Worldwide Mission in Action

The Heaths

Mike O’Quin, a Board Member of a Christian International School in the South Pacific, writes:

Dear friends of Jonathan and Esther Heath,

The word “pillar” might be a cliché but Jonathan and Esther are true pillars in our community.  Their family is a foundational support to the missionary community that is served by our Christian International School.  I have the privilege of serving on the School Board and an even greater privilege of being friends with these precious people.  Since they moved to the South Pacific in July of 2004 with their family, their lives have been all about serving God and others.  Jonathan stays busy as the Director of the School and also teaches there.  Esther works as a physiotherapist, visits and encourages pastor’s wives of the OMS related church and runs a mums and toddlers group at their home.  They encourage and teach in various OMS-related churches.  On top of all this (and raising their five kids!) they regularly serve the Sunday School at the English Service of our community.  It’s hard to imagine our community life without them.  I have seen them again and again say yes to myriads of ministry opportunities (including the use of their home for the youth group I lead!).  I would ask that you take a moment right now and prayerfully consider helping support these faithful servants who work so hard to support others.  Every pillar needs a strong foundation.  As a Board we ask you to consider strengthening theirs.  Thanks so much.

Mike O’Quin

If you would like to partner with the Heaths please make contact with the OMS-UK office in Manchester.

Across Europe

During the month of March the OMS Family in Europe, consisting of missionaries and mission partners, gathered together at Camp Pena de Horeb (Rock of Horeb Camp), OMS’ excellent camp facility south-east of Madrid, for the official launch of OMS’ Across Europe (AE) Ministry initiative.  In response to significant changes in the dynamics of Christian mission broadly defined as ‘globalization’, the AE ministry initiative is the reorganization of the OMS ministry in Europe around defined people groups rather than geo-political boundaries. Making disciples remains OMS’ vision.  It is anticipated, however, that by focusing on people groups OMS will more effectively align this vision within a modern Europe, making disciples in the people groups of Europe by evangelism, church planting, training and discipleship and partnership. Modern Europe has been described as ‘post-Christian’.  We believe, however, that God has not given-up on Europe, neither has OMS given-up on Europe!  We would value your prayer as we move-forward with this new and exciting initiative.

Amongst the delegates at the Launch were  Kris and Sarah Kappler and their children Hannah, Elizabeth and John.  The Kapplers work in Central Asia. In very difficult circumstances, their house church continues to reach out with the Gospel to a diverse group of people – a mixture of Christians, Muslims, and Alcoholics! In conversation, the Kapplers have made the following three-fold request:

The Kapplers

1.  We are eagerly praying for people who will respond to God’s call to world missions and come to Central Asia and work with us.  We are primarily looking for English teachers and church planters. English teachers who have a heart for missions will have some recognized certificate for Teaching English to foreigners.  Teachers who possess advanced degrees in teaching English to foreigners will help us out in curriculum and programme development as well as teaching.  We are looking for teachers who can work with children, youth, college age, and adults.
2.  We want to invite prayer teams to Central Asia for the much needed prayer ministry of opening doors for the gospel.
3.  We are looking for work teams to help us build a cement and block fence around our conference and retreat centre in Central Asia.
If you would like to partner with the Kapplers please make contact with the OMS-UK office in Manchester.

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Israel Vision Trip – 1st April to 10th April 2011

The population of Israel was 7.6 million in 2009, up from 5.1 million in 2000.  Three-quarters (76%) are Jews, a fifth (20%) are Arabs, and most of the remaining 4% are Russian immigrants not recognised as Jews [source – Israel and Christians Today, January 2011, page 2].  There are now more Jews in Israel than in the United States (5.8 million to 5.2).  Some see this as a fulfilment of the prophecies of Ezekiel 20:34 and 36:34.

On Friday 1st April 2011 three OMS’ers from the UK and one from Spain flew into Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, for a ten day ‘vision’ trip in the Holy Land.  The Team’s host in Israel, Moshe, is an OMS worker in the Galilee region.  Moshe, with his wife and family, partner with a Messianic congregation seeking to be ‘salt and light’ in a community consisting of Jews, Arabs and Russian immigrants.

In addition to some mandatory sight-seeing the Vision Team had the great joy of attending a baptismal service in the River Jordan, sharing at a world mission event within the congregation and ministering on the Shabbat (Sabbath).

The team spent time exploring the opportunities available for OMS-UK to establish an appropriate partnership programme that, in the future, could facilitate prayer, work and ministry teams from the UK; in addition to developing a prayer and financial support base.

If you are interested in partnering with OMS-Israel please contact the Manchester Office.

Japan Disaster Appeal

Dear Partners,

As I write, our newspapers and televisions are dominated by terrible images of the widespread destruction and suffering following the massive earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck Japan on Friday 11th March. The British Red Cross have reported that more than 4,300 people have died in the disaster, thousands are injured or missing, and more than 440,000 people have had to leave their homes.  Although totals are changing constantly, it is understood that 850,000 households in the north are still without electricity in near-freezing weather (source – Tohuku Electric Power Company) and the               government said at least 1.5 million households lack running water.  Hiromichi Shirakawa, chief economist at Credit Suisse, said in a note to clients that the economic loss will likely be around 14-15 trillion yen (US$171-183 billion) just to the region hit by the quake and tsunami. Clearly, the needs are great! In addition, there are many varying reports about the nuclear reactor plants. People have been evacuated within a 12-mile radius of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear complex.   Several other nuclear plants have reported damage.

In response, One Mission Society have launched an appeal seeking to raise funds to help. Presently most things are still in the search and rescue stage but OMS is working along-side the Japan Holiness Church who, at this early stage, are thinking of clean up, construction and relief help.  They may try to look for some areas that are not getting help but, clearly, they will want to give help to their churches and the communities where the churches are located.  Whilst the JHC is not strong in the North they do have several churches there including one in Sendai.  There have been no reported JHC member deaths or significant damage to the buildings.  At the same time there is going to be a lot to do for a long time.

We have set up project account #404180 (Emergency Relief Fund) for all donations. These donations will be used for relief of those affected by the disaster. The exact use of these funds will be forthcoming as we assess how we can best help the victims and effectively witness for Christ among those suffering. As you are probably aware, Japan is where OMS was berthed 110 years ago.  We have churches and missionaries on the ground so there is going to be definite control on how the funds are used and we trust good accountability.

Join with us in prayer as we speak “peace be still” to the shifting foundations of this nation in crisis, as Jesus did to the winds and the waves in the midst of a storm, and pray against fear which is contributing to the crisis there. If you feel so prompted, you can send your donations by clicking on the Donate Now icon.

For the only cause that matters, the OMS-UK Team

Bibles for Africa

Bruce Bennett, Director for Into Africa, recently received a request from Rukema Gisonga, an African national working in partnership with OMS in Rwanda, asking for Bibles. This request is not in isolation.  Bruce has written to all OMS’ Affiliate Countries saying:

“We are having increased requests for Bibles. Can I request you to please try and help me raise funds for Bibles for Africa from your various church and foundation contacts? Every Bible is strategically placed for maximum impact and treasured by communities who simply cannot afford the cost.”

In recent years the UK has supplied over 5,000 Bibles to Africa.  However, it is clear the need remains great.  If you feel you would like to help place the Seed of Life into the hands of our African brethren you can do so at the cost of £5.00 per Bible designating project no. 404550.

Sasha Tsutserov, Director of the Moscow Bible Seminary writes

Dear One Mission Society United Kingdom,

A new scary law has just been passed in Russia. The law states that,

“Foreign citizens must not be employed in the Russian Federation as highly qualified specialists to perform preaching or any other kind of religious activity including conducting worship services or any other kind of religious rites and ceremonies, teaching religion and religious upbringing of followers of any kind of religion.”

The bad news is that no missionary from abroad can legally operate in Russia anymore. The good news is that the Moscow Seminary is nowadays a totally indigenous school. Not only is everybody on staff a Russian citizen. But also the seminary is fully licensed by the Russian Federation to train Christian ministers and religious personnel for the church. And so, TOGETHER with you, the seminary can and will carry on with the Gospel even if the iron curtain comes back.

Please, participate in training ministers for Russia in Russia.

Donations to OMS-UK, Manchester for project no. 301710 – Moscow Seminary

The Great Commission

One Mission Society’s mission remains unchanged: to see the Gospel of Jesus Christ spread throughout the world including the Republic of Ireland – to fulfil the Great Commission. This is our ONE Mission.

It is estimated that there are approximately 255* evangelical churches in the Republic of Ireland and that almost 60% of these have been established during the last 30 years. In these statistics there is much to be thankful for but as we consider the fact that the evangelical base of the country is less than 1% (below that of Ecuador) there remains much to be done.

Many but not all of these churches and fellowships are made up of believers who are not that long established in their faith and are pastored by folk from other countries who are self supported and to whom the Irish church owes a great deal. Many meet variously in leisure centres, schools and halls which they rent on a weekly basis because they do not have the financial capacity to acquire a building and thus are not able to make a credible statement to the community that they are “permanent”

Scott Murphy at one of our CPM conferences

OMS in the Republic of Ireland believes that the best way is the development of the church planting and multiplication strategy. (CPM)  OMS wants to encourage a mindset in the Irish Evangelical Church that the planting of a new church should not be seen as an end in itself but rather a “process” whereby that church may in turn plant others. This concept is in its early development in the Republic of Ireland. To date we have held two CPM conferences the first of which was to introduce the 12 principles and the second which was to develop the principles of Fervent Prayer, Abundant gospel sowing and Lay Leadership training. These conferences will continue to be held as we continue to work with pastors and church leaders and encourage them to see themselves as trainers and equippers and to see a broader picture of a nation which is so spiritually challenged.

Jonathan Morton leading a sessionat a CPM conference

Will you please join with us in prayer that the pastors and church leaders with whom we partner will begin to see that Ireland can be reached with the gospel as people in churches are trained and equipped to take the gospel to those area with little if any evangelical witness.

Stephen and Esther Williamson – January 2011

(* Statistics kindly provided by our ECC partner Paudge Mulvihill)

Homes for Haiti

Life without a home is miserable at best.  Many months after the catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti on 12th January 2010, tens of thousands of Haitian families are still living in makeshift ‘temporary’ homes, enduring squalid living conditions.

At a cost of £6,000 per home – “Homes for Haiti” (a One Mission Society project, in partnership with national churches in Haiti) is seeking to provide durable, quality homes for Haitian families.  This is no quick fix.  It is a long-term programme designed to restore hope and secure a future for bruised and battered people in Haiti.

If you would like to donate to OMS’ special “Homes for Haiti” Project, send your cheque payable to ‘OMS’ to One Mission Society, 1 Sandileigh Avenue, Manchester, M20 3LN quoting Project #407860 – Homes for Haiti, or by clicking on ‘Donate Now’ on the Website.

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OMS in Russia

Dear OMS United Kingdom,

Please, rejoice with me: the Ministry of Education of Russia has issued the Moscow Seminary a federal license to train Christian ministers and religious personnel for the church! It’s hard to express the true meaning of this event in words. This is breathtaking. I was born and raised in the Soviet Union. In those years, if somebody would have told me – a KGB agent and a Communist Party member atheist – that I would have been training Christian ministers at a State licensed Seminary I would have died laughing. And look who’s laughing now! For this federal license allows us to finally legalize all the programs the Seminary has been previously conducting “under cover.” By the way, I am humbly proud of the fact that even though I know the minister of education personally (I play golf with him regularly 🙂 I have never asked the minister for a favor (even though I was often tempted). Now, if the Iron Curtain comes back I probably will 🙂

With the license in hand, the Seminary went ahead full speed and launched several specialized programs, among them:

Director of Christian Camp, Director of Rehabilitation (Alcohol/Drugs) Center, School of Preaching (for pastors), and Bible School (for laity)

Alcohol & Drug Abuse has become a national disaster in Russia. The official statistics recognize that an average Russian (including infants) consumes an equivalent of 36 pints of whiskey a year (this is yet without factoring in the consumption of homemade products like moon-shine). Vodka costs less than soda and is readily available to minors. Almost half of all deaths in working age men (15—54) in a typical Russian city may be accounted for by hazardous drinking. And, as Russia is situated at the crossroads of the drug traffic (going east-to-west and south-to-north) then Russia naturally gets the major bulk of drugs as well. According to the UN, in the World Cup of drug consumption, Russia takes the bronze medal (after Iran and Afghanistan) with at least 2,500,000 drug users and 30,000 drug-related deaths a year. The effects on family life and society are staggering. To meet the challenge, the Seminary has launched the Director of Rehabilitation (Alcohol/Drugs) Center program.

Outreach to youth repays a hundredfold in souls being saved. Some say that 80% of converts accept Christ while teenagers. Others estimate that more kids accept Christ in one trip to a Christian Camp than in one year of attending Sunday School. To this end, in addition to the already fruitful Youth Ministry program, this year the Seminary intends to accept 9—24 Christian Camp directors to train (with intentions to train all 151 of them eventually).

Preaching produces conversion, as it is written, “How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Romans 10:14). But then converts should be able to defend their faith and live a godly life. These goals our newly established School of Preaching and Bible School should accomplish.

Accomplishing the tasks described above takes team work. We are excited to be on the same—Jesus’ team—with you! Please, pray for us and support training ministers at the Seminary. To donate on-line, please, go to www.onemissionsociety.org/waystogive/donatenow and use “301710 Moscow Seminary” designation in the Description line of the site. Alternatively, make a cheque payable to OMS, put “301710 Moscow Seminary” remark in the memo line of the cheque, and send the cheque to One Mission Society UK, 1 Sandileigh Avenue MANCHESTER M20 3LN United Kingdom (you may also want to sign a Gift Aid certificate as OMS is a registered UK charity 245124). You can also choose to support Director (370410 Sasha Tsutserov) or Dean (370500 Sergey Chervonenko) of the Seminary.

Jesus reigns!

Sasha Tsutserov

tsutserov@moscowseminary.ru