​A Gross Call to Haiti

August 16 2016

Most people in Haiti speak Creole or French as their first language, but an eighth grade student in Steve Gross’ class said her first language was English, despite never having been to the United States either. She spoke English first because her father wanted her to attend Cowman when she got older.

One Mission Society’s Cowman International School provides a high-quality, Christian education for students from preschool to high school. Since its founding in the 1960s, Cowman’s student body has grown to include more than 160 children from a variety of backgrounds. Some are the children of missionaries, others are the children of people who live locally, and still others are the children of business and government leaders in both Haiti and around the world. With its diverse population, Cowman truly is an international school, where parents want their children to be educated in English to help them with their futures. But more than that, Cowman presents the Gospel message to both the children and their families.

Steve and Melissa Gross joined Cowman’s ministry in 2013 after the Lord individually called both of them to serve in Haiti on two different mission trips. Melissa went on a Men for Missions (MFM) trip in 2010 and felt a calling to the mission field, but she didn’t talk about this until later. Steve also went to Haiti through MFM and felt that same calling.

The two finally talked about what God was putting on their hearts. They attended OMS’ One Weekend and prayed more about this call— and what started as a short-term mission trip ended up being the door to their long-term service in Haiti. The Gross family, Steve, Melissa, and their four children, moved to Haiti in 2013, where both taught at the Cowman School.

Both Steve and Melissa had taught at public school in the United States before going to Cowman. Speaking about teaching in Haiti, Melissa said that her favorite part was that they got to include God in their teaching, something that was different from her time in public school. Every morning, she added, they start the day off with prayer. The school also gathers for chapel every Friday, where the children can worship God and learn more about him.

God has been blessing Cowman as it continues to educate students and teach them about God. Melissa said that you can’t advertise well in Haiti, but God still provides the resources. The staff at Cowman are praying and seeking God’s guidance, and he is sending people to Cowman to help.

Currently, there is a need for more teachers from around the world, as well as quality teacher training for the current Cowman teachers. As more students enroll and more grades are added, teachers need to have the right knowledge and teaching skills to help guide these growing students. Melissa heads up the teacher training, and she has seen God moving in powerful ways, many times surprising her own plans for the program.

Steve added that the Grosses are also blessed to live in Haiti. He said the need for Christ is greater, and therefore so is the presence of Jesus. Christ is very present in Haiti, he added, and that is one of the best things about living there.

The Grosses returned to Haiti today to resume teaching at Cowman for the upcoming school year. Melissa will teach, as well as supervise the teacher training, while Steve will teach high school students. Please pray for the Grosses’ transition back to Haiti as they prepare to teach and to show God’s love to the children.

The Grosses also ask for prayer for the Cowman School. Steve, Melissa, and the other teachers at Cowman need prayers for organization as they put together the school year plans, especially in light of the new construction that has occurred over the summer. But more importantly, they ask for prayers for the students and their families to have the resources they need to help the children continue in their studies at Cowman and beyond and for each one to hear the Gospel and know God better.

Would you consider how you can help the Cowman School provide education and the Gospel to this diverse group of students?

To learn more about the Grosses, visit onemissionsociety.org/give/TheGrosses.

To give to Cowman International School, visit onemissionsociety.org/give/cowman-international-school.

Tags: haiti, teaching, teachers needed, cowman school, international school, missions,

​Reaching Tomorrows Leaders in Haiti

August 4 2016

One young four-year-old girl in Haiti was terrified to leave the children’s home where she lived. After a long history of being abandoned, her heart was scared to trust and to believe there were safe places outside of the walls of her home. During this time, she started to attend Cowman International School, and little by little, she began to heal. Now, this young girl is learning to trust and experience new situations, which is a huge step for when she eventually moves into an adoptive family in the future. Her positive growth is thanks to the education she has been receiving, an education that introduced her to Jesus Christ, the only one who will never abandon her.

As many students return to school this season, we look to a school in Haiti that God has used to not only provide a solid education but also to share the Good News of Jesus Christ to more than 160 students.

Founded by One Mission Society (OMS) in the 1960s, the Cowman International School in Haiti was established as an English-language elementary school where OMS missionary kids and Haitian children could receive a Christ-centered education. Over time, the school has expanded to accommodate more students and grades.

Today,Cowman provides high-quality, Christian education for students in preschool, elementary, and high school. Student enrollment has increased by 150 percent over the past five years, with children coming from a variety of backgrounds. North American missionary children, children of Haitian families, children in the adoption process, as well as children of government leaders and other professionals in Haiti and around the world make up Cowman’s student body.

Cowman doesn’t just reach out to children, it also actively includes the entire family. Parents participate in parenting and marriage seminars, and in this process teachers at Cowman can share the Gospel message with the students’ family as well.

And Cowman continues to grow! As more grades are added, more space is needed. This past year, Cowman has constructed a new chapel/cafeteria area and a foundation for two more classrooms. But more resources are needed in order for the school and its leaders to continue to grow, seek God’s will, and give more opportunities for students to receive an education and the Gospel message.

Presently, Cowman seeks financial donations to support their expansion needs, such as new bathrooms and a kitchen, new furnishings, and classrooms. But there is also an urgent need for teachers as more students enroll.

God has placed OMS’ Cowman International School in an amazing position to impact Haiti’s next generation of leaders, to not only give them a solid education but also to introduce them to Jesus Christ and help them make a decision to follow him as they grow up. Check out next week’s blog post to read some personal stories about how God is calling OMS missionaries to serve at Cowman and join the school’s mission of Christian education.

If you would like to donate or learn more about Cowman International School, visit onemissionsociety.org/give/cowman-international-school.

By Jess Mitchell, summer Communications intern

Tags: mk school, cowman school, haiti, education, teaching, christian school,

​Beyond the Bars: The Light Inside Bellavista Prison

June 30 2016

Last week’s story of transformation inside Bellavista prison continues as Bridge to Reading (B2R), One Mission Society’s literacy ministry, steps in to hold literacy training sessions and to share the Gospel with the prisoners.

Bellavista men’s prison in Medellin, Colombia, today remains a place of intense contrasts. It’s simultaneously an oppressive labyrinth of concrete and iron, as well as the home of people who exhibit warmth and dignity. The security staff is no-nonsense, and those automatic weapons hanging off their shoulders and belts… well, they aren’t just for show.

But every stereotype you have about prisoners has to be reevaluated when you discover that the men are genuinely friendly and respectful. Conversation is intelligent and engaging, just as you would find among a non-prison population. Need the room rearranged? Having trouble with the computer? They jump right in to help.

Similarly, the staff who is working in the office of educational programs has a genuine love for the men that they affectionately refer to as “los muchachos,” which is best translated as “the fellas” or “the guys” rather than the literal “boys.”

Through the Bridge to Reading ministry, we got a chance to show the compassion of Jesus to a wide range of people, whether they were dealing with the physical bars or the bars or barriers they had on their insides. We connected with them as people, not as prisoners, and interacted with them just as Jesus did. He always treated those with the least status – the most abandoned, the least valued – as people of worth, so we tried to do the same. We listened carefully to their comments and acknowledged their contributions to the class; we cheered when they took a chance and demonstrated a new skill in front of the group. They learned that we were willing to laugh along with them, and at ourselves too.

Every day, we provided special snacks and soda for the men during our breaks, a real treat for them. During these breaks, our team had many opportunities to build relationships with them. Our literacy supervisor, Pastor Diego Gil, is a gifted evangelist and member of the outreach ministry, Prison Fellowship. God provided an opportunity for him to have meaningful conversations about salvation with a number of the men. Participants who didn’t know the Lord got to know those who did.

This rapport laid the foundation for the highlight of the workshop: a time of prayer for individuals after the training concluded. The men were allowed to leave if they wanted to, but almost everyone stayed. About half eagerly got in one of our prayer lines right away, while the other half cautiously observed for a while. When they saw that it was “safe,” they would quietly get in line. We prayed for their families, who are struggling without them, for healing, for provision, for an end to loneliness, for courage, for transformation. One man in Nathan’s line said, “I’m far from God.” Nathan talked to him about the Gospel, and the man received salvation in Jesus on the spot.

We believe that these were just the first fruits of what the Lord did through the B2R workshop in Bellavista prison. The ground has been prepared and the seeds have been planted for more fruit to come.

By Wendy McDermott, Bridge to Reading editor and coordinator for Latin America

We invite you to join the B2R team by praying with us:

  • That the man who received salvation will grow in his relationship with God.
  • That the men who are believers will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to be witnesses through everything that they do and are.
  • That the Lord would reveal himself to many more in the prison and that the men would experience inner freedom in the Lord.
  • That volunteers from Prison Fellowship, local churches, and other ministries will continue to have an open door at every prison, and that God will reveal himself through undeniable evidence of his power and love through them.
  • That Bridge to Reading would blossom and spread throughout the prison and be used to open up many doors for people to hear about God’s love and forgiveness for them.
  • That the prison staff would have opportunities to encounter God through the volunteers and the believers inside the prison.
  • That our trainers would have opportunities to teach the Colombian church how to use Bridge to Reading as a tool of evangelism in their communities.
  • That the believers would move in signs and wonders and live in such a way that the name of Jesus will be made known in the prison, the government, and in the nation of Colombia.

Visit the Bridge to Reading website to learn more at http://bridge2reading.org/. To give to the ministry, click here.

We hope you have enjoyed this month of reading about, praying for, and learning more of the Bridge to Reading literacy ministry.

Tags: prison ministry, bridge to reading, literacy, colombia, men, prisoners, teaching, reading,

How does T&M parallel the methods of Jesus and Paul?

April 27 2015

T&M uses the training methods of both Jesus and the apostle Paul.

Jesus focused on a few (12 apostles) to win many (within 70 years his disciples had taken his good news into every corner of the Roman world). He went slow at first in order to go faster later. Jesus knew he only had three years to prepare people to launch a movement. Human intuition says, “Start fast, and start big.” Jesus was counter-intuitive. He started slow, and he focused on a few. T&M does the same. You will not find any well-packaged, mass marketing campaigns or programming in T&M. Instead, you will find groupings of one-on-one or small groups as trainers and coaches equip disciples for the harvest and to lead churches.

Jesus invested his time in the right persons. He focused on obedience-based discipleship. He ministered to everyone who came to see him through preaching, teaching, and healing. But, he used tough teaching, fervent prayer, and calls to obedience to filter his followers down to the 12 he invested in the most. T&M welcomes everyone. But, through various filters and a focus on accountability, it helps the coach to invest his or her time with motivated participants -- ones who want to grow in Christ-likeness and do so through devoted learning and obedient service. But, T&M also helps believers focus on the persons God is directing them to invest in through their evangelistic and discipleship efforts – those persons of peace Jesus directed his disciples to in Luke 10.

Jesus made disciples who could make disciples. His approach was very relational. Making disciples is very different from making converts. Disciple making requires time and relationship. Jesus did life with his disciples. And he modeled exactly what he wanted them to do as they went out to make disciples. They learned well. They taught others what Jesus taught and modeled what he had modeled. They made disciples who made disciples who made disciples.

In the T&M process, the T&M coach develops very genuine relationships with T&M participants. T&M is a very relational process that empowers Christians to both coach and train believers to multiply

themselves in the lives of others. Disciples make disciples who make disciples, as participants become coaches who train other participants who become coaches. Strong leadership development occurs, healthy churches are started, and the process continues as a church multiplication movement builds.

Tags: jesus, disciples, obedience, preaching, teaching, healing, t&m,

One Mission Stories "After the Show" - Bonnie Steinborn

January 29 2015

We hope you enjoyed last night's (Sunday, Feb. 1) One Mission Stories, OMS' radio program, featuring OMS missionary teacher Bonnie Steinborn, who taught for many years in Asia, and now serves international university students in the U.S. northwest. Bonnie received her missionary call at an early age, (9) and has pursued missions and serving the Lord ever since...in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Everyone has a story ... enjoy Bonnie's!

Here are our "After the Show" resources to better connect you with things you heard about on last night's program.

GO: Do you want to be a missionary, either short- or long-term with OMS? Check out the opportunities, including all the upcoming short-term trips with MFM.

Learn about the Loja (Ecuador) Challenge 2015! Check out the Facebook page. This is a 1-year opportunity for younger missionaries.

GIVE: If you would like to donate to any OMS ministries, you can do so online.

PRAY: Pray for Bonnie-that when she gets hurt and hurts others, that forgiveness would be present. Also, please pray for an accountability partner for her..and finally, that she would find rest in Jesus alone. That He would recharge her and that she would be able to slow down and soak in the Word when needed.

If you would like to pray for other OMS needs, visit our OMS prayer wall.

COMMUNICATION RESOURCES: Are you looking for OMS books, videos, OMS Outreach magazine, social media connections, etc...check out our media website: https://oms.media

You can also purchase OMS books by contacting the OMS World HQ... call or email Lori McFall at 317.888.3333, ext. 366, or email lmcfall@onemissionsociety.org.

If you'd like a FREE copy of His Banner Over Me by Florence Cavender, write to Lori at: lmcfall@onemissionsociety.org. The first 100 to respond will receive this free gift.

INFO: Tune in to next week's One Mission Stories to hear our international regional directors give reports and stories from around the world. If you would like to know more about any of our ministries around the world, please email us at sloobie@onemissionsociety.org.

If you missed this program or any of our previous programs, click here to listen to the broadcast/podcast on podbean.

Each week, you can listen live on Freedom 95 at 95.9 FM or 950 AM or live streaming at www.freedom95.us. Our programs air every Sunday night from 7-8 p.m.

Tags: radio, teaching, missions, asia, international students, calling,

Teaching in the South Pacific

October 28 2014

In August, Danielle Flood-Coleman, from N. Ireland, returned to the South Pacific for a second year of teaching at the OMS-related international school.

Danielle writes, I am still a teacher. For those of you who aren’t sure what that entails; it means I get home every day really tired. It means I spend all day thinking about the children in my care, whether they have enough support or whether the work has seemed too easy for them. I assess how well my pupils are understanding their lessons, and change them accordingly, I decide how well they are responding to what they should know and what they don’t yet know. I am constantly changing and looking for new ideas. Teaching is never static. Every day is different, and that is both exhilarating and sometimes exhausting. I love teaching the children in my care. I love talking one-on-one with them and with them as a class. I love hearing their love for Jesus and I love seeing their academic improvement. Depending on the situation I am parent, doctor, counsellor, guider and sometimes, when I get time, teacher. I am their teacher as Christ has called me to be. This month has been settling into the dynamics of teaching two grades simultaneously. The challenge lies in trying to get the lessons to fit together like pieces of a puzzle so all the pupils are occupied all the time. This also is balanced with all the other aspects of school life, so although I feel like I haven’t done very much this month, it’s just because I have put a lot if it under the heading of ‘School.’

This month, God showed me that in my walk with him it is not in the big things where I struggle. I’m happy to move across the world for him, that is not where my problem lies. My problem lies in the small things, the daily sacrifices, the daily quiet times and the daily prayer life. That is the area that needs work. So, that is what I’m looking at at the moment; trusting God with the everyday and being a little more `Mary’ and a little less `Martha.’

I have many things lined up this month. Just looking at the schedule has me saying to myself ‘One day at a time, Danielle.’

Are you a teacher? Are you interested in serving overseas for a year or more, using the gifts God has given you? We have many opportunities to serve around the world. Contact Andrea at afisher@onemissionsociety.org today to see if we can fit together.

Click here for a list of opportunities to serve as a K-12 teacher, but we also have open doors to teach in seminaries and to teach ESL (for those qualified).

Tags: missions, teaching, teacher, asia,