Ministries

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What’s WATS in Africa?

‘In the heart of Africa responding to Africa’s greatest need; leadership training’.
When I read this statement on the website of West Africa Theological Seminary (WATS) I was a little surprised to say the least. I had always thought Africa’s greatest need was finance to help with the plethora of problems the people have to deal with: corruption, disease, dirty water, failing crops, internal strife or even dangerous animals. Church leadership training is not high on the list of most people’s priorities for the continent of Africa. However, when I stepped back to think this whole issue through I was challenged as to the real heartfelt expression of need in these words. Yes, if the Christian church is correctly, biblically and spiritually led, then society too can be changed. The church in Africa is growing in a remarkable way; in order to prevent false teaching distorting the faith of many, the church needs leaders well trained in the Gospel. As the church progresses with the gospel it can meet both spiritual and material needs. It can do this, firstly, by preaching a message of repentance ie – change of attitude in people’s hearts. Hence, a change of mindset will slowly allow people to reform communities in line with biblical principles of honesty and integrity. This, one hopes, would allow for a transformation in society, which is characterised by a greater burden of love for others, in thinking of others more than of self, as being more Christ-like in one’s attitudes, desires, thoughts and actions. If this is at the heart of the statement of intent at WATS it must be commended.
So what’s WATS?
WATS serves one of the fastest-growing segments of the Christian Church in the world, and it focuses squarely on the two greatest needs of the African Church: leadership development and discipleship of believers.
wats ministryWATS is a community of learners in Ipaja, Lagos, Nigeria; it has small extensions in Owerri and Aba to the East. The learning community consists of approximately 750 men and women who passionately embrace the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. WATS takes the calling to be salt and light as a serious and personal call to make a difference in Nigeria, West Africa, and the world.
West Africa Theological Seminary commenced ministry in April, 1989, when a group of Nigerian and expatriate Christian leaders met to consider the needs of the Church in Nigeria, and in particular to determine how to provide sound theological training to as many pastors as possible. Led by Rev. Gary S. Maxey of the US, the group moved quickly to establish a strong, academically competent, nondenominational theological seminary, now known as WATS. For its first twelve years the seminary was initially known as Wesley International Bible College, and later as Wesley International Theological Seminary; since 2001 it has been known as WATS.
wats gradsThe growth of WATS has been significant since it first opened and over the years more than 1,000 pastors have graduated, and more than 2,000 have received training. Because WATS is nondenominational, it has attracted students and ethnic groups from a broad spectrum of churches, language groups and countries.
At any given moment WATS usually has students from at least:
• Thirty of Nigeria´s states
• Over forty native languages
• Ten or more other African countries, and
• Well over eighty different church groups.

WATS wants to make a difference – their website states: We intend to be “world changers” by God’s grace.
In June 2017 I will, God willing, be travelling to WATS in order to facilitate a course on the MA programme; ‘An Introduction to Christian doctrine’. This will be an excellent opportunity and a great privilege to be involved in helping to shape the future of the Nigerian Church. Please pray for me as I prepare and travel to Nigeria to be involved in this vital ministry. I ask you to pray specifically for safety in travel, relevance in teaching, finance for the trip to take place, and for God to be glorified in all that I do for Him.

In His service
Dr. Chris Palmer OMS UK Wales & West of England.
For more info on WATS see www.WATS.edu.ng

theological-education-logoSmallIf you want to hear more about the OMS Theological Education ministry, or to support Chris in his ministry, please contact the OMS office for more information.

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RUSSIAN STUDENT SAYS THANKS

“Thank you so very much for participating in advancing the Gospel in Russia!”

Ivan1Ivan Beshlyaga is a student at Moscow Evangelical Christian Seminary (MECS) in Russia. Here’s his testimony:

“The church that the Lord helped me plant in Nizhny Novgorod (a city of 1.5 million people, 250 miles East of Moscow) and is doing great! Each Sunday, about 50 come to worship. We have three Sunday school classes after each service: one for kids, one for new converts, and one for those preparing for church membership and baptism. On Mondays, we have our leadership team meeting. On Tuesdays, our cell groups meet in homes. On Wednesdays through Fridays, we are devoted to our Bible school studies (to prepare church members for mission work in other towns and villages). And on Saturdays, we have our Youth Club and evangelism, (we actually do evangelism every single day of the week.)

“The seminary teaches me a lot for ministry. I am currently working on my thesis.

Ivan2Natasha, my wife in purple, is now also a student at MECS, studying counseling, as well as being six months pregnant with our third daughter. I covet your prayers with her doing it all simultaneously, studying at the seminary and taking care of our family and the church. But I am excited that we will soon be able to minister together as a team.

“Our studies at the Moscow Seminary are only possible through your help, my dear coworkers in Christ. I am thankful. And I want you to know that your investment in me pays back in the form of souls of Russians being saved by Jesus Christ the Lord.”
To read more about the Seminary, or to make a donation click here
Ivan 3

 

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AGUSTÍN

AgustinIn July last year, Agustín, 26, left prison after 6 years. Most of his life was spent without hope or dreams for his future (he had lived on the streets of Mexico since he was a young boy). However, after he left prison and began to come to MEFI a new hope started to grow in him. He was put into prison after an injustice, which prevented him from seeing his three children. Life in prison was not easy; he suffered abuse, mistreatment, and poor nutrition, amongst other things. However, one thing he said he’ll never forget is when he learnt about new life in Jesus Christ. This was the main thing that kept him going in prison – he knew that only with God’s help would he come out the other end. When the morning came for him to leave and he had nowhere to go, he did not know what he would do with his life. He considered going to see his daughters, but he knew he ran the risk of having family members turning on him, and then he remembered MEFI.
Alex and Paty had known him from before the drop-in centre was set up. In fact Agustín helped during this time to clean up the old building that would become the drop-in centre. It was encouraging to learn he had not forgotten about MEFI. So just one day after his release he walked in to the drop-in centre and Alex and Paty instantly recognised him. Only now there was a new desire in his heart to restart his life, find work, and return to his daughters. These were all wonderful desires, but he knew the
only way he could do this was with the help of God, and this is why he came back to MEFI.

Before

Before

After

After

Immediately he asked the team for help and counsel. Alex especially was a great help to him, and three months later we could see the huge and genuine work God was doing in his life. After a while he found work and each time temptations came God helped him not to fall, but to move forward.
MEFI played a big part in his spiritual formation and now he’s a different person. His job is going well, he is renting a room and continues to grow. We had the opportunity to see him again over Christmas and we thank God that his confidence and faith remains the same. Although he isn’t able to continue his discipleship at MEFI, we ask for you to pray with us for God to continue to do great things in his life.
For us, this is a testimony that encourages us to see how over the years MEFI has impacted lives and to see that God is at work in them (even when we are no longer in contact). We know that God wants to continue to use us in His work in the lives of young people on the streets of Mexico, and He has put this desire in our hearts.
Testimony written by Josué Carreón
Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Cor. 1: 31.
MEFIlogo2
To find out more about MEFI and how you can support this ministry, visit www.mefi.co

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MISSION TRIP TO HAITI

Recently, some friends and I had the incredible opportunity to be together on a short mission trip to Haiti. My husband and I are missionaries with One Mission Society; we had served in Haiti in the ‘90s, but had only returned once in the intervening years. I was excited to return again, especially with my friends!
One Mission Society has several ministries in Haiti. One of them is a radio station, Radio 4VEH. radioWhen we lived in Haiti, pre-tuned solar radios were being distributed. Ever increasing technology advancements have now made it possible for a smaller solar radio to include an audio New Testament in Creole in response to the high rate of illiteracy. Daily, these radios broadcast life-changing programming which give Haitians continuous access to the Gospel, prayer, worship music, discipleship and most importantly – hope!
Resounding Hope coordinates the distribution process. Teams from all over the world join local Haitian Christians in presenting the Gospel face-to-face whilst handing out the radios.

Heidi 1On a very warm and humid Sunday afternoon, my friends and I joined a Haitian ladies’ church group as we made our way through a rural village. At one hut, we stopped to visit with a young woman seated outside on a wooden chair surrounded by her young, scantily dressed children. As the Gospel was shared with her, she accepted Jesus as her Saviour! Her children were immediately interested in the new radio she was given.

Heidi 2We continued along the dirt path to a small house. An elderly woman, crippled by arthritis and unable to attend church, was seated on her front porch. She is a Believer and was absolutely thrilled to receive a radio. We found a similar opportunity at another hut, when an elderly blind woman was carried outside by her son. She, too, had been unable to attend church for several months and was overjoyed to receive something so small which would give her so much encouragement and hope in the coming days.

Heidi 3The village’s huts and houses are located in fairly close proximity. Our team observed that as the instructions were being given for the radios, there were several interested onlookers. And, since most of village life exists out-of-doors, we knew those ‘onlookers’ were future listeners and, by God’s grace, future Believers.
Prayerfully consider how you could become involved – sponsoring radios or joining a team to deliver life-giving hope in person! It’s an experience my friends and I will always treasure.

Heidi Walton

Heidi Walton

 

 

 

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A New Partnership

eurasia-regionAn important aspect of the work of One Mission Society is partnering with other Evangelical organisations in order to promote the spread of the Gospel worldwide. In 2015 a new partnership agreement was signed with the European Nazarene College (EuNC). EuNC is a vocational school of ministry that offers short cycle vocational education for Christian service. This means that EuNC intends to help students prepare for vocational work in churches or Christian organisations. EuNC is a Nazarene educational institution reflecting the Wesleyan theological heritage, which is in keeping with the roots of OMS. However, this does not limit the theological scope of the learning centres. Furthermore, EuNC provides the educational requirements for ordination into the ministry of the Church of the Nazarene in the Eurasia Region.

EuNC2EuNC is a multi-site school, with a general administration and many different learning centres serving the churches in continental Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). In these countries, churches face particular challenges in ministry, and the curriculum of EuNC is developed with these challenges in mind, trying to be relevant to the cultural differences and specific needs of each country.

Following the signing of the partnership agreement, volunteers were sought from within the OMS Theological Education team to help facilitate some courses as part of the EuNC curriculum. A particular need was discovered, to present a 2 week course on the subject of Preaching at the Learning Centre in Lisbon. As a result, I have been asked to fulfil this commitment in February 2017. The course will be presented on 2 consecutive Saturdays and also on the Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings of each week.

Please join with me in prayerful support of this new venture between OMS and EuNC. There are many needs to be met in order to fulfil this role, especially in the area of finance, so that I can continue to serve the Lord in this avenue of ministry. Pray also for more opportunities to serve the Eurasian church through further involvement with EuNC. Europe is a very spiritually needy region, and we have a responsibility to keep the cradle of Christianity saturated with the Gospel.
In his service,
Dr. Chris Palmer OMS UK

theological-education-logoFor more information on supporting the Theological Education ministry of OMS please feel free to contact Chris: chrispalmer2003@hotmail.com , or read more about TET on our website page http://www.onemissionsociety.org.uk/opportunities/ministries/theological-education-training-tet/

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Mission Possible Trip To Bogota, Colombia

Mission Possible has partnered with One Mission Society in supporting ministry projects in Bogota, Colombia since January 2012. They commenced their partnership by financially supporting a Home for boys who had been Street Children, or came from a dysfunctional family background. As the partnership developed, Mission Possible also began supporting a Community Ministry Project in the Juan Rey district of Bogota.
Hope HouseThis Ministry includes a feeding programme for children. Currently, 85 children are in the programme, which gives these children one nutritious meal seven days each week. Mission Possible has caught the vision to support the construction of a Community/Feeding Station/Church building, which will ultimately service 300 children and 2100 meals each week. In addition to this, they had a vision to purchase a building for a ‘Hope House 2’, for girls who come from a similar background to the boys in ‘Hope House 1’.

Juan ReyAll of these projects are run by Christians from the Christian Fellowship Church (planted by OMS) through the Christian Fellowship Foundation. The Gospel is shared with the children and their families in the Juan Rey District, and it is the intention of the Christian Fellowship Church to plant a church in Juan Rey. Many of the boys in Hope House 1 have come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ over the years, and attend the Christian Fellowship Church.
Since Mission Possible commenced their Partnership with OMS, I have been the OMS UK link, along with Joe and Sadie Law, who direct the Mission. girls hope house

At the beginning of April, I had the privilege of joining a Mission Possible Team to participate in the opening ceremony of ‘Hope House 2’ for girls (the dream realised), and the inauguration service of the Juan Rey Project building (again this wonderful vision becoming a reality). In addition to attending these services/ceremonies, we visited the boys at Hope House 1. It was so encouraging to meet the current 19 boys in residence at the Home, and also the first 5 girls in Hope House 2. Hope House Boys 1Both Homes are run in a loving, Godly and professional manner. It was clear to see that all the children were happy and developing in every area of their lives. It was also wonderful spending several days in the Juan Rey district, visiting the current Feeding Station, meeting the boys and girls, including members of their families who are in the programme, along with the volunteers and workers of the Christian Fellowship Church, including Pastor Julio Cesar and his wife, Blanca, who direct this wonderful ministry.

Donald Coulter – Ireland People Group Director

Donald with Jeff Edwards (OMS) & Luz Marina Patino (Director Hope House 1 & 2

Jeff Edwards & Donald Coulter (OMS) & Luz Marina Patino (Director Hope House 1 & 2)

Joe & Sadie

Pastor Julio & Blanca Cesar (Christian Fellowship Church) with Joe & Sadie Law (Mission Possible)

Opening ceremony of Hope House 2 and inauguration service of Juan Rey Project Building

Opening ceremony of Hope House 2 and inauguration service of Juan Rey Project Building