Not a Glamorous Job

September 25 2017

Many people don’t understand why some missionaries chose to stay in their home country to work for the kingdom of God. The common thought is often: “Mission work is done OUTSIDE of the United States.” I understand that thought process. I used to believe it myself.

I thought that if I wanted to do anything significant for the kingdom, I had to get my Bible degree and a pilot’s license, move to Africa, and fly food, water, and Bibles to the rural tribes in need. That was my plan. Until God challenged me to “be faithful with those around me.” To be honest, I thought this challenge was more of a stepping stone. I thought the challenge was Jesus saying: “Show me you can be faithful here before I send you overseas.” Little did I know, he was actually preparing me for a role that I had never thought of – working with immigrants and refugees in the U.S.

God is showing me that some of us don’t have to leave home in order to be missionaries to someone of a different culture and/or religion. He is bringing millions of people from all over the world to live in the U.S. as doctors, farmers, cashiers, ministers, and as our neighbors. Foreign missions is still extremely important, but God is increasing the opportunity for us to literally do missions in our own backyard.

In my experience, I have built friendships and shared Jesus with people from India who are of the Sikh religion. My team and I have helped 200+ Chin people, from Myanmar, learn English while using the Bible as a part of their English class. I’ve helped four churches and several ministry leaders find ways they can minister to immigrants in their areas. We have also been asked to help send immigrant missionaries back to their home country so that they can share the Gospel. All of this took place within five miles of our home.

My wife has accomplished even more than I as she serves at the OMS World Headquarters as a homeland missionary. She works with all of the OMS missionaries to make sure their donor information is up-to-date, and ensures that all of our constituent’s addresses are well maintained. It may not sound like much, but every day she empowers missionaries in more than 70 countries to do the work they are called to do. She assists missionaries (both here and abroad) to raise millions of dollars so that they can continue their work. She does it all with a servant's heart.

What we do is not glamorous to the world. No one is going to write a book about us. We don’t have amazing stories of winning an unreached people group to Christ. But it’s the quiet, behind-the-scenes work we are called to do. We will happily and obediently assist others in their work as we faithfully serve the Lord in the homeland.

Jason Ferkel, Coordinator of Immigrant Outreach

Tags: homeland missionaries, oms world headquarters, mailing list, immigrant ministry, ministry to refugees,

​Rice Planter to Church Planter

April 25 2017

Jose Nunez, from San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija, Philippines, grew up helping his family on their farm. He learned to prepare the field, chose the right seeds, water, prune, and harvest the crops. As he learned the family trade of how to farm, he also learned how to gamble and drink alcohol at a very young age.

“I helped my family in the field in the morning and once we were done, I would gamble either by playing cards or cockfighting. This all changed when I went to South Korea in January of 2006 to work in a manufacturing company,” Jose related.

During Jose’s first month in Korea, he met a pastor from Pakistan who told him about Friends of All Nations and that he could meet other Filipino there. So, he went and met the pastor and some other Filipino workers. From that day on, Jose continued to go to FAN. As he learned more about God’s Word, a hunger to know more grew in him. Jose shares, “I kept reading the Bible and attending the Bible studies in people’s houses. Not long after that, I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior and was baptized on June 7, 2007.”

The changes in his life were not sudden, but as time passed, he noticed there were drastic changes compared to his life before. His perspective on life changed, and all his vices disappeared. “My desire now is for my entire family, my friends, and relatives to come to know the Lord,” Jose said.

Jose met his wife at FAN in 2009 and got married in September 2010. They both grew in their spiritual walks through the ministries of FAN. In 2011, they returned to the Philippines and with the help of a pastor from FAN, Jose and his wife started a Bible study in their community and some of Jose’s relatives accepted Christ. They are now part of the local church in their community. My whole family is actively involved in our church.

In 2012, we returned to South Korea for work. Now his job is not located near a FAN branch. The company is located in a remote area and there are no churches nearby so Jose and two of his coworkers started a Bible study. Jose shared, “Now, we are about a dozen people who attend the study. Some are just listeners for now, but some are on fire as they study God’s Word.

“God allowed me to learn how to be a rice planter in the Philippines who cares for his crops and knows how to make them grow. Now, I use those things that I learned in planting rice to plant churches!”

Tags: philippines, south korea, farmer, rice planter, church planter, immigrant ministry,

​From Darkness to Light

April 18 2017

My name is Verrose Nunez, and I’m from the Philippines. I moved to South Korea in 2001 to work as an entertainer. I worked as a singer in a bar in Seoul, along with six other women. We worked from 7 pm to 3 am daily. Eventually, I quit my job and worked as a factory worker in Incheon to have a better salary and work environment.

In June 2009, friends invited me to attend a Friends of All Nations (FAN) meeting. My friends wanted to show me how God was faithful in their lives. The first time I visited, I felt the power of God and the love of the Christians that I met. After a few months, I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, and I was baptized on October 19, 2009.

My life was transformed from darkness to light. Since then, I have felt something different in my life. I learned the things that God doesn’t want me to do and also the things that he wants me to do, especially during rough times in my life.

I became a worship leader at FAN, and I was so happy that I was using my gift of singing to worship him and not to sing for men at the bar. God also led me to FAN to meet my husband José, who was a leader in the Filipino community. We got married at FAN in September 2010.

Just as the Bible says in Joshua 24:15, I promised God that my family and I would serve the Lord.

Through FAN, I felt the love and support of our pastors and brothers and sisters in Christ. I was far away from my family, but I didn’t feel alone because they all considered me as part of their family.

In 2011, I returned to the Philippines. My family noticed a big difference in my life. They noted that I was calm, content, and full of joy … totally different from the person that I was when I left the country. I am so thankful to God that he took me out of the darkness and brought me to light, and he also gave me the strength to love others. We soon started a Bible study through which my younger sister and her family accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Even though my husband still works overseas, we are in constant communication with each other, and we always make sure that we are encouraging each other to grow more in the Lord. My husband, daughters, and I talk as a family through Skype. José and I want to make sure that our daughters understand the Bible and know God. As a family, we pray, read the Bible, and memorize and recite verses. It is hard being far away from my husband, but God strengthens me daily. I lead the youth and serve as a worship leader at our church, where my two daughters love to sing and learn Bible stories.

Tags: immigrant ministry, diaspora, south korea, philippines, outreach,