Stories of Global Impact: Meet Sarah

July 18 2019

One of the things we usually do when we visit Village Church Planting (VCP) training centers is to hear brief testimonies from all the students. This helps us understand local issues, victories experienced, and challenges as well.

During my recent visit to one of the VCP training centers in Kenya with Peter, our VCP supervisor, and Selestine, the Kenyan coordinator, we heard from Sarah.

Sarah shared with us that she was born as the result of her mother being raped, and that because of that, she had regularly experienced feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem most of her life.

Yet, since coming to Christ, and also through the teachings of OMS' VCP training, she now realizes that she was created for a purpose. Both she and her mother attend the VCP training, and they are nearing completion.

Out of her love for Christ, and inspired by what she is learning in VCP, she shared how each day from 4:00 to 5:00 AM she intentionally rides public transportation to preach the Gospel to other passengers.

We are so grateful to God for the work happening all over Africa. We are also thankful to our national workers, investing in lives like Sarah's to be a change-maker in Kenya.

If you would like to donate to our Global Impact Fund to see others like Sarah have transformed lives, click the icon below.

By Chuck Rapp, OMS Church Multiplication Facilitator for Africa

Tags: testimony, kenya, africa, village church planting, training,

How I Got to STU: Testimony of Sophia

August 10 2018

I was born in Yanji City, a small city in northeast China. I am Korean Chinese.

After I finished my undergraduate study, I went to Guangzhou to start my career as a translator in an IT company. A year and a half later, I moved to another company in order to do a job related to my journalism major. Nearly two years later, I moved to a TV production company.

In 2005, I met a Christian from the U.S unexpectedly. In a Bible study held in her house, I was introduced to a woman from Hong Kong. She shared Jesus with me. I thought Jesus was nice, but I could not believe the first sentence of the Bible because I believed in evolution. I told her that because I could not believe the first sentence, I could not believe any of the Bible.

In 2006, I moved to another TV job. Soon after, I was told that my mother was diagnosed with a serious disease. For the first time, I felt death was real, like a black hole absorbing not only warmness and hope, but it left me feeling cold and hopeless. There was nothing after death. Everything was meaningless. A sense of futility surrounded me, and I could not find an answer to why I came into this world or why I had to live.

Then, I remembered the sister who shared Jesus and the Bible with me. I wanted to know what the Bible said about these things. So, I began to attend church. It was 2010. At first, I had many questions, and I was surprised that I could find the answers in the sermon or Bible. I felt that God was really alive and was willing to talk to me. And I realized that death was not the end. There will be eternal life. I also learned that the purpose of my life is to glorify the Lord.

Another sister recommended a book to me called Streams in the Desert. I learned later that it is a popular devotional book among Chinese Christians. I read it every day. I found that the words surprisingly matched my situation each day. I felt God touch my heart through the book. Streams in the Desert deeply influenced my spirituality from the beginning of my Christian life.

I began wondering how I could glorify the Lord in my workplace. I started selecting the TV contents according to biblical values, but I had to face the reality of today’s media. I knew Satan worked through it. So, I made a hard decision. I could not continue to work in the media field any longer. I asked the Lord what I should do. I heard the voice of God in my heart, saying: “It’s not important what you do. Just remain in me.” I could not understand that at first. But after several months, while listening to a sermon on the internet, I realized I wanted to serve God and his church, but I didn’t know how. Then, I decided to study theology abroad in order to be a well prepared worker.

I decided to go to Korea because language would not be an obstacle. But I had no information about Korean seminaries or any contact person in Korea. I searched the internet and found there were many seminaries. Because I heard there are many heresies in Korea, I was afraid that I might choose the wrong place. My pastor recommended Seoul Theological University. I had three options: STU and two of the largest seminaries in Korea. I didn’t know what to choose. So, I prayed, “Lord, close all other doors and open the only one that you want me to go through, then I will know it’s your will.”

It became clear through many circumstances that STU was the one that God wanted me to attend. All application procedures were done, and I was just waiting for the visa. But there were hold ups. I was required to send more and more documents. The classes were about to start in Korea, but I could not leave until I had the visa. One day, when I was praying, the Lord told me, “Pack up your things and prepare for departure.” I wiped my eyes and began to pack. My phone rang. It was STU saying that I still could not get my visa. They mentioned that if I applied for a refund of the tuition now I could get all the money back, and that I could apply for the next semester, but if I did not apply for the refund now, I would not get the money back. I said, by faith, I will not apply for the refund. Then, I started to pack because God told me to.

Several days later, I was told to apply for the visa for Korean descendants abroad instead of the student visa. The application went through easily and a week later, I received the visa. Because the classes had already started, I could not waste any time. Four hours later, I received my passport from the Korean consulate and got on the plane to Seoul. I arrived at STU on the deadline day!

It’s a miracle that I am studying at STU.

Recently, I found out that the author of Streams in the Desert is Lettie Cowman, the wife of Charles Cowman who was one of the founders of OMS. When I read the book in China, I never paid attention to the author. When I realized that, I felt God’s hands leading me. I was so touched.

I only have one semester left in STU. I don’t know where I will go after graduation. But I believe God will lead me according to his will as long as I submit my will to him.

Tags: chinese korean testimony, changed life, seoul theological university,

A God of the Impossible

July 21 2015

For his church’s 60th anniversary celebration this pas weekend, OMS missionary in Asia, Dave Aufrance, shares the testimony of one of their former sisters in Christ from Ethiopia who has now been resettled in Canada. The story is one of those things that only God could arrange. We share the story with her permission. Her name is Ada, and this an amazing thing God did for her.

I baptized Ada in the spring of 2014 at our church anniversary service. She had been baptized as an infant, as was the custom in her country, but she wanted to do it again as an adult, now that she understand what it really meant. Ada was part of our church most of the three years she was in Asia.

Last October, Ada got word from the UN that she was going to be resettled in Calgary, Canada. When I heard that news, I thought …“Ah, two of my former students, Randy and Wendy Lui live there. I wrote to him and told him that Ada would be coming there in November, and I wondered if his family was willing to take Ada under their wings, so to speak, to help her get settled and connected there. I also connected Ada, Randy and Wendy on Facebook so they could communicate beforehand and try to answer any questions. Randy and Wendy were very happy to help her and even take her into their home for Christmas. Everything was arranged, and Ada was happy that she would know someone when she arrived in Calgary.

Two weeks before Ada was to leave, she got word that …no, she was not going to Calgary, but to Halifax, which is more than 5,000 kilometers away! Ada did not know anyone there, and neither did I. So when she came to church that next Sunday, she was disappointed and crying. We did our best to try to comfort her, and we reminded her that God had preserved her life in getting her out of Ethiopia and that he somehow had a plan, even in this seemingly unfortunate situation. Cindy (my wife) prayed that God would give her some good friends in Halifax.

So, Ada got on the plane in mid-November and left for Halifax. Over a week later, I saw she was online on Facebook, so asked her how it was going in Halifax.

She told me that after she had been there for about a week, she was riding in a taxi. She got to talking to the taxi driver and found out he was from Ethiopia. In fact, she said he reminded her a little bit of her dad. As they continued to talk, it turned out that the taxi driver was her uncle …her dad’s brother! Ada and her family did not even know he was alive. Her uncle had also left Ethiopia, and the last they had heard from him was when he was in a refugee camp in Kenya. For all they knew, he had died there! Then, God arranged it so that Ada needed to ride in a taxi, and the driver was her uncle, an uncle she did not even know was alive, who “just happened” to also live in Halifax,Canada!

We serve a God of the impossible. I get teary-eyed when I tell the story. I hope it encourages you as well. Even when we can’t understand what God is doing, we can be assured he is working things out to our benefit.

This is Ada (center), along wither her uncle and his family in Halifax, Canada.

Tags: powerful testimony, god of impossible, asia, canada, ethiopia,