Saci Seeks Jesus at English Camp in Hungary

August 23 2019

All week, it had been difficult to get the group to talk. They weren’t connecting well with each other or with the topics at camp. One girl, Saci,* had especially closed herself off from the group, sitting guarded with her arms crossed and seemingly disinterested in sharing, even though she spoke great English. I wondered if she even wanted to be there.

As the week progressed, she remained uninterested, though she showed a little more warmth by Thursday evening. On Friday night, we had a local pastor come in and share his testimony. In the conversation group following, we give the kids an opportunity to respond. We decided to split our group into boys and girls, in hopes that this would make them more comfortable in opening up.

We sat with our chairs in a circle. Saci sat a bit away with her arms crossed. I shared my testimony and why I had come to camp and then asked the girls what they thought of God. After a few minutes of sharing opinions on faith and life struggles, Saci began to cry—a reaction that spread to the other girls. She asked us, “Am I the only one that doesn’t want camp to end?”

I was so surprised. She shared with us that last year was her first camp and that both then and now she had noticed how everyone was so happy, joyful, and nice and that maybe she needed some of this Jesus in her life. She wasn’t ready to make a decision, but she began to understand why she needed Jesus.

By the end of the group session, Saci had pulled her chair into our circle, and I was able to pray with the group and later with her one-on-one. The camp is done, but our communication is not. As we continue our conversation as pen pals, I look forward to helping her along her faith journey, and I am thankful for the journey that God took me on that week as well.

~OMS Hungary Missionary

When you give to the OMS Global Impact Fund you are helping individuals like Saci to know Jesus and the transforming message of the Gospel.

Will you consider giving to the Global Impact Fund today?

*Name withheld for privacy.

Tags: english camp, hungary, ministry in hungary, youth ministry,

Deaf Estonian Earns Theology Degree

August 23 2019

Meet Riho, the first deaf Estonian to earn a degree in theology! For three years we had sign language translators for our classes, working with Riho to complete his studies. In the 1990s Riho planted a deaf church in Tallinn that has sent missionaries to work with deaf people in China, Jordan, across Russia, and beyond.

His courage and commitment are incredible, but Riho recognized the need for in-depth teaching to help him take his congregation deeper in their understanding of God. Teaching Riho was a real honor. Pray that God will reward his hard work with much fruit among the deaf community!

By Mark Nelson, OMS Missionary in Estonia

Tags: estonia, theology, seminary, deaf ministry, deaf student

Reaching Africa On a Bike

June 6 2019

Tens of thousands of churches and faith communities have been established over the past 19 years in some of the most remote villages of Africa. How? Through the faithful obedience of African believers desiring to reach every village in Africa with the hope of Christ. Effective training materials have been developed and finely tuned for the cultivation of African leaders willing to plant new churches in places void of the Gospel. But as wonderful as the materials are, the real story is about the workers … those workers doing the ministry.

Getting around for most of us living in the Western world means traveling short distances in an air-conditioned car … not so for the village church planter in Africa. For him, traveling means walking many miles from village to village, often in difficult circumstances. Many of our church planters walk all night to arrive at their ministry assignment by morning. This level of faithfulness is inspirational.

David Cheeks, an OMS missionary and church multiplication facilitator for Africa, shares, “My first experience with worshiping in a village was in Tanzania. We worshiped under a large shady mango tree. The worship was energetic, dynamic, and alive. Our church planter led the worship. His love for Christ was evident. The next day, in another village more than an hour away, we again enjoyed our time of worship, and again, the same young church planter led! After worship and a community meal, we piled in the van to depart. Just before leaving, I overheard this young devoted pastor tell our regional coordinator that he hoped for a bicycle someday soon to help in his ministry.

“I wondered how much a bike cost. They told me around US$100 … just one hundred dollars! I realized I couldn’t just be impressed by the willingness of the African pastors/church planters to go, I must help them go! May all our African pastors be given the tools to aid them in fulfilling their call to help complete the Great Commission.”

To see the ministry up close, watch the video.

Do you want to help purchase a bike for a pastor or church planter in Africa?

Tags: bikes, bicycles for ministry, church planting, africa, faster pastors

Creative Business Prevents Trafficking

April 12 2019

In April 2018, ONE man attended a HOPE61 training program in Kiteezi, Uganda, to learn how to prevent human trafficking in his area. In HOPE61 training, participants learn what is causing people to be vulnerable to becoming involved in human trafficking. They also learn that EVERYONE has assets, skills, and resources to help those in their community who are vulnerable. This man realized that young men in his community were vulnerable to becoming involved in human trafficking because they were uneducated and unable to obtain good employment to provide for their families. Many young men, in this situation, end up seeking work overseas, and this is one of the easiest traps that traffickers can use to enslave people.

This young man also knew that he had a skill for furniture making and other types of woodworking. He decided to begin training these young men in carpentry and furniture making skills as a way to reduce their vulnerability to human trafficking. He opened a storefront and called the business Blessed Furniture. At Blessed Furniture, these young men have learned to make beds and dressers, as well as more detailed woodworking like turning bowls and chalices on a lathe. They are making a good wage now and will soon have the skills to open their own businesses. The activity around the small shop is all based on the love of Jesus Christ, and the message of the Gospel is being shared with the young men working there and many other people who pass by the shop. This young man understood that as he ENGAGES ONE, HE IS ABLE TO REACH MANY.

There is a particular Muslim girl who is a friend of one of the young men. She has been hanging around the shop with her friend and hearing about the love of Jesus and his desire for all to be saved by calling upon his name. Although she has not accepted this gift yet, she is well on her way to welcoming Jesus into her life. This is what HOPE61 is all about. Encouraging people to use their own gifts and resources to help those around them, sharing the Gospel with them, and welcoming them into the community of the local church to be discipled in the Word is the vision for the HOPE61 ministry.

By Tom Overton, Director of HOPE61

Tags: hope61, preventing human trafficking, uganda, small business, creative ministry,

​Impacting Kids’ Hearts

March 8 2019

As a missionary, I am frequently asked where I serve. Ordinarily, I am not shy, but this question always makes me a bit nervous. It isn’t that I don’t have an answer. No, this awkward feeling in the pit of my stomach is because, well, my response isn’t what most people expect. You see, my mission field is the USA– the place I have lived my entire life.

My husband Jason and I live in a duplex in the suburbs with our cat Cheddar. We don’t eat unusual foods (unless, of course, we choose to). I didn’t attend language school, get a passport, or apply for a visa. I am keenly aware when I describe my missionary life in this way, it sounds less like missionary work and more like an ordinary life, at an ordinary job. After all, don’t missionaries live in remote areas of the world in order to reach the world for Christ?

Yes, some do. For others, however, like my husband and me, the answer is more difficult to explain than simply naming a specific geographic location. There is no refuting our lives differ from our missionary friends serving overseas, but if you ask us why we are missionaries, you will discover that there is shockingly little difference. Regardless of where God has us, we all desire to make a global impact for Christ. We long for all men, women, and children to have an opportunity to hear, understand, and believe the Good News of Jesus Christ … no matter where that is. We all work with the same goal in mind, the same heartbeat, the same purpose. Where and how we do this just looks different.

In Jason’s and my case, we are two big kids with a global heartbeat who God has chosen to impact the world for him by helping grow missionary hearts right in our own country. We do this through One Mission Society’s ministry of One Missions Kids (OMK), a unique kids’ ministry that partners with churches, camps, schools, and families to teach world missions to the next generation.

The impact that helping grow these young missionaries’ hearts has on the world is profound! In fact, just this past year, we trained more than 1,000 kids through OMK programs and witnessed them reaching far beyond the U.S. borders, all the way to the other side of the globe to the people of South Asia! These mission-focused programs gave kids opportunities to learn about other cultures and better understand how God wants to use them to share his love with everyone. During small group prayer circles, they prayed for their world. They used prayer tool and prayer calendars to pray for missionaries and discovered new ways to pray through interactive prayer stations. Their bold faith moved the hand of God and moved adults. As they prayed, the kids asked God how he wanted them to personally be involved and it moved them too! They listened to God cheerfully and sacrificially giving their time, talents, and treasures. This, in turn, inspired others to give more than $15,500 to God’s work. More than $9,600 went to the Be a Light in South Asia project, providing emergency relief aid and life-changing opportunities to hear the Gospel for 82 families. In addition to learning about, praying for, and giving to missions, they discovered how to go out and tell (GOAT) others about Jesus!

Time and time again, I am amazed at all that God is doing here through kids in my homeland and it is in those moments I am reminded why God has me here; and it is the same reason he has placed you where you are to best impact our world for him!

By Lora Campbell, One Mission Kids


Editor's Note: If you'd like to give to the OMS Global Impact Fund that will help ministries around the world, including One Mission Kids, give here.

Tags: one mission kids, kids ministry, serving children, teaching missions to kids,

Triple Your Ministry Impact

December 14 2018

Taran* serves as a church planter in Southern Asia. His ministry includes evangelism, leading baptism services, planting churches, and leading discipleship training. By God’s grace, Taran planted five churches and made four disciples (new leaders) in one year. Taran is also an effective trainer using the Train & Multiply curriculum, which multiplies the work he is doing.

Taran has proven to be an effective evangelist and leader, yet his fruitfulness could be doubled or even tripled.

The distances between ministry locations where Taran serves in Southern Asia are far apart, so he must either walk long distances or use public transport, which takes a lot of time, money, and energy. Most days, he is unable to visit every location that he needs to in order to lead in those towns.

Taran shares, “If the Lord helps me to get a motorcycle for ministry, (this is one he rented) I will be highly encouraged and able to be much more effective in ministry. I sometimes use a rented motorbike, but paying hourly charges is way too expensive for me.”

If you would like to donate toward the purchase of a bicycle or a motorcycle for a national leader like Taran, give here.

* Name changed for security.

Tags: bikes for ministry, faster pastor, give hope for christmas, impact,

Demonstrated Love in India

December 12 2018

Seventy men, women, and children sat down on the large plastic tarp spread out on the dirt at the entrance of the village. With a dubious history as roving Gypsy thieves, this unique community of the Banjara tribal people is now settling into a more traditional agricultural life. What a privilege for me to stand before them sharing God’s Word.

The stories of Jesus I chose seemed to capture their focus and move their hearts. Indian people delight in drama, so my translator and I acted out some of the events described. Their response showed clearly that God was at work! The next thing I knew I was given a bag of candy to pass out to the children.

It was obvious to me that the village people lacked basic, essential health care. Open sores, infections, and disabling injuries were quite evident. Our team spontaneously promised to sponsor a free medical clinic in the coming year. God’s love is best understood when it is demonstrated, not only explained. Expressions of kindness and compassion were the norm in Jesus’ own ministry. He healed the sick and took notice of those suffering without help and hope. May the Lord teach us all how to be sensitive, ready and willing to meet the needs of people around us. It is the greatest joy in life!

By Roger Kruse, Church Multiplication Facilitator in India

Tags: india, church planting, teaching god's word, banjara people, compassion ministry,

​Israel Honeymoon Over

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

Tags: israel, outreach ministry, reaching jews, forgiveness, wwii,

Israel Can Change Your Life

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!

Tags: israel outreach, outreach to jews, jewish ministry,

​Transformation and Reconciliation in the Philippines

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.

Tags: philippines, the juan project, saturation ministry, transformation