April 12 2019
In April 2018, ONE man attended a HOPE61 training program in Kiteezi, Uganda, to learn how to prevent
human trafficking in his area. In HOPE61 training,
participants learn what is causing people to be vulnerable to becoming involved
in human trafficking. They also learn that EVERYONE has assets, skills, and
resources to help those in their community who are vulnerable. This man
realized that young men in his community were vulnerable to becoming involved
in human trafficking because they were uneducated and unable to obtain good
employment to provide for their families. Many young men, in this situation,
end up seeking work overseas, and this is one of the easiest traps that
traffickers can use to enslave people.
This young man also knew that he had a skill for
furniture making and other types of woodworking. He decided to begin training
these young men in carpentry and furniture making skills as a way to reduce
their vulnerability to human trafficking. He opened a storefront and called
the business Blessed Furniture. At Blessed Furniture, these young men have
learned to make beds and dressers, as well as more detailed woodworking like
turning bowls and chalices on a lathe. They are making a good wage now and will
soon have the skills to open their own businesses. The activity around the
small shop is all based on the love of Jesus Christ, and the message of the
Gospel is being shared with the young men working there and many other people
who pass by the shop. This young man understood that as he ENGAGES ONE, HE IS ABLE TO REACH MANY.
There is a particular Muslim girl who is a
friend of one of the young men. She has been hanging around the shop with her
friend and hearing about the love of Jesus and his desire for all to be saved
by calling upon his name. Although she has not accepted this gift yet, she is
well on her way to welcoming Jesus into her life. This is what HOPE61 is all about. Encouraging people to use their own gifts and
resources to help those around them,
sharing the Gospel with them, and welcoming them into the community of the
local church to be discipled in the Word is the vision for the HOPE61 ministry.
By Tom Overton,
Director of HOPE61
March 8 2019
As a missionary, I am frequently asked where I serve. Ordinarily, I am not shy, but this question always makes me a bit nervous. It isn’t that I don’t have an answer. No, this awkward feeling in the pit of my stomach is because, well, my response isn’t what most people expect. You see, my mission field is the USA– the place I have lived my entire life.
My husband Jason and I live in a duplex in the suburbs with our cat Cheddar. We don’t eat unusual foods (unless, of course, we choose to). I didn’t attend language school, get a passport, or apply for a visa. I am keenly aware when I describe my missionary life in this way, it sounds less like missionary work and more like an ordinary life, at an ordinary job. After all, don’t missionaries live in remote areas of the world in order to reach the world for Christ?
Yes, some do. For others, however, like my husband and me, the answer is more difficult to explain than simply naming a specific geographic location. There is no refuting our lives differ from our missionary friends serving overseas, but if you ask us why we are missionaries, you will discover that there is shockingly little difference. Regardless of where God has us, we all desire to make a global impact for Christ. We long for all men, women, and children to have an opportunity to hear, understand, and believe the Good News of Jesus Christ … no matter where that is. We all work with the same goal in mind, the same heartbeat, the same purpose. Where and how we do this just looks different.
In Jason’s and my case, we are two big kids with a global heartbeat who God has chosen to impact the world for him by helping grow missionary hearts right in our own country. We do this through One Mission Society’s ministry of One Missions Kids (OMK), a unique kids’ ministry that partners with churches, camps, schools, and families to teach world missions to the next generation.
The impact that helping grow these young missionaries’ hearts has on the world is profound! In fact, just this past year, we trained more than 1,000 kids through OMK programs and witnessed them reaching far beyond the U.S. borders, all the way to the other side of the globe to the people of South Asia! These mission-focused programs gave kids opportunities to learn about other cultures and better understand how God wants to use them to share his love with everyone. During small group prayer circles, they prayed for their world. They used prayer tool and prayer calendars to pray for missionaries and discovered new ways to pray through interactive prayer stations. Their bold faith moved the hand of God and moved adults. As they prayed, the kids asked God how he wanted them to personally be involved and it moved them too! They listened to God cheerfully and sacrificially giving their time, talents, and treasures. This, in turn, inspired others to give more than $15,500 to God’s work. More than $9,600 went to the Be a Light in South Asia project, providing emergency relief aid and life-changing opportunities to hear the Gospel for 82 families. In addition to learning about, praying for, and giving to missions, they discovered how to go out and tell (GOAT) others about Jesus!
Time and time again, I am amazed at all that God is doing here through kids in my homeland and it is in those moments I am reminded why God has me here; and it is the same reason he has placed you where you are to best impact our world for him!
By Lora Campbell, One Mission Kids
Editor's Note: If you'd like to give to the OMS Global Impact Fund that will help ministries around the world, including One Mission Kids, give here.
December 14 2018
Taran* serves as a church planter in Southern Asia. His ministry includes evangelism, leading baptism services, planting churches, and leading discipleship training. By God’s grace, Taran planted five churches and made four disciples (new leaders) in one year. Taran is also an effective trainer using the Train & Multiply curriculum, which multiplies the work he is doing.
Taran has proven to be an effective evangelist and leader, yet his fruitfulness could be doubled or even tripled.
The distances between ministry locations where Taran serves in Southern Asia are far apart, so he must either walk long distances or use public transport, which takes a lot of time, money, and energy. Most days, he is unable to visit every location that he needs to in order to lead in those towns.
Taran shares, “If the Lord helps me to get a motorcycle for ministry, (this is one he rented) I will be highly encouraged and able to be much more effective in ministry. I sometimes use a rented motorbike, but paying hourly charges is way too expensive for me.”
If you would like to donate toward the purchase of a bicycle or a motorcycle for a national leader like Taran, give here.
* Name changed for security.
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
August 15 2018
In my last blog, I explained how Israel changed my life … how excited we were when we first arrived in Israel. But the excitement evaporated in just a few days.
Why? Millions of people visit Israel every year, and they return home with their lives forever changed … how could I say that the excitement was gone so soon? Well, those who visit Israel, they return home … but we stayed. Don’t get me wrong, I love living here, but as all cross-cultural workers experience when moving to a new country, we faced challenges. We didn’t know the language, the customs were strange, and so many things were different. We began to feel frustrated. I had thought because I knew English that learning Hebrew would come easily … my mistake. Also, soon after we arrived, we needed to find a house because the hospitality center didn’t give us much time to live there. Our realtor was a Russian woman. Wait, what? I don’t speak Russian, and she didn’t speak any English. Only by God’s grace were we able to find a place that we could afford and was ok to live.
During the first year, we also attended classes called “Ulpan” every morning to learn Hebrew. In the beginning, it was good, but as time went on, I felt uncomfortable not having a job, and the course wasn’t good.
We also had to buy a car. We purchased a 1982 French car that looked like a big white refrigerator driving down in the street. And soon, we realized that open windows weren’t sufficient circulation for the Israel heat.
But we were happy with the new congregation. But even there, the language was a barrier. Yet, when you worship with people of the same faith, you are happy … that is until I met a big guy that sitting beside me. As we started to talk (in English), he asked my name, and I asked his. His name was Harry. Soon, my mind started to find any Jewish guy named Harry. I couldn’t. He then told me that he was German. When I heard that I became paralyzed. Why would God send me to Israel to meet a German? Was this a joke? After all, that happened in WWII? I must admit that I had a hard heart toward Germans at that time.
Long story short, Harry become my best friend. He found me my first real job in Israel. And, praise God, he helped me find a better car!
Shortly thereafter, Harry requested that I visit Germany to share about my life and ministry. I said, “What?!” I didn’t want to go. Regardless, Batel and I soon found ourselves flying to Germany. Our month there was a time not only of sharing but of deep healing for my heart. On many occasions after the services, I had older people approach me, offering their hands and words of apology.
But the deepest healing came a week before our return to Israel. We visited a concentration camp in the north of Germany called Bergen-Belsen. This is where Anne Frank died after being sent there from Auschwitz. It was a very sad time for me and Batel to relive this history.
Then, we drove to Bergen (three miles from the camp) to visit a fellow believer. When we arrived, they served us coffee and shared about their history. “This house,” they said, “has been in our family for more than 120 years.” I paused in thought, thinking about the time of war, 70 years before, realizing that their family had lived in the midst of the war. When I asked about the war, a silence filled the house. We all felt uncomfortable. But I insisted, and the man said that his father had been a Nazi and that I was the first Jewish person (with my wife) to enter his house. Then, we all started to cry, like we cried as children. After recovering my breath, I said, “What your father did is not your fault. He’d never receive me in his house, but you opened your door, and in Jesus, we are the same.” Our tears were tears of healing for us both.
By Moshe, OMS worker in Israel
August 7 2018
“Moshe, can I come to study the Tanach (Old Testament) with you?” This was the phone call that I received from Alex, a person that I had met just once before.
Before I share if I met with Alex, let me back up and share a bit of our story first.
My grandfather escaped WWII from Germany and my grandmother from Poland. They came to Argentina and later moved to Brazil, where I was born. Being a Jew, I always wanted to come to Israel, but when I was ready to move to the Holy Land, I met my wife (We met in the Bible School, and when I saw that we were the only Jews there, I decided it was best that we get married!). So, 20 years later, and with four kids, moved to Israel 11 years ago.
When we first came to Israel, there was no “calling” involved. We just felt we wanted to return to the land that he had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I had been in ministry for 10 years previous to this and was in a “desert” period, which every good Jew should be in the desert, like Moses and Jesus.
The first person that helped me find a job was a German man. I thought that God was kidding because not so long ago, my grandparents escaped Europe because of the Germans. God knew that I needed to learn about forgiveness, and Harry became one of my best friends.
With our new life in Israel came the need to learn Hebrew and adapt to a new culture. After we found a Messianic congregation (a Christian church with Jewish flavor), our spiritual gifts start to flourish in this new culture. After five years of serving in that congregation, God called me (just like he did with Moses) and told me to start a new Messianic congregation. After praying and talking with my wife, she called me “mishuga,” or crazy in Yiddish, because she wondered how we could start a work in Hebrew as new immigrants. But we moved forward in obedience.
This is when Alex comes into the picture. He called to ask if he could study the Bible with me because he heard that I would be starting a congregation. Long story short, he and his immediate family started attending from the beginning of Beit Avi (My Father’s House), as well as the mother and grandmother of his wife and his parents. After a year of study, Alex came to the knowledge of Jesus as the Messiah.
God had a ministry for me and my family. Israel has changed our lives!
July 23 2018
Can God work in an environment of bitterness, discouragement, and broken relationships?
The Juan Project, a saturation project in the Philippines, seeks to multiply disciples, leaders, and churches. But, as the work expands, God brings healing and transformation to individuals, relationships, and communities as well. Here are some stories of this change.
Winnie, a pastor’s wife testiﬁed that she used to resist the ministry. She had strained relationships with the leaders of the church and other workers. Since she attended the Juan Project’s basic coaching training and got more involved in the additional trainings, her encounter with the Lord has changed her heart. She has started building relationships with the leaders of the church. Now, she has better working relationships with the leaders as they serve the Lord together.
Years ago, leaders chose to leave their denomination. Pain, hurt, and bitterness resulted. The present denominational leader involved in the split, humbled himself in a Juan Project training and apologized for past wrongs. A leader of those who had left the denomination also apologized. Reconciliation among former colleagues occurred. Today, they are working together on the same team for the saturation vision of the Juan Project among overseas foreign workers.
Pastors are also confessing how their relationship with their children has changed when they changed their approach. This was one of the results of coaching and of the work of God in their life.
As others see or hear of this transformation, reconciliation, and multiplication, the work expands into other provinces.
In preparation for the training in one of these provinces, the project manager for The Juan Project ran three ads on Facebook. On the first morning of the training, a pioneering church planter saw one of the ads when he opened Facebook. Immediately, he called and asked if it was too late to register for the training.
This pastor appeared at the training in the afternoon. He attended the rest of the training. As the training came toward the end, the pastor confided, “I was ready to give up and walk away from ministry. But, today, I am reborn. I have new tools to take back and use with my people.” A five-dollar investment in three Facebook ads led to the renewal of a discouraged pioneer church planter. He went home a new, energized worker.
God brings healing and reconciliation so that multiplication occurs.
July 17 2018
What do you do when nothing is working?
Ronnie, an Every Community for Christ (ECC) worker in the Philippines, faced such a question. Ronnie has a very pleasing and likable personality, but he also has a profound hearing loss. Unable to afford a good set of hearing aids, Ronnie struggled with making contacts, evangelizing, discipling, and planting new churches. He tried everything, but nothing was working.
That is … until the Christmas season came.
The mayor of Ronnie’s community approached him and asked Ronnie if he would make the Christmas star that would represent the community in the contest among the communities in their area. Ronnie agreed, but the project was bigger than he could handle. So, he enlisted help from the police department, who got the prisoners in their local jails involved.
Christmas passed. The star represented the community well, but Ronnie was not finished with his contacts with the prisoners. He started visiting the local jail. He began Bible studies within the cells. He sought out resources the prisoners needed like food, fans, checkerboards, and more. The prisoners accepted him. Prayer support grew. Prisoners entered a relationship with Christ. They got baptized. Ronnie began to reach out to other prisons, and to the families of prisoners. Ronnie had found his niche in ministry.
Today, Ronnie ministers within 10 different provincial jails in the Philippines. He has baptized over 150 prisoners. He sees an average attendance of 372 prisoners in worshiping groups or “cell churches” in the prisons. Ronnie is seeing lives transformed. He is equipping leaders who can assist in the ministry and start house churches when they are discharged into the community again.
Ronnie now has a partner in the ministry. He met a man named Jaimie in the prison. He helped Jaimie enter a relationship with Christ and discipled him. Jaimie was serving a life sentence for using and selling narcotics (and related crimes). Through a turn of events demonstrating God’s intervention, Jaime was released and is now committed to doing all he can to go back into the prisons with the Gospel. He wants to disciple those who make decisions for Christ.
Feeling like nothing is working for you? Persevere like Ronnie. God may have a wonderful role in ministry for you to step into, just like Ronnie, to help others hear, understand, and respond to the Gospel.
May 23 2018
In Colombia, Bridge to Reading works with Satura Colombia, a network of OMS churches focused on saturating the country with the Gospel. Bridge to Reading empowers churches to use literacy as a tool for ministering to unreached communities. B2R wants to give every person in Colombia and beyond the opportunity to hear, understand, and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The work started in Antioquia and has since expanded into other states. The program designates those who do not know how to read as persons of peace. Our tutors then use a story from the literacy primer Nuevos Caminos to teach one or two students at a time.
Led initially by Jonathan Tobon Restrepo, and now by Ximena Cardona, Bridge to Reading in Colombia has conducted 18 tutor training workshops, trained 184 tutors, and has taught 81 people to read since 2014. Their students are varied in age with some being as young as 16 and as old as 67.
Guillermo, from Amaga, Colombia, has learned how to read with the help of a Bridge to Reading tutor. In this video, he shares his joy as he reads John 3: 1-3. Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” In reply, Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
Pray for the work in Colombia, and especially for Ximena as she leads the program. She will be attending a five-week literacy training institute at Literacy & Evangelism International in Tulsa, Oklahoma this summer.
Your giving will go a long way toward providing resources for learners such as primers, books, and pencils, as well as for tutoring resources such as chalk and chalkboards for our learning centers.
Bridge to Reading literacy ministry is a powerful evangelism tool that God is using to help many learn to read the Bible.
A gift of $50 will provide a chalkboard and school supplies for a group of literacy learners.
A gift of $20 will provide literacy primers and will enable one person learn to read the Bible.
Click here to give.
May 16 2018
Lokoa is a small fishing village in the Zawara area in the Central African Republic. Through the years, the village population has increased to more than six hundred people due to the fruitful fishing activities. In seeking to meet the needs of the community, an OMS associated church decided to offer literacy classes through the OMS Bridge to Reading ministry to many who did not know how to read and write.
One who benefitted from the literacy program is Angela Tewa, a 12-year-old girl whose parents moved to Lokoa village to earn a living by fishing. Initially, the family did not go to church as they followed the traditional religion. Angela shared that they were born and raised in a culture that taught them certain practices that do not honor God. She noted that after OMS church planters came to her village and started a church, her parents forbade her to attend the church. However, after some time, the pastor started a free literacy program, which attracted many children. Angela said that without telling her parents, she started going to the classes and was taught to read, write, and memorize Scripture. They were also taught how to count and to pray. Angela testified:
“The pastor who was teaching us encouraged us to bring our younger siblings to this training, and each night to repeat the verses we had learned and to pray in our families. I started to teach my siblings the things I was learning, and my parents couldn’t object because the church is the only school in the village. In the evening, my siblings and I began to recite the verses and prayers at home in front of our parents. Sometime later, my father and mother began to go with us to church. They gave their lives to Jesus Christ, and the pastor baptized them. After their baptisms, they burned their animist fetishes and quit offering the monthly sacrifices. Our family life has gradually changed. Little by little, we are learning to read, write, and count. I thank God, first of all, and also our pastor.”
Your giving will go a long way toward providing resources for learners such as primers, books, and pencils; and also for tutoring resources such as chalk and chalkboards for our learning centers such as the one in Lokoa where Angela is learning to read.
Bridge to Reading literacy ministry is a powerful evangelism tool that God is using to help many to learn to read the Bible.
A gift of $50 will provide a chalkboard and school supplies for a group of literacy learners.
A gift of $20 will provide literacy primers and will enable one person learn to read the Bible.
To give: https://onemissionsociety.org/give/bridge-to-reading
Help break the shackles of illiteracy by running in the OMS Freedom Park 5K Run on Saturday, June 30 at 8 am in Greenwood, Indiana! Proceeds from the race will benefit the Bridge to Reading literacy ministry in Africa and Colombia.