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,

Steps of Faith

July 15 2016

The Fletchers’ Story

One Mission Society sends out missionaries all over the world, but what goes on behind the scenes before those missionaries hit the field?

Joshua Fletcher, with his wife Allison and three kids, have been accepted as OMS missionaries to Cuenca, Ecuador, and have been preparing for their departure through raising financial and prayer support and spreading the message of where God is calling them to serve.

Joshua felt a call to Ecuador after he had been in ministry for almost 14 years serving as a pastor, artist, and writer. His home church, where he worked, focused heavily on missions, so he had the opportunity to go on several mission trips over the years. After one particular trip, Joshua felt a stirring in his heart, and during a period at home when he came down with an illness, the Lord told him to go to Cuenca.

Allison, being a former missionary kid in Ecuador, had always wanted to return to that country. When Joshua told her about God’s calling, her dream rekindled. At that time, the Fletchers didn’t know they would serve in Ecuador with OMS. All they knew was that they said yes to God’s calling and would wait to see what God wanted them to do.

After Joshua and Allison prayed and sought God’s will, they felt him telling them to “go with your heritage.” Allison’s parents had been missionaries in Ecuador through One Mission Society; therefore, understanding that their missionary heritage is with OMS, the Fletchers applied there. Their application went through and was accepted, and they attended OMS orientation in March 2015. Throughout the whole process, they felt like this was the place God called them to be.

Taking further steps of obedience, the Fletchers began to raise prayer support and funds for their missionary journey to Ecuador, and they put their house on the market. Their home sold within three days with three investors bidding for it.

With their house sold, the Fletchers have been living at a friend’s home since May 2015. During this time of behind-the-scenes work in preparation for the mission field, the Fletchers continue to take steps of faithful obedience to God and look toward their time in Ecuador.

Joshua and Allison aim to be liaisons in Cuenca, to work alongside pastors and churches and encourage them in their spiritual journeys. Joshua will also teach and train people in theological education. He sees God moving in Ecuador through the potential relationships and continual spiritual growth between people—not just in the good situations but also in the conflicts. Joshua sees an environment where missionaries don’t necessarily lead the churches and people but come alongside them and encourage them, especially through their conflicts. Through these relationships, people from all backgrounds and cultures can be more like Jesus.

One of the ways that Joshua shares this vision during the funding process is through his art. Through his paintings that are full of blended colors and bold strokes, Joshua not only puts his heart on the canvas in worship, but he also can share spiritual truths and his family’s calling to Ecuador. He hopes to use his artistic skills while in Ecuador to minister to the people and to worship God.

The first piece that Joshua created as an act of worship, a watercolor painting titled “Helser’s Tree,” is a work that is “the fruit of an encounter with God, the meaning of which I am fleshing out every time I paint” (taken from Joshua’s booklet “Masterpieces With a Mission”).

The tree in Joshua’s painting thrives. It is full of vibrant leaves on a hill of green and brown, designed in a way that might remind someone of a stained-glass window. This painting may be finished, but it stands as a reminder that God’s work is still not yet complete. The more Joshua paints and worships, the more he grows to understand God’s will and relationship with him.

In a way, the painting parallels the Fletchers’ journey to the Ecuador mission field and the belief they hold close to their hearts: that they must take steps of faith, say yes to God out of obedience and love, and await the Lord’s mighty hand to continually work in their lives. With each brushstroke—with each step closer to the mission field—the Fletchers’ encounter with God grows and develops.

Please take a moment to pray for the Fletchers on their journey to Ecuador. Pray that they will continue to take steps of faith and that God will speak to them and guide them, in both behind-the-scenes work and on the mission field.

To learn more or to donate toward the Fletchers’ mission, visit https://onemissionsociety.org/give/TheFletchers.

By Jess Mitchell, summer communications intern

Tags: fletchers, ecuador, faith, art, paint, churches, missionary, journey, funding, cuenca,

Former Indian Witch Doctor Leads Churches Today

October 27 2015

Arjun King, a former witchdoctor from Andhra Pradesh, used to travel all over India invoking evil spirits to help him predict people’s futures. This successful fortune-teller’s clientele included movie stars and politicians. Once, he even met the former prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi, and told her future. He earned a lot of money by soothsaying … but the money ruined his life. He lived immorally and gave himself to drinking and other vices. He lost everything and ended up bankrupt.

Arjun's sister, who became a Christian first, began witnessing to him. A few years later, he attended an Evangelical Church of India church in Madras and gave his life to the Lord. Bishop Ezra Sargunam baptized him, along with 13 members of his family and renamed him Paul. After becoming a Christian, Paul studied theology at the ECI Bible school in Vijayawada. While he was a student, he planted two village churches.

Today, Paul oversees 19 ECI churches.

Rev. Gavji Chauhan, one of our senior Indian Missionary Movement missionaries, works in Rajasthan. After accepting Christ, he joined ECI as an Every Community for Christ worker. He actively shares the Gospel with unreached people groups, especially within the Bhil tribe. Thousands of Bhils have been baptized through his ministries.

Today, there are around 100 families in his congregation. Many people of other faiths also attend the worship services as seekers. Every month, Rev. Chauhan travels to different villages in Rajasthan to share the Good News.

His whole family is involved in the ministry. Every week, they fast and pray each Friday and Sunday. God is doing wonders through these fasting prayers. Many sick, demon possessed, and people with various other problems come to Gavji and his family for prayer, and God is using them as to bless many people. Pray for them. They face much persecution and opposition from other religions.

Tags: india, witchdoctor, planting churches, bhil people,

Training the Ready

June 18 2015

A pastor in the south has been working in some of the islands in SE Asia. His initial training was in 2013. He has been working with uneducated peoples but with considerable success. During this visit, A. conducted T&M training in this province for 27 students. Most were from his church and about 20 were native to that area. A. taught for four hours without a break because the students did not want him to stop! The pastor estimates that perhaps ten worshiping groups will be born from this first generation.

Tags: pastoral training, new churches, multiplication

One Mission Stories "After the Show" -- Jeremy and Melissa Reese

March 14 2014

We hope you enjoyed Sunday night's (March 16) One Mission Stories, OMS' one-hour missionary interview-style radio program, featuring OMS missionaries Jeremy and Melissa Reese, serving in Spain. The interview was done before they left for the field, but today they are there, ministering in youth ministry, teaching English, and helping plant house churches in northeast Spain.

The Reeses talked a lot about their personal call to ministry, missions, and specifically to Spain. It was mainly based on the need there. Out of Spain's 47 million people, less than 1% are evangelical Christians.

Everyone has a story ... enjoy the Reese's ... and make sure you take the time to share yours!

Here are our "After the Show" resources to better connect you with things you heard about on last night's program.

GO: Do you want to be a missionary, either short- or long-term with OMS? Check out the opportunities, including all the upcoming short-term trips with MFM.

GIVE: If you would like to donate to any OMS ministries, you can do so online.

PRAY: Pray for Jeremy and Melissa as they continue to adjust to a new culture, new language, new ministry, and as they miss family and friends back home. Also, pray for them as they await the arrival of their first child.

If you would like to pray for other OMS needs, visit our OMS prayer wall.

COMMUNICATION RESOURCES: Are you looking for OMS books, videos, OMS Outreach magazine, social media connections, etc...check out our media website: https://oms.media

You can also purchase OMS books by contacting the OMS World HQ... call or email Lori McFall at 317.888.3333, ext. 366, or email lmcfall@onemissionsociety.org.

If you'd like a FREE copy of His Banner Over Me by Florence Cavender, write to Lori at: lmcfall@onemissionsociety.org.

INFO: Tune in to next week's One Mission Stories for our a special encore presentation of OMS New Zealand missionary Graham Houghton, sharing about his 50 years of ministry in India. If you would like to know more about any of our ministries around the world, please email us at sloobie@onemissionsociety.org.

If you missed this program or any of our previous programs, click here to listen to the broadcast/podcast on podbean.

Each week, you can listen live on Freedom 95 at 95.9 FM or 950 AM or live streaming at www.freedom95.us. Our programs air every Sunday night from 7-8 p.m.Here are our "After the Show" resources to better connect you with things you heard about on last night's program.

Tags: be a missionary, become a missionary, church planting, evangelism, give to missions, house churches, life changing story, missions in spain, oms outreach magazine, one mission society, short term missions,

One Mission Stories "After the Show" -- Chuni and Carolyn Pema

January 31 2014

We hope you enjoyed Sunday night's (Nov. 30) One Mission Stories , OMS' radio program, encore presentation, featuring OMS New Zealand missionaries, Chuni and Carolyn Pema, serving in India.

Here are our "After the Show" resources to better connect you with things you heard about on last night's program.

Chuni and Carolyn, former executive directors of OMS New Zealand, shared that it is HARVEST TIME IN INDIA. They are so happy to be involved with evangelism, church planting and training, and shepherding pastors.

They also shared that the OMS-founded Evangelical Church of India (ECI) now has nearly 4,000 churches! God is at work in India!

GO:

Do you want to be a missionary, either short- or long-term with OMS? Check out the opportunities, including all the upcoming short-term trips with MFM.

GIVE:

If you would like to give a gift to any OMS ministries, you can do so online. Just type the ministry name and amount you'd like to give.

PRAY: Pray that the Pemas would be used of God to minister and encourage Indian brothers and sisters. And pray for their son Levi, that he would feel a part of the OMS family. Pray that they would successfully train national leaders to continue the work.

If you would like to pray for other OMS needs, visit our OMS prayer wall.

BOOKS:

You can purchase all OMS books through our OMS store on Amazon or by contacting the OMS World HQ. Call or email Barb Sandoz at 317.888.3333, ext. 313, or email bsandoz@onemissionsociety.org.

OMS Outreach magazine was also mentioned on the broadcast. If you'd like to view the magazine, you can see it online here.

INFO:

Please tune in to next week's One Mission Stories to hear the first of four special Christmas programs. If you would like to know more about any of our ministries around the world, please contact us at radio@onemissionsociety.org or connect at www.onemissionsociety.org/radio.

If you missed this program or any of our previous programs, you can listen to it at www.onemissionsociety.org/radio or on our podcast, where every show is archived: http://omsradio.podbean.com/ . You can also listen live on Freedom 95 at 95.9 FM or 950 AM or live streaming at www.freedom95.us. Our programs are every Sunday night from 7-8 p.m.

Tags: be a missionary, become a missionary, church planting, evangelism, house churches, missions in asia, missions in india, one mission stories, short term missions, training, world missions,

One Mission Stories "After the Show" -- Carolyn Knight

November 15 2013

One Mission Stories "After the Show" -- Carolyn Knight

We hope you enjoyed Sunday night's (Nov. 17) One Mission Stories, OMS' radio program, featuring One Mission Society missionary Carolyn Knight, serving as a trainer with Every Community for Christ.

Here are our "After the Show" resources to better connect you with things you heard about on the program last night.

Carolyn shared many stories about her time in Africa before she joined OMS ... and boy, are some of those stories life-changing! She also shared about her travels to Africa and Asia with OMS as a trainer/facilitator with OMS' Every Community for Christ ministry. And finally she shared about a local ministry she involved with to minister to women in the stripper industry. As you listen, you hear Carolyn's heart for evangelism and church planting.

GO:

Do you want to be a missionary, either short- or long-term with OMS? Check out the opportunities. ECC is seeking church planters and church multiplication facilitators in several countries around the world.

GIVE:

If you would like to give a gift to any OMS ministries, you can do so online. Just type the ministry name and amount you'd like to give.

INFO:

If you would like to know more about any of our ministries around the world, please contact us at radio@onemissionsociety.org or connect at www.onemissionsociety.org/radio

Please tune in to next week's One Mission Stories to hear the testimonies of several University of Indianapolis nursing students and staff who recently participated in a short-term medical missions trip to Ecuador. 

If you missed this program or any of our previous programs, you can listen to it at www.onemissionsociety.org/radio, or click on the subscribe link to subscribe to our iTunes podcast so you're sure not to miss any of the future shows! You can also listen live on Freedom 95 at 95.9 FM or 950 AM or live streaming at www.freedom95.us. Our programs are every Sunday night from 7-8 p.m.

Tags: be a missionary, become a missionary, church planting, evangelism, every community for christ, give to missions, missions, missions in africa, missions in asia, missions in kenya, one mission stories, training, world missions, house churchespersecution