July 23 2018
While I attended the 2018 OMS Illuminate Missions Conference
in June, I spoke with numerous missionaries about their services on the field. One
story was from an OMS missionary couple serving in Asia. J* and V* shared their
story to show the power of God’s redeeming love for an 8-year-old girl.
J* told me about a ministry opportunity that her
husband was a part of in Asia with a young girl who came to hear him speak in
their session. The young 8-year-old girl felt the Holy Spirit’s presence in her
heart and turned her life to Jesus that same day. When night came, she went to
tell her grandfather of the Bible stories she heard and share the Gospel with
him as well. According to J*, the grandfather loved the stories so much that he
began to tell others about them.
As the weeks went on and as the young girl
continued to attend the services from V*’s ministry, the grandfather continued
to listen to the Gospel messages. One night, after hearing his granddaughter’s
story from the service, he told her to invite V* to their home for a meal. He
did, and the grandfather told the missionary that he wanted him to share with
his friends the stories about Jesus. V* said he would need to come back another
time, but the grandfather told him that his friends were already at the home
waiting in another room.
V* was shocked to find more than 15 eager souls
waiting for him to share the Gospel. That night, those patient and lost souls
were changed forever as they all turned their hearts and lives to Christ! They
all now attend the sessions of J* and V*.
*Names withheld for security reasons.
By Thaddaeus Ristow, Summer Communications Intern
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 19 2018
During One Mission Society’s Illuminate Conference from June 27-30, the One Mission Kids team and several volunteers had the privilege of hanging out with 15 amazing young missionaries-in-training. Through 19 hours of fun-filled and lesson-packed hours over the course of the 4-day conference, we witnessed children’s lives transformed. Some of the children at the conference had no idea where South Asia was located, but by the end of the conference, they helped raise $6,578 (pledged) for blankets and emergency relief aid kits for the people of South Asia. The kids’ hearts were broken for the South Asian people who must rebuild their lives from the ground up every year due to extreme flooding in their country.
Elijah, 4, loved raising money to be a light in South Asia, but that was not enough for him. He keeps asking his mom if they can go and actually deliver the blankets and relief kits to the people of South Asia.
During the conference, these young missionaries-in-training experienced the original One Mission Kids program, Agent 038. This missions-focused program includes songs, Bible lessons, games, crafts, missions, snacks, skits, and prayer time.
One of the most powerful things for me was seeing and hearing the children as they prayed. Ethan, 6, jumped at the chance to pray for South Asia every single time. This was a humbling thing to witness. As soon as he began praying for South Asia, I had goosebumps and tears in my eyes. The way he prayed for the people of South Asia profoundly impacted me and was one of the most powerful things I have ever had the privilege of being a part of.
If you would like to be a part of the “Be a Light in South Asia” missions project with us, join us in praying for the people of South Asia. And if you would like to donate to the project #405360-OMK, give here.
By Brittany Ross, One Mission Kids/Communications Summer Intern
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.
July 3 2018
The Philippines – a Christian nation. Not really. In its research, the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) revealed that 90,500,000 Filipinos have never experienced a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That represents 90.5% of the population.
Our Every Community for Christ (ECC) leadership team there knew that without some change, we would never make a significant dent in this statistic. We went to prayer. After four days, the Juan Project emerged.
The name for the Juan Project comes from the name Juan Dela Cruz (Juan for short), which has come to represent every Filipino individually and all Filipinos together. The aim of the Juan Project is to reach every “Juan” in five different provinces (Aurora, Leyte, Pangasinan, Samar, and Tarlac), and two people groups (students in the five provinces and Overseas Filipino Workers in 10 countries). We desire to plant a healthy, reproducing church in every sitio or purok (the smallest governing unit in the Philippines) in the five provinces. And, we will plant a healthy student ministry at each of the public college and university campuses in the five provinces.
We have completed the first year of the Juan Project. The first six months started slowly. In those months, we focused on building capacity, raising prayer support, building partnerships, offering training, and continuing to support the other ministries of OMS Philippines as they have contributed signiﬁcantly to the saturation vision of The Juan Project. The fruit has come in the past six months.
In terms of capacity, we have grown from seven church multiplication facilitators (CMFs) to 25 CMFs and associate CMFs. Each works in a province to come alongside churches and organizations to cast vision, train, coach, encourage, provide prayer support, and instill accountability. We also have 54 trained facilitators who form the training teams to equip lay people to reach their families and communities for Christ. One hundred and fourteen new prayers groups have formed. Prayer walks and overnight prayer meetings are common. We work with at least 30 partners. And, in the last year, we have held 54 trainings, involving 895 people from over 100 churches.
The results: 216 groups started, 361 people equipped and mobilized, and 1,913 people who have entered into a relationship with Christ. A small but important turnaround.
Pastors now testify that their passion for church planting is rekindled, their perspective challenged, and their minds opened to church multiplication. PTL!