Philippines Ministry to the Mangyan - New Zealand Team

September 25 2019

“Join me, everyone! Let’s praise the Lord together. Let’s make him famous! Let’s make his name glorious to all!” Psalm 34:3 (TPT).

In the Philippines, on the Island of Mindoro, the Mangyan people lived out their days as squatters on the land. They had no toilets, no electricity, their water came from a well on top of the hill, and many of the children helped their parents work instead of getting an education.

In 2009, Ps Rely and Lalaine Samonte (Pastors of JCM in Malolos, Philippines) had a divine encounter with the Chief of the Mangyan tribe. They had a great desire to plant a church in this village and give the community hope. That same year, OMS New Zealand partnered with Rely and Lalaine and embarked on a life-changing journey.

Ten years later, the Mangyan community are living with hope. Their church continues to grow each year, bringing the good problem of needing to extend the church building. They now have running water in their homes, electricity through the village, toilet blocks, and a daycare building in their community. Children are now being sponsored and are able to attend school. Last year, we celebrated Donna, the first of the Mangyan community to graduate high school and begin a University degree!

This community is a real testament to the goodness of God! They now have faith in God, and many have been reborn and baptized! Ps Rely and his team travel often to the village to support and train the Mangyan people. Many in the community have risen into leadership positions and are now beginning to take the Gospel into neighbouring villages.

OMS NZ has taken teams to the Philippines on short term missions for the past 10 years and will continue to do so, as God is far from finished with the Mangyan people. We encourage you to join us on our next team. We’d love to have you utilize your unique giftings in partnership with our Filipino friends! Click over to our contact page to get in touch!

Tags: philippines, outreach to unreached, mangyan, evangelism,

​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,

Reaching the Unreached 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.

OMS:Who makes 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, and encourage 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.

OMS: What 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 greatest joys?

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 him.


Editor’s note: We will be sharing several stories of changed lives in Loja in the next 4 weeks, so keep watching for updated blogs.

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 eyes:


Loja team interviewed by OMS summer Communications intern, Mykaela Alvey.

Tags: ecuador, ministry in loja province, evangelism, church planting, house churches, unreached,

​A Bridge to the Bush

July 1 2016

Liberian Nationals’ Efforts to Minister to Unreached Groups

In the world’s third poorest nation, the hope of the Good News of Jesus Christ is growing rich in abundance.

Dean Davis, International Director of Every Community for Christ (ECC), shared how God is moving in Liberia, Africa, through the nationals’ efforts to spread the Gospel, make new disciples, and plant new churches through ECC’s Train & Multiply method.

In 2015, Solomon Davis, a church leader and faculty member at Monrovia Bible College in Liberia, wanted to use Train & Multiply to help churches make disciples and plant new worshiping groups. ECC invited Solomon to train in the United States in order to learn how to use this method, but he was unable to come.

Instead, Dean said, ECC developed “downloadable training,” a way to send training guides and materials so that a person experienced in evangelism and church planting can train himself or herself and in turn train others. The materials were in English with African art. English is the national language of Liberia, but it also has some 30 other spoken languages.

During the training process, Jim Hogrefe, an OMS missionary serving with ECC, worked with and coached Solomon and his friends as they learned how to use Train & Multiply. Dean said that they took the training very seriously and started to train others. Soon, they had trained more than 100 church leaders and church members on how to use T&M in multiple cities and towns in Liberia.

Among those who were trained were two pastors who spoke not only English but also Bassa, the local language. After their training, Dean said each of these pastors shared what they had learned, took their choirs and evangelism teams, and journeyed from their homes near Buchanon, Liberia, into the African bush.

The bush is typically described as a place, usually without electric power, where roads and highways don’t penetrate. Most people living there survive through hunting and gathering methods and subsistence agriculture. It was to these harsh areas, areas where Bassa is spoken, that the pastors took their teams to create new worshiping groups.

“Not just one but multiple groups,” Dean added, “and they’re training those groups to go farther in and share the Good News with their contacts.”

This succession of training — from ECC, to Solomon, to other pastors, and then to residents in the bush — is an example of using “bridge people” to share the Gospel.

“Bridge people are bilingual and bicultural people,” Dean explained. “When we find those people, there’s a great means to advance the Gospel to places where it has not been heard or embraced. For OMS… Solomon is a bridge person. He has all these contacts all across Liberia.”

With each new level of trained individuals, the Gospel can penetrate deeper into new areas of the world through bicultural and bilingual bridge people. These people can come into unreached groups with a knowledge of the language and culture, an understanding of the message they need to spread, and the skills to equip locals to continue the mission.

For foreigners and even African urban dwellers, places like the bush can be undesirable or unreachable. By using other bridge people who have better means of access, such as Solomon and the pastors who speak Bassa, the Gospel can spread farther in Liberia than it could in strictly OMS hands. That is part of the beauty of the body of Christ and the remarkable power of God’s Good News.

This pattern of finding bridges into new cultures is critical for internationalization. In this case, internalization means letting cultures different from OMS’ take the methods they have learned to continue spreading the Gospel and to send out their own groups of missionaries.

Solomon and his people, Dean added, understand that this bridging process is now primarily a local initiative in Liberia. In other words, even though Train & Multiply may have started from an international source, it will be continued and sustained on a local level. Solomon and the others want to develop self-reliant, local leaders that can use T&M across Liberia. One of those places is in the bush.

“I have no doubt that sooner or later some of these people in the bush that speak Bassa are going to be bilingual and speak another language, and the Gospel’s going to cross into another language group because they’ve been empowered,” Dean continued.

One of the greatest ways that we can serve bridge people, Dean said, is through prayer, encouragement, and continuing support and coaching as needed. Please take a moment to pray for Liberia, Solomon, and his people’s efforts to use Train & Multiply to spread the Gospel and start new worshiping groups.

For more information about Every Community for Christ and Train & Multiply, visit https://onemissionsociety.org/ecc.

By Jess Mitchell, summer communications intern

Tags: liberia, bush, africa, ecc, t&m, training, evangelism, unreached,

What Might Happen? - Training

April 20 2015

Rinse & Repeat.

Most shampoo bottles recommend doing this for the best results. When you want the best results in reaching the unreached, the best method is Train & Multiply.

At the time Willy and Vicky moved to Tacloban City, training was not anywhere on their immediate radar. God had called them to be there for the people and to share their faith in Jesus.

They quickly discovered that preparation through training was necessary as the ministry was growing at a remarkable pace.

In June of 2014, they attended training in a process called Train & Multiply (T&M). When worked properly, this method is producing much fruit. The three-day training equipped Pastors Willy and Vicky to open many new doors in Tacloban City. Instead of trying to disciple everyone, they are now able to train a team. This is similar to the way Jesus demonstrated to us, working with the twelve disciples.

In January Pastors Willy and Vicky facilitated training for 13 different people. On the one end of the spectrum, they had very highly educated individuals (a college professor, a retired regional social worker, a teacher and a retired teacher, and a couple of barangay officials).

On the other end were individuals who struggled with the learning process. What a wild range of participants. Willy and Vicky did a superb job of handling both groups well. Excitement pulsated through the room when people shared their vision maps.

Willy and Vicky are presently working with groups in seven different areas. They could have 7-8 more areas if these lay people follow through on their visions.

Train & Multiply has been instrumental in One Mission Society and their partners starting 25,565 new worshiping groups in 2014. Pastors Willy and Vicky are a true testament to what might happen if we could mobilize ordinary people to go out into the harvest fields.

Tags: training, unreached, train & multiply, philippines, t&m, make disciples,