​Am I Too Old to Go? Serving in short-term missions

June 13 2018

I experienced missions firsthand as a teenager with my church youth group from World Gospel Church. Since then, missions has become an integral part of my life journey. Thirty mission trips later as I prepared to embark on a Dynamic Women in Missions trip to Colombia to serve as a nurse on a medical team, I asked myself some serious questions.

  • Can I keep up with the demands of this trip?
  • Will I be able to effectively communicate with my patients?
  • Do I have as much to offer now as I did in my earlier years?

Since my recent retirement, I wondered if short-term missions was over for me and would I be able to meet the rigors of the trip.

On the second day of clinic in Medellín, Colombia, God began to answer these questions.

The patient/nurse communication issue was seamless when I was assigned a godly young woman who loves people and the Lord with all her heart. Karen partnered with me and attacked the interview process with thoroughness and enthusiasm.

Furthermore, the clinic environment fostered collaboration and collegiality between the health care providers, the patients, and the local church hosts. What a blessing to see God’s hand on the human efforts to real spiritual rewards!

This was my first experience with DWIM and I was not sure how I would relate and fit in with an all-female team. Once again, God was faithful to lead me to a roommate who could encourage and support me and who I could mentor during the trip. The spiritual depth within the team was powerful and made the experience rich and meaningful.

So, the answer to my question: “am I too old to go?” was clearly answered. God proved himself faithful once again by equipping me physically, professionally, and spiritually to accomplish the tasks set before me in Colombia. Only God knows the future, but I am waiting with anticipation to tackle the next mission, whether going or sending.

To God be the Glory!

By Pam Blesch, Dynamic Women in Missions Short-Termer

For more information about how YOU can get involved: https://onemissionsociety.org/give/dynamic-women

To give to Dynamic Women: https://onemissionsociety.org/give/dynamic-women

Tags: missions, dynamic women in missions, colombia, medical missions, too old to serve,

Serving Where God Has Called

September 12 2017

Danny and I served as missionaries in Ecuador with One Mission Society. Serving as a missionary on the field, we had stories and pictures that all seemed very exciting. There were days we were traveling in the jungle in a canoe or slogging through the mud to reach a Shuar village and share the Gospel. These dear people responded to the Word with open hearts and many came to Christ. I can share these stories and show these pictures, and people are willing to support that ministry.

But God called us to return to the U.S. to serve at the OMS World Headquarters. Danny serves as the director of the Mobilization Department, and I work as the controller. We live in a house and work in an office in the U.S., much the same as other people in the U.S. do. Because of this, many people believe that we no longer need support. And there are others who only want to support those doing work on the “front lines.” Our support has dropped because of where we serve Christ.

We loved working with the people in Ecuador. Our ministry there had great value. But we wholeheartedly believe that our ministry here has just as much value. Romans 10:14-15 talks about the steps needed before people can call upon the name of the Lord. One of the steps is someone being sent to tell them. Normally as missionaries, we talk about the sender being the supporter, but a big part of being sent is also the mission agency and those working in the homeland office. How can a missionary be sent without the work of the Mobilization team that finds them, guides them, and trains and prepares them? How can a missionary be sent without a Finance team that is receiving the support funds, properly accounting for the funds, allocating them, and getting them to the missionary as they serve on the field?

The work being done by homeland missionaries is critical to the work of the missionaries in the 72 countries where OMS serves. Yet, it is so much more difficult for a homeland missionary to raise support. I would encourage you, if the Lord is placing it on your heart to support his work around the world, please remember those missionaries serving at their mission headquarters. These roles are just as vital to kingdom work, just not as glamorous.

By Julie Beasley, OMS Homeland Missionary

Tags: homeland missionary, called to serve, faithful servant, u.s. missionary,

Young People Stepping Into Missions: Clarissa's Clear Call

September 20 2016

This is part 5 of a 5-part series of stories about millennials working in missions with OMS.

In God’s Word, the message that Jesus values children is evident. He says people must have a childlike heart. King Solomon highlights the joys of youth. Paul encourages young Timothy to set an example for believers everywhere in his ministry. The importance of young people is evident throughout the Bible. And it doesn’t just mention their importance, but it speaks of their responsibility. Just like other believers of other ages, Christian youth have a role to play in glorifying God and bringing his Good News to the world.

Fresh out of college, Clarissa Hunter has felt God calling her to the mission field in Budapest, Hungary. On the field, Clarissa will serve in communications and ministry coordination. As she begins the funding process, she is working at the OMS World Headquarters in Greenwood, Indiana, as the administrative assistant for Development and Marketing.

Clarissa’s journey started in 2014 when she interned for HOPE61, OMS’ human trafficking prevention ministry. She enjoyed that summer and considered applying for another OMS internship, seeking something she could do for a three-month period right after graduation. She found two internship options that interested her.

As she researched the two options, one of those in Hungary, Clarissa connected with Jonathan Long, the OMS field director for Hungary. She learned more about the vision for Hungary, the passion for transformation in that country, and the desire to come alongside the church in a supportive role to impact people’s lives. Clarissa was drawn to that vision, and after praying and thinking more about her decision, she chose the internship in Hungary.

Clarissa’s three months in Hungary was an affirming experience. She spent time writing and editing materials, helped mediate situations, and worked in teams to serve the Hungarian people. Who she was and what she liked to do seemed to line up perfectly with her jobs, and people recognized her God-given skills.

During Clarissa’s time there, Jonathan pitched the idea of her joining the Hungary team. At first, Clarissa was unsure if she should pursue that idea. Yet, before she even returned to the United States, she had applied to serve in Hungary and for a position at the OMS HQ. She soon had interviews lined up. Both of these interviews ended in success, as she was accepted to go to Hungary and also to work at headquarters during her funding and preparation process for the field.

Doors were flying open for Clarissa, but she still didn’t know what to do. Finally, she came to terms with the fact that she had subconsciously made her choice already to go to Hungary. It was almost as if, when she had left Budapest, she knew she would return. So, she jumped in and took the opportunity.

Currently, as she works at headquarters, Clarissa wants to invest her time where she is right now and to be present in this moment, focusing on her work here instead of always looking to Hungary. But when she does go to the mission field, she wants to continue to have that mentality, to be present in her work and choose to make the most of her time wherever God calls her.

Clarissa has a passion for understanding people and also helping people understand each other. She wants to reach out to those who are marginalized and connect with people who are overlooked by others. Her prayer is that God can work in and through her in Budapest, and also where she is now, to do this. She is thankful for the people that have helped her through this journey, and above all else she's thankful for God’s goodness in opening so many doors of opportunity for her.

As a young person stepping into missions, Clarissa encourages other young people to not let the vast opportunities keep them from choosing somewhere to serve. So many youth struggle with shutting down in response to an overload of information and tragedy, Clarissa said. Instead of letting that overwhelming feeling stop them from being involved somewhere, young people need to see what their God-given talents and skills are best suited for. Then, they need to choose a cause they care about and take steps to help others. The more involved you are, Clarissa added, the less focused you are on just yourself, which creates greater empathy and understanding about what is happening in the world.

Please pray for Clarissa as she works at OMS headquarters and prepares to serve in Hungary. Pray that she seeks to be present and relational, that her focus is on others, and that she chooses to always make the most of her time to serve people and God.

To learn more and to give to Clarissa, visit https://onemissionsociety.org/give/ClarissaHunter.

By Jess Mitchell, Communications Intern

Tags: mission call, hungary, serve, hope61, internship, intern, communications,

Unexpected Opportunities

September 1 2015

The tiny “meows” coming from a box next to a pile of garbage is what first caught Marla’s attention as she was walking home from school with the girls a few days ago … the cute, unmistakable cries of tiny kittens. What my girls saw next was a bit shocking: a short, sandy-hair colored stray dog, eating one of the kittens. Yes, the dog was literally eating a kitten. Not playing with it, not barking at it. While all my girls watched (in horror), the stray chomped away on a kitten, fur still in its teeth.

So, when one of the other kittens, so young that its eyes hadn’t even opened yet, walked toward Samara (who has always had an affection for all animals), meowing loudly … it put my wife in an awkward situation. She couldn’t say, “The mommy cat will come back” because they had obviously been abandoned. She couldn’t say “They’ll be alright by themselves,” because the dog was still chewing. And each kitten wasn’t big enough for one meal. So, what do you do? How do you get out of that one? As a parent who has been teaching about love and compassion, how could she just walk away?

So, that is how the box of kittens came to our house. That is how we’ve become the TEMPORARY guardians of five little kittens. And even now as I write, I can hear them downstairs.

Yep, though the girls are absolutely delighted, we certainly didn’t imagine this scene a week ago.

But that is kind of how things go in life and in ministry. Many times, the opportunities that God gives us to show others His love in a concrete way don’t fit comfortably into our schedules. Many times, these opportunities come at inconvenient times. They come at times when we’d rather be doing something else. And a lot of times, we’d rather walk away from such opportunities, hoping others will come along because we know that becoming involved will cost us time, energy, and getting our hands dirty. (And I’m not talking about kittens right now).

Showing God’s love to others means taking phone calls in the middle of the night. It means loading a moving truck on a perfectly sunny Saturday morning. It means taking a meal to someone else when you’re already exhausted. Because that’s when opportunities to show God’s love generally come: when you are not looking for them. What do we do in those situations? When the need of someone else catches our attention? When we know we probably ought to do some

hing, do we secretly hope that someone else will come along soon to do it, hoping they can meet that need? Someone who has more experienced hands and a bigger heart? More time or talent? Or do we let God use you?

And yes, I realize that such words are easy to write. They are even easy to preach from a pulpit. But they are harder to live. Harder, and yet, more rewarding, vastly more rewarding. May God give us ears to hear the quiet calls for help that surround us, and the strength to deny ourselves so that we can fully offer that which we have for His service, so that His light might shine.

For the only Cause that matters,

Micah Routon

Micah, along with his wife Marla and three daughter are OMS missionaries serving in Brazil. They are involved in evangelism, church planting, and the ministry of getting their hands dirty through love and service.

Tags: brazil, servant, compassion, kittens, serve,