Worldwide Mission in Action

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

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OMS in Spain

Daniel, Gail, Melissa and Ruth Castro travelled to Spain in August 2010. They are located in Fuente el Saz del Jarama, a town about 15 minutes to the north of Madrid, very close to the towns where the rest of the Vision Norte team live. They have recently been involved in an exciting, unprecedented evangelistic event. They report:

“There were also participations from children and young people with whom we have been working for a while. Although there was a very clear call to follow Jesus, it’s early days to know the response of the new people as there was not an altar call. We will only know through the people that invited them. There were about 140 people attending, and about 30 of those were completely new people, not bad at all for Spain’s standards. There was a good atmosphere, people were participating and the message was very good and clear.

Some of the things we accomplished:
To present the gospel very clearly in a town with one or two Christian families but where this had never been done before.
To bring together some Christians that live in the area and two small churches (the only two in the 15 towns we are working in). Some of these Christians were dormant spiritually and were so inspired by what happened that they are now asking where they can start to serve. There were also some Christians from a couple of churches in Madrid.
To start something the team had been praying and dreaming about. We would want to do this at regular intervals, maybe every two months, and we had a good start.

There is so much to do and to pray for about the work here. Thanks for being a vital part of it. May God bless you and guide you every day,”

If you would like to prayerfully follow God’s work through OMS in Spain, please register with Margaret Saunders, Spanish Field Prayer Co-ordinator, by e-mailing sndrsmrgrt@yahoo.co.uk

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Report from the Lausanne Congress 2010

David Long, International President of OMS, reports from day one of the Lausanne Congress 2010 recently held in Cape Town, South Africa: “The highlight of the day was a testimony this evening of a young woman who had been born in North Korea. After political persecution of her family they fled to China. Her mother died while pregnant with a younger sibling and her distraught father came to the Lord. He began to proclaim the truth in China which eventually led to his arrest and deportation to North Korea where he spent three years in prison. When he returned to China he again began to teach, preach and grow the church. He once again was deported and has not been heard from for several years now. His eighteen year-old daughter told us she expected that he had been shot as is the case with many imprisoned Christians in North Korea. She then went on to tell how Jesus appeared to her one night and she became a believer. She concluded, nearly breaking down in tears, saying she wanted to study political science and diplomacy so she can stand-up for the rights of the people of North Korea. She wanted to honour her father and her mother and God in such service. She was given a standing ovation that didn’t cease until she returned to the stage for a second time.”

Thousands of Muslims Coming to Christ, Christians Report

Iran may be “closed land” politically, one ministry leader told the Lausanne Congress, but it is also “the most open nation to the Gospel in the entire world.” Speaking to the Cape Town, South Africa, gathering of 4,000 delegates, founder of Iran-focused Elam Ministries Sam Yeghnazar said persecution has only increased the spread of the Gospel. “Betrayed by the government, disillusioned with the religion, depressed by the prospects of the future, Iranians when they come to know the Lord Jesus Christ are completely transformed,” he said, according to The Christian Post.  Another Christian from Palestine, brought a similar report. “Anchoring our identity in the messiah, we can open our hearts to angry Muslim neighbors and to fearful Jewish soldiers behind check points,” said Salim (last name withheld for security reasons). “[There is] a divine one who can change stone hearts to flesh.”

(Source – Religion Today Summaries – 21st October 2010)