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
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.
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
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.
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,
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.
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
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
Editor’s note: We will be sharing several
stories of changed lives in Loja in the next 4 weeks, so keep watching for
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
Loja team interviewed by OMS summer Communications intern, Mykaela Alvey.
July 1 2016
Nationals’ Efforts to Minister to Unreached Groups
the world’s third poorest nation, the hope of the Good News of Jesus Christ is growing
rich in abundance.
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 &
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,”
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.
more information about Every Community for Christ and Train & Multiply,
By Jess Mitchell, summer communications intern
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
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).
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
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
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.