​Bridge to Reading in Colombia

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.

Tags: literacy ministry, colombia, learn to read, bridge to reading, evangelism,

Learning to Read in a Small Fishing Village in Africa

May 16 2018

Lokoa is a small fishing village in the Zawara area in the Central African Republic. Through the years, the village population has increased to more than six hundred people due to the fruitful fishing activities. In seeking to meet the needs of the community, an OMS associated church decided to offer literacy classes through the OMS Bridge to Reading ministry to many who did not know how to read and write.

One who benefitted from the literacy program is Angela Tewa, a 12-year-old girl whose parents moved to Lokoa village to earn a living by fishing. Initially, the family did not go to church as they followed the traditional religion. Angela shared that they were born and raised in a culture that taught them certain practices that do not honor God. She noted that after OMS church planters came to her village and started a church, her parents forbade her to attend the church. However, after some time, the pastor started a free literacy program, which attracted many children. Angela said that without telling her parents, she started going to the classes and was taught to read, write, and memorize Scripture. They were also taught how to count and to pray. Angela testified:

“The pastor who was teaching us encouraged us to bring our younger siblings to this training, and each night to repeat the verses we had learned and to pray in our families. I started to teach my siblings the things I was learning, and my parents couldn’t object because the church is the only school in the village. In the evening, my siblings and I began to recite the verses and prayers at home in front of our parents. Sometime later, my father and mother began to go with us to church. They gave their lives to Jesus Christ, and the pastor baptized them. After their baptisms, they burned their animist fetishes and quit offering the monthly sacrifices. Our family life has gradually changed. Little by little, we are learning to read, write, and count. I thank God, first of all, and also our pastor.”

Your giving will go a long way toward providing resources for learners such as primers, books, and pencils; and also for tutoring resources such as chalk and chalkboards for our learning centers such as the one in Lokoa where Angela is learning to read.

Bridge to Reading literacy ministry is a powerful evangelism tool that God is using to help many to 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.

To give: https://onemissionsociety.org/give/bridge-to-reading

Help break the shackles of illiteracy by running in the OMS Freedom Park 5K Run on Saturday, June 30 at 8 am in Greenwood, Indiana! Proceeds from the race will benefit the Bridge to Reading literacy ministry in Africa and Colombia.

OMS Freedom Park Run

Tags: bridge to reading, literacy ministry, africa, learn to read, write, math, fishing village,

​A Prayer of Appreciation From a Literacy Student

May 8 2018

Mwavita Nabindu, a literacy student in one of the Bridge to Reading centers near Uvira, Democratic Republic of Congo, has been attending a B2R literacy class for less than three months. Yet, she is advancing well in acquiring the ability to read and write. Mwavita hopes to eventually be able to read the Bible fluently. The prayer she offered during the International Literacy Day celebration in Uvira reflects the powerful impact of the Bridge to Reading ministry felt by our learners:

“Lord God, we thank you, we understand now that you are good to everyone and you care for everyone.

“We have lived in darkness all our lives up to this day. We have been humiliated, scorned, and insulted publicly. We have not been treated like those who are literate and had no right to respond because we were limited.

“But now, today, you have begun to put an end to all that. We have begun to read and write, we are becoming like others. Bless and equip all the teachers who are being trained now and who will continue to teach us to take us all out of this situation. In the name of Christ, Amen.”

Pray for literacy students like Mwavita and others, that they persist and achieve their goal of being fluent Bible readers.

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 also 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 to learn to read the Bible.

Click here to give!

Tags: bridge to reading, literacy ministry,

Freedom to Read

May 1 2018

In Acts 17:11, we read of the Bereans, that they “… received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Today, a huge number of people in the church in developing countries faces a great challenge ― the freedom to search the Scriptures for themselves. The Bible is a closed book to them.

According to UNESCO (United Nations Education Science and Cultural Organization), 857 million adults cannot read or write in any language, and 125 million youth are unable to attend school.

Bridge to Reading, One Mission Society’s literacy ministry, trains volunteers in local churches to teach people in the church and their community to read. We develop literacy materials and help mobilize tutors so that youth and adults can have the freedom to read, not just the Bible, but also materials about health and agriculture. Bridge to Reading currently has programs in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, and in Colombia.

The ability to read God’s Word provides access to scriptural truths, which lead to transformation. Catherine (far left) is a Bridge to Reading student in the Central African Republic. She shares about how learning to read has changed her life:

Before coming to this training center, I felt sad that I could not read and write. Since my mother was not able to pay for me to go to school, I had a feeling of resentment towards her. I felt hurt when I saw a sister in church reading or writing, but I couldn’t. Since I started to learn to read and write, little by little, I feel so happy. So, I appeal to anyone who is still hesitating, or who feels ashamed, to register soon in this literacy center. I pray that God will give you wisdom about it.

The Bridge to Reading literacy ministry helps people in churches learn to read the Bible. It also equips churches to reach out to their communities where people are hungry for the freedom to read.

Your generous gift to Bridge to Reading provides resources for learners and tutors, such as primers and pencils, training manuals, and chalk and chalkboards.

$50 provides a chalkboard and school supplies for a group of literacy learners.

$20 provides literacy primers so one person can learn to read the Bible.

It’s easy to mobilize your gift to spread the Gospel: https://onemissionsociety.org/give/bridge-to-reading

Help break the shackles of illiteracy by running in the OMS Freedom Park 5K Run on Saturday, June 30 at 8 am!

OMS Freedom Park Run

Tags: bridge to reading, literacy ministry, africa, south america, oms, b2r, learn to read,

Men for Missions Continues Help Post-Earthquake Ecuador

April 3 2018

On April 16, 2016, the southern coastal province of Manabi, Ecuador, was hit by a 7.8 earthquake. The death toll was 676, with over 16,000 injured and 2,000 who lost their homes. There was widespread damage in the province, but one of the worst-hit areas was Manta.

One Mission Society responded immediately by taking in bags of supplies, water, and clothes to those in Manta. Along with our local church there, Jesus Christ is the Answer, we ran a two-month soup kitchen, delivering hot lunches to an average of 450 people three days a week.

We also had the opportunity to share the Gospel with hundreds of people each day as we fed them. Many people came to Christ during that time and requested Bible studies. As a result, we have nine new study groups that meet weekly in the areas affected most by the earthquake.

We planned a three-phase ministry of relief work. We have completed phase one of the project, which was helping six churches with rebuilding and repairing the damage from the earthquake.

We are currently in phase two, which is the rebuilding of homes that were completely destroyed. We have the approval to begin building six properties. When we began this project, we had no idea of all of the red tape that would be required by the government. We praise God for sending us Bolivar Conde, an Ecuadorian architect who has taken over as the project manager. He began construction on the first three houses in March. We are praying that God will provide the funds so that we will be able to build 9 more houses, which will complete our initial goal of 15 homes.

Our final phase will be reparations made to homes that were not destroyed but that had severe damage. These homes are habitable but still need major repairs. We are hoping to be able to carry on phase two and three simultaneously.

There are two main needs that we have to help complete this project:

  • We are currently seeking groups who would like to come to Manta to help us with phases two and three. Connect here!
  • We need funds to help complete the project. Give here!

We are so thankful to all who have offered their time and funds thus far. It is amazing to see what God has done in Manta, not only with the rebuilding of homes but also the restoration of lives. Outreach to those who lost so much in the earthquake continues, and the church is growing.

If you would like to help in any way, please contact Jim Smith, serving with Men for Missions: jsmith@onemissionsociety.org.

Tags: manta, ecuador, relief work, ministry, mfm, earthquake,

English Opens Doors for North Koreans

December 7 2017

Most of us have never had to flee starvation and oppression in our homeland. Currently, South Korea hosts about 30,000 defectors who have escaped North Korea in the last 20 years or so since the famine of the 1990s. Most of them had never heard of Christ while in North Korea, but during the process of passing through China and other countries, many have now heard the Gospel. Some have become Christians and even have been trained as pastors to reach out to their own people, as well as to those around the world.

Adventures in English for a United Korea (AIE4UK) started with a vision to help pastors and young people who came from North Korea to be able to communicate with the church around the world. It also helps prepare people domestically and internationally for unification, raises up workers who can fill the basic need for English education, and helps Christians from North Korea share their testimonies and the Gospel in English to bring spiritual awakening and revival to the Western, English-speaking church.

From July 17 - 19, 2017, we held our fourth year of camp at Seoul Theological University with the theme “A New Thing” (Isaiah 43:18-19). Susan Truitt, OMS missionary and English professor at Seoul Theological University, directed the camp, and a team of eight native English speakers sent out from OMS served as teachers.

This year, 10 North Korean defectors participated in AIE4UK, so they were matched one on one with the native English speakers from the United States. About half of them were pastors serving in ministry in South Korea, and the other half were young people preparing for their future. One activity they did together was going to the Yanghwajin Foreign Missionary Cemetery to learn about some of the early missionaries who came to Korea over 100 years ago and be challenged by their lives of obedience and service. In the evenings we heard the testimonies of some of those who had come from North Korea. It was a tearful time to hear of how God has been faithful through all of the terrible suffering they had gone through.


We believe that God has sent North Korean defectors to South Korea not only for the unification of the Korean people but also so that through their living testimonies of how God has guided and preserved their lives in the midst of danger, they can be used as instruments to awaken Western, English-speaking churches. We believe that if Christian North Korean defectors can share their testimonies and the power of the Gospel in English without having to depend on interpretation, God will use them in valuable ways.

For over 20 years, One Mission Society (OMS) in Korea has held Adventures in English camps every summer with volunteer native English speakers. These volunteers, devoted to God’s kingdom, raise their own money to participate. Through AIE4UK, jointly sponsored by OMS Korea, the Prayer Network for North Korea and the Nations (PN4N), and Sarangnaru, we hope that North Korean defectors may be raised up in a wonderful way to serve as missionaries in cooperation with OMS. The next AIE4UK is being planned for August 8-10, 2018.

By Susan Truitt, OMS Korea field director

Tags: north korean defectors, english ministry, unification of korea, english camp, south korea, oms,

​Compassionate Ministry to North Koreans

November 14 2017

Sixty-seven long years have passed since the Korean War. As relations between North and South Korea grow more difficult and North Korea’s nuclear threats increase, prayer is urgently needed above all at this time. We believe that in the midst of all this, God has a wonderful plan for the lost people of North Korea. Here is an overview of a few of the ministries you can support:

1. Ministries for North Korean refugees~Shelter ministries for North Korean refugees are taking place near the border of North Korea. One missionary was martyred for this ministry, but his wife is continuing this ministry. Prayers are needed for safety and fruit above all.

2. Ministry of food aid for North Korean children~A unique ministry of food aid for children is taking place through the cooperation of various organizations. As we hear in the news, many North Korean children are suffering from hunger, so prayer is needed for funds for this humanitarian food distribution for children.

3. Project to rebuild Korea Evangelical Holiness (KEHC) churches in North Korea~Before the Korean War, there were 134 KEHC churches in North Korea. So, local South Korean churches are being matched with them to raise resources to rebuild these 134 churches when unification comes. Prayers are needed for the fundraising strategy for this project.

4. Ministries for North Korean defectors~Prayers are needed for more denominational support and interest in the youth and educational ministries for North Korean defectors being carried out through the cooperation of Sarangnaru and One Mission Society.

5. North Korea Missions Committee~Through the activities of the North Korea Missions Committee, various forums and seminars are being held for North Korea and unification missions, as well as prayer networks, financial support, and participation in North Korea missions are being mobilized. Prayer is needed for more expert workers to participate in this ministry.

If you would like to donate to this ministry, please give here.

By Rev. Dr. Johnny J.H. Song, KEHC Missions Department Director

Tags: north korea refugee ministry, korean war, compassion care,

Piercing the Darkness in North Korea

November 7 2017

A few years ago, mission researchers produced a map contrasting well-lit areas of the world with dark ones. Based on the best data available at the time, dots of light were imposed on an otherwise dark map of the world. Each pinpoint of light represented a certain number of evangelical followers of Jesus. The result was a compelling portrayal of the areas of the world where there is relatively rich access to the Gospel in comparison to the areas where access is critically low.

South Korea has a heavier concentration of light than any other nation. In contrast, North Korea is strikingly dark. Knowing the Lord of the harvest does not desire for any to perish (2 Peter 3:9), what can we do to help more people in, and from, North Korea have access to the light of Christ?

Along with many other partners, One Mission Society is deeply concerned for the people of North Korea. Christ loves them and died so that they could have life. Yet, so few of them have ever had the opportunity to hear and understand the truth of Christ. By God’s grace and with his help, OMS is seeking ways to make the Gospel available to North Koreans. May the walls keeping it from them come down. And when they do, may God’s people be ready to blanket this dark nation with light!

~Bob Fetherlin, President, One Mission Society

Editor’s note: This is the first in a six-part series on our outreach to North Koreans. Stay tuned for stories of about changed lives and how God is piercing the darkness. If you’d like to donate to this ministry effort, give here.

Tags: south korea, north korean defectors, ministry, light in the dark,

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,

​Not Alone: Maria's Story

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 home is.”

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.

Maria's generous 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

Tags: loja, ecuador, ministry, missions, evangelism, unreached,