For Greater Things: Learning From Lettie Cowman's Words of Wisdom

March 7 2018

During this time of physical pain that has brought me back to the U.S. for a time, God has been showing me in Scripture about "greater things" (John 14:12-14) that He is doing, which I believe are eternal things. Physical healing is truly great, but God is also doing eternal things, in and through us, that are even greater.

Bruce and Mabel Callender, who started the OMS (One Mission Society) work in Mozambique, sent me a book about two of the founders of OMS, Charles and Lettie Cowman, The Story Behind Streams in the Desert, which is Lettie Cowman's journal during the last year of her husband Charles' life. (He died of cancer at the age of 56.)

What God continues to show me is that His higher thoughts and ways are for greater things, whether or not they include physical healing. We praise God for healing when it comes, in life or death, but we can know that He is doing eternal things. As I read the book, I was encouraged to see that Lettie had come to the same realization.

"There came to me today the thought which I believe was given me of God that there is something greater than healing for us. God may have a far deeper thought than just healing. We shall yet see it...God is using this affliction to teach us of Himself and when it is complete we shall find that we have more than healing." (L. Cowman)

I do believe that God will heal me in this life. It's hard to wait on Him, feel pain, and trust in His will, but I know that He is doing greater eternal things.

Charles and Lettie were living in Los Angeles at the time of Charles' death, where the OMS offices were. I recently visited the cemetery where they are buried to reflect and thank God for the extraordinary things He did through their lives, their suffering, and their faithfulness.

~Aimee Howarth, OMS missionary in Mozambique

Tags: oms legacy, oms history, lettie cowman, streams in the desert, mozambique, illness

​10 Days of Summer English Camp Not Enough

May 10 2016

Although Ukraine has a long history of Christianity, 70 years of Soviet atheism and the recent influence of post-Christian Europe have made it a country with an interesting mix of spiritual interests.

Many grandmothers here still hold to the traditional Christian faith—often visiting the Orthodox church services with its candles, painted icons of the saints and sing-song liturgy in an old form of Russian.

Many middle-aged people, meanwhile, remember their scientific Soviet education and don’t put much stock in the teaching about a Creator.

But many young people have spiritual interest—some lightly holding to the traditional Christian faith, while others are trying out Eastern religious practices in search of deeper spiritual meaning or seeking an identity in an ancient pagan religion from Ukraine’s past.

This is where OMS has been led to invest its efforts in evangelism and church planting among the more spiritually open young people.

The OMS team in Kyiv (Kiev) has been working among university students and young adults, seeking to make disciples who want to gather in small groups called Life Groups and to reach out to friends and family with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

It’s an exciting adventure, and it’s been a joy to see God raise up young leaders called Encouragers, who have taken responsibility to lead Life Groups, to share with their friends about Jesus, and to help organize special outreach events at Christmas and Easter.

But the biggest evangelistic event of the year is our English camp ministry. We recruit teams of native English speakers from North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand to help lead the camps. And then we invite pre-Christian, but English-speaking, Ukrainian university students to participate.

Camps are a great way to see God work through ordinary Christian people who come together to just show the love of God.

We’ve had farmers, cell phone store managers, school teachers, small business owners, pastors, university students, architects, veterinarians and many others participate as teachers in our camps each summer, and God has used them powerfully.

They didn’t have to speak Russian or Ukrainian. They didn’t have to be theologically trained experts. They didn’t even have to know the ins and outs of English grammar. They just needed to be in love with Jesus and willing to let him love Ukrainians through them.

And he does. One of the most common student responses we get at the end of our camps is how much the Ukrainian students loved the atmosphere of the camp.

“I loved the busy schedule and the great atmosphere of cheer and faith,” wrote 17-year-old Sasha at the end of the 2014 camp. “I loved everything, but maybe 10 days isn’t enough!”

Lola, also 17, agreed. “Our sincere talks with some people were better than anything. I felt a lot of pain inside, but such amazing people here helped me to overcome all the bad feelings inside of me.”

On the last night of one recent camp, one girl stood up at the final banquet and said that she came to camp empty in her soul, but she said her time at camp had changed her. She said Jesus had filled her heart, and she was going away full.

But Ukrainians aren’t the only ones who are changed—so are the native speakers who come to help lead the camp.

“This was an amazing experience, and it helped me grow closer to God as well as to make many new friends,” wrote a bank teller from southwestern Nebraska.

“It’s an awesome way to minister to others!” wrote a university student from Pennsylvania.

“I learned a lot from the entire experience, and my faith has definitely grown as a result of the camp,” wrote a businesswoman from New Zealand. “This is one of the best (if not the best) camp I have been to.”

We have a few spots for women left at our two camps this summer if you would be interested in joining. Or you could start planning for next summer. It’s a great opportunity to stretch yourself and to grow in your relationship with God. Not to mention that it’s a lot of fun!

And if you can’t come to the camp, don’t worry. You can pray. We need more prayer warriors for Ukraine and financial gifts for the camper scholarship are always welcome.

By Randy Marshall, OMS missionary in Ukraine

Tags: summer camp, english camp, ukraine, ukraine history, religion, camp fun,

Brief OMS History

May 12 2016

OMS was birthed in a storefront building in the heart of Tokyo, Japan. In 1901, American missionaries Charles and Lettie (the author of the best-selling devotional, Streams in the Desert) Cowman partnered with a Japanese pastor, Juji Nakada, holding Christian evangelistic meetings for 2,000 consecutive nights. Before long, Japanese churches were organized, and the new association, the Japan Holiness Church (JHC), grew rapidly.

Originally known as the Oriental Missionary Society, today OMS is engaged in ministry in more than 70 countries on six continents. Partnership remain key to the effectiveness of OMS making disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19).

Working with and alongside like-minded Christian groups, organizations, and national churches,OMS seeks to communicate the love of God, establish Christian churches, and train and equip a nation’s people to lead and multiply their churches.

Tags: oms, history, cowman, nakada,

​Here to Stay in Hungary

January 13 2016

Back in 1989, Hungary was a part of the movement that helped set in motion a series of dominoes that ultimately led to the fall of the Iron Curtain. That was when Hungary first opened its border to the West. It allowed visitors from East Germany to cross over and visit friends and relatives in Austria and West Germany. Once this was done, East Germany had to open its own border. Thousands of people began to stream into the West.

Soon, Communist governments throughout the Soviet block began to crumble, and the Berlin Wall and Iron Curtain came down. In 1990, Hungary held its first free elections. In 1997, it became a member of NATO. On May 1, 2004, it joined the European Union.

Much has changed since Hungary first opened it border to the West. And the country continues to change at a rapid pace. For one thing, Hungary is going through a cultural revolution as a new generation grows up with no memory of what it was like to live under a Communist dictatorship. These young people have very different expectations and a very different way of looking at the world than do their parents and grandparents. So, where is Hungary now? Where has it come over the last 25 years? And where is it going?

OMS has been in Hungary since August 1992. In 1994, we began our summer English camp program in cooperation with the Hungarian military. For many years, we worked alongside the military, teaching English to students in secondary schools. God did amazing things through this ministry, and great fruit was born from these labors. Most of our young Hungarian leadership of today came to know the Lord through our camp and English ministries. Eventually, when Hungary joined NATO, it closed all of its secondary schools. Nevertheless, our English-based ministries have continued on and have gone in several new directions. This has led to new needs, including a “home” of our own — a ministry center.

A dedicated ministry center would not only give our team a valuable home for its English clubs, youth ministry, and other develping ministries, it would make an important statement to the people of Hungary, especially to the younger generation. Such a center would tell the people of Hungary that we are here to stay, and that we are not another fly-by-night organization that has come to take what we want and then leave. Stability, accountability, and commitment are all very important to the Hungarian people. These things provide the foundation for trust and cooperation.

Our team now has the opportunity to establish its own ministry center. We purchased a run-down building that once served as an artist’s studio. It is in a wonderful location, just a stone’s throw from several major public transportation lines. And it offers a wide range of possible uses. But it is in great need of complete renovation. Would you consider helping us bring this project to fruition?

Check out more information on the Ministry Center here.

By Will Dickerson, Former OMS Hungary Field Leader

Tags: hungary, ministry center, history, iron curtain, communist,

Train & Multiply History

April 23 2015

The use of Train & Multiply marks a new paradigm in discipleship. As a young missionary in Honduras, George Patterson became frustrated when his traditional teaching methods at a small Bible school didn’t work. So, he dug into the New Testament to study the methods of Jesus and Paul. He talked with older, experienced missionaries.

George discovered a simple but powerful paradigm modeled by Jesus and taught by Paul. “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” 2 Timothy 2:2 (NIV).

Train & Multiply uses this paradigm to take the training to ordinary, mature believers already involved in ministry. It can be used where believers live and work. The material is broken down into simple, easy-to-understand training booklets. Leaders are taught to introduce the booklets at the precise moment the believer needs the material in their ministry and coach them on how to implement it. In this way, it can be passed on for use by other ordinary, mature believers in other communities.

In 1985, Patterson left Honduras and turned all of his booklets over to S.E.A.N. (Study by Extension for All Nations) in Chile. S.E.A.N. worked with a large team of people to transform these hundreds of booklets into a set of approximately 60 books and manuals. They called this new work “Train and Multiply.”

S.E.A.N. entered a joint venture agreement with Project WorldReach (PWR) in 2000. PWR, under the leadership of Lloyd Niles, had seen the value of T&M and had a vision to see it expand and serve all nations in many languages. One key aspect of the partnership was to have T&M materials held centrally with Project WorldReach so that they would be available worldwide!

Then, in 2012, One Mission Society entered a joint venture with Project WorldReach and both now share the copyrights, management, distribution, training, and translation of T&M.

Tags: train & multiply, history, george patterson, 2 timothy 2:2, booklets, pwr, oms, one mission society, t&m,

​A History of Train & Multiply

April 22 2015

The use of Train & Multiply marks a new paradigm in discipleship. As a young missionary in Honduras, George Patterson became frustrated when his traditional teaching methods at a small Bible school didn’t work. So, he dug into the New Testament to study the methods of Jesus and Paul. He talked with older, experienced missionaries.

George discovered a simple but powerful paradigm modeled by Jesus and taught by Paul. “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” 2 Timothy 2:2 (NIV).

Train & Multiply uses this paradigm to take the training to ordinary, mature believers already involved in ministry. It can be used where believers live and work. The material is broken down into simple, easy-to-understand training booklets. Leaders are taught to introduce the booklets at the precise moment the believer needs the material in their ministry and coach them on how to implement it. In this way, it can be passed on for use by other ordinary, mature believers in other communities.

In 1985, Patterson left Honduras and turned all of his booklets over to S.E.A.N. (Study by Extension for All Nations) in Chile. S.E.A.N. worked with a large team of people to transform these hundreds of booklets into a set of approximately 60 books and manuals. They called this new work “Train and Multiply.”

S.E.A.N. entered a joint venture agreement with Project WorldReach (PWR) in 2000. PWR, under the leadership of Lloyd Niles, had seen the value of T&M and had a vision to see it expand and serve all nations in many languages. One key aspect of the partnership was to have T&M materials held centrally with Project WorldReach so that they would be available worldwide!

Then, in 2012, One Mission Society entered a joint venture with Project WorldReach and both now share the copyrights, management, distribution, training, and translation of T&M.

Tags: train & multiply, training, 2 timothy 2:2, history, joint venture,

OMS Family Tree

February 4 2015

One Mission Society is not just an international mission organization, it is a family—a very diverse family—but a family nonetheless. Our OMS family tree began as a sprout planted in the soil of Japan, lovingly tended by Charles and Lettie Cowman, Juji Nakada, and Ernest and Julia Kilbourne. Rooted in holiness and resolute faith in a life-giving God, the tree grew sturdy and strong, branching out across the seas into all the continents, with the exception of Antarctica. However, if a civilization existed, I guess we would have been there by now too.

For the past 114 years, the OMS family tree has continually produced fruit with an eternal shelf life. Just last year, in 2014, more than 1 million people came to faith in Jesus Christ through the ministries of OMS! There is much more work to do, and I pray 2015 will be just as fruitful … and more because OMS makes disciples of Jesus Christ. We do not just count raised hands responding to a sermon. Our missionaries and national partners cultivate disciples and church plants that are able, willing, and eager to reproduce. Following Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations is the soil One Mission Society uses to plan, plant, and produce disciples who will carry on the process to their own cultures and fellow citizens.

Founded on the principle that the most effective way to share Christ is by training a nation’s people to lead and multiply their churches, the OMS family tree grows with every person who comes into the family of believers. We do not do this for ourselves but for the glory of God.

By Beth Jordal - Communications

Tags: mission history, making disciples, family tree