Worldwide Mission in Action

How to use your job for the Kingdom

“Tentmaking”, a strategic ministry in which we use our professional skills to enter a country that is otherwise closed to missionaries, requires a delicate balance. Enough time and attention need to be devoted to the business to make it successful and legitimate, but it can’t distract from ministry. As a veterinarian and nurse working in a Creative Access country for the last 10 years, we have felt the tug of that tension.
A Creative Access country requires just that ….creativity. So God, in His sovereign ingenuity, placed an ordinary vet in one such country. Working a regular work week with exotic animals allowed us to learn the local ways, build relationships and trust, and gain credibility. Being able to speak the language and working among the people gave us insight into their culture and time to explore ministry opportunities. The locals recognized that we were there to genuinely benefit the people, and as a result, when God opened the door for us to share the Gospel, otherwise sceptical ears were more willing to listen. It was time well spent.
After two years in the job, God opened new doors. We started our own company and spent three years training rural animal health workers. These hands-on experiences, working side-by-side among the people, brought new opportunities for ministry. Finding the balance between business, ministry and family has been a challenge, but what we have realized is that God was using all three areas for His glory.
TigerRunning an ethical and successful business in a country wracked by corruption displays to all those watching from the sidelines that biblical morals are not a hindrance to business. It honours God.
Our family too, is carefully observed. As a visible minority, we stand out. Our kids’ kindness towards each other and the respect they show to the street sweeper is noted. Openly including our handicapped son in our daily activities instead of hiding him in the house is admired, and our everyday family life attracts people and causes them to ask questions. “Why are you so happy?” “How to you cope with living here?” “Why would you move here when we all want to move to your country?” These and many other questions open the door for us to share the hope of our lives in a country where open evangelism is forbidden. In a Creative Access country, much of the ministry portion of our work needs to be more “behind the scenes”. We are able to devote about four days a week to mentoring, discipleship, and training national pastors. Working alongside our national church planters, we have seen rapid church growth. (We saw more than 20 new churches planted and 700 decisions last year!) Many of these new believers are first-generation Christians, so we spend a good portion of our time meeting with eager young disciples to encourage them in their relationship with Christ. All those new churches also require many new pastors, but most of these passionate young men and women, who are willing to lead a church, have no biblical training. We meet with them weekly to discuss challenges, equip them for ministry, and pray through difficulties.
Our job description is not clean and tidy. Our schedules are a bit of a mess, and we often feel the tug of one responsibility while working on another. However, to our heavenly Father, who creatively placed us into this country and in this work, all these things are irrelevant. The only thing that matters to Him is that in all these areas we shine His glory into a dark part of this world that He loves so much.
Name withheld due to security.

 

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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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From KGB Agent to God’s Ambassador

Testimony of Sasha Tsutserov
sashaMy parents were members of the Communist Party. They never spoke of God or the Bible. However, when I was five years old, my grandmother insisted that I be baptized in the Orthodox Church. This was all done in secret — miles outside of Moscow, inside a dimly lit sanctuary. Although I was young, the Holy Spirit touched a hidden yearning in my heart for spiritual reality.

Russia had lost virtually all traces of Christianity during 70 years of Communist captivity. Her legacy to me was one of atheism. I became a member of the Communist Party and secured a position in the KGB. I had a beautiful wife Natasha, a precious daughter Julia, good friends, a bright future, and all that I dreamed of as a young man.

sasha2Julia befriended an American girl whose father was a missionary in Moscow. Soon after, Natasha was engaged as their private Russian language tutor. As the head of my home and a KGB agent, I felt obligated to investigate these foreigners who had made such an impact on my family. I was awestruck by the humanitarian aid distributed by their church. And I was irresistibly drawn to their joy for life, for each other, and for the Lord. Step by step, I began to realize their generosity and joy stemmed from their love for God. At first, I gave God a 50/50 chance: since no one could prove God’s existence, then no one could deny Him either. I stepped away from my aggressively atheistic realm. Then, while praying at one of the church retreats, I had a vision. I saw God standing on the top of a mountain. I felt I was a jar of clay. God was pouring down pure gold of the Holy Spirit right inside of the jar – me. From that moment on, I needed no evidence for God’s existence, for I knew God in Jesus Christ. I came back home that day. My wife Natasha met me in the door and said, “What’s wrong with you?” I said, “What’s wrong with me, honey?” She said, “You are smiling!” You see, I had never smiled before. But that day Jesus made me smile. Now, my smile gave me away. I did not know any better than to admit that I had become a Christian. She, in turn, confessed to me that she had become a Christian even earlier than I did, only she was scared to death to talk about it with her husband, a KGB agent! In July 1993, I was baptized and openly proclaimed my faith in Jesus Christ.

I soon realized I could not keep both my faith and my job, so I quit working for the KGB. We – as a part of a team of ten converts – planted a church in Moscow. And I also knew God had called me to ministry in education. But there was no school in Russia offering a degree in Biblical Studies because the Communists had prohibited theological training. Therefore, I had to study abroad. In 1997, I graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, with a Master of Divinity degree (mentored by Dr. Ben Witherington, III). In 2004, I earned a Ph.D. in New Testament at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland (mentored by Dr. Richard Bauckham). While studying, I also worked at the Moscow Evangelical Christian Seminary by consecutively taking each and every position the school had – from a secretary to the provost.

sasha3Today, I am a full-time minister – director and professor of the Moscow Seminary. We are raising a whole new generation of Christian leaders from scratch. Under Communism, more than 200,000 Christian leaders were martyred and nearly 40,000 church-owned buildings were destroyed. I now have realized a new dream. Not the dream I sought as a young man; that dream did not include God. But the dream of you and me, together, training men and women to evangelize the lost and plant churches across Russia and the former Soviet Union is becoming a reality!

To support Sasha, director and professor of Biblical Studies at the Moscow Seminary, or MECS, please donate here.


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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

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In Tribute to Dr Wesley Deuwel (June 3, 1916 – March 5, 2016)

WesleyDewuelDr Duewel gave himself to missions for 75 years. Following 25 years in India, he became President of OMS International (1969–1982). His writings on the Holy Spirit, revival and soul winning call people back to prayer, the source of all power for ministry, and express his hunger and passion. More that 2.5 million copies of his ten books are in circulation in 58 languages.
Called to be a missionary to India at the age of five as he played in a sandpit in his parent’s garden, Wesley arrived there in 1941 and served in India for 25 years, the first years being hard and slow. When travelling between India and the USA, God gave Wesley an idea – to challenge 1000 people to give 15 minutes of their time each day to pray for India and let God work. Over 1500 people responded and prayer increased. His initial vision for the growth of churches in India got many supporters of OMS fired up to pray for the set goal of 1,000 churches. When this was achieved we continued to pray for the next 1,000!
On one of his subsequent visits to Allahabad Seminary while he was President of OMS , the Indian leaders shared how mightily God was working. One of them turned to Wesley and said “All of us are seeing results beyond anything we have known.”
“Praise the Lord” Wesley said. The leader responded “Are you surprised?” “Yes, praise the Lord!” Wesley answered. To which the leader said “You ought not to be! Didn’t you go and get over 1000 people to pray fifteen minutes a day for us? Then why are you surprised?”
WHY SHOULD WE BE SURPRISED WHEN GOD ANSWERS PRAYER?
We in the United Kingdom appreciated all the leadership and challenge that Dr Duewel exposed us to on his many visits. It was a tremendous privilege to have known Wesley and to have shared so many experiences and conversations with him during his visits to our country and to sit in the meetings he conducted in various centres.
Two memories stand out of his times here. He spoke at a large Christian conference in Bangor, Co Down on Prayer. He had recently published “Touch the World Through Prayer.” So many came to hear Wesley that the church could not hold the people and several nearby halls had to be used. For some it was standing room only.
The second occasion was a few years later when he was researching for his book “Revival Fire”. He was absolutely thrilled to be able to visit some of the sites of the 1859 Revival in Ulster as well as going to Slemish mountain where the patron saint of Ireland, St Patrick, had tended sheep as a young man before God used him to spread the gospel in Ireland.
Dr Duewel’s legacy to One Mission Society has been a network of prayer groups meeting in homes here, especially in N. Ireland, working out in practice the theme of his several books on the importance and effectiveness of prayer.

For those of us who were able to visit Greenwood, Indiana, it was a special privilege to be able to sit down with Wesley and be enthused by his passion for prayer and his interest in our own ministry.
God alone knows the impact he has had on many believers in the United Kingdom and Ireland and we join with others all over the world in giving thanks for the blessings received through God’s hand on Dr Duewel in his ministry in public speaking, personal contact and inspirational writing.
He lived by the words he used to sign his letters: “All for Jesus”.

Bill Burnett
OMS UK ED Retired
March 2016

 

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Prison Metamorphosis

colombia 1Edgar Delgado grew up in a Christian home and attended church regularly with his family as a child in Colombia. But as he grew older, he made some bad decisions and chose to take the wrong path—a path that eventually led to his arrest and incarceration.

But God was not done with Edgar.

Through the incarceration process, Edgar reconnected with his childhood pastor, who was now a criminal defense lawyer. Edgar turned his life over to God.

While imprisoned, Edgar entered the prison training institute that Prison Fellowship of Antioquia operates in Bellavista prison. There, he found teachers who cared about him and listened to him. Over time, Edgar finished all three levels of the course, which focuses on personal growth, Old and New Testaments, and Christian ministry. His study of the Word enriched him. Through this study and his relationships with other Christian prisoners and volunteer staff members, Edgar learned the values of respect and love for everyone.

Edgar was released from prison two months ago and now works as a taxi driver. He attends church faithfully and preaches the Good News day and night as he drives his taxi. Those who hear him often ask him to pray for them. Edgar rejoices that he has the privilege of sharing Jesus.

The prison institutes, operated by OMS partner ministry Prison Fellowship Association of Antioquia, are helping bring dramatic transformation to the lives of prisoners and is equipping them to reach others both inside and outside of prison.

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Theology Teaching in S.E. Asia

In October 2015 I had the opportunity to serve the Lord for a second time in South East Asia and returned to the OMS Bible Seminary.  colinLast year I undertook a couple of seminars, this time I taught for a week, delivering a module on Biblical Leadership to 4th year BA students.
The students are so enthusiastic to serve the Lord and love getting to know God and His ways through studying the Bible and spending much time in prayer, fellowship and worship. From complex essays, to developing a group role play on pastoral care of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15) through the Good Shepherd (John 10) they participated with hard work and frequent hilarity.
The opportunity arose to preach at a local church, where the minister was one of the first Seminary students many years ago! It is wonderful to see how the preparation for ministry has produced such wonderful fruit and is still doing so for future generations.
During my time in the SE Asia, I met up with OMS missionaries from the UK and other countries and was able to see their ministries as they taught children, supported local churches and reached out to the health needs of local people. I saw new OMS workers on crash language courses, and the exciting work of former Seminary students in new unreached, remote communities; the family community of OMS workers as they supported each other in whatever way they could. I was able to encourage them through prayer and God’s Word.
Thrillingly, I spent ten days with a former student, including a visit to a small island where people were being touched by the love of God’s people through the provision of both physical water using a self-sustaining river-powered water pump, and spiritual water through the work of a local evangelist. Nigh on whole tribal villages were turning to faith in Christ.
God is truly building His Kingdom in South East Asia and preparing His servants for the many hard battles ahead. Pray that the students will have strong foundations to withstand the attacks of Satan and the skills, love and power to proclaim the gospel fearlessly and wisely.
I am so pleased that God has equipped and used me to prepare His workers and I hope to return to SE Asia to teach the students in the near future, and would also love to teach at other seminaries as needed.
Colin Jones – Volunteer Theology Teacher
For more information about 2-4 week teaching opportunities in over 30 theological seminaries worldwide, contact recruiter@onemissionsociety.org.uk

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United In Mission

Dervock Presbyterian Church is a community of God’s people on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland. So, why do we support the ministry efforts of One Mission Society in Hungary and the establishment of their ministry centre?

OMS Hungary seeks to be an early church example

Our church in Ireland seeks, with God’s help, to be a “well” church. Our vision is based on Acts 2:42-47. We seek to be worshipping, evangelizing, learning, and loving. These are all expressions of faith that will be lived out and practiced in this new ministry centre in Hungary. Acts 2 is very clear—the church is to be a community of God’s people. This new vison is about being and building community. How did God bless the community of Acts? “He added to their number those who were being saved.” This is also the goal and vision of OMS Hungary.

OMS Hungary is dependent on churches (like Dervock Presbyterian)

We as the church must help causes like this because organizations like OMS need the help of Christians around the world. Maybe there are some reading this that are not in a position to give, but the field also needs and covets our prayers. I am thankful that this activity is partnership in the Gospel. Not only do I hope the project will be completed, and the people will hear of God’s salvation, but I hope that my own congregation will be spurred on in their missionary interest; we are dependent on this type of project because it keeps congregations like ours fixed on the bigger picture of mission around the world and keeps our eyes fixed on the Lamb by praying more, especially for this cause.

OMS Hungary works on the behalf of churches (like Dervock Presbyterian)

We as a church give thanks to God for this type of initiative. Many in our congregation are rural farmers with major commitments to their livestock, livelihoods, and families. They know they cannot drop everything and go, yet, we are grateful for the team working in Hungary, essentially on our behalf. We cannot go, but it is our responsibility to support those who have been called and given up much to see God’s Kingdom extended. Paul said that God would put the fruit of his own ministry to the account of the church in Philippi. We want to be as involved in Hungary’s vision as the church in Philippi was in Paul’s vision.

Hungary1

OMS Hungary is sharing the Gospel with people

As an evangelical church, we desire above all else that Jesus Christ be known across the world. One individual can only do so much to spread the Gospel in the world. Yet, through church mission involvement, we are privileged to gather our resources out of our abundance to help fund the spread of the Gospel throughout the world, in particular, Hungary. God wants the world to know about Christ. He has chosen us as individuals and as churches to share that Gospel with others.

We (Dervock Presbyterian) are commanded by Almighty God to help

Before returning to glory, our Lord Jesus gave the church an emphatic command. We are to go into the entire world with the Gospel! As a church, we have sent members of this congregation to Hungary to participate in short-term missions. We also can pray, which we do often in our midweek services and prayer meetings; but what is most needed by the field right now is our financial support… so we give. Paul says to the church in Corinth, and perhaps he’s saying to you, today “See that you also excel in this grace of giving.”

Hungary4By Rev. Scott Moore, Minister of Dervock Presbyterian Church and Summer    English Camp volunteer.

 

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Sharing the Gospel in the Republic of Ireland

With only 0.44 percent of the population of the Republic of Ireland claiming to be evangelical Christians, it is the least-evangelized English-speaking nation in the world, and the Irish are considered an unreached people group. Currently, 70 towns in Ireland with a population of 5,000+ people have no evangelical witness. Approximately 27 percent of the population consider themselves atheists, with no belief in any god or religion.

Jonny and Julie Pollock, OMS missionaries from Northern Ireland, didn’t want to go to the Republic of Ireland, but God had other plans! A friend asked them to research Christianity in Ireland. While doing so, they met Stephen Williamson (former OMS Ireland Field Director), who introduced them to Paudge Mulvahill (director of Calvary Mission, an OMS partner in Ireland). They visited County Mayo and were burdened by the need there. After seeking the Lord’s will for their lives and speaking to mentors and loved ones, they applied to serve in Ireland with OMS.
Jonny and Julie are passionate about discipleship and seeing people grow in their faith. But in Ireland, with so few believers, their main role is evangelism. They work with Calvary Church Westport to reach into the West of Ireland, beginning by building relationships in the local community. They look for basic opportunities to share the Gospel with every person they meet, whether it is in a coffee shop or at the school gates. They also have helped develop a few other ministry opportunities, in relation to building up believers in their faith, as well as preaching and teaching.
The Pollocks desire to be faithful to God and His Word. They labour at sharing the Good News with those who have not read much of the Bible and have less of an understanding of the Gospel. They are both passionate about communicating the Truth of God and are excited about the opportunities He is giving for them to do that. Just a few weeks ago, a young mother began coming to the church, and has since trusted in Christ for salvation. Praise God!
Jonny and Julie, along with their three sons, Benjamin, Joshua and Caleb, arrived in Westport, Ireland almost 8 months ago. They are still settling in and figuring out their new roles. Please pray for God’s peace and guidance. They would also appreciate your prayers for Benjamin and Joshua as they settle into the routine at their new school. And pray that the Lord will open the hearts of the people that they come in contact with – that many will be won for Christ.

The Pollocks first served with OMS in Mexico City on a short-term trip in 2006. They then returned to Mexico and served from 2007-2009.

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Here to stay in Hungary

Back in 1989, Hungary was a part of the movement that helped set in motion a series of dominoes that ultimately led to the fall of the Iron Curtain. That was when Hungary first opened its border to the West. It allowed visitors from East Germany to cross over and visit friends and relatives in Austria and West Germany. Once this was done, East Germany had to open its own border. Thousands of people began to stream into the West.
Soon, Communist governments throughout the Soviet block began to crumble, and the Berlin Wall and Iron Curtain came down. In 1990, Hungary held its first free elections. In 1997, it became a member of NATO. On May 1, 2004, it joined the European Union.
Much has changed since Hungary first opened it border to the West. And the country continues to change at a rapid pace. For one thing, Hungary is going through a cultural revolution as a new generation grows up with no memory of what it was like to live under a Communist dictatorship. These young people have very different expectations and a very different way of looking at the world than do their parents and grandparents. So, where is Hungary now? Where has it come over the last 25 years? And where is it going?
OMS has been in Hungary since August 1992. In 1994, we began our summer English camp program in cooperation with the Hungarian military. For many years, we worked alongside the military, teaching English to students in secondary schools. God did amazing things through this ministry, and great fruit was born from these labors. Most of our young Hungarian leadership of today came to know the Lord through our camp and English ministries. Eventually, when Hungary joined NATO, it closed all of its secondary schools. Nevertheless, our English-based ministries have continued and have gone in several new directions. This has led to new needs, including a “home” of our own — a ministry centre.
A dedicated ministry centre would not only give our team a valuable home for its English clubs, youth ministry, and other developing ministries, it would make an important statement to the people of Hungary, especially to the younger generation. Such a centre would tell the people of Hungary that we are here to stay, and that we are not another fly-by-night organization that has come to take what we want and then leave. Stability, accountability, and commitment are all very important to the Hungarian people. These things provide the foundation for trust and cooperation.
Our team now has the opportunity to establish its own ministry centre. We purchased a run-down building that once served as an artist’s studio. It is in a wonderful location, just a stone’s throw from several major public transportation lines. And it offers a wide range of possible uses. But it is in great need of a complete renovation. Would you consider helping us bring this project to fruition?

By Will Dickerson, Former OMS Hungary Field Leader