The Children and the “Container Camp”

Summer camp is a familiar and much-loved tradition for many American families, and one that is often taken for granted. In fact, for many people it can be difficult to decide which of the many available camps their children should attend. But programs for children are a rarity in many areas of the world where buildings, teachers, and resources are scarce. 

This didn’t stop one resourceful alumni couple from bringing summer camp to families in their remote area of central Asia. (For security reasons we are not allowed to use their names.) Together with their own children they organized a children’s club and several children’s camps throughout the summer. In mid-August they organized their last camp of the summer, teaming up with a pastor who hopes to establish an educational center for children in his village. Ever resourceful, the pastor is building his center out of shipping containers. While not yet complete, the container building had progressed enough to be the site of the summer camp. 

Surprisingly, the container was large enough to accommodate 80 children at the day camp! Nevertheless many others stayed nearby watching the activities and wishing for a chance to participate. “This was an amazing week for our whole family,” our alumni report. “We saw a real thirst in the children. They paid close attention and gladly received instruction on Bible verses, and joyfully participated in the games and arts and crafts.” 

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Let There Be Light

A full-time Bible teacher and Chaplain at Bishop Han Theological Seminary in the Philippines, Josie came into residence at OMSC in 2013 when she and her husband, Arnel, were newlyweds. As they took seminars together and met with people of many different denominations and cultures, their own vision for their mission work expanded.

Could two young medical missionaries survive the AIDS Epidemic in Zambia, or would exhaustion lead them to their own medical crisis?

In 1988 two novice missionaries commissioned by the Philippine Wesleyan church ventured to Africa to serve at Zimba Mission Hospital. As enthusiastic young doctors, Romeo (Romy) and Linda were full of energy and were able to connect well with Zambian patients. But when the HIV/AIDS epidemic hit Zambia, their energy and resources were tested.

As Romy affirms, “In the beginning, we thought we were able to match the immense health needs of the people. But when the HIV/AIDS epidemic peaked in that country, it was beyond belief to see so many people dying every day. There was very little that we could do.”

They completed their first term as medical missionaries exhausted, and with serious concerns about whether they could make a difference in the lives of the people they were serving.  During their first furlough they asked themselves the tough question, should they continue? 

The Tea Tribe, the Elephants, and God

The Tea Tribe, the Elephants, and God

Known for its natural beauty and tea plantations, Assam province is located in northeast India. Created while the country was under British rule, this area is known around the world for its tea production. Referred to as the Tea Tribes, many of the people who live here are descended from the original tea plantation workers. With religious traditions including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Animism, and challenges such as elephant stampedes and a lack of financial resources, is it possible to be a Christian missionary here?

Do you pray for what you want, or what God wants for you?

It had been a really frustrating time for Executive Assistant Pamela Sola. As the person responsible for preparing visa papers for OMSC’s international visitors, she took visa denials personally. Most of those who applied for the study program had received visas and were already attending the seminars. But there was one application that had been denied. At community worship Pam asked everyone to pray that the visa would be granted. After making this request, a missionary from Guinea-Bissau pulled her aside and said, “I don’t think you should have made that prayer request.”

Could Your Friendship Be Construed As Christian Witness?

Could friendship be a Christian witness in a Muslim community? For Martins, a 2008-09 resident at OMSC, that question came out of a real life situation. Martins is a Christian missionary living in a predominantly Muslim community in Nigeria. He applied for a sabbatical at OMSC in order to have an opportunity to become both physically and spiritually invigorated for his ongoing work, and to meet new friends who challenged his Christian life. Blessed with a personality that radiates joy, he makes friends easily. But, was befriending the son of a very wealthy Muslim chief testing the bounds of friendship? 

The Teachers and the Students: Who Learned More?

It was the Fall of 2008 and Professors Sherwood and Judith Lingenfelter had been invited to be Senior Mission Scholars at OMSC. In this capacity they would act as mentors to a group of international missionaries and teach a one-week seminar on Leadership. During their four-month sabbatical they were also planning to do some research and reflection. So, how did their seminar for church leaders from Nigeria, Uganda, Madagascar, Palestine, India, Indonesia, Burma, and Korea lead to the birth of a new course in a doctor of ministry program?

The family who didn’t fit

They weren’t missionaries. They had very little overseas experience. They weren’t international. In fact, they were about as American as you can get – a family from the Midwest with three little girls. So why were they living at an intercultural center in New Haven, Connecticut, with Christians from Tanzania, Indonesia, Myanmar, and India?