Blessing a Colombian Widow After Tragedy

August 5 2019

After an armed paramilitary group martyred her husband, a man who had served as the pastor of a One Mission Society-founded church in Colombia, Angi* began praying daily and fasting weekly. She prayed constantly that God would provide for her family and reveal his faithfulness to her and her children, who had lost faith after their father was killed for the sake of the Gospel. She prayed and fasted faithfully for seven years before I met her and heard her story. Her situation, while impossibly difficult, did not deter her from persistently seeking the presence of her heavenly Father and trusting him to provide for her needs and restore her family.

A little over a year ago, I met Angi and visited her in Córdoba, Colombia. I found her to be a quiet, humble woman. She said little and busied herself serving lunch to those of us who had come to meet her. She cooked a full, traditional Colombian lunch of soup, chicken, rice, and plantains over a fire behind her tiny house. We talked a little about her husband, their church-planting ministry, and the tragic reality of his death at the hands of violent men. Believing that God orchestrated this meeting, we prayerfully decided to give the global church the opportunity to provide a dignified home for this precious widow. Many of you responded and gave generously toward the construction of a new home.

During the construction, we noticed how the community paid close attention to what was happening and that her family was also present. Her grown children witnessed God´s faithfulness to his beloved servant, and I have seen a transformation in their hearts. They have returned to faith because the Lord heard and answered their mother’s persistent prayers of faith.

We are now completing the project by helping her open a small community store in the front bedroom of the house. Customers will approach the front window to purchase items from the full-service, general store. Remaining funds for the project will be used to add an awning, signage, shelving, refrigeration, and product inventory to begin the store, which Angi and her son will run. The beauty of this project is that God has provided a dignified home, a restored family, a strong testimony to the community, and a store that will produce an income source for Angi and will bless the neighborhood.

I am truly grateful for each person who gave toward this project and for those who prayed that God would provide for Angi and show his faithfulness. We have seen the answer to prayer on both accounts. Thank you for your faithfulness and generosity!

By Chris Williams, OMS Colombia Field Director

Tags: colombia, widow, martyr, pastor, new house

Stories of Global Impact: Meet Sarah

July 18 2019

One of the things we usually do when we visit Village Church Planting (VCP) training centers is to hear brief testimonies from all the students. This helps us understand local issues, victories experienced, and challenges as well.

During my recent visit to one of the VCP training centers in Kenya with Peter, our VCP supervisor, and Selestine, the Kenyan coordinator, we heard from Sarah.

Sarah shared with us that she was born as the result of her mother being raped, and that because of that, she had regularly experienced feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem most of her life.

Yet, since coming to Christ, and also through the teachings of OMS' VCP training, she now realizes that she was created for a purpose. Both she and her mother attend the VCP training, and they are nearing completion.

Out of her love for Christ, and inspired by what she is learning in VCP, she shared how each day from 4:00 to 5:00 AM she intentionally rides public transportation to preach the Gospel to other passengers.

We are so grateful to God for the work happening all over Africa. We are also thankful to our national workers, investing in lives like Sarah's to be a change-maker in Kenya.

If you would like to donate to our Global Impact Fund to see others like Sarah have transformed lives, click the icon below.

By Chuck Rapp, OMS Church Multiplication Facilitator for Africa

Tags: testimony, kenya, africa, village church planting, training,

Reaching Africa On a Bike

June 6 2019

Tens of thousands of churches and faith communities have been established over the past 19 years in some of the most remote villages of Africa. How? Through the faithful obedience of African believers desiring to reach every village in Africa with the hope of Christ. Effective training materials have been developed and finely tuned for the cultivation of African leaders willing to plant new churches in places void of the Gospel. But as wonderful as the materials are, the real story is about the workers … those workers doing the ministry.

Getting around for most of us living in the Western world means traveling short distances in an air-conditioned car … not so for the village church planter in Africa. For him, traveling means walking many miles from village to village, often in difficult circumstances. Many of our church planters walk all night to arrive at their ministry assignment by morning. This level of faithfulness is inspirational.

David Cheeks, an OMS missionary and church multiplication facilitator for Africa, shares, “My first experience with worshiping in a village was in Tanzania. We worshiped under a large shady mango tree. The worship was energetic, dynamic, and alive. Our church planter led the worship. His love for Christ was evident. The next day, in another village more than an hour away, we again enjoyed our time of worship, and again, the same young church planter led! After worship and a community meal, we piled in the van to depart. Just before leaving, I overheard this young devoted pastor tell our regional coordinator that he hoped for a bicycle someday soon to help in his ministry.

“I wondered how much a bike cost. They told me around US$100 … just one hundred dollars! I realized I couldn’t just be impressed by the willingness of the African pastors/church planters to go, I must help them go! May all our African pastors be given the tools to aid them in fulfilling their call to help complete the Great Commission.”

To see the ministry up close, watch the video.

Do you want to help purchase a bike for a pastor or church planter in Africa?

Tags: bikes, bicycles for ministry, church planting, africa, faster pastors

Stories of Global Impact: Meet Sung

May 23 2019

Sung* was born in North Korea and lived there for her first 18 years. While there, she never heard about God. In 1998, during the great famine, she fled North Korea and lived in China for eight years. Then, in 2006, she moved to South Korea and came to faith in Jesus.

Here is her story.

Although I had never heard the name of Jesus in North Korea, I was looking for him in my heart. I first heard about him in China, and I was sure that this God was the one I had been searching for in North Korea.

In the early days, as I began to attend church, I called God my Father, but I didn’t yet accept Jesus Christ as my Savior. Then, I attended a summer revival meeting and heard the Gospel message and realized that I was a sinner. I came to believe that the blood of Jesus atoned for my sins. I repented in tears and thanked God for sending his only Son Jesus to save a sinner like me, and I was assured of my salvation.

I graduated from the theology department at the OMS-related Seoul Theological University and have started working as an assistant pastor. Now, I minister to North Korean defectors in a large church, where I serve in worship, visitation, evangelism, intercessory prayer, and transportation.

As God rescued the people of Israel from their 430 years of slavery in Egypt, he also rescued me from dying without knowing Jesus. He led me from North Korea to South Korea where I have freedom to live for Christ. He gave me the opportunity to believe in Jesus and has called me to spread the Gospel to North Korean defectors in this land. When the doors to North Korea open, I want to spread the Gospel to the people there, as well.

You can help others like Sung experience the liberating truth of Jesus Christ and reach their communities and beyond for Christ by giving to the OMS Global Impact Fund today.

Will you consider giving to the Global Impact Fund today?

*Name changed for security reasons.

Tags: global impact, life-changing stories, korea,

Lost in Africa

May 13 2019

One weekend, about five years ago, the Almeida family (OMS missionaries from Brazil, serving in Mozambique) went to a beach to relax. On the way home, they drove back to get on the ferry … only to discover it had broken down. How were they to get across the river and back home? Someone told them about a bridge that had been built about two hours to the north.

With unclear directions and no signs, they got lost in the bush, but what they discovered were many villages and lots of people living in that area with no Christian witness. Although they eventually found the bridge and got home, they couldn’t forget the people and began to pray for them.

God impressed these people on their hearts and even though it takes four hours to get there, Paulo and Fernanda started using the bridge to explore the area. Three years ago, Paulo asked our team to pray for a meeting he’d set up. It was with a local pastor he had met and various pastors from a cult/cultic church that mixes Old Testament rituals and Mozambican culture, such as doing animal sacrifices for special events.

Today, there is a strong Bible study going with 60 leaders in a place close to the main road. One man walks two and a half hours to get to the Bible study and has never been late. The bishop of a cultic church in that area has also been attending. Recently, he asked why Jesus needed to die. When he heard the reason, he was so sad because he found out when he was old. Fernanda told him, “Praise God you found out before it was too late!”

By Debbie Wittig, OMS Missionary in Mozambique

Tags: mozambique, church planting, getting lost in africa,

​Growing Old

May 9 2019

In North American culture, aging is often associated with a loss of competence, dignity, and even value. Today’s older adults often are made to feel like the skinny kid on the sideline while teams are being picked—hoping desperately to be chosen but certain no one wants him. It is difficult for senior adults to maintain a positive attitude when they feel unwanted and forced out of the mainstream of society, the local church, or a mission organization like One Mission Society (OMS).

When believers allow their thoughts about aging to align with the prevailing culture, it is easy for younger people in the church to cut off older adults. Severed seniors cannot survive long when separated from the body of Christ.

What steps can be taken to promote healthy attitudes in churches and mission organizations like OMS to promote healthy attitudes toward growing older?

  • Keep growing in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Even when your body slows down, your spiritual life can still soar to new heights as you seek to know God more intimately. As you grow older, may you grow sweeter!
  • Promote intergenerational interaction. Plan a youth event to help senior adults with projects they need to get done. Organize an evening where the senior adults prepare a meal for the youth, then challenge them to table games.
  • Understand many younger people are yearning for coaches and mentors to encourage them, pray with and for them, and challenge them to go to the next level in their personal walk with God. Risk engaging as a friend, even a coach or mentor.
  • Take to heart this prayer: Lord, you know better than I know myself that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from getting talkative, and particularly from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to try to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details. Give me wings to get to the point. I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of other’s pains. Help me endure them with patience. But seal my lips on my own aches and pain--they are increasing and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken. Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be an embittered, negative saint--some of them are so hard to live with, but a sour senior saint is one of the crowning works of the devil. Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all--but you know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end. (adapted from Little Book of Prayers by an anonymous Mother Superior)

To the older people in OMS, to dear missionaries in their sunset years, you can know with certainty your life is significant. God made you out of the love that he is. Working with you is a privilege and joy. You are one of God’s chosen children, and at OMS we are grateful for you!

By Bob Fetherlin, President, One Mission Society

Tags: getting old, ministry for elderly, serve til the end,

Stories of Global Impact: Meet Yuri

May 3 2019

Yuri first heard the Gospel at age 20 when someone gave him a Gideon’s pocket-size New Testament. Not long after that, he was drafted into the Army but soon got into trouble for being absent without leave and was thrown in the brig. It was in these hard days that Yuri recalled the Gospel message and repented! Yuri shares, “Imagine, they released me the very next morning ‘due to amnesty’ they said, but I still wonder whether this was a pure coincidence or a true answer to my prayer!”

Yuri then left the military, returned home, and joined a church. He asked his pastor so many questions that the pastor sent Yuri off to Bible college. It was there that he met his future wife (they are now married and have four beautiful children together). After Bible college, he returned home with his bride. Their pastor encouraged them to put their new education to use and plant a church.

So, they planted a church!

The church grew quickly as they strongly emphasized evangelism. He soon had the privilege of sharing the Gospel with his Mom, Dad, and many friends, who all accepted Christ and Yuri baptized each one himself (see the photo of Yuri baptizing his mom).

When his church association elected Yuri as bishop, he decided to enroll at Moscow Evangelical Christian Seminary (MECS) for his master of divinity degree. Today, he loves learning and being challenged to grow in his faith.

When you give to the OMS Global Impact Fund you are helping train and equip individuals like Yuri to reach their communities and beyond with the transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Will you consider giving to the Global Impact Fund today?

Tags: russia, seminary, transformation,

​Search and Rescue

May 2 2019

Last summer, my 13-year-old son and I traveled to Maine with the goal of climbing Katahdin. Katahdin, the tallest mountain in Maine, measures at just over 5,200 feet tall. It is a day hike that takes about 8 hours round trip—4 hours up, 4 hours down or 4,000 feet up and 4,000 feet down. About halfway up the climb, we encountered rescue workers airlifting an injured climber off the mountain. We approached the scene right as the rescue helicopter arrived. We waited on the trail about 30 feet away and witnessed the rescue.

When the helicopter lowered the rescue worker, he did not load the climber into a secure basket and pull her up safely into the helicopter. Instead, the injured climber was connected via a harness to the rescue worker, and they were only raised part way up to the helicopter. The helicopter then flew, with the two of them dangling at the end of the cable, down 2,000 feet to the base of the mountain where an ambulance waited.

Though my son and I witnessed this rescue, we only saw the helicopter pilot and the rescue workers. We did not see the many people behind the scenes that made it possible for the rescue. We did not see the dispatcher who answered the call for the helicopter. We did not see the maintenance staff who cleaned and kept the helicopter hangar neat and tidy. We did not see the mechanics who maintained the helicopter’s engine and safety. We did not see the bookkeeper who made sure the bills were paid so the helicopter had fuel. Lastly, we did not see the thousands of local community residents who dutifully paid their taxes so that a rescue helicopter could be purchased for such a rescue. We can only imagine the community of locals who faithfully served daily at their jobs to earn the money to make such a rescue operation possible.

This is just like our OMS homeland missionaries who serve at headquarters. We are involved in multiple search and rescue operations around the world. Like the mountain rescue, most of the people involved that make the search and rescue operations possible are unseen. Very few missionaries get to be present first when the rescue is made and an unbeliever accepts Christ. But there is a whole community working day in and day out at the OMS headquarters, making sure the spiritual search and rescue operations of OMS go uninterrupted. Workers in finance, human resources, IT, missionary care, administration, marketing and communications, maintenance, and numerous other vital support roles. These hard workers report for duty each and every day to fulfill their role in the global effort of search and rescue for the lost. The rescue operations of OMS may not involve an injured climber dangling from a helicopter, but the stakes of the rescue are no less critical. In fact, the stakes are higher. The search and rescue operations of OMS are seeking to save people from an eternity without Jesus. When God uses OMS to seek and save the lost, he receives the glory because it is through his power that these operations are successful.

To give to OMS homeland missionaries:

By Jay Dunnuck, Vice President OMS Development

Tags: homeland missionaries, behind the scenes, invisible bu faithful,

Stories of Global Impact: Meet Mebra

April 25 2019

Mebra, a Ugandan woman from a remote village, attended a One Mission Society Seed Sowers and community health evangelism training in Kampala last month.

As a single mother of five, Mebra had experienced many rejections in her life before coming to Christ. Even Mebra's family had rejected her when she decided to follow Jesus.

During our time with the women, our prayer coordinator discovered that many of the participants had been harassed by spirits—demons who force themselves on the women, usually during the night. They asked for help.

Thankfully, our prayer leader had experience dealing with spiritual warfare challenges, so she guided the women through a process of confessing and renouncing their sin. How amazing to hear the corporate confession of sin!

About five minutes later, Mebra began to have serious breathing problems, like a severe asthma attack. After about 30 minutes, Mebra personally confessed and renounced the strongholds of sin in her life. The demons left, and she experienced victory in Jesus!

Finally, the Every Community for Christ and Dynamic Women in Missions team prayed over Mebra’s bedroom.

The next day, Mebra described her night as “so peaceful!” Praise God for the truth in John 8:32, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

When you give to the Global Impact Fund, you are giving more people like Mebra the opportunity to experience the freedom, hope, and love that is solely found in Jesus Christ!

Will you consider giving to the Global Impact Fund today?

Tags: evangelism, global impact fund,

​Why Globalization?

April 18 2019

Why should One Mission Society seek to help longtime partners from Africa, Asia, and Latin America (aka the Global South) actively express their missionary nature? As in the book of Acts, God, by his Spirit, put the desire in them to take the Gospel beyond the boundaries of their own people. It’s a growing passion, burning in the hearts of more and more of these partners. So why change organizationally to welcome and help them?

  • With churches in decline in many Western nations, a new wave of mission passion is coming from the Global South.
  • Missionaries from the Global South often can access people and places much less accessible to missionaries from North America and Europe.
  • With more than a century of mission experience, we can sensitively share effective tools, strategies, and other resources while graciously helping our Global South brothers and sister avoid the mistakes we have made.
  • North America and Europe, once strongholds of the Christian faith, are now mission fields in need of workers from the Global South.
  • In many contexts, missionaries from the Global South can be more effective than those coming from North America and Europe.

This is not a call for a moratorium on missionary sending from Western nations! God can use, and is using, workers from these countries in powerful ways. More are urgently needed. But it is a call to embrace and empower, in humility, cross-cultural workers coming from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. After all, God’s mission is a global mission . . . involving people from anywhere to anywhere as ambassadors of Christ, our deliverer and Lord.

Happy Easter!

Bob Fetherlin, President, One Mission Society

Tags: globalization, internationalization, going global, global south leaders,