August 28 2018
Ultimately, I know that only God can change Israel. He chose Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to start the nation of Israel. God intended that Israel be a light to the nations. In the book of Acts, we see that from chapter 2 to the end of the book, Israel served as a light when the apostles shared the Good News beyond their borders. And today, we have a Bible because of the courage of those 12 disciples who heard the orders of Jesus and obeyed.
Today, we need the church around the world to help us to bring the Good News to Israel. The church does a lot for Israel, yet, the Good News is not being given to my people. Millions of Christians visit Israel every year, but only a handful of them ever have contact with the believers here. Many big churches around the world talk about Israel, but their theology says that there is no need to preach the Good News because they are the “chosen people.” This is an error that stops my people from hearing the Good News.
So, what can be done? Paul says: “I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous” (Romans 11:11 NASB). Non-Jews are essential in helping us share the Good News with my people. This “jealousy” that Paul brings is the key that will bring more Jews close to God. Don’t be afraid to share your faith with a Jewish person because it can draw him/her near to God.
We have many needs for people with a call to reach Jewish people. You can be a part of this.
Another way is to pray for our work in Israel and around the world. Pray for more workers, pray for open hearts and open doors, and pray for sufficient funds to accomplish this.
And the easiest way is to give. You can begin right now. Give here. When you help our ministry, workers around the world will be more equipped to do their job and you will be a part of this work as well.
Will you come to Israel to serve? Will you pray for the ministry? Can you give a donation today to assist in bringing the Good News to Jews? You can help us to make a difference today!
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 10 2018
I was born in Yanji City, a small city in northeast China. I am Korean Chinese.
After I finished my undergraduate study, I went to Guangzhou to start my career as a translator in an IT company. A year and a half later, I moved to another company in order to do a job related to my journalism major. Nearly two years later, I moved to a TV production company.
In 2005, I met a Christian from the U.S unexpectedly. In a Bible study held in her house, I was introduced to a woman from Hong Kong. She shared Jesus with me. I thought Jesus was nice, but I could not believe the first sentence of the Bible because I believed in evolution. I told her that because I could not believe the first sentence, I could not believe any of the Bible.
In 2006, I moved to another TV job. Soon after, I was told that my mother was diagnosed with a serious disease. For the first time, I felt death was real, like a black hole absorbing not only warmness and hope, but it left me feeling cold and hopeless. There was nothing after death. Everything was meaningless. A sense of futility surrounded me, and I could not find an answer to why I came into this world or why I had to live.
Then, I remembered the sister who shared Jesus and the Bible with me. I wanted to know what the Bible said about these things. So, I began to attend church. It was 2010. At first, I had many questions, and I was surprised that I could find the answers in the sermon or Bible. I felt that God was really alive and was willing to talk to me. And I realized that death was not the end. There will be eternal life. I also learned that the purpose of my life is to glorify the Lord.
Another sister recommended a book to me called Streams in the Desert. I learned later that it is a popular devotional book among Chinese Christians. I read it every day. I found that the words surprisingly matched my situation each day. I felt God touch my heart through the book. Streams in the Desert deeply influenced my spirituality from the beginning of my Christian life.
I began wondering how I could glorify the Lord in my workplace. I started selecting the TV contents according to biblical values, but I had to face the reality of today’s media. I knew Satan worked through it. So, I made a hard decision. I could not continue to work in the media field any longer. I asked the Lord what I should do. I heard the voice of God in my heart, saying: “It’s not important what you do. Just remain in me.” I could not understand that at first. But after several months, while listening to a sermon on the internet, I realized I wanted to serve God and his church, but I didn’t know how. Then, I decided to study theology abroad in order to be a well prepared worker.
I decided to go to Korea because language would not be an obstacle. But I had no information about Korean seminaries or any contact person in Korea. I searched the internet and found there were many seminaries. Because I heard there are many heresies in Korea, I was afraid that I might choose the wrong place. My pastor recommended Seoul Theological University. I had three options: STU and two of the largest seminaries in Korea. I didn’t know what to choose. So, I prayed, “Lord, close all other doors and open the only one that you want me to go through, then I will know it’s your will.”
It became clear through many circumstances that STU was the one that God wanted me to attend. All application procedures were done, and I was just waiting for the visa. But there were hold ups. I was required to send more and more documents. The classes were about to start in Korea, but I could not leave until I had the visa. One day, when I was praying, the Lord told me, “Pack up your things and prepare for departure.” I wiped my eyes and began to pack. My phone rang. It was STU saying that I still could not get my visa. They mentioned that if I applied for a refund of the tuition now I could get all the money back, and that I could apply for the next semester, but if I did not apply for the refund now, I would not get the money back. I said, by faith, I will not apply for the refund. Then, I started to pack because God told me to.
Several days later, I was told to apply for the visa for Korean descendants abroad instead of the student visa. The application went through easily and a week later, I received the visa. Because the classes had already started, I could not waste any time. Four hours later, I received my passport from the Korean consulate and got on the plane to Seoul. I arrived at STU on the deadline day!
It’s a miracle that I am studying at STU.
Recently, I found out that the author of Streams in the Desert is Lettie Cowman, the wife of Charles Cowman who was one of the founders of OMS. When I read the book in China, I never paid attention to the author. When I realized that, I felt God’s hands leading me. I was so touched.
I only have one semester left in STU. I don’t know where I will go after graduation. But I believe God will lead me according to his will as long as I submit my will to him.
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!
August 3 2018
For someone who loves to see people take the next step in missions, Andrea Fisher found herself ready to take the next step with One Mission Society by tackling the new leadership role of director of Mobilization, starting on July 1, 2018.
Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, Andrea knew Jesus at a young age due to her close-knit Christian community. After moving away at the age of 12 to follow her father’s calling to be a pastor, she felt as if her parents were making a mistake by moving away from the place that she called home. Andrea now looks back at her parents’ faithfulness to God’s plan and sees that it shaped her spiritual life even more.
“Even after I was called into ministry later on in my life, I can look back now and see that God was faithful to my family,” she said.
After her father finished seminary at Asbury Theological Seminary in Willmore, Kentucky, they settled down in Bellefontaine, Ohio. This was where she grew to love reading books and writing. She then attended Taylor University to pursue a degree in professional writing, with the hope of becoming a book publisher.
Her involvement with OMS began when her university held a career fair and OMS offered a short-term job opportunity for a Mobilization coordinator. The same day she applied for the job, Paul Cox (former director of Mobilization) called her to share the description of the job. After praying and trusting in the Lord and visiting the OMS campus, Andrea accepted the position at the OMS World Headquarters located in Greenwood, Indiana, in 2013.
In chapel on June 12, 2018, Andrea was publicly introduced as the new director of Mobilization, replacing Danny Beasley who was promoted to executive director of OMS USA just the week before. Both began their new roles on July 1. This is a role that Andrea’s colleagues say is one that she was meant to have since she was the interim director for three months in 2016 while the department was in the transition process of finding a new director. She knew after covering that role in 2016 that it was something that God was pushing her to do again if the opportunity came up.
Danny remembered Andrea asking him if there was any way that she could be involved with more leadership. “I knew that she was the right person for this position after she brought that request to my mind,” he said during chapel.
Andrea hopes to accomplish many goals as the director of Mobilization. Top on the list is to recruit more people as mobilizers, to help find those who are being called to serve in missions. One long-term goal that she hopes to accomplish is to create new ministry opportunities in several fields around the world that are gaining traction in their missions to share the Gospel.
“As a long-term vision, we hope to match our goals with the Billion.Global Vision so that we can establish a ministry of sharing the Gospel through business as missions,” Andrea shared.
OMS thanks the Lord for this amazing servant leader in Christ! Blessings on your new position, Andrea!
By Thaddaeus Ristow, Summer Communications Intern