OC UK have hosted a number of Discipling the Nations seminars under the general title of ‘What on earth is God doing?’ We want to enthuse people about God’s global mission and how this is a vital part of the ministry of One Challenge around the world, remembering our vision is to see Healthy Churches Working Together To Reach All Nations for Christ.
As at January, 2020, we have had three seminars with three more to come.
The first one looked at God’s global mission and we asked various questions of each other – ‘what is mission?’; ‘what does mission look like where we are?’; ‘praying for mission’.
The second session was led by London City Mission, helping us to see and hear about God’s work across London with its 65 different ministries.
In November we were led by People International (PI) who work in Central Asia. They have created an Underground Church Service simulation. About 20 of us were sat round a table singing without making a sound. The leader from PI asked someone to read from Hebrews 12:1-3. He asked someone to pray. All was going ‘well’ until the door burst open and two people, both dressed as Russian soldiers, burst in shouting at the group who were meeting. We were accused of holding a Christian meeting. We were told to put our hands on our heads. Then we were told to produce our identification papers – most people had some form of identification on them but a few didn’t. They were sent to the back of the room and then marched out of the church hall building. All a bit scary and unnerving but, as we were told, very real. Following that experience we talked about how we felt.
After that simulation experience we were introduced to the ministries that PI are involved with across Central Asia where meeting together for worship and teaching is very difficult and challenging. This led us to Praise God that we can meet in freedom and to Pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who don’t have that freedom. Pray that God will give strength and courage to them to remain true and faithful to the Lord Jesus.
We are halfway through our seminars. We have one more this year (2019) when Feba will share their ministries through radio with us.
The final two seminars will be in January and February 2020. The first one, in January will be learning about what God is doing through the ministry of Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF).
And, finally, in February, we will look at what God is doing around the world through the ministry of One Challenge.
This is an exciting journey and, as a result, we pray that many people will be enthused and challenged and become part of God’s international team reaching out across the nations with the good news of Jesus.
We have hosted two ‘Encouragement for Leaders’ Conferences at Ashburnham Place in East Sussex.
These are for those in Church leadership and their spouses. We booked 30 places for each Conference.
Why are such conferences needed? The simple answer is to ask another question – who cares for those who care for others? Or put it another way – who pastors the Pastors?
Do these Conferences work? The best testimonies are from those who came.
Joel and Irena Colon, One Challenge missionaries based in Kyiv, Ukraine, run a Global Partners Mission School for young men and women who believe they are called by God to serve Him in mission. Some will serve in Ukraine while others believe God is calling them to other parts of the world. There are 12 students this year who will study from October 2019 to May 2020. Ten are from Ukraine; one from Kazakhstan and one from Kyrgyzstan, ranging in ages from 18-25.
The training course is intense with classes all week and then opportunities for practical ministry at the week-ends. After their Christmas break they will be going into small teams so that they can begin praying and preparing for their ministry assignments after graduating in May.
Roger Purdom, One Challenge Board Chairman, spent a week in Ukraine in October, teaching the students. He reports:
Come with me out of Kyiv for a drive of about 90 minutes – not always along smooth roads - and we arrive at a wonderful complex built by Christians as a conference/retreat/training centre.
Their curriculum covers a wide range of topics – biblical and practical. At the end of the 8 months they will go out in small teams in different areas of Ukraine to put into practice what they have learned in the Mission School. After that 6 months they will go to various parts of the world as missionaries, to serve the Lord wherever He sends them. In my conversations with each of them they were thinking about where they believed God was calling them – e.g. working with children in Africa, a nurse in a closed country, Nepal, London, poor countries where there is a lot of pain, poor tribes in Africa, Germany. Some were unsure where God was leading but they were all sure about being at the Mission School.
What an enthusiastic group of students. The week I was there we looked at two subjects – the doctrine of man and Paul’s letter to the Romans. Fortunately, I had a great translator because Russian is the language used, although each week the students will have 4 hours of English learning. It was a real privilege to teach these young men and women. I learned much from them about their own situations and how the Lord had called them to the Mission School. How exciting to see these young people studying the Bible and learning how to put it into practice. I came home excited – they are a wonderful group of young Christians who want to serve God in different countries and in different roles.
It was a great week.
Praise God for the students and for their willingness to learn and serve.
Pray for them that God will encourage and strengthen them and use them to bring others to the Lord Jesus.