December 12 2018
Seventy men, women, and children sat down on the large plastic tarp spread out on the dirt at the entrance of the village. With a dubious history as roving Gypsy thieves, this unique community of the Banjara tribal people is now settling into a more traditional agricultural life. What a privilege for me to stand before them sharing God’s Word.
The stories of Jesus I chose seemed to capture their focus and move their hearts. Indian people delight in drama, so my translator and I acted out some of the events described. Their response showed clearly that God was at work! The next thing I knew I was given a bag of candy to pass out to the children.
It was obvious to me that the village people lacked basic, essential health care. Open sores, infections, and disabling injuries were quite evident. Our team spontaneously promised to sponsor a free medical clinic in the coming year. God’s love is best understood when it is demonstrated, not only explained. Expressions of kindness and compassion were the norm in Jesus’ own ministry. He healed the sick and took notice of those suffering without help and hope. May the Lord teach us all how to be sensitive, ready and willing to meet the needs of people around us. It is the greatest joy in life!
By Roger Kruse, Church Multiplication Facilitator in India
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.
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
November 12 2018
Daisy lives in Chennai, India, with her husband and two daughters. Both Daisy and her husband come from upper poor class families, with little education. Because of their
economic situation, they have struggled to meet their daily needs, especially once their girls started school.
Desperate, Daisy searched out answers at the Koladi Church, one of our partner churches in the Evangelical Church of India (ECI). She poured out her heart to God, asking him to help meet her needs. He answered through the ECI ministry, Lydia Women’s Fellowship and their tailoring school ministry.
Daisy enrolled as a student and soon learned the different skills and techniques needed to be a skilled seamstress. Today, having mastered the art of tailoring, Daisy is one of the teachers at the school. Nearly 70 women have been trained at this school, and now, there are many similar schools throughout the country, empowering women to earn an income.
The blessings Daisy received through this ministry are countless. Daisy and her family are financially stable. She earns enough to send both daughters to university to ensure their futures. She has also been able to buy a home and manage her own tailoring shop, employing two more women in need. Daisy can now tithe regularly and even sponsors a child in need.
Daisy is so grateful to Kathiroli, the leader of the Lydia ministry in charge of the Sewing for Sowing project, which provides the opportunity to women like Daisy to change their lives both financially and spiritually. A gift of $100 provides one sewing machine or you could provide machines for an entire school for $800.
August 22 2017
was born into a Hindu family in the Indian state of Karnataka. During his
childhood, Arjun's sister and parents came to faith in Jesus. The family began
to attend the local church of the Evangelical Church of India, but Arjun could
not understand his need for salvation in Christ. Then one night, while
attending a revival service at the ECI church, the Holy Spirit spoke to him from
Jeremiah 1:5, and Arjun realized that God had been calling him from his
mother's womb into a personal relationship as a disciple of Jesus Christ. He
confessed his sins and asked Jesus to take control of his life.
2010, Arjun enrolled as a student at the Karnataka Bible Seminary, one of the
ten regional Bible schools of the Evangelical Church of India that focus on
raising up grassroots level church planters to launch and develop new churches
that multiply. During his studies at KBS, the course in personal evangelism
equipped him to share the Gospel effectively among his Hindu neighbors and
family members. Upon graduation from the graduate of theology program of KBS,
Arjun was appointed as a pastor to a small village church. He is now continuing
his studies, pursuing the bachelor of theology degree at KBS.
met Arjun in November of 2016 when I visited the school in Karnataka to facilitate
training in Train & Multiply. T&M equips believers to find persons of
peace, share the Good News, teach believers to follow the commands of Jesus,
and multiply healthy, growing churches to the second and third generations and
beyond. In a joint effort with OMS’ Every Community for Christ team and the
Theological Education team, we are working with the Allahabad Bible Seminary and
the regional Bible schools of ECI to incorporate T&M into their courses of
eagerly participated during the November training, and he reports that he was
especially influenced by the 12
Principles of Church Multiplication. Today, he continues to learn the
principles and practices of T&M at KBS, even as he applies that learning in
his ministry as a pastor in a local village.
is only one example of the strategic role of the seminaries and Bible schools
of ECI. Their impact goes far beyond the classroom into the cities, towns, and
villages of India, often in partnership with the India Missionary Movement ministry
of the Evangelical Church of India.
These dedicated faculty and students are training thousands of pastors
and laypersons while also engaging in creative and effective community outreach
and evangelism. They do so with meager resources and most often in the face of
fierce opposition and increasing persecution. Across India today, young leaders
like Arjun are bringing transformation to individuals, families, and
learn more about the seminaries and Bible schools of the Evangelical Church of
India and how you can support them, contact OMS Theological Education or International
Support Ministries or give here.
By Dick Freed, Director
of OMS Learning & Development
withheld for security.
October 21 2016
Susheel was trained by Sunil, a fellow Indian church planter. Amazingly, his life in the village early on was characterized by some sort of insanity. As a boy he roamed about the village touching people’s feet with a neem tree twig used as a tooth brush! He failed in school, eventually lost hope and any desire to live. He wanted to hang himself. Upon reading a Christian tract, given by a cousin, God’s truth began to penetrate his heart and mind. This led to a desperate prayer for help from Jesus, which over time, brought him healing from his mental and emotional distress. Later on, his sister in law was delivered from demonization, which also led to a dramatic change in his grandfather who was a witch doctor. When visiting Susheel’s church, I noticed his humble tears of gratitude to the God he now loves and serves. As a Train & Multiply church planter he has a vision to reach 100 villages with the Gospel and is already visiting 60 of them each month! He is training 20 pastoral workers who are helping to bring this goal to reality.
Pray for Susheel and other Indian church planters as they plant new churches and disciple new believers around India.
By OMS missionary Roger Kruse, India field leader
September 22 2016
establishing a strong foundation of church multiplication in India, James, the
Every Community for Christ assistant national coordinator for North India,
taught a Bible college class about Train & Multiply (T&M). The next
week, one of the students traveled home and visited his friend, Mohit*. Mohit
was pastoring a church, but his vision was to plant many other churches in his
area of staunch Hinduism. However, he had become discouraged. After years of
trying, he still had just one small congregation.
student told him about James and the success of T&M in multiplying
churches. Mohit was interested, so he contacted James, who invited him to attend
a T&M training in Allahabad. Mohit was impressed with this simple,
practical method, and he immediately returned to his town and trained three
other men to use T&M to plant churches. Nine months later, more than 1,000
new believers from 50 new house churches gathered together to celebrate
Christmas for the first time.
continues to train many others in his area. As an experienced leader, he
trained new church planters at the Jubilee training in Chennai. God has
transformed Mohit from a discouraged, unfruitful pastor into a dynamic trainer
of trainers who has launched a church-planting movement in northern India.
changed for security.
September 15 2016
Prema Alexander was
born on January 12, 1956, in Tamil Nadu, South India. She was raised in a strong
Christian home, along with five brothers and four sisters of which Prema was
the eldest. They were taught God’s Word and to have faith in him from an early
In 1976, she married Rev.
Alexander. They began the Lord’s ministry in South India with the ECI
(Evangelical Church of India). They first planted two churches in local villages.
God blessed their
ministry and their family life. He gave them six children, three of whom are
married and have started their own families. In 1984, ECI asked them to move to
Mumbai city in Maharashtra (West India). They began ministries in several
places. God enabled them to establish churches in these places despite many
In July 1989, they
moved to Aurangabad to develop the church ministry there. Ministry began in the
village outskirts of various towns. In that time of ministry, many people were
delivered from demonic possession in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Others who
did not know the name of Jesus Christ believed in the Gospel when they heard
it. They were added into the churches, and thus, ministry of the Gospel grew
amid the challenges.
In 1997, Prema and her
husband established a church in Mukundwadi. ECI purchased the land and built a
church building where the Alexanders preached there among the Mang, Chamar,
Mahar, Buddhist, Maratha, and other people groups. Many believed in Jesus
Christ and were baptized and added to the church.
In 2000, Prema’s beloved
husband died of a heart attack. But despite his death, she felt a burden to
continue the ministry they had shared of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus
Christ, making disciples, and planting churches. Prema is grateful for the help
and encouragement of the Bishop President Ezra Sargunam and ECI in this time
that allowed her to thrive in ministry and complete her two-year theological training
That’s when Prema
became a full-time evangelist, walking from village to village to tell people
about Jesus. Meanwhile, her children
grew up. Her eldest son James completed
his studies at Allahabad Bible Seminary and became an ECI pastor. However, he
felt a calling to minister to the Hindi-speaking people of North India. In 2009,
he joined the Every Community for Christ ministry as the training coordinator
for North India and began working with OMS missionaries to train hundreds of
church planters. As James flourished in this church-planting ministry, the Lord
granted Prema favor, at age 60, to plant 11 churches. ECI appointed her area
chair to oversee the churches in the area.
Recently, her son James
was appointed as the associate ECC national coordinator for India. Prema shared, “The OMS missionaries trained
him and several others to assume full responsibility for training the ECC teams
in India, using a method called Train & Multiply. This has been so
successful that there were more than 11,000 house churches planted by the end
of 2015. When James told me that ECI was planning to train 7,000 people in
Train & Multiply in 2016, I realized that God had a bigger plan for my
life. Instead of planting one church at a time, God could use me to plant
churches that would multiply by the hundreds or even thousands!”
Prema not only attended
the ECC training event in June, she also recruited 24 other men and women to
join her in Chennai. “My son James and the other trainers prepared us to be
God’s choice instruments to build his kingdom in India. We returned to our
homes and, in the power of the Holy Spirit, will now do all that he has
prepared us to do. To God be the glory!” What an exciting time of church growth
To donate to help accelerate the church growth in India, click here.
September 7 2016
story of the church in India begins with the arrival of the Apostle Thomas in
the first century. He established a toehold before being martyred. Since then,
the church has grown slowly. Only two percent of Indians identified as
Christians in 2000. Something needed to change.
2010, OMS moved away from the traditional church planting methods of the past
and introduced two church multiplication processes: Train & Multiply
(T&M) and Village Church Planting (VCP). Both of these resulted in more
rapid planting of churches but still depended too much on Western trainers. When
the Evangelical Church of India (ECI) leaders asked these OMS trainers in 2014
to train seminary students to use T&M, we said, “No, we won’t train the
students, but we will train the Indian coordinators to train the students.”
training was the turning point. It was practical, fun, and needed no
translation. The seminary students responded with enthusiasm and immediately
began using T&M in their practical work of planting churches on the weekends
in surrounding villages. More trainings followed as the coordinators traveled
to various Indian states to train hundreds of ECI pastors, lay leaders, and
Indian missionaries. Then Ezra Sargunam, ECI Bishop-President, declared that
OMS was to train 7,000 church planters at the denomination’s 60th
anniversary Diamond Jubilee celebration in January 2016 in Chennai.
a challenge! ECI and OMS leaders met in October 2015 to plan this event AND
what must follow. They faced many challenges, but everyone was encouraged as
the plans took shape:
$350,000 to pay for travel and food for 7,000 people.
$30,000 to translate 280 pages of material into Indian languages and print
for a five-acre tent pavilion that would accommodate separate training areas
for four language groups.
a similar pavilion where participants and their families could sleep.
approximately 760 small group leaders to lead small groups at the Jubilee
the feeding of 7,000 and their families.
had planned, though, for the Chennai flood. Weeks of non-stop rain in December
2015 flooded Chennai and the surrounding areas to such an extent that ECI’s
attention was fixed on flood relief. ECI reluctantly postponed this event until
was the bad news. The good news was that the delay allowed the needed time to
complete translation and printing of the training books. Although the
postponement meant that some people could not attend due to other commitments,
penalties for changing train tickets, and extremely hot weather, the trainers
and nearly 5,000 participants still persevered and attended the massive
training event this past June. James, Amos, Raju, Lawrance John, and Rajan
facilitated the training, and the small group leaders trained with passion and
the hard work begins. In order to reach the next goal of 100,000 house
churches, all of these leaders will follow up with those who received training.
Follow-up meetings began in July to review the plans and action steps of each
church planter, schedule regular coaching meetings, and answer questions. In
the first meetings, 89 church planters committed to establish 184 new house
churches by October. These are exciting times of growth in India!
donate to help accelerate the church growth in India, click here.
March 18 2016
Luelf Duewel was born in St. Charles, Missouri (a suburb of St Louis), on
Saturday, June 3, 1916, to God-honoring parents. His father was an evangelical
pastor, Bible college president, and radio preacher. His mother was a godly
woman with a deep and meaningful prayer life.
made his first profession of faith as a five-year-old, and soon thereafter was
called by God, in the midst of his sandbox, to serve as a missionary to India.
Throughout his life, he made many more life-changing decisions based on his
increasing spiritual maturity that became evident in his heart, through his
youth experiences; young adult education; professional preparation, up to and
including, his election as the fifth president of OMS; and into his writing
ministry following his presidency.
relied primarily on prayer and a sanctified sense of God’s guidance as he met
and married his first wife, Betty Raisch, in 1939. He discovered she had
claimed the life verse that he had: “Enlarge
the place of your tent; stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back;
lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the
right and to the left” Isaiah 54:2-3a. This promise served as a predictor
of his eventual worldwide ministry.
his time at God’s Bible School, Wesley prayed earnestly for “an effectual door”
to open for him to serve in India. By 1940, Wesley and Betty Duewel were among
the first group of seven OMS missionaries who sailed for India.
and Betty underscored their work with prayer, and within two years, he helped
found the Allahabad Bible Seminary. It was into this prayer-filled home that
their son, John Wesley, was born in 1944. A daughter, Christine, joined the
family two years later, and Darlene was included 10 years following.
Wesley taught for 22 years at the seminary and served as its principal for 15,
he and Betty carried a special burden for a praying, spirit-filled church in
India. After a quarter of a century, there was one church for every year they
labored in love, with about 60 members each, and three small Bible schools in
three states of India.
for an OMS Board meeting in 1964, somewhere over the Pacific between Honolulu
and Los Angeles, Wesley prayed again: “Oh
Lord, give us 1,000 people who will commit themselves to pray for 15 minutes a
day for at least one year, specifically praying for our OMS India work.”
God honored that prayer with 1,500 people from 30 nations who prayed over the
next 12 months. It was a spiritual jump-start that broke through strongholds
and opened the way for the Gospel to advance like never before.
growth and development of the Evangelical Church of India (ECI) was slow,
starting with one church every year for the first 25 years, then increasing to
one church every month over the next 25 years, then one church every week over
the next 10 years, then three churches every week over the next 10 years. Today,
the ECI consists of more than 5,276 churches and 8,018 house churches, with a
membership of more than 750,000 and growing at the rate of approximately 4½
churches weekly. There are also 13 Bible schools and seminaries. The deeply
embedded prayer habit sown by Wesley and Betty during ECIs foundational years made
Duewel concluded his 13-year organizational leadership tenure in 1982 with a
mission-wide emphasis called “Decade of
Harvest.” The next 10 years was one of the most fruitful eras of
productivity One Mission Society had ever experienced. Following his
presidency, Wesley was led to expand his writing ministry. His first major book,
Touch the World through Prayer, has
become a modern-day classic; circulation has reached nearly one million and Dr.
Duewel’s ten subsequent publications have exceeded 2.5 million in circulation
printed in 58 languages worldwide.
Betty passed away in 2008, Wesley married his long-time secretary, Hilda
Johnecheck, who faithfully worked at his side in the Duewel Literature Trust, a not-for-profit, self-funded ministry.
“You can stand beside the great evangelists
of our day; accompany any missionary to the remote reaches of the earth;
contribute to the ministry of any pastor or evangelist in the world; or mediate
the healing of Jesus Christ to the sick, ill, or faint of heart anywhere on the
globe. Prayer is not the only thing you must do. It is the greatest thing you
can do.” Indeed, God enlarged and stretched, lengthened, and strengthened
Wesley’s ministry beyond anything that he, his parents, his wives, or his
colleagues could ever have imagined. He was a man of many peers, but few
Now to him
who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according
to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church
and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20–21).
John, Christine, Darlene, as well as your children and grandchildren, be assured
of our love and prayers for you during these days. The entire worldwide OMS
family expresses our profound appreciation for Wesley’s tireless service for
God and his kingdom. We pray that the Holy Spirit’s presence and comfort will
uplift and strengthen you during these days of mourning your great loss. We
know, however, that you do not grieve as those who have no hope. We rejoice
with you, imagining how wonderful to Wesley’s ears were the words spoken to him
by Jesus, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” And we rejoice with you in
knowing that someday we will not only join Wesley in worshiping around the
throne, but thousands and thousands of those whom he touched, through prayer,
around the world.
Esther and me personally, we had read some of Dr. Duewel’s writings and heard
about him. But it wasn’t until we came to OMS in 2014 that we met him. We knew
right away that we were in the presence of a great man of God, a spiritual
giant! What a joy and honor it has been
to pray and interact with him, to be inspired and challenged by him, and to see
him finish well. The life he lived, and
the way in which he lived it, will continue to be a poignant spiritual
challenge to us and many others. We are so grateful for the life and ministry
of Dr. Wesley Duewel.
rejoice with you as his family and express deep gratitude to our Lord for a
life extremely well lived for God’s honor and glory,
President, One Mission
To view a video tribute of Dr. Duewel, created by OMS in 2007 for the honor of being name the first Lifetime of Service award:
To give a financial gift to the Dr. Wesley Duewel Memorial Fund...
To view the Celebration of Life service...
February 26 2016
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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