Hospitable Love for Defectors

November 27 2017

Since the mid-1990s, more than 1 million North Koreans have died of starvation from famine and economic collapse in North Korea. Because of this, many desperately attempt to cross the border into South Korea every year. In fact, each year, more than 1,000 people enter South Korea. As of March 2017, 8,848 men and 21,642 women (more than 70%) defectors live in South Korea. Many of these women were trafficked in China, where they had children that they brought with them to South Korea.

Although the number of North Korean defectors is only about .1 percent of the North Korean population, each life is valued. We believe that interacting with those from the north gives South Koreans a foretaste of what an integrated society after unification will be like. We also see that when those who defect adjust successfully to South Korean culture, they become indirect missionaries to family and friends in the north.

North Korean defectors now enjoy better economic stability and are enthusiastic about education opportunities for their children to live a better life. But unfortunately, the drop-out rate for North Korean defectors is 1.4 percent in elementary school, 8.8 percent in middle school, and 14.4 percent in high school, over 10 times that of South Korean students! For most children and teens from North Korea, the hardest part of the school is adjusting to using English.

Many North Korean defectors experience discrimination and inhospitality, so they are tempted into crimes such as sex trafficking, and some even return to North Korea. The reason the over 30,000 North Korean defectors are not adjusting well to South Korean society and have degenerated into failures, lawbreakers, and vulnerability is that they have not been embraced with love and acceptance.

For this reason, Sarangnaru, a ministry partner of One Mission Society, run a group home and after-school classes, which show compassion and can be effective tools to maintain continuing relationships with North Korean defectors for missions. The ultimate goal of this ministry is to share Christ and build disciples for Christ.

Resources are needed to prepare for the coming unification and the evangelization of North Koreans.

To give, click here.

By Rev. Yoonhoe Koo, Sarangnaru director

Tags: north korean defectors, ministry in south korea, compassion, share gospel, persecution, famine, cross borders,

A Show of Love Amidst Destruction

October 10 2017

The Cuban people now face one of the saddest moments in the past few years.

On September 8, the northern coast of Cuba was slammed by Hurricane Irma. It made landfall, with winds of nearly 160 miles per hour … the first Category 5 hurricane to hit the country since 1937.

But in the midst of this crisis, there is hope.

Norberto, the president of our partner denomination, shares what he has seen firsthand on this island nation.

In the midst of the destruction, we want to learn from the example of Jesus … we want to love those who need our love. For this reason, we are helping those who are suffering. We know that God can turn this crisis into opportunities and the problems into blessings.

To date, we have started 10 community kitchens to feed the needy. The churches are serving the communities as a light in the darkness. Volunteers are seeing new ways to serve the people and testify of God’s love at the same time.

While Irma did much damage, the Cuban church stands together today to rebuild the fallen walls and to give witness to the victory of the king of kings.

"Blessed to Bless." That’s what I saw when I entered one church that had been badly affected by the storm. I never thought that I would see that phrase on a church wall that was almost destroyed. The pastor’s family lost nearly all of their belongings and had no food to eat. They went two nights without sleeping. Yet, the phrase echoed in my mind: "Blessed to Bless ..."

The pastor of this church and his family knew that Irma was going to change their lives, but they never imagined that the change was going to be for good.

Today and every day, the church feeds 180 people, and their contacts continue to grow. Many are asking, “Why do you do it?” The pastor responds, “Because God loves me, and I want you to know that he loves you too.” God has blessed this family, and they want to bless the people that live there.

The people are beginning to feel encouragement and hope. You can hear laughter and see happy faces while the church serves them with love.

Another story that fills me with joy happened when I visited a church in which most of the building was destroyed, but part of a wall that remained said, “Instruments of Change 2 Timothy 2: 21.” The pastor had just started a series on discipleship to teach them that sanctification is God's instrument to achieve good things from the hearts of the people. After the ravages of Irma, the church is beginning to understand firsthand the meaning of the words: "agents of change."

Today, members of this church cook for more than 200 people daily. Most of the church members volunteer with the community kitchen, and they are instruments for change in the hearts of the people as they serve and love in Jesus’ name.

The message of the Gospel becomes real when people can see what God has done among his people. To God be the glory!


If you would like to donate to relief efforts, give here.

Tags: hurricane, cuba, restore, relief, disaster, help, compassion, hands and feet of jesus,

Bondye ap Tande Lapriye, God Hears Prayers

January 31 2017

This month, you have read stories and seen photos of the exciting things God is doing through the ministry of SHEEP (Southern Haiti Evangelism and Education Program), One Mission Society’s child sponsorship program which provides tuition, books, and supplies to school-aged children in southern Haiti.

Through this compassion ministry, coordinated by Men for Missions and run by the OMS-related Emmaus Fellowship of Churches in Haiti, we desire to make disciples of Jesus Christ, equipping and inspiring them to share their faith with family and friends, multiplying dynamic communities of believers, which is right in line with the OMS mission statement:

“By God’s grace, One Mission Society unites, inspires, and equips Christians to make disciples of Jesus Christ, multiplying dynamic communities of believers around the world.”

“Bondye ap tande lapriye, Chak maten, midi, ni aswe, Bondye ap reponn lapriye” translated from Haitian Creole to English means, “God hears prayers—morning, noon and night. God answers prayer.” This simple children’s prayer is a good reminder to us that God indeed hears and answers our prayers.

Would you join us in praying for the SHEEP ministry?

  • Pray for the Haitian children attending College Mixte Evangelique de Gressier, that they will understand and desire to know Jesus personally.
  • Pray for the children to be witnesses to their families and communities.
  • Pray for each child’s physical and emotional health.
  • Pray for wisdom and guidance for the teachers and staff.
  • Pray for more sponsors.

If you have not yet responded financially … remember that by committing to two years of sponsorship, you will get the first year free, with the challenge grant made available through a generous donor.

Please contact our office at sheep@onemissionsociety.org or call 317.888.3333 for more information or to start your sponsorship.

To see the SHEEP ministry, click here.

Tags: child sponsorship, compassion, compassion ministry, haiti, southern haiti, school, kids,

Young People Stepping Into Missions: Harold’s Call to Missions

September 6 2016

This is part 3 of a 5-part series of stories about millennials working in missions with OMS. This is part one of two of Harold's story. Harold served at the OMS World HQ in Greenwood, Indiana, for six months learning the details of a mission organization, especially in the Mobilization Department.


Young People Stepping Into Missions: Harold’s Call to Missions

Part One:

One night, 10-year-old Harold Hurtado prayed to God that when he woke up in the morning he would be in a different place in the world, a place where he felt like he belonged. But when he got up the next morning and peeked through his window, he was in the same place ... Colombia, South America.

Though he might not have teleported to a different location overnight, Harold did get to travel to many new places as he followed God’s calling into missions.

Harold’s story began when he was a young boy. He grew up in Apartadó, Colombia, in an area where there was a variety of different cultures. His family was Christian, but he didn’t personally accept Christ as his Savior until he was eight. When he did, he knew that he wanted to have a personal relationship with God, something more than a faith that was his parents’ or his pastor’s. He wanted to claim faith as his own.

Growing up, Harold spent a lot of time in his church. He started to think about missions and asked a lot of questions about God. Harold’s thoughts about missions eventually led him to his first missional experience. At 10 years old, God fostered an interest in him for indigenous people in his area. One day, Harold noticed there were poor people in his area who needed shoes to get to school. When Harold saw this need, he gathered some friends and told them about his sadness when he saw these people. With some teachers from his school, Harold and his friends visited these people. They took pictures and listened to their stories. Then, they went and bought boxes of shoes.

Harold and his friends wrote a note inside all of the shoes that said “these shoes are to cover your socks, so that you will follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ.” The shoes were a surprise for the people who received them. Fifteen years later after that first trip to deliver shoes, Harold said that two churches are planted in that place because the pastors decided to plant new churches. This was Harold’s first missionary experience, but it was definitely not his last.

As a teenager, he started to coordinate missionary teams in his region through activities like theatre and sports. He encouraged young people to use the gifts and abilities they had to show Jesus Christ to others. Harold and his teams went around the region with their gifts to reach kids who suffered from a lack of God in their lives. Over time, pastors from churches in Harold’s region, around 100 of them, took notice of what these teenagers were doing and started to use them as a model to motivate their young people.

God surprised Harold by using him at such a young age. By 16 years old, Harold was coordinating several missionary teams in his region and leading evangelism efforts as well. He started studying administration at university. With a strong passion for writing, Harold also wrote an article about an issue that was pressing on his heart, the idea that Christ should change communities. Each person is different, he had written, and those differences should be used to unite communities and follow God’s plan, because the world is watching what Christians do. With all this work, Harold became more involved in writing and conferences. He loved what he was doing and was learning a lot along the way.

Harold’s home church, the Inter-American Church of Colombia (IGLEICO), was founded by One Mission Society (OMS) in 1943. This denomination had about 400 churches planted, but they had never planted a church outside of Colombia. Harold noted that they had many churches but didn’t have a clear identity in relation to God’s work in their country or around the world.

It was at this time in 2010 that the denomination’s president became concerned about this issue. He wanted their churches to support missions, as well as to get young people and pastors involved. The president reached out to OMS and started to rebuild relationships with the intent of working together with OMS to reach these mission-oriented goals.

The president reached out to Harold’s friend, Oscar, who was in Medellin, Colombia. Oscar became the denomination’s leader for their new department of missions. OMS made an agreement with the denomination so that they could start sending out missionaries from Colombia, through OMS, to minister around the world. This was difficult and slow work, especially because the pastors had never worked with missions before. But Oscar’s passion helped drive this work, and slowly, Harold and others could see God’s hand in the midst of all this development.

Oscar and Harold connected at a conference in 2011 after these changes started taking place. Oscar told Harold about his work in missions and his passion to send out missionaries. He encouraged Harold to be a part of this work, but Harold backed away from the offer.

Oscar kept insisting that Harold be a part of this new mission department, but that would mean Harold would have to leave his home and live in Medellin. However, God kept putting this idea on his heart … so strongly, in fact, that despite his hesitancy, Harold knew he had to be a part of this mission. Six months later, he was in Medellin.

Tags: missions, call, calling, compassion, colombia,

Unexpected Opportunities

September 1 2015

The tiny “meows” coming from a box next to a pile of garbage is what first caught Marla’s attention as she was walking home from school with the girls a few days ago … the cute, unmistakable cries of tiny kittens. What my girls saw next was a bit shocking: a short, sandy-hair colored stray dog, eating one of the kittens. Yes, the dog was literally eating a kitten. Not playing with it, not barking at it. While all my girls watched (in horror), the stray chomped away on a kitten, fur still in its teeth.

So, when one of the other kittens, so young that its eyes hadn’t even opened yet, walked toward Samara (who has always had an affection for all animals), meowing loudly … it put my wife in an awkward situation. She couldn’t say, “The mommy cat will come back” because they had obviously been abandoned. She couldn’t say “They’ll be alright by themselves,” because the dog was still chewing. And each kitten wasn’t big enough for one meal. So, what do you do? How do you get out of that one? As a parent who has been teaching about love and compassion, how could she just walk away?

So, that is how the box of kittens came to our house. That is how we’ve become the TEMPORARY guardians of five little kittens. And even now as I write, I can hear them downstairs.

Yep, though the girls are absolutely delighted, we certainly didn’t imagine this scene a week ago.

But that is kind of how things go in life and in ministry. Many times, the opportunities that God gives us to show others His love in a concrete way don’t fit comfortably into our schedules. Many times, these opportunities come at inconvenient times. They come at times when we’d rather be doing something else. And a lot of times, we’d rather walk away from such opportunities, hoping others will come along because we know that becoming involved will cost us time, energy, and getting our hands dirty. (And I’m not talking about kittens right now).

Showing God’s love to others means taking phone calls in the middle of the night. It means loading a moving truck on a perfectly sunny Saturday morning. It means taking a meal to someone else when you’re already exhausted. Because that’s when opportunities to show God’s love generally come: when you are not looking for them. What do we do in those situations? When the need of someone else catches our attention? When we know we probably ought to do some

hing, do we secretly hope that someone else will come along soon to do it, hoping they can meet that need? Someone who has more experienced hands and a bigger heart? More time or talent? Or do we let God use you?

And yes, I realize that such words are easy to write. They are even easy to preach from a pulpit. But they are harder to live. Harder, and yet, more rewarding, vastly more rewarding. May God give us ears to hear the quiet calls for help that surround us, and the strength to deny ourselves so that we can fully offer that which we have for His service, so that His light might shine.

For the only Cause that matters,

Micah Routon

Micah, along with his wife Marla and three daughter are OMS missionaries serving in Brazil. They are involved in evangelism, church planting, and the ministry of getting their hands dirty through love and service.

Tags: brazil, servant, compassion, kittens, serve,

Latest News from Nepal

May 28 2015

Continued Prayer Needed

Just a little over a month since the devastating earthquake struck Nepal, homes and lives are still in ruins.

Because it is no longer in the news or shared through the media, we can be innocently fooled into thinking that the problem is better. It is not! The people of Nepal are still frightened, devastated, and without hope.

An estimated 2.8 million people are homeless. When we asked our ministry partners where these people were staying, they said ... "Under the stars."

With that in mind, our team has made two conscientious decisions:

1. We will serve the most remote areas where other ministries are not. This region, close to the China border, is very mountainous and hard to reach. Almost 100 percent of the people in this region lost their homes.

2. We have set plans in motion to begin providing housing to the people in this region. In less than three weeks, the monsoon season will be upon them. We need to quickly purchase materials to begin constructing quonset housing (see photos).

The tin material, being shipped from India and purchased in Nepal is reasonably priced, but it is quite expensive to transport the items to these remote, mountainous regions. Total cost per house, which should last between 10-15 years, is about $500. The structure is made of tin roofing, metals poles, and plastic on each end.

If the situation in Nepal is tugging at your heart ... or God is tugging it, please respond by giving generously today. You can give safely and easily online. Or you can send your gift to:

One Mission Society

P.O. Box 1648

Monument, CO 80132-1648

Acct. #408117 - Nepal Earthquake Response

Tags: nepal, relief, compassion, humanitarian,

Nepal Earthquake Update 5-15-15

May 15 2015

Tags: nepal, earthquake, relief, compassion,

​Help Nepal Earthquake Victims Now

April 28 2015

nepalese man resize 4One Mission Society ministry partners are already on the ground in Kathmandu, helping Nepali earthquake victims.

With more than 4,600 people dead (and that number continuing to rise), 9,000+ injured, and 8 million affected by the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday, April 25, your help is desperately needed today.

Nepal earthquake victims need your help. Give now.

nepal tilt building resizeSupplies are scarce. Our workers report that food, water, blankets, medical supplies, and shelter materials are most crucial at this time.

Currently, $160,000 has been raised by OMS and our partner ministry Mercy, Inc., but much more is needed ... and needed quickly. In emergency situations like this, hours and even minutes matter.

Engaging a volunteer network of more than 20 churches in Nepal, our team on the ground has already distributed medical supplies, and we hope to begin distributing food and other emergency aid tomorrow.

crowds people resizeWith a tragedy of this magnitude, we need your immediate help. Your donation will be sent directly to our trusted workers in Kathmandu to be used for immediate needs, including sharing the hope of Jesus.

OMS will post weekly updates here on how your dollars are helping the people of Nepal.

Join us in praying for the families impacted by the tragic loss of life and homes in the Kathmandu area, and please give generously to help as they recover.

Tags: earthquake, nepal, compassion, relief,

What Might Happen? - Faith

April 13 2015

Faith.

Without this we are lost. Pastor Willy had faith, but he needed guidance from God. The group of four from FECPI and OMS traveled to Tacloban City with an overabundance of faith and trust. They knew God would show them a way.

Their first goal was to get to a hotel and drop luggage. In a ravaged city, this is not an easy task. Many places were destroyed and transportation was limited. With this in mind, they attempted to hail a motorcycle taxi (trike) in hopes of easier mobility. The first trike they stopped was not for hire. The driver was a vendor of peanuts heading home after a long day.

Knowing the difficulties of finding transportation, he gave them a ride. Conversation ensued as the men described why they came to the area. He had nothing to gain from them, but he offered his house to them as a place to stay. This one ride resulted in the driver becoming their contact, or Person of Peace (Luke 10).

The peanut vendor soon accepted Christ into his life and became instrumental in introducing Pastors Willy and Vicky to many people impacted by the typhoon. Since that chance meeting, his business has flourished. Through faith, God revealed their person of peace and an opening into a community that was in pain.

The person of peace described in Luke 10 will welcome you into their house. This testimony shows God still reveals those people today. We meet people daily in our lives. Many are living without hope and simply need someone to reach out to them. How often do we overlook opportunities? “If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not it will return to you.” (Luke 10:6) Keep an eye out for persons of peace in your life.

To be continued…

Tags: faith, philippines, compassion, typhoon, person of peace,

What Might Happen? – Obedience

April 9 2015

Obedience.

This is what happens when ordinary people listen to God’s call. On November 7, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda hit landfall in the Philippines. One of the areas hit hardest by Typhoon Yolanda was Eastern Visayas. Tacloban City and the surrounding area accounted for 5,877 deaths, with more than 1,000 people missing.

Pastors Willy and Vicky Galzote were following God’s call as pastors of a church 996 kilometers away in Tarlac City when they heard the news.

Their compassionate hearts immediately ached for the people affected by the storm. When such a travesty hits, many of us hurt for those impacted.

Their desire to help was unstoppable.

Pastor Willy contacted leadership within Faith Evangelical Church of the Philippines (FECPI), their denomination, in hopes of coming up with a plan.

Their desire was not to merely travel down with supplies or for a brief visit. God had convicted them to be much more, to build authentic relationships. Their call was to comfort aching hearts and offer hope.

Have you ever felt a call so strong that you were willing to leave everything?

This is what Jesus asked of those he called. “And he said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” (Matthew 4:19-20) This is exactly the call that Pastors Willy and Vicky received. Pastors Willy and Vicky requested permission to leave the pulpit and move down to Tacloban City.

A month after Typhoon Yolanda made landfall, a group of four from FECPI and One Mission Society (OMS) traveled down to see what God was calling them to do. They had no clear contact person but went on faith that God would guide them.

Pastors Willy and the others were just looking for a clear sign on how to help the people impacted. What they found was truly from God.

To be continued…

Tags: obedience, philippines, compassion, fecpi, follow jesus, oms,