team that will include men for the first time.

We have learned that we can never out-give God as we bless others by planting seed in their ministries. We recently bought a piece of property near our church. We are asking God to show us how we can use this property to bless others. I can hardly wait to see what God has in mind!

By Gail O’Connor, Dynamic Women in Missions Volunteer

Tags: little church, generous giving, missions, haiti, india, south asia,

Person of Peace - part 2

June 16 2015

One day, Samita went from her village to the market in town to buy food. She met Saroz, a young woman she knew, and talked about what she and her husband were doing. When Saroz heard about Jesus, she exclaimed, “You must have your husband call me and tell me more!” Samita called Anil right away, and Anil promised to visit Saroz later that same day.

Anil visited Saroz in the home where she lived with her parents, her brother and sister-in-law, and their children. Saroz listened eagerly to all that Anil told her, and she believed in Jesus. Anil discipled Saroz, and seeing her commitment and obedience to make disciples, invited her to become a church planter. She joyfully accepted and regularly shared the Good News with her family. Within a short time, all eight people in her home believed in Jesus Christ and formed a new house church. Saroz also went to her uncle’s home and led him and three others to the Lord. She then began training them in the same way that Anil was training her.

After a few months, Saroz’s sister came to visit from her village some 15 kilometers away. When Saroz told her sister about Jesus, her sister pleaded, “Please come and tell my husband and family about this!”

Saroz went to her sister’s home a few days later, accompanied by Anil. They shared the Gospel and five people confessed their faith in Jesus Christ, and another house church began in the sister’s home.

Saroz still closes the door and shutters when her house church gathers for worship in order not to disturb the neighbors. However, she is not afraid to share her faith and consistently tells her friends the Good News about Jesus.

Tags: india, person of peace, make disciples, house church, multiplication,

What Might Happen? - Plan

April 16 2015

Plan.

I love it when a plan comes together, especially when it is God’s plan. On March 15, 2014, the plan was in place, and Pastors Willy and Vicky moved from Tarlac City to Tacloban City. By car, this is a more than 24-hour move. Their plan was to distribute roofing sheets to people who lost their roofs during the typhoon. This would give them an opportunity for connection to the community.

In the first two months they had distributed sheets to 44 homes in one area and 22 in another. They requested the roofs be painted red so you can see which houses were given new roofs. The picture gives a view from the top with several homes “seeing red.” The best part of the ministry is the relationships built with people who have started attending house churches as new believers. In two months they already had two worshiping groups meeting weekly with more than 50 total in attendance.

The people of the Philippines are such giving people, despite what little they may have. If you are visiting, they will prepare a meal or an afternoon merienda (snack) from what little they have. Many of the locals lost their families. Parents lost all their children, children lost all of their family – 26 people were lost in one family alone.

A woman survived with all eight of her children by clinging to trees while the storm surge hit. By God’s miraculous grace they all survived. This is not the case for many as more than 6,000 people lost their lives in Typhoon Yolanda. The area was devastated, yet the people still show love and hope.

Pastors Willy and Vicky have committed to stay three years to help those in need and build up leaders in the church. They live sacrificially and have a true heart for glorifying God in their daily lives. They yearn to do more for the families of Tacloban City.

To be continued…

Tags: god's plan, philippines, typhoon, relief, restoration, house church, worshiping groups, grace,

Can You Lend a Leg

June 11 2014

I heard what sounded like a stampede of elephants come up the stairs to my K-2 Sunday school classroom. A first grade boy, whom I had never met before looked at me proudly and said, “My name is Darren Lee Price!” I was so excited for new students that it took a while for Darren’s disability to sink in. Though he couldn’t hide it well, his personality was bigger than the fact that he was missing his right leg. Darren was held up by crutches attached to his arm, and he was not embarrassed at all to talk about the car accident he had been in. After his classmates understood that Darren was no different than they were, the rest of the hour went smoothly. Darren asked multiple questions about Jesus and the Bible, and later asked more questions during worship.

Everything had been going so well, until it was time for children’s church. I walked all of the children who had been sitting with me downstairs. Darren asked if I would stay with him. Though I normally say no to this, I thank God that I said yes this day. Our children’s church has a dedicated time for songs, and this week, “Father Abraham” was the song of choice. If you don’t know the song, let me help you out. It goes something like this:

Father Abraham had many sons.
And many sons had Father Abraham.
I am one of them, and so are you.
So let’s just praise the Lord! Right arm…
(Repeat but use left arm)

Maybe you can already see where this is going. Darren was smiling and laughing until we got to the right leg part. While the other children were swinging their right and left arms and right and left legs, Darren leaned over to me and said, “I don’t have a right leg.” What happened next was a God-thing. I swooped him up, put him on my lap, and I became his right leg. I became the extra support he needed to finish the song.

As I sat in OMS’ monthly prayer rally, I realized that our missionaries sometimes need our support, just like Darren needed mine that day. They may not need us to place them on our laps, but every missionary certainly needs to be placed in our prayers. And they all need our financial support. As I watched our new orientees (new OMS candidate missionaries) being prayed over this morning, I thought about how often the Bible calls us to encourage one another, to build each other up and to love one another.

Our missionaries are daily surrendering to God’s will and to his call on their lives. This is never an easy task, but it becomes much harder when comfort zones are stripped away. Just like with Darren, who needed support to keep going when the song became too difficult, how can you help our missionaries in their difficult tasks? Maybe you can support them financially as they raise funds. I’ve heard that even missionaries who’ve been serving many years are undersupported. Maybe you can support them by praying for them because prayers are so powerful. However you feel led, you help support them as they complete the work to which God has called them … to fulfill the Great Commission.

By Christina Franks, summer Communications intern

Tags: disability, children's church, support, missionary, sunday school,

A New Day Dawns Upon the South Pacific

July 1 2013

A New Day Dawns Upon the South Pacific

Wednesday on an island in the South Pacific 

How do you reach 150 million people dominated by a religion that often opposes the Gospel and seeks to intimidate the followers of Jesus? Let’s start with prayer, and lots of it! Prayer is all about what God can do, and there are no limits with Him.

In his book, Touch the World through Prayer, Wesley Duewel says that “God has ordained to work through the prayers of his people. Prayer releases God’s power. He is waiting for your intercession and mine.” Why then do we hesitate and sometimes even avoid time to seek God’s face? It has often been said, the Devil trembles when he sees, God’s weakest child on his knees. So, let us pray! 

Many people here have learned to pray. I spent some time with Budi, early this morning. He teaches at the Bible seminary OMS started here many years ago. His wife recently finished chemo treatments following her surgery for breast cancer. It has been a rough road for them to travel. Nevertheless, the fire in his heart burns brightly for his fellow countrymen still without the Savior. He has successfully given leadership to a growing movement of 16 house churches that are connected to a mother church he is pastoring. By training ordinary believers to lead these groups, the light of Christ is penetrating the darkness. His own life and prayers bear witness to the fact that faith is the victory! 

Pastor Adi is another national co-worker with vision and tireless determination to share the Good News. This dynamic servant of Jesus is small in stature but speaks with a booming voice. He is helping empower regular men and women to plant and shepherd satellite churches that are touching and transforming lives. Since January, 54 persons have met the Savior through his commitment to train and equip others. So far he has supervised the starting of 4 satellite churches. One meets in a room on a university campus dominated by another religion! He has two other new areas where groups are meeting and will soon become satellite churches. One is situated in a military compound. . . . Onward Christian soldiers! 

Thursday, in Singapore travelling on to India 

As you can see, my time spent with key church leaders in the South Pacific is bearing fruit. My co-worker Dean and I are thrilled to see God beginning to move among our OMS related churches in fresh ways as they learn to reach lost people through the multiplication of new churches. Our 3+ days of training and warm fellowship was time well invested in God’s kingdom. After 48 hours of travel to get there, my body is weary, but my heart is rejoicing in God’s goodness. 

Now I move on to India, anticipating the challenges and blessings that await me there. Will you join me in prayer before the throne of grace? I am depending on your intercession to uphold, strengthen and anoint my ministry with Jesus. Thank you! 

Sharing Christ, the Hope of the world, Roger

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: prayer, missions in south pacific, satellite church, train and multiplyT&M

Vision for South Pacific

May 17 2013

Vision for South Pacific

OMS is blessed with wonderful partners around the world who have been planting churches for a long time. It has been my privilege to work this week with our partner in the islands of the South Pacific. 

Our agenda is to pave the way for traditional churches that meet in church buildings and have seminary trained pastors to plant simple, multiplying churches that meet in homes and are led by bi-vocational pastors who, as life long learners, receive on the job training.  Sounds daunting doesn't it?

But the joy and the passion of these pastors to empower their members to do great things for God is very encouraging. They have cleared the way for bi-vocational leaders to be authorized to baptize and serve the Lord's Supper: a very big deal in Asia. They greatly appreciate OMS' help in providing Train and Multiply training. And there have been some breakthroughs lately in places where the traditional religion has held sway for years. 

I leave here with a great appreciation for the deep love that national church leaders have for OMS and OMS leaders have for them. And I have every confidence that in the South Pacific as in the Caribbean, traditional churches who love the lost can empower their members to multiply disciples, leaders and churches, even in the face of oppressive social pressures. It's ahoy to partner with these dear brothers and sisters!

Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

Tags: church multiplication, church planting, house churchtrain and multiply

Caribbean Stories

February 6 2013

Caribbean Stories

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42

On my recent ministry trip to the Caribbean I was accompanied by five Canadian couples. What a blessing it was to have them be a part of the team to encourage and bless our brothers and sisters in Christ! One of the couples gave me a sum of money to give where “I saw a need or where someone could be blessed.”

During our trip we were having dinner with a pastor and his wife. They were in town due to the pastor’s health. He is diabetic and is losing his vision. During our conversation we were discussing Christmas and the meaning of Christmas. The pastor’s wife mentioned that years ago their family had a Christmas tree, but in recent years no trees or nativity scenes were permitted. Now, they wanted a tree for their children but could not afford one. I "saw a need” and felt led to give them some of the money to purchase a tree.  I cannot express the emotion they showed that evening.

The following day we were speaking to a pastor from another town who was giving us an update on his wife’s health. We have been praying for her. She has a broken jaw caused by lack of calcium and is being fed by a feeding tube. The doctor told them, "Until you get a floor in your home, your wife should not be living there because of her health and the danger of falling.” They only had a dirt floor, with some cement. They estimated what it would cost to replace the cement and dirt floor with some tile.  It came to almost the exact amount I had left to be given “where someone could be blessed.”  God is good! They will soon live in their home with a tile floor.     -Willie

Before I knew Christ, I was a very violent person, given to drugs and excessive drinking. I thank God that I met Jesus and accepted Him into my life. My desire is now to live for Him. The training sessions have been a great blessing and teaching for my life and have revolutionized my life. The day after I accepted Christ, I opened my house up for worship services and since then many more have opened their homes.     -Pablo

A young woman in the eastern part of the country was very involved in her work. One day, at five in the afternoon, someone came to her door and shared Jesus. She gave her heart to the Lord that day. She has been attending the local church but had not become involved in the training to plant churches. She attended a workshop last week, and it was reported that she had already brought 11 people to the church. Since the training classes, she has six new believers that have given their hearts to Christ. She is beginning a new house church next week.     -Allison

These are some examples about how God provides through His people as they obey the call to GO, GIVE and PRAY. Who will fulfill the great commission? Is God calling you to give financially, go in faith, or pray fervently?

 

Tags: God's provision, house church, life change, trainingtransformed