September 26 2012
IWU Nurses in Ecuador
By Heather Lowmiller, with help from OMS Ecuador Missionary Susan Stiles and Indiana Wesleyan University Faculty
Editor's Note: The team of four graduate-level and three undergraduate global studies nursing students, as well as two faculty members, ready to work alongside OMS Ecuador missionaries, two American doctors, an Ecuadorian doctor and dentist and several church volunteers, arrived in Ecuador on Saturday, Sept. 22 after a long day of travel.
They opened the clinic on Monday, Sept. 24, and experienced a fruitful first day, with 122 patients seen, and 280 prescriptions dispensed. The student team, led by Becky Hoffpauir and Rhonda Oldham, is working well together. They will minister in Ecuador until Sept. 30. Here is a story of WHY these dedicated nurses decided to use their skills to minister in Ecuador.
3:00AM- A typical starting time for an Ecuadorian patient to wake up, gather their family members, and arrive at the public hospital to wait in line. Medical care is first come, first serve, and if one arrives late it is possible that they will not be seen at all.
Health care is based on a ticket. Each patient is registered and receives a ticket. When their ticket is called, he will be triaged by a nurse, and given instructions of where to go next. If the appropriate doctor is working and has open appointments, patients will find another line and wait. If that doctor is unavailable, patients will return to the hospital another day and start the process over again.
Hallways are lined with patients and their families, waiting for care. Sick patients wait just a few feet from a vaccination clinic. Surgical patients are wheeled through public hallways.
Crumbling plaster and worn paint adorn the walls. Building maintenance will also have to wait its turn.
Doctors and other medical employees are typically underpaid at the public hospital, despite the high volume of patients they treat. Sometimes, very capable health care workers lack the equipment or medicines to serve their patient’s specific needs.
Preventative medicine imposes a burden on the already strained system. When a patient is fortunate enough to be seen, he will only have access to the care available at that hospital. If he cannot be treated onsite, he will be referred somewhere else. If needed medicines are unavailable, family members will be sent out to retrieve them, at their own cost. Sometimes, patients choose to ration pills or go without if they cannot afford them. A family member may need to take on a second job to help pay for a costly treatment.
Our team of IWU nurses, OMS missionaries and volunteers are providing clinical care in coastal Ecuador. Residents of this area normally have to travel to another city to visit a public hospital. Medical care and health education will be provided. Basic medicines, toothbrushes, toothpaste and reading glasses are available for distribution. Please pray for the team as they serve this community.
September 21 2012
The Shirt Off Her Back
By Helen Nave, OMS Dynamic Women in Missions short-term team member
When I received the pamphlet announcing the (Dynamic Women) Princess Bride mission trip, I felt God tugging at my heart, telling me, “This is it, Helen; this is for you and Joy. Go!” Next, I spoke to my husband about it, and he supported the idea completely. I felt called to go to Ecuador and share what God had taught me in my life, hoping that it would strengthen and help others. I felt called to love the Ecuadorian ladies and their daughters in any way I could, not expecting anything in return.
After sharing in session one, I was standing with several ladies outside in the beautiful mountain air at the base of the Andes, as one of ladies recounted with another exactly what I had shared in my speech. She hadn’t missed a word. Later that day, during the spa, as I curled one lady’s hair, my new friend sat nearby waiting her turn to get her hair done too. Amidst the busy spa atmosphere I complimented her on her shirt. Since I was holding a curling iron, I became the ringlet maker.
The afternoon flew by and soon I was leaping into my waitress clothes to help with serving the banquet dinner, and helping to photograph the grandmother/mother/daughter groups. Soon, the Ecuadorians started arriving, anticipating this special evening of celebration with their daughters. What happened next caught me totally by surprise. One of the ladies handed me a plastic bag. I looked inside only to find the shirt that I had praised that afternoon! She had given me her shirt! This is the most dramatic way that I was touched by the graciousness of the Ecuadorian women, but there were other moments too; like the time when I shared a few moments with two friends, one of whom was praying for the other. I’ll never forget her comforting voice as she repeated many times through the prayer, “In Jesus’ name.” Another time was when one of the Ecuadorians gathered our team together, to give us a formal “thank you” for coming to Ecuador and ministering to her. It is amazing how close we and the Ecuadorian women all became, sharing and praying together about what really mattered. I thank God for blessing me so greatly on this mission trip!
If you are interested in participating on a future Dynamic Women in Missions short-term mission trip, email Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org. For short-term trips for men, women and young adults, you can contact our Men for Missions team at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 14 2012
He Can Use Me
By Gail O’Connor, OMS volunteer
When my granddaughter and I signed up for the Ecuador trip, we got a list of the different jobs we could volunteer for. There were several opportunities to give a message or testimony to the Ecuadorians.
I’ve always enjoyed Bible teaching. When I was in my 20s and 30s, I spoke often at camps, retreats, and banquets, especially to women. Looking back, I realize how naïve I was and what pat answers I had. I didn’t have a clue! After going through some tragic family events for several years, I finally had something worth saying, but the opportunities were no longer there.
A few weeks before the Ecuador trip, as I was driving home, the Lord seemed to give me a salvation message that I felt was perfect for the Ecuadorian women and girls I wrote it out and sent it to Pat and Kim, our leaders, to ask what they thought.
In Ecuador, I had two opportunities to speak and give the plan of salvation. At the Pallatanga retreat, one woman accepted Christ and many more came forward to pray. Again at the church in Guayaquil, many came to the altar after testimonies from our teens and my message. After the trip was over, we received news that at least 14 women had come to know Christ during that Mother-Daughter Tea. My heart was filled with so much joy I could hardly contain it. I felt that God was reaffirming that He could use me to bring souls into His kingdom.
September 11 2012
Two Paths Become One
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand Psalm 16:11 (NIV)
She did not plan on living half way around the world, but Tanya (Australian), One Mission Society missionary in Ukraine, met Sergei (Ukrainian) Susidko, also an OMS missionary in Ukraine, while on a mission trip to Ukraine in 1997. They were on two separate paths when they met. Tanya had just finished a mission trip to Africa when she heard about the possibility of going to Ukraine. All the while, God was working in Sergei’s heart. In that same year, he accepted Christ as his personal Savior. Sergei and Tanya crossed paths on Tanya’s second trip to Ukraine.
In that same year (1997), Daniel, a teammate of Tanya’s, needed to learn Russian. Daniel met Sergei through prayer meetings with a small group that he attended in Ukraine. Sergei knew Russian and once Daniel found out he asked if Sergei would teach him and a few others Russian. Sergei agreed to this, and one evening Tanya came to a Russian language lesson. You could say that the rest is history, but this is only the beginning of their story.
In 2002, the two were married, and Sergei finished Bible college. He wanted to share his knowledge as well as his heart for evangelism and discipleship with others. He pulled out a map one day and spotted Rzhyshchiv. Sergei and fellow teammate, Ben, began to take the bus every week to Rzhyshchiv to play their guitars and speak to people in the street.
God began to open doors. Shortly after Sergei and Ben started this street ministry, a local councilwoman took notice and said, “Please come and talk to the students!” Rzhyshchiv has several technical colleges, so Sergei and Ben formed a group and started spending time with the students. Sergei says, “It was amazing!”
The Susidkos then went to Australia and had their first two children and asked this question, “Could we go back to Ukraine?” It did not take long for God to answer this question. The Susidkos would return to Rzhyshchiv.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others Philippians 2:4 (NIV).
Soon after this decision was made a friend began to ask questions, “How will you be supported? What will you do?” “Who will hold you accountable?” The Susidkos responded, “Oh, we’re just doing what we can do, but we don’t have a solid plan.” The friend said, “You need to get someone behind you that could really help you out.” Tanya and Sergei agreed, but they did not know how to make this dream a reality.
“Could we join someone, Lord?”
Sergei and Tanya began to pray, “Could we join someone, Lord?” A year prior to their departure for Ukraine, OMS Australia missionary, Michelle Taylor, who had served in Russia before health problems brought her home, spoke at the Susidko’s church in Brisbane. Sergei states, “So, of course we had to say hello and speak some Russian. She was excited and asked if we could meet together. She introduced us to OMS.”
Michelle asked, “Have you ever thought of joining a mission organization?” The Susidkos were thrilled with the idea, but they had a few questions. Michelle then asked, “Can OMS come alongside you in your ministry?” Tanya and Sergei spoke with the OMS director in Australia, as well as with the pastor at their church, and they both agreed that it was a great idea to join OMS.
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service 1 Timothy 1:12 (NIV)
Two paths became one. The rest is…well, only the beginning. Tanya and Segei have been happily married now for 10 years and have three wonderful children. The Susidkos and OMS have a beautiful partnership.
Have you considered joining OMS, or have you considered letting OMS join you? When two paths cross it is a beautiful thing. If you’re considering ministry opportunities with OMS click here. OMS would love to begin a journey with you for God’s kingdom and glory.
September 6 2012
My Visit to Heaven
By One Mission Society Retired Missionary, Os Heinrich, with Ed Erny
A year ago, a remarkable story of a small boy attracted nationwide interest, and the book, Heaven is for Real, was at the top of The New York Times best-seller list for months. The small boy, 5 years old at the time, was the son of a Wesleyan pastor. The child, during a period of extreme illness and unconsciousness, had a vision. In the vision, he was transported to heaven where he saw his grandparents and amazingly his baby sister who had died at birth and whom he had never seen … or even knew about. Nevertheless, he immediately recognized her as his sister.
Recently, Oswald Heinrich, who with his wife Kathy, served as OMS missionaries for 46 years retired in San Antonio, Texas. During a time of illness, while in a coma, Os also had a remarkable vision of heaven. Here is Os’ story.
I was born in Saskatchewan, Canada, in 194l. My parents, like so many Canadians at that time, were fugitives from the chaotic events in Eastern Europe. My father was Lithuanian and my mother was from Poland. Both spoke German, and I knew little English until I entered first grade. I graduated from high school with honors and received a scholarship to attend the University of Saskatchewan. Ours was a devout Christian home and as a result, I chose instead to enroll in Hillcrest Bible College. I sang in a quartet and for three years traveled in Canada and the U.S., representing the college. During my time at Hillcrest, God gave me Kathy, a beautiful Christian girl, also from a devout Christian home. We were married in 1962. This November we celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.
We moved to Rudyard, Montana, a few years later, and I graduated from Montana State with a three-year associate’s degree in engineering.
OMS missionaries frequently visited our church in Montana. Kathy and I both yielded our lives to the Lord for missionary service, and in 1966, we went to Haiti to work with OMS’ radio station, Radio 4VEH. We remained there until 1980, when we were led to move to Greenwood, Indiana, to serve at the OMS World Headquarters. There, I assisted in the Information Technology Department, while Kathy headed up housekeeping and hospitality services, a tremendous task in view of the great number of missionary residents and visitors that pass through the OMS doors.
God gave us three children. Sharon was born in Michigan during our internship there before going to Haiti. Cheryl and Ronnie were born in Haiti.
Although we are retired now in San Antonio where our son works for the police department and our youngest daughter Cheryl works at YMCA, we occasionally return to Indiana to see our oldest daughter Sharon, who serves at the OMS headquarters, and to serve there during times of special need, particularly when various staff members are traveling or on vacation. This past February found us back In Greenwood. While Kathy and Sharon went to Haiti to assist on a work team, I worked in the Information Technology Department, assisting my longtime friend, Glenn Moon, the director.
With Kathy, my nurse gone, I must confess, I was remiss about both my lifestyle and taking my medication for my diabetes.
I went to church that Sunday and afterward, I took a bath. I was not feeling particularly well but had no idea how very ill I was. I actually passed out in the tub. Monday morning, when I did not show up for work, Glenn came to the apartment looking for me. There I was, still in the tub, totally unconscious and alarmingly ill. I was rushed to the emergency department of a nearby hospital. When the doctor finally brought me out of my coma, he informed me that I was “about one hour from death.” I had passed out because my sugar count had soared to over 800!
While in the coma, I had a vision in which I had entered heaven. I had no doubt at all that this was heaven, for the scene was beautiful beyond description. I saw myself lying on a grassy hillside and overlooking a shining city. I knew at once it was the Holy City of Jerusalem. The scene was beyond description. The hillside was covered with beautiful red tulips. Delighted that I was now in heaven, I jumped up and ran toward the holy city. The first thing that had come to my mind was that now, at last, I could see my parents and also my brother and sister, both of whom had died before I was born. Then, as I ran, I heard a voice behind me. I stopped, turned around and saw an angel. He said to me, “It’s not your time yet. You’ll have to go back because your service to God is not yet complete.” I was crushed with disappointment, so much so that I started to cry. The next thing I remember, the doctor was by my bed talking to me and instructing the nurse to give me pills for the pain.
Yes, heaven is for real. The Lord Jesus told us so when he said, “I go to prepare a place for you. If it were not so, I would have told you.” All of us who have the Lord Jesus in our lives are guaranteed a home in heaven.
I have always believed in heaven but never before had I been there. Now that I have seen it with my eyes, more than ever, death holds no fear for me and, in a very real sense, I look forward to “returning” to heaven.