Each year residents participating in the OMSC study program have the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Mission Studies. Occasionally, they go on to additional educational pursuits. Such was the case for Martins Atanda, Missions Director of Zion World Prayer & Missions in Nigeria. He says, “OMSC was the platform that connected me to Fuller Theological Seminary through Sherwood and Judy Lingenfelter when they were Senior Scholars.” Inspired by their leadership model, Martins went on to further study at Fuller and has now earned his Doctor of Intercultural Studies. He is shown here with his sons Simchah and Natsach on a recent visit to OMSC.
In our last newsletter we reported that former Senior Scholar Randall Prior received his Ph.D. He now reports that his manuscript, Contextualising Theology in the South Pacific With Lessons Learned from The “Gospel and Culture in Vanuatu” Project, has been accepted by the American Society of Missiology Monograph Series Committee and recommended for publication by Pickwick Publications. Randall and his wife, Heather, are shown here after his conferral ceremony.
Kevin (age 7) was born when his parents, Yong-An and Fangyu, were in residence at OMSC as research scholars in 2010. Recently they returned for several weeks for a research project, and to reintroduce Kevin to his birthplace.
If your family was in residence at OMSC when you had a new baby, we would love to see some pictures! You may send pictures (both the “then” and “now” photos) with your name and year of residence to email@example.com.
“Our Cup Overflows”
“Solomon built his house in 13 years and God’s house in 7 years. In 33 years of ministry I have built 10 church buildings and one is still under construction. Finally, on my 53rd birthday I laid the foundation for my own house and on June 16, 2017 – my 54th birthday – my house was dedicated,” says an OMSC alumnus and former recipient of a Bonk scholarship. Often working under hostile conditions, LP* (name protected for security reasons) has committed his life and his money to his ministry in India. He continues working toward the goal of establishing and building 100 churches. Until now, the dream of having his own home was never a reality. But, he says, “God gave more than my expectation.”
OMSC alumni from Tajikistan recently joined their entire village in celebrating the opening of a runway that will allow small planes into their remote mountain region. D* and A* (names protected for security reasons) are thankful for this greater access to their village. During the past year since their return they have been hard at work establishing a seminary in order to train additional church leaders. Having arrived at OMSC on the brink of burnout, they are now energized and hopeful for the future. Please keep them in your prayers as they seek future accreditation for the seminary.
Cortina Orr (OMSC resident 2009-10) passed away in Texas on May 1, 2017. Together with her husband, Rodney, she served as a missionary in Kenya, Scotland, and Zimbabwe. Most recently Cortina was a disciple of women at Global Aid Network in Plano, TX. She is survived by her husband and their two children, Ariel and Bradley (wife Leslie).
Alan F. Kreider (OMSC senior scholar 2005-06) died at home in Goshen, IN on May 8, 2017. He and his wife, Eleanor, served with the Mennonite Board of Missions in England for many years where they were directors of the London Mennonite Centre. They taught in theological colleges, spoke at conferences and helped to establish a new Anabaptist Network. They served as OMSC senior scholars in residence in 2005-06. Alan also taught church history and missions courses at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, and was named Professor Emeritus of Church History and Mission by AMBS in October 2014. He is survived by his wife Eleanor and son Andrew (wife Katie Bast) and three grandchildren, Joseph, Daniel, and Eleanor Rose Kreider.
As we reported in the last issue of OMSC TODAY, alumnus Ohene Kumi brings Bible lessons to many schools in Ghana. Recently he shared this experience:
“One of the junior high schools had a new principal, and I was asked to speak to her so that she could decide if we should bring our Bible course to her school. After reading over our materials, the principal shouted ‘Oh my Lord, I studied this lesson when I was a student, and Uncle Ohene was bringing the lessons to us every Friday.’ She looked closer and said ‘you are Uncle Ohene!’ and she quickly took the lessons and shared to all the students and teachers at her school.”
Former OMSC residents Amos and Modupe recently shared how God is always at work. Amos says, “While I was away during the month of January for Steering Team meetings, Modupe relied on a taxi to get to church. One day she waited but the driver never showed up. She decided to start singing and praying. After a while she heard a knock on the gate. When she went to open it, there stood 15 young boys dressed for church. She invited them to join her…and this gave birth to the Good News Chapel!”
A moment of Grace is what the speaker called it, and so it was as former OMSC Senior Scholar Randall Prior took part in the March 24 University of Divinity Conferral Ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, Australia for the conferral of his Ph.D. After ten years enrolled, and perhaps thirty years in the making, he notes that it was with a deep sense of gratitude and satisfaction that he received his Ph.D.
At the Lord’s command they encamped, and at the Lord’s command they set out.
— Numbers 9:23
Former residents of OMSC, E* and J* (names protected for security reasons) work in a remote area under the ever watchful eyes of the Chinese government. Recently they undertook a trip into the mountains to train four local mission workers. Despite security concerns, and some personality conflicts among the local workers, E* and J* felt the Lord’s peace as they undertook this trip. Here is what they said:
“We had a great time in the mountains. It was snowing on the mountain tops and still cold…J couldn’t sleep well because of the low temperature at night, but we were full of His spirit. We had 7 people all attending the training, for a total of 21 hours teaching within four days. We were so encouraged by the workers’ experiences of local culture and religion. We were thankful that more and more local people have been interested in reaching out and sharing the Gospel.”
New churches are opening around the world as people of other faiths convert to Christianity. But in many places, those who are newly converted themselves are often tagged as the local leaders of the church, without the educational resources or the experience for the job. Thanks to your support, current OMSC residents who have gained experience and understanding through participation in our residential study program will be returning to central Asia to offer member care for some of these pastors.
In India, former OMSC resident Steward faces a different challenge as he works with Hindu converts. He reports that Hindu fanatics are trying to reconvert all the Christians in India and are mobilizing nearly 100,000 workers. Some churches are closing and one church was forcibly turned into a school. Even amidst these challenges, Steward says, “Indeed the Lord is good and He is taking care of our life and ministry here.” Please continue to pray for workers like Steward.