The Faith to Believe

December 12 2018

Lakshman is a hard working stone cutter in India. This is hard work. But this is how he provides for his family. Lakshman became an orphan at a young age and was later raised by his grandparents. Unfortunately, at 12 years old Lakshman had already begun smoking and drinking alcohol. His passion was going to the cinema every Sunday to watch movies. Over time, however, he grew restless and noticed some Christians going to worship. His grandfather had also told him that if he went to church he would find peace of mind. Finally, some believers accompanied him to worship. He was struck by the words of Jesus, “If you ask, you will receive.” As a Hindu, he wondered how a single deity could handle the many requests made by so many different people. He questioned if God could hear his prayer. Because Lakshman did not know how to read, he prayed and asked God to teach him. He also combined his prayers with 10 days of fasting. On a Friday, the Holy Spirit spoke to him that his prayer would be answered. He went outside and saw writing on a wall and was able to understand it! People wondered how he was now beginning to read. As he pursued Christ through prayer, he felt convicted about the wrong things he had done in his life. He asked forgiveness and discovered the reality of Jesus living within.

Lakshman had a desire in his heart to share his new-found faith with others, but he didn’t know how. He connected with an ECC team leader and began watching, learning, and joining in the ministry. He was taught the T&M strategy and began sharing Bible stories in his own village. Ten people pursued faith in Christ and formed a nucleus of a new house church. Over time his vision also included the building of a place of worship. The poor villagers themselves doubted their ability to raise the necessary resources. With faith and the collateral of the women’s gold jewelry from the congregation, Lakshman somehow secured a large loan to begin construction. The work is now nearly finished. As we visited, a carpenter was making window frames with just a few basic tools.

Lakshman shared that he is currently training three new leaders and sharing the Gospel in 15 other villages. I never cease to be amazed at the obedient faith of my Indian brothers and sisters.

By Roger Kruse, Church Multiplication Facilitator in India

Tags: india, church planter, leader, faith

​5 Perfectly Awkward Moments to Share the Gospel

January 23 2018

1. In that unnervingly quiet elevator

An elevator ride is the perfect opportunity to share your testimony. Why? Here are a few reasons …

  • There is usually no one talking, so you have an open floor.
  • You may have several people to hear your message.
  • People can’t walk away from you.
  • Elevator music can make a dramatic story even more so.
  • You are sharing with strangers, so if you stammer, it’s no big deal.

The only thing that stands between you and elevator evangelism success is the small amount of time you have to share your message. Have you ever heard of an elevator speech? It is a speech that can be presented during the length of an elevator ride. It usually last about 30 seconds. What if you had a 30-second testimony prepared and ready to share that allows someone to hear the Gospel … maybe for the first time?

It goes like this (fill in your own blanks):

"There was a time in my life when I was ____. I surrendered to Jesus and decided to follow him. Now I am ____. Do you (would you like to) have a story like that?"


2.While waiting in the never-ending bathroom line

When you see a long line for the bathroom, I am sure your first thought isn’t “Yes! Perfect! Now I can share the Gospel with all these people,” but it should be! Every moment we encounter people is an opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus with them! If the line is long enough, you’ll have enough time go through the whole plan of salvation.


3.When you see your Facebook “friends” IRL (in real life)

You’re sitting at Starbucks, sippin' on your favorite mocha when you see someone waving hello to you from across the room and then walking toward you. Your mind races, trying to place that slightly familiar face. Then it hits you, one of your FB "friends" has come to life and is now approaching you, expecting real conversation. Are they a friend from high school? A former coworker? Wait, maybe you went to band camp with them in junior high school...

You might consider averting your eyes and making a bee-line for the door, but instead, why not just say "hi,” and ask how they are doing. When they ask, “How you have been?” or “How is life?” you can jump right into your 15-30-second testimony! They will be astonished at how Jesus has changed you so much over the years and may want to know more about him.


4.In the midst of unwelcome flirtation

Sometimes, you're just minding your own business when a well-meaning guy or girl comes up and tries to start a conversation. Maybe at times you don't mind, but there are other times when you don’t know how to politely say "no thanks." Since you already have a captive audience, why not use that opportunity to share?

Your response can be similar to Peter’s response to the lame man at the gates of the temple, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you.” Let them know that the light of God in your heart is what they really want, and you'd be happy to share that with them.


5.During the uncomfortable silence of your Uber ride

Most of us have been there. You leave your friends after a nice dinner and hop in the backseat of a large sedan the Uber app sends your way. Who knows who came up with the idea of ridesharing, but it is brilliant and awkward all at the same time. Ask any Uber driver and they will say they have heard everything. They have picked up sweet little old ladies going to the doctor and young party goers who could barely walk … and everyone in between. Your 10-minute ride back home is an opportunity to minister to that driver and share the Gospel.

Tags: 5 awkward moments, share gospel, share faith, witness, no fear,

​3 Reasons Why You Need to Share the Gospel

January 9 2018

Sharing the Gospel can be challenging and can bring on all kinds of uncomfortable feelings, especially at first. You might feel:

Fear.

Anxiety.

Awkwardness.

Maybe even nausea.

Statistics would show that more than 60 percent of all church going Christians never share their faith. Here are 3 good reasons to be part of the 40 percent that do share their faith regularly:

  1. You live in a hurting, broken world .

Go to any news site or just talk to a few friends, and you will quickly discover that darkness is real in the world today. Right now, worldwide, 350 million people are suffering from depression. Cancer will claim over 8 million lives this year alone. Since you started reading this blog someone somewhere has decided that their life is hopeless and has committed suicide. Think about people you know for a minute. Do you know anyone who has had cancer or is depressed? Can you think of someone who struggles with addiction or maybe struggles with loneliness or self-worth and copes with that through sex?

People are hurting, sick, and lost. After the fall of man, sin became this cancer on humanity. It is constantly eating away at everything that is good in order to keep us hurting in the dark. Sin is the disease, and Jesus is the only cure. If you know Jesus, you have a light that can dispel any darkness. You have medicine that can heal any sickness. You have a love that can comfort even the loneliest soul. This is the Good News that the world needs hear.

2. You have a unique story.

In Luke 8, Jesus heals a man who had a demon tormenting him. In verse 39, Jesus said, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” Jesus knew that he could reach the lost in his homeland with his story.

Throughout the Bible, we see the power in sharing testimonies. For example, Paul, who came to know Jesus in a drastic way, shared his testimony everywhere he went and with everyone he met, including King Agrippa whose father beheaded the apostle James and arrested Peter in an attempt to kill him. This is what he says after hearing Paul’s testimony, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” The beloved, John, writes in Revelation 12:11 that we overcome the accuser by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. You have your own story of how you were transformed by the Gospel, and God will put people in your path that need to hear it. There is power in your testimony. Share it.

3. God has called ALL of us to share the Good News.

It is easy to decide that sharing the Gospel is for pastors or TV evangelists, but the truth is that God calls every believer in Matthew 28:19 when Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” In Acts 1:8 Jesus said “And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” He didn’t say “some of you” for a reason. Sure, we all have different gifts and strengths that God will use for different purposes in his kingdom, but all of us, including you and me, are called to be witnesses of what he has done.

Sharing the Gospel can be intimidating, but once you overcome the initial fear and anxiety, it is incredibly rewarding. Do you remember what it felt like to be lost in darkness? Think back to what life was like without Jesus, without hope. Now remember what you felt when you said "yes" to the person of Jesus Christ. Remember the joy? Let that memory be a force that drives you to allow God to use you to rescue others.

“If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” Charles Spurgeon

If you are now asking yourself how to share the Gospel, click here for tips.

To join the movement, go to Billion.Global Vision.

One Mission Society is the founding partner of the Billion.Global Vision, which aims to give a billion people an opportunity to hear, understand, and believe the Good News of Jesus Christ . We pray that God will take our efforts and multiply them so that over a 10-year period (July 2016 - July 2026), at least one billion people will have the opportunity to respond to the Gospel.

Tags: be the one, share the gospel, evangelism, share your faith,

​"I really hate ultimate frisbee, but …"

July 7 2017

Chelsea Long, a junior at the University of Missouri Columbia, is passionate about telling people's stories. With an emphasis in strategic communication and a love of theater, her special set of skills reveal a young woman who strives to share everyone's unique story. So it's no surprise that she decided to serve in the Communications and Marketing Department this summer with One Mission Society.

Chelsea grew up in a Christian home with a family of strong believers. She was plugged into church the minute she was born, she jokes, but when she was old enough to finally join the youth group, the beloved youth pastor left. Unfortunately, the new youth pastor focused more on growing numbers than growing the faith of the people [who] had been there." By her sophomore year in high school, Chelsea joined a new church and youth group where she happily connected with a great group of Christian friends. But, after several issues, the friend group dissolved only two years later, leaving Chelsea feeling isolated and alone, like she had no one to lean on or pour into her spiritual life.

When it came time to choose a university, Chelsea chose one that everyone warned was a huge party school, effectively causing her to worry about falling in with the wrong crowd of people. So, the minute she arrived on campus, she dedicated herself to finding a good group of Christian students. It just so happened that soon after her arrival, she was invited to play ultimate frisbee with a group of fellow Christians. Chelsea’s first thoughts were, “Yes, friends! Boo ultimate frisbee!” Despite the fact that she firmly hates ultimate frisbee, she went in order to invest in and cultivate relationships. She reflects that this group of friends has been instrumental in "building me up, strengthening my faith, and teaching me how to live out my faith, especially in a very secular school."

With the summer quickly approaching, Chelsea actively sought an internship that was either nonprofit or focused on ministry. This led her to accept a summer position with OMS, a decision she does not regret.

"OMS gives you great experience in your specific field of study, while also helping you build your faith while being surrounded by a great group of believers."


This is our fifth in a series of five blogs about our summer interns. We hope you enjoyed learning more about them. If you, or someone you know, is interested in an internship at OMS, email go@onemissionsociety.org.

Tags: summer internship, interns, communications, college intern, growing faith,

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,

​What Might Happen? Finding a Person of Peace

April 14 2015

Faith. Without this we are lost. Pastor Willy had faith, but he needed guidance from God. The group of four from Faith Evangelical Church of the Philippines, Inc. and One Mission Society traveled to Tacloban City with an overabundance of faith and trust. They knew God would show them a way.

Their first goal was to get to a hotel to drop their luggage. In a ravaged city, this is not an easy task. Many places were destroyed and transportation was limited. With this in mind, they attempted to hail a motorcycle taxi (trike) in hopes of easier mobility. The first trike they stopped was not for hire. The driver was a vendor of peanuts heading home after a long day.

Knowing the difficulties of finding transportation, he gave them a ride. Conversation ensued as the men described why they came to the area. He had nothing to gain from them, but he offered his house to them as a place to stay. This one ride resulted in the driver becoming their local contact or person of peace (see Luke 10).

The peanut vendor soon accepted Christ into his life and became instrumental in introducing Pastors Willy and Vicky to many people impacted by the typhoon. Since that chance meeting, his business has flourished. Through faith, God revealed their person of peace and an opening into a community in pain.

The person of peace described in Luke 10 will welcome you into their house. This testimony shows God still reveals those people today. We meet people daily in our lives. Many are living without hope and simply need someone to reach out to them. How often do we overlook opportunities? “If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not it will return to you” (Luke 10:6). Keep an eye out for persons of peace in your life.

To be continued …

By Shane Christopher, Development Officer, Every Community for Christ

Tags: person of peace, faith, philippines, typhoon,

What Might Happen? - Faith

April 13 2015

Faith.

Without this we are lost. Pastor Willy had faith, but he needed guidance from God. The group of four from FECPI and OMS traveled to Tacloban City with an overabundance of faith and trust. They knew God would show them a way.

Their first goal was to get to a hotel and drop luggage. In a ravaged city, this is not an easy task. Many places were destroyed and transportation was limited. With this in mind, they attempted to hail a motorcycle taxi (trike) in hopes of easier mobility. The first trike they stopped was not for hire. The driver was a vendor of peanuts heading home after a long day.

Knowing the difficulties of finding transportation, he gave them a ride. Conversation ensued as the men described why they came to the area. He had nothing to gain from them, but he offered his house to them as a place to stay. This one ride resulted in the driver becoming their contact, or Person of Peace (Luke 10).

The peanut vendor soon accepted Christ into his life and became instrumental in introducing Pastors Willy and Vicky to many people impacted by the typhoon. Since that chance meeting, his business has flourished. Through faith, God revealed their person of peace and an opening into a community that was in pain.

The person of peace described in Luke 10 will welcome you into their house. This testimony shows God still reveals those people today. We meet people daily in our lives. Many are living without hope and simply need someone to reach out to them. How often do we overlook opportunities? “If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not it will return to you.” (Luke 10:6) Keep an eye out for persons of peace in your life.

To be continued…

Tags: faith, philippines, compassion, typhoon, person of peace,

Teens Share Faith in Colombia

September 17 2014

Enjoy this ministry report from OMS missionary kid (MK) Maddy Carlson. She, her brother Micah, dad Greg, and 7 others on the team shared the Gospel on a short-term evangelism trip to Colombia in July with One Mission Society. Hopefully this will inspire you to KNOW you too can share your faith with others as these teens did.

Colombia Report from Maddy

As we walked along the streets of Medellin, Colombia, in July, I saw some people sleeping on the sidewalk. I knew that when Jesus looked into the hearts of people, he had compassion on them. When I looked at them, all I could do was pray, "God, make their lives alright and change them."

I walked with an interpreter and someone from the local church, knocking on doors. Every day, we visited a different community. The Colombians had already been praying and fasting over their communities a long time before we arrived. As visitors, my teammates and I shared our testimony and presented the Gospel using the Evangecube. The local church member took note of who prayed to receive Christ. As each day concluded, we presented the names of the new believers as a gift to the local house church to disciple. In four days, through six teenagers and four dads, 335 prayed to receive Christ!

Maddy evangelizing
He never opened the gate, but it did not

stop him from opening his heart to Christ.

I was nervous the first day we began to walk the rough streets of Medellin. I saw an elderly gentleman sweeping his stairs and asked if we could get his attention. As I shared, he continued to sweep, so I thought, "He doesn't care about what we're saying." However, when I began to present the Gospel, he became very interested. Even though a security gate stood between us, he listened. He never opened the gate, but it did not stop him from opening his heart to Christ. He was the first person I had ever led to Christ!

I described my Colombian ministry trip to a youth leader after I returned home. "I don't think I could ever do that," she said to me. I heard myself tell her, "Really, it's not hard or scary because you know that God is watching over you. You have people with you and other people praying for you. Anyone can tell people about God. You just have to have faith."

Tags: missions, evangelism, sharing faith, door-to-door, teens,