August 30 2016
This is part 2 of a 5-part series of stories about millennials working in missions with OMS. This is part two of Anna's story. Anna served with OMS for two summers with HOPE61, our human trafficking prevention ministry.
have such a heart for justice and development. I am deeply burdened by the
issue of human trafficking, specifically because I know there are
vulnerabilities that could have been eradicated through prevention. I feel for
the marginalized, the impoverished, those chained by the sins of addictions.
The Lord has angered my heart about the ways in which the enemy has stolen
life. I desire to see the glory of God bring freedom to those in bondage of
oppression. I desire to see them free.
Because I know it is possible, and this is the will of the Lord. I don’t just
want to see those who have fallen victim to abuse to be set free, but the
abuser as well to come to be a new creation through the resurrection power of
their Savior, Jesus Christ. It’s amazing, the Lord gives you a passion, then
the refinement comes … and the passion you thought you had at the beginning
takes on a whole new, deeper look, one that you know you could not have
understood or thought of on your own prior to the Lord’s renewing of your
my time in the DR, God taught me how to work in community. He gave me a deeper
understanding of the Gospel. He gave me tools physically and spiritually to
fight the good fight. Through this OMS
internship, I learned more about what I believe, what it means to have faith,
about the issue of trafficking, what it looks like to work in ministry, and
what it looks like to do mundane and super-intense tasks. God is working in my
life by drawing me closer to him and equipping me for now and for what is to
come. And I get to work alongside his family, knowing and experiencing the
different members of the body. I get to know him deeper as he loves me.
favorite part of this whole experience was getting to explore more of the
culture and the country and to bond with the people as I learned their stories.
I have met people from different Latino countries and also many Dominicans. But
the best part has been getting to dive deeper into the Lord and his will for my
life, experiencing his refining, challenges, and love in a deeply life-transforming
way. But at the same time, that can also be the most challenging part. There is
a language barrier. There’s spiritual warfare and moments when you are just
reaching around in the dark. But the renewal of our minds needs to happen
daily. The armor of God is our battle weapons, and reminding yourself of who
sits on the throne is key.
been hard to see the poverty, to feel internal and external warfare. It’s been challenging
to have the Lord dig up roots that choke his fruit. It’s been challenging to
live by faith when you see the drugs, the prostitution, and sexual immorality on
all levels. It’s been challenging to make friends with those who do not speak
the language. But we have a hope that will never let us down. Jesus brings
light to the darkness. We may be hard pressed on all sides, struck down, but we
are not abandoned. And it’s weird that among all these challenges, the Lord’s
joy has been overwhelming; his peace, strength and provision have been
abundant. And when we see drug addicts dedicate their lives to Christ, women
who have engaged in prostitution learn that God loves them without strings
attached, when you see children fed and dance in full worship to the Lord, when
you see families being restored, when you see individuals realize they have the
capacity to implement their ideas through entrepreneurship and ministry, it is
more than worth going through this temporary pain and trouble. It may seem to
be happening slowly, but God is reaping the harvest.
children are being delivered from drug and alcohol addictions, from
prostitution, from sexual sin, from homelessness, from marginalization, from
starvation, from broken relationships, from fits of rage, lies, stealing, and
the list goes on. He is bringing hope and a home in him. He is bringing healthy
community and Christ-centered relationships into the lives of others in the
Dominican. It is definitely a process, and it can even get very discouraging at
times. But when you see amazing breakthroughs, you are deeply encouraged, even
if they are small. I’ve seen God work by bringing people to their Savior and
choosing to live a life for him.
is so good, and that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface. And writing
this, I am convicted, because as his spirit overflows my soul with hope,
challenges are real. The battle is real. But we have the ability to set our
mind on the everlasting, eternal God.
August 23 2016
This is part 1 of a 5-part series of stories about millennials working in missions with OMS. This is part one of Anna's story:
Mission Society When I applied to OMS last summer, my application went through,
and I was accepted. But there was a catch … the internship was international.
This decision was officially made after my application was sent into HOPE61.
The Lord had a lot more in store than I had planned.”
Mission Society’s (OMS) HOPE61 ministry welcomed
Anna Ferri to the team in the summer of 2015 when she applied to work as an
intern. Anna returned this summer 2016 to continue to work with HOPE61.
She shares her story of how God called her to serve both at headquarters and
abroad in the Dominican Republic….
truly believe I got this position by the Lord’s grace. He opened the door to
this awesome opportunity to serve alongside some of the most amazing, obedient
servants of our King.
summer, OMS said that my internship was contingent upon whether or not I got
accepted to work with Teen Challenge in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Teen
Challenge Dominican Republic just partnered with HOPE61,
and OMS was desiring to give an intern the opportunity to work in another
country doing missions. When I found out that my internship was contingent upon
this, I had peace. I knew the Lord was opening this door; and sure enough, in
June of 2015 I was heading over to Santiago, Dominican Republic, as HOPE61’s
first “international intern.”
I am an international development major, my school requires that we study
abroad for a semester to gain hands-on experience in the field and deal with
the challenges and blessings that cross-cultural experiences bring. When I met
with my professor at school this past year, I had no idea what I was going to
do for my overseas experience. I was not even thinking about OMS or the DR
experience from the summer before. But then when I sat down to talk with him,
it was as if the Lord began breaking my heart all over again for the ministry
of Teen Challenge and the people of the Dominican. And I’ll be honest, I was
fighting this desire. Although my time in the DR the summer before was a
blessing, it was challenging, and the last thing I planned on was returning.
I started getting excited and began to have passion for what the Lord was
laying on my heart. Then I started sharing with my professor the development
vision HOPE61 and Teen Challenge
see for the Dominican and how Teen Challenge has been expressing their desire
to deepen their ministry. Thinking I was somewhat crazy and unsure if this was from
the Lord, I decided to ask and see what would happen if I proposed going there
for my international experience. There were so many doors that needed to be
opened for this plan, and I could not do it on my own. I not only had to get my
school to approve my idea and trip, but I also had to be re-accepted by OMS. I
had to share my vision with Tom. I had to fundraise. And finally, I had to ask
then … the doors opened. I wanted to return to OMS because it was the place I
knew the Lord drew to me the first time. With the way things lined up so
perfectly this second time, I knew it was God continuing this work.
summer has consisted of helping Tom and Tonya Overton around the OMS office, formatting
and writing training material for HOPE61 (OMS human
trafficking prevention ministry) training, and preparing for my time in the DR.
I also enjoyed my ministry time in the DR with Teen Challenge. During my time there,
the vision of both ministries was to combine and see how HOPE61
could come alongside Teen Challenge in furthering the development of the
communities in the Dominican Republic.
Challenge is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation ministry that works with people
with any life-altering issues (drugs, alcohol, prostitution, anger, sexual
addictions, suicide, etc.). We hope to be able to incorporate a curriculum that
teaches about the prevention of human trafficking through program design,
training students and leaders, and implementation. Our goal is to help students
with re-entry into their communities with the right physical, spiritual, and
emotional tools after graduating the program. They are currently receiving
vocational training and discipleship classes through the ministry of Teen
Challenge. The vocational training consists of learning skills like the art of
jewelry making, agriculture, sewing burlap bags, selling coffee, and many other
types of work. We desire to see their vulnerability to the exploitation of
human trafficking, drug addiction, etc., to be diminished. Both HOPE61
and Teen Challenge hope to help them build a foundation that will ready them to
integrate back into their communities as new creation who will shine their
light for Christ and produce sustainable development efforts in the DR, winning
the nation to Christ.
August 17 2016
If you’ve ever
wondered what a typical week of ministry looks like for our missionaries, here’s
a quick glimpse from OMS Ecuador missionary, Jennifer Riggs.
many times a week do you visit people?
A: Each week, I spend two to four days visiting people.
Q: How do you know
who to talk to?
A: During the short-term medical team trip we had in May, we asked
patients if they would like a visit from us. We are also following-up with
friends the Loja Challengers made the year.
Q: What’s a sample conversation sound like?
A: Me: Hi, anyone home?
Person: Yes, come on in. Have a seat (pointing to planks of wood propped up to
form a bench.)
I ask about their health.
Me: I am sorry to hear that your knees are still bothering you. It comes from
all of the hard work you have done.
Person: Yes, right now we are harvesting peanuts.
We talk about the harvest for a bit.
Me: The other reason why I wanted to visit you is to see if you are interested
in learning more about what the Bible says about God.
Person: Yeah, that's fine.
Me: Wonderful. I would like to share a Bible story with you.
I share a story from the Bible like the prodigal son. We talk about the meaning
Me: Prayer is talking to God about things. Is there something I can pray for
Person: Yes, my family, finances, and health. It isn't going to take very
long is it?
Me: No. It doesn't have to take long.
I pray for them.
Me: Can I visit you again sometime, and I can share another story from the
Person: If I am home.
Person hands me a bag of oranges recently picked from their tree.
Q: What happens next?
A: We go back and visit those who invited us back. We share
with them different lessons focused on salvation. Each time planting seeds
of the Gospel. We ask them if they would like to accept Christ. If they do, we
Q: Are you partnering with a church?
A: Yes. We have been taking members from the church in Catamayo
with us so that they can be a part of reaching out to their people. We also are
partnering with an association of evangelical churches who have started a
program called "Saturate Ecuador."
Q: What is Saturate Ecuador?
A: It is a church multiplication plan to saturate all of Ecuador with
the Gospel. The idea is present the Gospel to as many as will hear. After each
Bible story we challenge the people to find someone else with whom to
share. Then as their friends and neighbors get curious, they show up to meet
with us and then they go out and share with others. And a brand new house
church is formed.
Q: Where do you go?
A: We travel anywhere between one and two hours away. To get
to the town of Amarillos, we drive on a very curvy paved road for a little over
an hour. Then, we go up a dirt single lane road for another 20 minutes.
Then, some places we hike either up or down the mountain, sometimes
up to 10 minutes. I really enjoy seeing God's creation as we travel to these
Q: Do you go by yourself?
A: No, we have a team of people we work with, including Tom and
Susan Stiles and the Williamson family. We take turns. We usually go
two-by-two. We also sometimes take some of the members from the church here in
Q: What progress have you seen?
A: We have been able to see God transform two women who were
recently baptized. I have seen people who know God start growing more in their
walk with him. We have seen several people accept Christ. And many who are
excited to learn, who we pray for and are expecting to see them come into God's
Q: What do you do on the other days that you aren't out
A: Besides taking a day off, we have team planning and prayer
meetings usually once a week. We also meet once a week with all of the OMS
missionaries in the Loja area for a prayer meeting. On Saturdays, we go out and
lead kids club, called Bread and Fish.
Q:What do you do on your day off?
A: I might paint, draw, work on puzzles, bake, or care for my
potted plants. I have also gone into Loja to catch up and enjoy being with my
friends that I miss. Since Catamayo is hot year-round, we sometimes go to the swimming
pool and go down the water slides.
Q: What is your favorite part of ministry?
A: I enjoy seeing the church realize that they have something to
share with the people. I love sharing Bible stories with people who have never
heard them before. I also enjoy spending time with our team.
August 16 2016
people in Haiti speak Creole or French as their first language, but an eighth
grade student in Steve Gross’ class said her first language was English, despite never having been to the United States either. She spoke English first because her father wanted her to attend Cowman when she got older.
Mission Society’s Cowman International School provides a high-quality, Christian
education for students from preschool to high school. Since its founding in the
1960s, Cowman’s student body has grown to include more than 160 children from a
variety of backgrounds. Some are the children of missionaries, others are the children
of people who live locally, and still others are the children of business and
government leaders in both Haiti and around the world. With its diverse
population, Cowman truly is an international school, where parents want their
children to be educated in English to help them with their futures. But more
than that, Cowman presents the Gospel message to both the children and their
and Melissa Gross joined Cowman’s ministry in 2013 after the Lord individually
called both of them to serve in Haiti on two different mission trips. Melissa
went on a Men for Missions (MFM) trip in 2010 and felt a calling to the mission
field, but she didn’t talk about this until later. Steve also went to Haiti
through MFM and felt that same calling.
two finally talked about what God was putting on their hearts. They attended
OMS’ One Weekend and prayed more about this call— and what started as a
short-term mission trip ended up being the door to their long-term service in
Haiti. The Gross family, Steve, Melissa, and their four children, moved to
Haiti in 2013, where both taught at the Cowman School.
Steve and Melissa had taught at public school in the United States before going
to Cowman. Speaking about teaching in Haiti, Melissa said that her favorite
part was that they got to include God in their teaching, something that was
different from her time in public school. Every morning, she added, they start the
day off with prayer. The school also gathers for chapel every Friday, where the
children can worship God and learn more about him.
has been blessing Cowman as it continues to educate students and teach them
about God. Melissa said that you can’t advertise well in Haiti, but God still
provides the resources. The staff at Cowman are praying and seeking God’s
guidance, and he is sending people to Cowman to help.
there is a need for more teachers from around the world, as well as quality
teacher training for the current Cowman teachers. As more students enroll and
more grades are added, teachers need to have the right knowledge and teaching
skills to help guide these growing students. Melissa heads up the teacher
training, and she has seen God moving in powerful ways, many times surprising
her own plans for the program.
added that the Grosses are also blessed to live in Haiti. He said the need for
Christ is greater, and therefore so is the presence of Jesus. Christ is very
present in Haiti, he added, and that is one of the best things about living
Grosses returned to Haiti today to resume teaching at Cowman for the upcoming
school year. Melissa will teach, as well as supervise the teacher training,
while Steve will teach high school students. Please pray for the Grosses’
transition back to Haiti as they prepare to teach and to show God’s love to the
Grosses also ask for prayer for the Cowman School. Steve, Melissa, and the
other teachers at Cowman need prayers for organization as they put together the
school year plans, especially in light of the new construction that has occurred
over the summer. But more importantly, they ask for prayers for the students
and their families to have the resources they need to help the children
continue in their studies at Cowman and beyond and for each one to hear the
Gospel and know God better.
you consider how you can help the Cowman School provide education and the
Gospel to this diverse group of students?
learn more about the Grosses, visit onemissionsociety.org/give/TheGrosses.
give to Cowman International School, visit onemissionsociety.org/give/cowman-international-school.
August 11 2016
he was young, Moshe* felt God calling him to go to Israel. This calling would
lead him to begin a growing ministry there that he began with One Mission
he grew up in South America, Moshe had ties to Israel through his family’s
Jewish heritage. During World War II, his grandfather, a Jew, escaped from Europe
to South America. Moshe is the second generation of Messianic-Jewish believers
in his family. He was raised in a Messianic-Jewish household where he believed
in Yeshua, God’s Son, but still had
Jewish ties. Growing up, he did not practice Judaism, but he continued to claim
his “Jewishness” as he describes it, a claim to the culture as part of himself.
tie to his Jewishness developed a desire and a call in him to journey to Israel.
After Moshe got married and had four kids, his family moved to Israel in 2007,
using the Law of Return, which states that every Jew has a right to return to
the Holy Land.
Moshe and his family got settled, he took a job selling solar-powered devices
that contained God’s Word inside of them, which led him to attempt to sell them
to OMS in 2008.
after this first encounter with OMS, economic problems hit Israel. The company
Moshe had worked for laid him off, but immediately after that, OMS proposed a
new opportunity. After further conversations, Moshe began working with OMS in
is not only the sole worker but also the director of the OMS Israel field since
2009. Part of his work is leading a house congregation that he started three
and a half years ago. The congregation has grown to more than 20 people, mainly
immigrants from countries all over the world. Moshe believes the best way to
reach these people is through relationships and evangelism.
said that Israel is important because of God’s covenant with them. This nation
is where everything started, the source from where the world was given God’s
truth. It is like using valuable recipes from your grandmother. When we bring the
message of Yeshua back to Israel, it’s
like returning all those recipes back to your grandmother’s family.
God’s message of love and his Son back to Israel is a difficult task. But it is
about meeting people where they are, Moshe said. When he talks with people, he
talks about Yeshua starting in Genesis,
not Matthew or Romans. He can explain from there why he believes in Yeshua and why it makes sense to him.
Moshe said that God gives him good conversations with people.
you act as just a messenger, you give room to the Holy Spirit,” he added.
entire body of believers in Israel is no more than 20,000, Moshe said. But the
numbers are increasing across the country. As the ministry progresses, Moshe
wants to keep reaching out to the Jewish community.
has been working in Israel in the hearts of his people through Moshe’s
ministry. One of the stories Moshe shared about God working in Israel happened
when he announced that he was starting a new congregation. Eventually, the original
congregation he was with accepted his decision but still didn’t agree. Moshe
stayed with them until the end of the year and then he left to begin his
ministry. However, he questioned if he was moving too fast.
November 2012, he received a call from someone who wanted to know more about
his new congregation. This man was not a believer, but he wanted to know more
about God. Moshe discipled him for one year. Throughout this time, the man
looked like he was a believer but he still had not made a decision.
the man’s one year discipleship, his wife went into labor. As the man was with
his wife, a big wind blew their door open. The man closed the door. But the
wind blew it open two more times. In her labor, the wife said that is was the
Lord’s Spirit coming to say that Yeshua
was the Son of God. After that, she gave birth to a healthy daughter. Two
months later, the man’s wife told Moshe that she accepted Yeshua as her Savior. Her husband was still unsure, but he finally
agreed as well. Moshe baptized the couple as new believers.
like this are happening in Israel as God moves across the nation. Please pray
for Moshe and his ministry, especially as he seeks mature believers to help
with the home congregation. He also hopes to start congregation multiplication
and prays that God will lead him and his congregation in the right direction in
regard to that vision. Finally, Moshe prays that his growing home congregation
can figure out if they need to find a new place to hold meetings and services.
Jewish people have a call to be a light to the nations,” Moshe said. His prayer
is that they can rediscover that call and that God will work in their lives.
*Last name withheld
By Jess Mitchell, OMS
Summer Communications Intern
August 9 2016
24 hours of reading David Platt’s book, Radical,
Chris Love knew she needed to go on a mission trip.
and her husband Jeff had just finished paying off their house, and instead of
going on a vacation, the family went on a Men for Missions (MFM) trip to Haiti.
While they were there, both Chris and her son Camden told Jeff they were ready
to stay. Jeff was unsure, but as they thought about this possibility, it became
more obvious that God was keeping the door to Haiti open to them.
the Love family is heading out next week to be One Mission Society missionaries
in Haiti and work with the Cowman International School, a school for Haitian
children, international students, and OMS missionary kids. Cowman provides a
quality education in a variety of subjects, but more importantly, it provides
children and their families the opportunity to hear the Gospel and to learn
about God through their education at the school.
Loves had the opportunity to experience what Cowman does during that first
mission trip to Haiti. Chris and Camden helped clean the school, while Jeff
served on the electrical repair team on the MFM trip. Chris enjoyed interacting
with the faculty and students, and she discovered that Cowman was seeking a
some prayer and thought, Chris decided to quit her job in pharmaceuticals, a
field she had been in for 18 years, and get a teaching degree to work at
Cowman. There, she will teach several health, science, and math classes to
middle school and high school students. Jeff will work at Cowman through IT
support, taking inventory of the technology, and helping bring Cowman to the
next level technologically for the students and faculty. He will also teach
adult English language classes outside of the school.
Jeff and Chris discovered a love for the Haitian people and for Cowman School
after going on the MFM trip and a second mission trip in April, where God
continued to confirm this was where he wanted them to go. Chris said her heart
goes out for the rising younger generation in Haiti. Only four percent of these
young people are projected to graduate high school, she said, and voodoo has
permeated Haiti’s culture. Jeff and Chris added that this country needs
education and the love of Jesus. And this isn’t a belief they created. It is a
statement they’ve been told by people in Haiti.
Cowman, this younger generation has an opportunity to hear about Jesus. Many of
the students who attend the school are the children of business and government
officials in Haiti. Cowman can affect the next generation of leaders in this
country by providing a good education, one that includes the Good News of Jesus
Loves ask for prayers as they move to Haiti and begin their ministry. Please
pray that they are able to adjust quickly to their new life, that God protects
them, and that their belongings reach Haiti safely. They especially ask for
prayers as they begin to serve at Cowman, that God will use them to reach this
next generation. Chris prays that she can bring science to life for the
students and that God can guide her teaching, especially as she completes the
training and learning process for her degree.
and Chris also emphasize the need Cowman still has for more teachers as they
expand their building and as the student body increases and additional grades
are added to the school. Pray that God provides long-term teachers, as well as
funds so that Cowman can continue to teach students and share Jesus’ love with
more information about the Love family, visit https://onemissionsociety.org/give/TheLoves.
learn more and give to Cowman International School, visit onemissionsociety.org/give/cowman-international-school.
August 4 2016
young four-year-old girl in Haiti was terrified to leave the children’s home
where she lived. After a long history of being abandoned, her heart was scared
to trust and to believe there were safe places outside of the walls of her
home. During this time, she started to attend Cowman International School, and
little by little, she began to heal. Now, this young girl is learning to trust
and experience new situations, which is a huge step for when she eventually
moves into an adoptive family in the future. Her positive growth is thanks to
the education she has been receiving, an education that introduced her to Jesus
Christ, the only one who will never abandon her.
many students return to school this season, we look to a school in Haiti that
God has used to not only provide a solid education but also to share the Good
News of Jesus Christ to more than 160 students.
by One Mission Society (OMS) in the 1960s, the Cowman International School in
Haiti was established as an English-language elementary school where OMS
missionary kids and Haitian children could receive a Christ-centered education.
Over time, the school has expanded to accommodate more students and grades.
Today,Cowman provides high-quality, Christian education for students in preschool,
elementary, and high school. Student enrollment has increased by 150 percent
over the past five years, with children coming from a variety of backgrounds. North
American missionary children, children of Haitian families, children in the
adoption process, as well as children of government leaders and other
professionals in Haiti and around the world make up Cowman’s student body.
doesn’t just reach out to children, it also actively includes the entire
family. Parents participate in parenting and marriage seminars, and in this
process teachers at Cowman can share the Gospel message with the students’
family as well.
Cowman continues to grow! As more grades are added, more space is needed. This
past year, Cowman has constructed a new chapel/cafeteria area and a foundation for
two more classrooms. But more resources are needed in order for the school and
its leaders to continue to grow, seek God’s will, and give more opportunities for
students to receive an education and the Gospel message.
Cowman seeks financial donations to support their expansion needs, such as new
bathrooms and a kitchen, new furnishings, and classrooms. But there is also an
urgent need for teachers as more students enroll.
has placed OMS’ Cowman International School in an amazing position to impact
Haiti’s next generation of leaders, to not only give them a solid education but
also to introduce them to Jesus Christ and help them make a decision to follow
him as they grow up. Check out next week’s blog post to read some personal
stories about how God is calling OMS missionaries to serve at Cowman and join
the school’s mission of Christian education.
you would like to donate or learn more about Cowman International School, visit onemissionsociety.org/give/cowman-international-school.
By Jess Mitchell,
summer Communications intern