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!
May 23 2018
In Colombia, Bridge to Reading works with Satura Colombia, a network of OMS churches focused on saturating the country with the Gospel. Bridge to Reading empowers churches to use literacy as a tool for ministering to unreached communities. B2R wants to give every person in Colombia and beyond the opportunity to hear, understand, and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The work started in Antioquia and has since expanded into other states. The program designates those who do not know how to read as persons of peace. Our tutors then use a story from the literacy primer Nuevos Caminos to teach one or two students at a time.
Led initially by Jonathan Tobon Restrepo, and now by Ximena Cardona, Bridge to Reading in Colombia has conducted 18 tutor training workshops, trained 184 tutors, and has taught 81 people to read since 2014. Their students are varied in age with some being as young as 16 and as old as 67.
Guillermo, from Amaga, Colombia, has learned how to read with the help of a Bridge to Reading tutor. In this video, he shares his joy as he reads John 3: 1-3. Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” In reply, Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
Pray for the work in Colombia, and especially for Ximena as she leads the program. She will be attending a five-week literacy training institute at Literacy & Evangelism International in Tulsa, Oklahoma this summer.
Your giving will go a long way toward providing resources for learners such as primers, books, and pencils, as well as for tutoring resources such as chalk and chalkboards for our learning centers.
Bridge to Reading literacy ministry is a powerful evangelism tool that God is using to help many learn to read the Bible.
A gift of $50 will provide a chalkboard and school supplies for a group of literacy learners.
A gift of $20 will provide literacy primers and will enable one person learn to read the Bible.
Click here to give.
May 9 2018
Colombia x 2, Japan, and Israel ...
January 9 2018
Sharing the Gospel can be challenging and can
bring on all kinds of uncomfortable feelings, especially at first. You might
Maybe even nausea.
Statistics would show that more than 60
percent of all church going Christians never share their faith. Here are 3 good
reasons to be part of the 40 percent that do share their faith regularly:
- You live in a hurting,
Go to any news site or just talk to a few
friends, and you will quickly discover that darkness is real in the world
today. Right now, worldwide, 350 million people are suffering from depression. Cancer
will claim over 8 million lives this year alone. Since you started reading this
blog someone somewhere has decided that their life is hopeless and has committed
suicide. Think about people you know for a minute. Do you know anyone who has
had cancer or is depressed? Can you think of someone who struggles with
addiction or maybe struggles with loneliness or self-worth and copes with that
People are hurting, sick, and lost. After the
fall of man, sin became this cancer on humanity. It is constantly eating away
at everything that is good in order to keep us hurting in the dark. Sin is the
disease, and Jesus is the only cure. If you know Jesus, you have a light that
can dispel any darkness. You have medicine that can heal any sickness. You have
a love that can comfort even the loneliest soul. This is the Good News that the
world needs hear.
You have a unique story.
In Luke 8, Jesus heals a man who had a demon
tormenting him. In verse 39, Jesus said, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for
you.” Jesus knew that he could reach the lost in his homeland with his story.
the Bible, we see the power in sharing testimonies. For example, Paul, who came
to know Jesus in a drastic way, shared his testimony everywhere he went and
with everyone he met, including King Agrippa whose father
beheaded the apostle James and arrested Peter in an attempt to kill him. This
is what he says after hearing Paul’s testimony, “You
almost persuade me to become a Christian.” The beloved, John, writes in Revelation 12:11 that we
overcome the accuser by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony. You
have your own story of how you were transformed by the Gospel, and God will put
people in your path that need to hear it. There is power in your testimony.
God has called ALL of us to share the Good News.
is easy to decide that sharing the Gospel is for pastors or TV evangelists, but
the truth is that God calls every believer in Matthew 28:19 when Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” In Acts 1:8
Jesus said “And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and
Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” He didn’t say “some of you” for a
reason. Sure, we all have different gifts and strengths that God will use for
different purposes in his kingdom, but all of us, including you and me, are
called to be witnesses of what he has done.
Sharing the Gospel can be intimidating, but once you
overcome the initial fear and anxiety, it is incredibly rewarding. Do you
remember what it felt like to be lost in darkness? Think back to what life was
like without Jesus, without hope. Now remember what you felt when you said
"yes" to the person of Jesus Christ. Remember the joy? Let that
memory be a force that drives you to allow God to use you to rescue others.
“If sinners will be damned,
at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let
them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell
must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and
let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.” Charles Spurgeon
If you are now asking
yourself how to share the Gospel, click here for tips.
To join the movement, go to Billion.Global Vision.
One Mission Society is the founding partner of the Billion.Global Vision, which aims to give a billion people an opportunity to hear, understand, and believe the Good News of Jesus Christ . We pray that God will take our efforts and multiply them so that over a 10-year period (July 2016 - July 2026), at least one billion people will have the opportunity to respond to the Gospel.
July 21 2017
be honest, sharing the Gospel is intimidating. Why? Just as public speaking
causes great anxiety for many people across the nations so does evangelism. This
fear may derive from an innate desire to be liked among our fellow humans.
Sometimes, we have to receive a little push out of our comfort zone to overcome
is what it took for me. God pushed me out of my comfort zone by sending me on a
short-term mission trip to Cap Haitien, Haiti, where I participated in door-to-door
evangelism in a rural village with no electricity or running water, but with a
rich voodoo presence. As the team prepared to go out, fear and anxiety took the
lead in our minds. I could tell from the facial expressions of my teammates
that I wasn’t the only who felt ill equipped and a little shaky when thinking
about confronting a witch doctor with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
met with the local pastor in this rural village, went over the evangelism
technique we were to use, prayed together, and then set out on our mission. The
visit to the first home was a little rough. My partner and I equally had no
clue what to say. Despite the brief evangelism overview prior to going out, we
had no true training or preparation to “properly” share the Gospel. I kept
frantically praying in the back of my mind for the Spirit to speak through me,
but was met with what felt like silence from the Lord. As we approached the
fifth house, I felt the Spirit nudge me saying, “Just share what I have done in
your life, like Paul did.” So, I told my partner to give the presentation of
the Gospel, and I would share my testimony.
We greeted the five boys who were sitting outside of the home, and I felt the Lord
with me. I knew he was going to do something miraculous. Even though there was
a language and cultural barrier, as I shared my testimony, I could see one boy,
who seemed to be the leader of the group, genuinely connected with my story.
His name is Johnny. The Lord clearly drew my attention toward him, which set
him apart from the group. When I was done sharing, I simply asked if they would
like to have a story of transformation similar to mine by giving their life to
Jesus. They all said yes! As we said the prayer of repentance, all the boys,
except Johnny, slowly stopped repeating the words in the prayer. Later, we
walked by the house on our way back to the church and Johnny was eagerly
listening the Resounding Hope radio we gave him. This radio, fix-tuned to OMS’
Radio 4VEH radio station and downloaded with an audio Bible in Creole, serves
as a wonderful discipling tool because most Haitians who live in rural areas
are illiterate, so cannot read the Bible. I am excited for what God has in
store for Johnny! I know he will do great things for God in his village.
trip has taught me that sharing my testimony is completely essential in the
light of eternity, and although it may be a little intimidating, when given to
the Lord, it is absolutely empowering and beautiful. I have returned from Haiti
with a fiery passion to share what God has done and is doing in my life with
those I come in contact with daily. You can make a difference where you are
right now with what God has given you. I exhort you to not let fear cause you
to hide God’s greatness. The power and transformation of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ does not come from any evangelism training or knowledge but purely from
the Spirit of the living God. He deserves to be shared with your neighbor,
parents, kids, that woman in the grocery store, that man on the street, and
with all people. So today, pray that God would help you share his greatness
with all those around you, even through your weakness, fear, and anxiety.
“And I, brethren, when
I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto
you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save
Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear,
and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing
words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That
your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” ~1
By Taylor Logsdon, OMS Communications and Marketing Team
June 16 2017
Down a steep, one-lane,
curvy mountainous dirt road, across a little river, and up the other side sits
a little adobe and wooden farm house. There are chickens, ducks, dogs, and
kittens running around the yard. A hammock, table, and bench are on the little
porch. Our friend Maria is always ready to welcome us.
We met Maria last
May when she heard about the medical team that was in Chaguarpamba. On her
paper she marked that she would like to receive a visit from us. The first time
we went, we weren’t sure how to find her house. After asking around, we were
told, “to go down the road and, where you see the big tree, that is where her
Maria used to live
in Guayaquil, but when her parents were sick, Maria moved back to their house
to take care of them until they passed, leaving her the farm. One day, she told
us about her sisters in Guayaquil and how they were Christians. She shared that
she used to enjoy going with them and hearing God’s Word. She prayed with us to
dedicate her life to Christ and shared how her heart breaks for others who
place their faith in idols that can't help them. She feels alone because no one
near her has faith in Christ. I handed her a little card with spaces to be
filled with seven names for people God places on her heart to pray for. She was
excited to be able to play a part, through prayer, in the lives of people she
cares about. Every time we go and share a Bible story with her and ask if we
can pray for her she answers, “Sure!”
We loved being a
part of bringing the Good News to her, and we hope to eventually plant a church
she can invest in.
heart means we rarely leave her place empty handed. Even though she doesn’t
have a steady income, she always has something to share, like papayas, oranges,
and bananas. She invites us to go with her to pick the fruit that she wants us
to take home. It is her way of saying thank you.
We are praying
that Maria will have the boldness to generously share Christ like she shares
her fruit; that her family, friends, and neighbors will know her by her
willingness to share Christ; and that one day, there will be a church out in
this little farming community of Achiotes.
By Jennifer Riggs,
OMS missionary, Loja, Ecuador
June 13 2017
Jennifer!” I heard my name being shouted. I turned around to see a
nine-year-old girl with her New Testament open. “Look, I found the memory verse
in my Bible that you taught us last week.” I looked at her New Testament where
she had the verse circled in blue ink. She was so excited to show me how she
had found it on her own.
Christmas program, we gave the kids each a New Testament as a gift, which they
proudly bring with them every week to our Bread and Fish kids club.
Jaclyn, one of our
Loja Challengers who served for a year, started Bread and Fish a year ago while
living in Chaguarpamba. This ministry involved her playing soccer and sharing
Bible stories with them. When she left, we took over what she started and kept
We hold the kids
club every Saturday in the open-air basketball court. Most of the kids come
running or riding their bikes, but some of them are dropped off by their
parents. We sing songs, learn Bible stories and verses, make crafts, play
games, and have snacks. We also have some special events throughout the year,
like a Christmas program and VBS.
The kids are
learning and growing in their faith. They come hungry to learn and desire to be
I was teaching the story about how Jesus healed Jairus’ daughter, and my
heart was filled with joy as I looked at these kids sitting around me with
their open Bibles. I asked for a volunteer to read a verse and was met with a
chorus of “pick me, pick me.” They were so eager to read from their Bible’s
that they didn’t want anyone else to have a turn.
Most of the kids
are between six and ten years old, but there are two older girls who come and
enjoy it as much as the younger kids. One of the older girls, a 16-year-old,
has a desire to be a leader. So, we invest in coaching her. As she grows in her
walk with God and in her ability as a leader, maybe someday she will be leading
the next generation of kids.
God is touching
the hearts of the young.
Riggs, OMS missionary, serving in Loja, Ecuador
June 6 2017
In 2015, God opened the doors for a few OMS missionaries serving around Ecuador to come together with the goal of reaching the unreached
population of Loja Province, a mountainous area in southern Ecuador with less than 1% evangelical
Christians. This team is actively working to make a
difference in the lives of people who may never hear about
Jesus Christ from anyone else.
up the Loja team?
BJ: The Loja
team is made up of BJ and
Andrea Williamson,Tom and
Susan Stiles, and Jennifer Riggs.
OMS: What is
the ministry focus in Loja? What do you hope to accomplish?
BJ: Our focus
is to raise up house churches in areas where there is no church.We do this by discipling new
believers as the leaders of these house churches.We look
for key people who are interested in the Gospel and disciple them in the Word,
them to make a list of people who need to know the Gospel so they can pray for
those people on the list. Each week, we share a different evangelistic passage that they will, in turn, share with one of those people they
are praying for.
OMS: When and
why did you relocate?
BJ: Two years
ago,we prayed about where the Lord wanted us to start a
ministry and found out that the western part of Loja Province is one of the least reached areas of Ecuador. We have since
then relocated to Catamayo, our
center for being able to travel to those unreached areas.
different cities or villages are you
focusing on? How many evangelicals are in this area? How many churches?
BJ: Our focus
is on the Chaguarpamba and Balsas counties and the northern part of Paltas county. Combined, these areas have a
population of roughly 20,000, but they have only one small church.
Even with the church,there
wouldn't be 50
believers. This is truly an area untouched by other ministries.
OMS: What are
the biggest challenges you face? Your
BJ: It is
challenging to travel as much as we do and to adjust
the traditional beliefs held by 99% of the people we are in contact with. The
religion we often see finds its roots in Roman Catholicism, but it has been
mixed with other religions over the years, making it an interesting combination
of beliefs,practices, and superstitions. Most people fear the change that Christianity
calls them to make because the
religion they are familiar with focuses on salvation through practices or tradition.
But, our greatest joy is seeing people reading God’s
Word and getting excited about learning about Christ and putting their faith in
Editor’s note: We will be sharing several
stories of changed lives in Loja in the next 4 weeks, so keep watching for
Also, to learn more about Loja and what the team
is doing there, here’s a video that will help make you see it through the team’s
Loja team interviewed by OMS summer Communications intern, Mykaela Alvey.
March 14 2017
age 26, lives and serves in South Asia. Since 2010, or since LB was just a
teenager, he has worked as an evangelist and church planter among unreached
people. LB has planted three churches and supervises six churches.
shares, “In the past, my life was a living hell before I had accepted the Lord
Jesus Christ as my Savior. I used to steal things from the neighbor’s, from the
grocery shops, and anywhere I could steal things I wanted. The villagers knew I
had this bad habit, so they used to abuse me or mock me. My parents were also
ashamed, and we were never invited to any special occasions in my village. A
Christian pastor used to visit our home and others in the village. My mother shared
my bad habit of stealing with the pastor. The pastor spoke to me humbly and
shared the life of Jesus Christ with me. I am grateful to the Lord as I decided
to give my life over to Christ. At first, I was afraid people wouldn’t accept
me as a good person as they knew my bad habits.
I give all praise to the Lord as he made my path easy, and now being his
servant, I am the happiest man on the earth. My parents are happy with me now,
and my life is full of peace. I want to continue to serve his kingdom, sharing
his Good News among the unreached so that their lives are also saved.”
visits the churches he supervises, as well as explores new places and
opportunities for ministry using his bicycle. He spends many hours each day on
his bicycle in order to reach his desired destinations. LB’s supervisors say he
is an active and dynamic church planter, but could do so much more if he had a
motorcycle for the ministry and reaching his goals of planting churches,
baptizing believers, and forming many new disciples.
Would you be willing to give all or a portion of the cost of a motorcycle for LB? This is a gift that your ROI or return on investment for the kingdom would be multiplied over and over again.