As you know, Kathe and I took a Vision Quest trip to South Africa. We came back wanting to return. Life focus is changing for us. So here is what is happening in our lives….
We have been in dialogue with OM [Operation Mobilization] for about two years now. One of the big questions in at least my mind was what could I do on the field with Kathe. Medical stuff would be what Kathe could do but where to fit in my skills with her. Sometime over a year ago we started the actual application process of filling out applications, questionnaires, statements of faith, personality tests and etc. They now have a good dossier on us. Our original intention was to work on the Logos ships but it seemed that the Lord was steering us in a different direction. Four months ago we had a conference call with a guy named Dr. Railey, who is the Medical Director for OM, told us of some opportunities in South Africa that seemed to be a fit for both Kathe and myself. It took about two months to get the arrangements made with OM’ers in SA.
We landed in Jo’ Berg two weeks ago and during that time talked to all of the folks with OM in Pretoria. They showed us the AIDS Hope ministries in some of the “townships” … outreach training center, daycare centers, orphanages, hospitals and even a graveyard started in 2003 that already has over 700 children buried there. What we were trying to assess was if there was a fit for us in the ministry and if God was pointing us in that direction. We think so now. For me personally, there are lots of areas where I could help: church mobilization through partnerships, cross-agency partnerships, training missionaries in accurately presenting the Gospel, to name a few.
The next step in the process: we are flying to Atlanta GA, the HQ for OM to go through some training, and final interviews. If OM decides to accept us then the we will start to raise support. We hope to be back in SA by Jan 2007. That means that we have to have 90% of our support raised and that means some traveling to churches across the US. If we are successful then we will go to another training in Germany in Jan 2007 before landing in Pretoria.
So what is Operation Mobilization? OM is a 50 plus year old organization. There are something like 4,000 folks working all around the world to bring a message of hope to the peoples of the world. OM is international in its diversity of people and the common thread is the same for you and Nancy: a love for Jesus and a desire to want others to have the opportunity to hear about Him. OM’s focus is motivating and equipping people to share God’s love with people all over the world. Their methodology is seeking to help plant and strengthen churches, especially in areas of the world where Christ is least known.
Part of any successful evangelical mission is figuring out how adapt to the local culture, identifying needs and then finding the best ways to share Jesus. OM uses lots of resources such as literature, creative arts, building relationships, investigative Bible studies, AV media, correspondence courses, relief and development work, and the list goes on. The goal is to use every possible resource to tell people how our lives have been changed… and how they can meet Jesus. What I really like is that wherever possible, OM’s strategic focus is working in partnership with the local church by encouraging and supporting local believers. Where there is no church, seek to plant churches. Local ministries are headed by local people. To see what we are getting involved in, check out http://www.om.org/