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
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!
June 25 2018
Do you have what it takes to be on the Agent 038 team?
One Mission Society's One Mission Kids ministry invites children ages 5-11 to this unforgettable experience to grow their missionary hearts by learning what it takes to be one of God’s best agents.
Our mission handbook, the Holy Bible, gives us specific instructions on what qualities are found in God’s best agents. 1 Peter 3:8 (ESV) says, “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”
Join us for the 2018 Illuminate Missions Conference from June 27-30 at the Community Church of Greenwood for an opportunity to develop these important qualities through six exciting sessions, including energy-filled music, Bible verse memorization, power challenges, imaginative crafts, Bible stories, edible arts, and of course missions.
We want the children to walk away not only having had loads of fun, but also having learned how to live in harmony (Romans 12:19), live with sympathy (Colossians 3:17), live through love (1 John 4:10), live with tenderness (Ephesians 4:32), and to live in humility (Philippians 2:3). Children will also have the opportunity to help raise money for our missions project – Be the light for South Asia! This project helps to provide relief aid for flood victims in South Asia who lose all of their belongings every single year.
To register, go to: oms.events.