OMS – Reaching the nations for Christ
2000. OMS is reaching the city of Medellin, Colombia (pictured).
Over the last year OMS International has seen growth in missionary numbers and new directions in missions with a greater emphasis on international partnership with the emerging national churches on “mission fields”, says New Zealand National Director Denis Shuker.
Current goals for the New Zealand branch of OMS, a Christian missionary organisation in twenty-nine countries worldwide, include sending more career missionaries to meet needs for trained Bible College teachers, English evangelism outreach and Church planters.
Working with all Christian denominations, OMS NZ’s statement of purpose is to send out and support people called by God to reach the nations for Christ.
Charles and Lettie Cowman, the author of Streams in the Desert, founded OMS in Japan in 1901. “During the past one hundred years enormous changes have been implemented in our mission practice in keeping with modern misology and ideas. Our mission philosophy- evangelism, church planting, training international leadership and working with them in partnership to reach the world for Christ – has not changed however”, says Mr Shuker.
As a result of this they have twenty Bible Seminaries on the mission fields and last year more than 80,000 people “were won to Christ through the work of OMS”.
“Our missionary thrust is evangelism and Church planting – autonomous self-governing Churches”, explains Mr Shuker. “We are involved in many charitable works to meet immediate needs to help fulfil these goals. We are currently involved in helping feed and house homeless people in Mozambique as part of Church planting strategy there, we have medical clinics in Haiti and Ecuador, and we have schools in many countries where we are involved. These include countries in Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America.”
Mr Shuker believes that God is at work calling out people to obey His command to take the Gospel message to all people.
In a letter from an OMS missionary worker, Jeannine Brabon, involved in prison ministries in Colombia, she recounts the story of a visitor from Sweden dying with cancer, weak and unable to eat, whose last wish was to witness a baptism. Jeannine and some other workers took this dying man to the prison where they witnessed forty-two prisoners get baptised.
“Then about twelve prisoners made a bridge with their arms and lowered themselves to receive the over six-foot Swede in their arms. They carried him in their arms as they lifted him to Jesus for his healing. What a picture! On either side of this foreigner’s head were two men in for kidnapping! Others who cradled him were professional assassins, now interceding to the Lord of Life spare his life. We were on holy ground in the middle of a prison!
The sick man eventually stood to his feet, regaining strength and an appetite.”
Jeannine Brabon will be visiting New Zealand in October this year and will be sharing more of the wonderful miracles that God is doing in Bellavista Prison, Medellin, Colombia.
By Peter Veugelaers.
Published 2000, Challenge Weekly.