Conversations on a Plane

May 25 2018

Sitting next to me on the plane from Hong Kong to San Francisco was a Frenchman named Christian. When he learned that Esther and I spoke French, he opened up to us in an amazing way. I began to speak to him of Christ, and he was extremely interested. I ended up opening the Scriptures and going through the Gospel with him in French. He had honest questions, and by God's grace, I was able to communicate well with him for close to two hours. In God’s big-picture economy, maybe a reason Esther and I learned French in 1981-82 was so that I could interact with Christian about Jesus in 2018. I now have his contact information to continue a "seeker" conversation. I hope to send him a Bible in French so he can begin reading through the book of John. And I’ve connected him with a strong evangelical church in his hometown in California. By God's transforming power, may Christian live up to the name he bears!

Bob Fetherlin, President, One Mission Society

If you would like someone to talk with about the truths of Scripture, email us at info@onemissionsociety.org.

Tags: friendship, share gospel, conversations on a plane,

​Bridge to Reading in Colombia

May 23 2018

In Colombia, Bridge to Reading works with Satura Colombia, a network of OMS churches focused on saturating the country with the Gospel. Bridge to Reading empowers churches to use literacy as a tool for ministering to unreached communities. B2R wants to give every person in Colombia and beyond the opportunity to hear, understand, and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The work started in Antioquia and has since expanded into other states. The program designates those who do not know how to read as persons of peace. Our tutors then use a story from the literacy primer Nuevos Caminos to teach one or two students at a time.

Led initially by Jonathan Tobon Restrepo, and now by Ximena Cardona, Bridge to Reading in Colombia has conducted 18 tutor training workshops, trained 184 tutors, and has taught 81 people to read since 2014. Their students are varied in age with some being as young as 16 and as old as 67.

Guillermo, from Amaga, Colombia, has learned how to read with the help of a Bridge to Reading tutor. In this video, he shares his joy as he reads John 3: 1-3. Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” In reply, Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

Pray for the work in Colombia, and especially for Ximena as she leads the program. She will be attending a five-week literacy training institute at Literacy & Evangelism International in Tulsa, Oklahoma this summer.

Your giving will go a long way toward providing resources for learners such as primers, books, and pencils, as well as for tutoring resources such as chalk and chalkboards for our learning centers.

Bridge to Reading literacy ministry is a powerful evangelism tool that God is using to help many learn to read the Bible.

A gift of $50 will provide a chalkboard and school supplies for a group of literacy learners.

A gift of $20 will provide literacy primers and will enable one person learn to read the Bible.

Click here to give.

Tags: literacy ministry, colombia, learn to read, bridge to reading, evangelism,

Learning to Read in a Small Fishing Village in Africa

May 16 2018

Lokoa is a small fishing village in the Zawara area in the Central African Republic. Through the years, the village population has increased to more than six hundred people due to the fruitful fishing activities. In seeking to meet the needs of the community, an OMS associated church decided to offer literacy classes through the OMS Bridge to Reading ministry to many who did not know how to read and write.

One who benefitted from the literacy program is Angela Tewa, a 12-year-old girl whose parents moved to Lokoa village to earn a living by fishing. Initially, the family did not go to church as they followed the traditional religion. Angela shared that they were born and raised in a culture that taught them certain practices that do not honor God. She noted that after OMS church planters came to her village and started a church, her parents forbade her to attend the church. However, after some time, the pastor started a free literacy program, which attracted many children. Angela said that without telling her parents, she started going to the classes and was taught to read, write, and memorize Scripture. They were also taught how to count and to pray. Angela testified:

“The pastor who was teaching us encouraged us to bring our younger siblings to this training, and each night to repeat the verses we had learned and to pray in our families. I started to teach my siblings the things I was learning, and my parents couldn’t object because the church is the only school in the village. In the evening, my siblings and I began to recite the verses and prayers at home in front of our parents. Sometime later, my father and mother began to go with us to church. They gave their lives to Jesus Christ, and the pastor baptized them. After their baptisms, they burned their animist fetishes and quit offering the monthly sacrifices. Our family life has gradually changed. Little by little, we are learning to read, write, and count. I thank God, first of all, and also our pastor.”

Your giving will go a long way toward providing resources for learners such as primers, books, and pencils; and also for tutoring resources such as chalk and chalkboards for our learning centers such as the one in Lokoa where Angela is learning to read.

Bridge to Reading literacy ministry is a powerful evangelism tool that God is using to help many to learn to read the Bible.

A gift of $50 will provide a chalkboard and school supplies for a group of literacy learners.

A gift of $20 will provide literacy primers and will enable one person learn to read the Bible.

To give: https://onemissionsociety.org/give/bridge-to-reading

Help break the shackles of illiteracy by running in the OMS Freedom Park 5K Run on Saturday, June 30 at 8 am in Greenwood, Indiana! Proceeds from the race will benefit the Bridge to Reading literacy ministry in Africa and Colombia.

OMS Freedom Park Run

Tags: bridge to reading, literacy ministry, africa, learn to read, write, math, fishing village,

Grateful Starfish Student

May 10 2018

In a country where attending school can be difficult and expensive, Starfish Kids is helping Haitian families by providing tuition assistance and books for sponsored students. Even with the sponsorships, we sometimes see students leaving schools for various reasons, often involving the family moving due to illness or for job opportunities. We don’t always know why a student leaves, sometimes mid-year, which can be a challenge. But this makes graduation stories even more inspiring. We see incredible stories of perseverance through some of our sponsored students.

In June 2017, Luvenson Lorvince graduated from secondary school after 11 years of sponsorship through the Starfish Kids program.

Luvenson grew up in a single-parent home. Luvenson’s mother was responsible for raising Luvenson, along with five of his siblings and two of his sister’s children. She worked hard, selling bread and roasted peanuts to provide food for her household, but it wasn’t enough to send her children to school.

Through his local church, Luvenson was accepted into the Starfish Kids program and was matched with a sponsor. Luvenson says that, after God, his Starfish Kids sponsorship has been the most important thing in his life. It provided him with an education he would not otherwise have.

He graduated with the highest grades in his community. His dream is to attend university to become a civil engineer and help improve his country. He wants to give back and help provide opportunities in the same way they were provided for him. Luvenson believes that without education, there can be no progress for his country.

He is thankful for his sponsor through Starfish Kids and prays that God will continue to bless all sponsors abundantly so more children in Haiti can be helped.

Our prayer at Starfish Kids is for God to reach students like Luevnson and their families through school sponsorships. The gift of sponsorship truly is changing lives in Haiti one student at a time.

Tags: starfish kids, sponsorship, child sponsors, sfk, haiti,

​A Prayer of Appreciation From a Literacy Student

May 8 2018

Mwavita Nabindu, a literacy student in one of the Bridge to Reading centers near Uvira, Democratic Republic of Congo, has been attending a B2R literacy class for less than three months. Yet, she is advancing well in acquiring the ability to read and write. Mwavita hopes to eventually be able to read the Bible fluently. The prayer she offered during the International Literacy Day celebration in Uvira reflects the powerful impact of the Bridge to Reading ministry felt by our learners:

“Lord God, we thank you, we understand now that you are good to everyone and you care for everyone.

“We have lived in darkness all our lives up to this day. We have been humiliated, scorned, and insulted publicly. We have not been treated like those who are literate and had no right to respond because we were limited.

“But now, today, you have begun to put an end to all that. We have begun to read and write, we are becoming like others. Bless and equip all the teachers who are being trained now and who will continue to teach us to take us all out of this situation. In the name of Christ, Amen.”

Pray for literacy students like Mwavita and others, that they persist and achieve their goal of being fluent Bible readers.

Your giving will go a long way toward providing resources for learners such as primers, books, and pencils, as well as for tutoring resources such as chalk and chalkboards for our learning centers.

Bridge to Reading literacy ministry is also a powerful evangelism tool that God is using to help many learn to read the Bible.

A gift of $50 will provide a chalkboard and school supplies for a group of literacy learners.

A gift of $20 will provide literacy primers and will enable one person to learn to read the Bible.

Click here to give!

Tags: bridge to reading, literacy ministry,

Freedom to Read

May 1 2018

In Acts 17:11, we read of the Bereans, that they “… received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Today, a huge number of people in the church in developing countries faces a great challenge ― the freedom to search the Scriptures for themselves. The Bible is a closed book to them.

According to UNESCO (United Nations Education Science and Cultural Organization), 857 million adults cannot read or write in any language, and 125 million youth are unable to attend school.

Bridge to Reading, One Mission Society’s literacy ministry, trains volunteers in local churches to teach people in the church and their community to read. We develop literacy materials and help mobilize tutors so that youth and adults can have the freedom to read, not just the Bible, but also materials about health and agriculture. Bridge to Reading currently has programs in Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, and in Colombia.

The ability to read God’s Word provides access to scriptural truths, which lead to transformation. Catherine (far left) is a Bridge to Reading student in the Central African Republic. She shares about how learning to read has changed her life:

Before coming to this training center, I felt sad that I could not read and write. Since my mother was not able to pay for me to go to school, I had a feeling of resentment towards her. I felt hurt when I saw a sister in church reading or writing, but I couldn’t. Since I started to learn to read and write, little by little, I feel so happy. So, I appeal to anyone who is still hesitating, or who feels ashamed, to register soon in this literacy center. I pray that God will give you wisdom about it.

The Bridge to Reading literacy ministry helps people in churches learn to read the Bible. It also equips churches to reach out to their communities where people are hungry for the freedom to read.

Your generous gift to Bridge to Reading provides resources for learners and tutors, such as primers and pencils, training manuals, and chalk and chalkboards.

$50 provides a chalkboard and school supplies for a group of literacy learners.

$20 provides literacy primers so one person can learn to read the Bible.

It’s easy to mobilize your gift to spread the Gospel: https://onemissionsociety.org/give/bridge-to-reading

Help break the shackles of illiteracy by running in the OMS Freedom Park 5K Run on Saturday, June 30 at 8 am!

OMS Freedom Park Run

Tags: bridge to reading, literacy ministry, africa, south america, oms, b2r, learn to read,