Worldwide Mission in Action

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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)

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Virulent Cholera Outbreak Nears Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Months after a massive earthquake destroyed the capital of Port-au-Prince, Haitians now face a particularly virulent cholera outbreak. The Haiti Epidemic Advisory System now says there are reports of additional cholera cases 25 kilometers outside of the capital. “This is extremely worrying. Early reports indicate that many of the casualties showed few symptoms and, in some cases, died within 24 to 48 hours,” said Dr. Estrella Serrano, World Vision’s emergency response health and nutrition manager. “If the epidemic makes its way to Port-au-Prince, where children and families are living in unsanitary, overcrowded camps, the results could be disastrous.”  If you wish to contribute in a practical way, OMS’ Haiti Disaster Fund remains open.�
(Source –  Religion Today Summaries – 25th October 2010)

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On a mission in Ecuador

“I must be out of my mind” – I thought as I got on the plane to Ecuador on July 11, 2010.

As I was getting on the plane all I could think of was God’s greatness for bringing me on this trip and for giving me His perfect peace. (After all it is quite rare to see a 17-year-old go off on her own to the other side of the globe.)

I flew to South America for 3 weeks, to work and live with a missionary family in the south of Ecuador in Loja.  I don’t think I will ever forget the happiness and sheer joy when I first set foot in Ecuador.
I had applied to go on a short-term mission with OMS in the spring, and now a few months later I was there in the country of my dreams.

I loved the time spent there, because every single day was a new adventure, a new challenge. I stayed with Mark and Nube Vogan in Loja for two weeks and then we flew up to Quito for the Field Council Retreat.

During those three weeks in Ecuador, I got to experience a variety of things, and lifestyles.
I got to visit a prison where I saw broken women, hungry for God’s word and longing for His love. I was shaken by their need for God, but it was great to hear the Gospel in Spanish for the first time!
My main task was to help out with a Vacation Bible School for local children. It was certainly a challenging opportunity -there is no doubt about that. It took a lot of time and effort to prepare, but I still loved doing it. A lot of kids came, so every little help was needed. I struggled with the language but I believe God was with me all along. I often found myself in situations where I was on my own without any English speaker around, so I simply had to try my best and speak in Spanish. It was a great challenge and it certainly taught me a lot.

I can’t even find the words to describe how thankful I am for this God-given opportunity to go. I got to experience living and working as a missionary, but I also had the opportunity to work with a team from Canada which was yet again something totally new.

I learned to look at life in a different light. I realised how much I take for granted, when none of those things are really constant. God has taught me not to rely on any earthly things. He’s showed me my need for His presence, no matter where I go or what I do.  After all, even when everything changes, He will remain, He is constant.

I met a lot of OMS missionaries from around the world in Quito as well, which was a fantastic opportunity. I found out more about their lives and their different jobs as God’s messengers. God has really given me a new insight to life.

Every day I woke up feeling stronger in my faith and more determined to follow God’s will for my life. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalms 37:4) This is one of the verses that gained a whole new meaning while I was there. God really does change you from the inside out, and when you follow Him, He will really fulfil your wildest dreams!  I mean, He sure did that to me. I celebrated my 18th birthday in the country that’s closest to my heart. Even though I was clearly a foreigner on continent I had never been to, I knew I was home.

Viki Nagy, Ecuador Summer 2010

A year on mission in the South Pacific

237 million people, 17008 islands, 840 languages, 1 main religion, 10 million hectares of rice fields and what have you got?  The South Pacific: a land full of culture, colour and diversity, brimming with people of all shades and traditions. It was here that I got to experience a fantastic year with OMS as I joined the team to teach at an international school. I taught science to children aged 9-14 and thoroughly enjoyed both the good times and the challenges of life and work on the mission field. The school is a Christian International School with an incredible dynamic of students and teachers from all over the globe, creating a sub-culture all of its own. The majority of the students are children of missionaries in the South Pacific islands, with the rest either locals, or those whose parents have come to the South Pacific for business.  I loved interacting with the students and spending time with them both in and out of school hours. It was such a privilege to teach them and join with the whole school in having an influence in their spiritual lives. One day that sticks out in my mind is United Nations Day, when all the students and teachers came in National Dress and shared food from various different countries. As the colourful display of people joined for an Assembly and worshiped God together in several languages, I was reminded of Revelation 7 when John sees the great multitude from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. That day I caught a glimpse of heaven and the joy that is known in the global church of God, united by Jesus Christ.

On Sundays I met for church with the English-speaking Christian community in the area. It was a great time to hear all about the mission field around us and share our progresses and setbacks, upholding each other in prayer. God’s kingdom is growing in the South Pacific and the power of the gospel knows no boundaries. What an encouragement to hear stories of people coming to know the Lord in the villages outside the city through storytelling and on our own doorsteps, through many methods of evangelism. The greatest opportunities I had in sharing the gospel came at a Christian Movie Cafe held on Friday nights, where about 15 university students came to learn English. We discussed the film after watching it, and I was consistently surprised by the depth of conversation arising from a wide variety of films. It was great to be able to share our experiences of God so easily, as we talked over the life issues dealt with in the plots of the films.

People from the South Pacific are lovely; so gentile and humble. I learnt so much from living in a culture vastly different to our own. I enjoyed learning some of the language, and being able to communicate to some extent with the local people helped me greatly in settling in. Climbing volcanoes, eating cow brain and goat’s skin, surfing and holding tiger cubs were just some of the many new experiences I had in my time there. I am so grateful for the opportunity God gave me in both serving Him and understanding more of His ways. What strikes me most when I look back on the year is God’s presence with me through every step. I no longer had my church, my family or my friends to rely on. I arrived in the South Pacific with just my suitcase and my relationship with God. What an opportunity to learn to live a life of reliance. I praise Him that His faithfulness stretches to the skies and His love endures forever.

Rachel Montgomery, May 2009 – June 2010