International Update, 2008
Welcome to the 2008 Update!
We are able to offer you two options for the 2008 Update. You can now learn about what God is doing across the globe through OAC either online or downloading the PDF file and printing it. The PDF is available here.
Warning: almost 2 MB! Alternatively, you can use the database browser to view the reports which most interest you. You can scan down this page to see the headlines or navigate via the Go
on 'More' to read each full article.
A WORD FROM THE PRESIDENT
One of the very strong and important challenges that I believe GOD impressed clearly in my heart in the past few years and specifically in the recent 12-24 months is Preaching His Word by Faith and doing it Faithfully. Paul instructed Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2 to Preach the word, be prepared in season and out of season
OAC Great Britain reaches Bristol
John Wesleys Chapel in the Horsefair, Broadmead, is the oldest Methodist Chapel in the world built in 1739. It was in that year, at the invitation of George Whitefield, that John Wesley first came to Bristol. Whitefield asked Wesley to take over his work of preaching to the open-air crowds which he had gathered. John Wesley gave his first sermon to a crowd of 3,000 people in the open air. Now in 2007, within 50 metres of the chapel, we set up our sketch board with the same heart, to Reach the City for Jesus. There is something of a sense of history and of continuity to be preaching in the place where Wesley once stood.
A few months ago, Juan (OAC Paraguay Director) returned to a school in a town outside of Asuncion where he had taken an American mission team last year for a day of campaigns. It was encouraging for him to see that a brother from the church, who had been involved in setting up the school campaign, had begun three or four Bible studies a week with students. These studies are continuing today, and much growth has been seen in the students.
O.A.C. Latvija continues to be pioneered with two highlights from the summer months including a training course in Evangelism & Creative Communication. This 12-hour course was run in the Riga International Bible Institute and open to all Christians. We had about 20 people from a good cross section of denominations, some of whom are now interested in more advanced training courses.
The greatest highlight of the ministry was a wonderful time spent in evangelism with a team from Canada (Prairie Bible College). The team was very well prepared and presented a short drama called The Redeemer at the outreaches. It worked out very well and attracted a lot of people wherever we would do the open-air meetings. After the drama, somebody from the team or I preached a clear gospel message illustrated on a sketch board. With such a program we visited several cities located on the shore of the Black Sea, and every time God allowed us to see crowds of people listening to the gospel.
EQUIPPING THE PREACHERS
Paul specifically mentioned the importance of preachers being sent to preach the word (Romans.10:14/15). It has been a real joy for me to train many Christians in the past few years on Practical and Effective Evangelism. I meet some of these people on a regular basis and I have seen them talking to someone about the gospel of Christ. I receive phone calls and emails from some of them asking for more resources, especially gospel booklets and simple tools for sharing the gospel with others. Recently I trained a group of students from a college here in Auckland and then took them out to the streets.
MOODY BIBLE INSTITUTE USA
Looking back on the past six weeks and particularly several months has been awe-inspiring. This week put a perfect book-ending to our six-week adventure. We had open-air meetings every night on the boardwalk in Ocean City. Several crowds grew very large (70 or so) and the gospel went out to receptive ears. On one occasion Ben and Christine entered into a gospel conversation when one individual began "hitting" on three girls who were a part of the audience (they happened to be Christians). He confronted him in this act , and the six of them sat down for at least two hours of conversation about God.
ALBANIA - Summer Project
We wanted to share some pictures from the summer project. The focus of this summer has been Jr. High age (11-13), and we've been working in Korca and several of the villages and towns. We did a big event last week where we gathered them all together; we had over 250 kids and about 50 youth staff!! They all gathered in th beautiful village of Voskopoja and were divided into teams, Indians and Angels.
Near Campinas is a poor city called Monte-Mor. We went there to hold an open-air movie meeting with a pastor. Around his church were many houses that the people use for Spiritism. It is a very difficult place to work and a real war against Satan. The pastor has two women working there week by week for preaching the gospel to the kids, but the spirits have been trying to impede the kids from hearing the gospel. It is a hard work, but we went there and invited the people during the afternoon to see an open-air movie. And the people came!
OAC Ministries seeks to partner with local churches to reach out into their communities through primary and secondary school ministry, church-based outreach activities, seniors programs, holiday activities and training seminars. In all of these activities the goal is to proclaim the life-transforming good news of the gospel. During the recent school holidays, the OAC team held a holiday program with a rural church for the third year running. A seven-year-old boy went home and said, Ive got to go back again tomorrow to hear more about God.
Our beloved country has been going through some real challenging times politically in the past few months and also facing some tough times economically. A lot of people are finding it hard to meet their basic needs BUT the doors of opportunity to preach the gospel in the open air and in the schools is still there. There is a real hunger and thirst amongst the people for GOD, and many of them are searching for reality and hope. Our OAC staff continue to have good crowds listening to the gospel in their open-air meetings. Those who respond openly and seek counselling are asking really deep and meaningful questions about GOD and eternity.
Recently we had the opportunity to present the gospel of Jesus Christ at the Police Department, and Air Force & Navy bases in Manta (see photo). Another part of our ministry is neighbourhood film meetings. In one place called Circunvalación, around 30 people prayed to receive Jesus in their hearts. We invited them to a home Bible study, and Edwin and his wife came.
Canada's newest OAC missionaries are located in the Maritimes: Kirk Hubick lives in Nova Scotia and Todd Nielsen lives in New Brunswick. They have been busy preaching together in Charlottetown, PEI and Pugwash, NS, on Canada Day (July 1st), Halifax, NS, for the huge biannual gathering of the Tall Ships (July 13th and 14th), St. John, NB, for "St. John Idol" (a live vocal contest on Wednesday nights), outside the Aerosmith concert in Charlottetown, PEI, on July 21st, as well as four Bible camps.
Mark Kennedy and Paul Adams shared the gospel recently at the Baltimore Juvenile Prison. After Paul shared his testimony and a short message, he approached a young man with a gospel of John. He asked him his name to which he responded, "Satan." Paul told him that God loved him and that he, too, was once a scoffer but was now a believer. Paul then went to another table and talked with some other youths. As he was talking, the young man who said his name was Satan came over
DENMARK - Jesus changed my life.
Every summer we are a team of about 20 people doing a two -week outreach at the biggest camp site in Denmark. The camp site is owned by a Christian couple who wants us there to share the good news about Jesus amongst children and youth. One of the activities is a youth café every night, where we talk and witness and drink coffee. At midnight we preach a short message. There was a message this summer which was very encouraging. One of the young guys, who visited us several times in previous years, became a Christian during the last year. He gave his testimony:
The small town called Katuzhanka lies in the Chernobyl zone. Two years ago, one of the Kiev churches sent a missionary there, and he started a new church. He wrote to many missions for help in carrying out evangelistic programs, but all were afraid to come because of the radiation. When he asked us to come, to be honest we were afraid, too, but nevertheless we resolved to go. At one program, after the message of the gospel, many people lifted their hands expressing their desire for Christ to change their lives. After the program a man approached us who was 47 - 50 years old.
OAC REPS UGANDA
The OAC Team in Uganda takes tents to live in when doing the village evangelism in order not to be a burden on the local community. They start the Jesus film session off by showing clips of Manchester United football, with a promise of more the following evening. They then show the Jesus Film followed by direct gospel preaching. Many people respond, and in one Muslim village the son of the Chief was the first to the front to commit his life to the Lord, followed by many of the villagers who hadn't really dared to do so until they saw him at the front. I think about 600 were converted that time, which presented problems for the little local pastor in follow-up!
OAC NEW ZEALAND
We are constantly amazed at people's openess to hear about Jesus. I was speaking to a man the other day, when he asked what I did. I told him, and he was most surprised that people were receptive, and they are! We have been doing a Good Person Test in Auckland, New Zealand, which is a flip chart on the sketch board where people come to us to do the test, a mixture of open-air preaching style and personal evangelism. We have found that it is received well in New Zealand.
On July 12, one of our young people who is a member of our team, Mariel Babor was requested by his values teacher to handle the class for one hour during two classes . He used the giant Evange Cube to present the gospel. The attendance of the two classes was 120 students and almost all responded to the invitation. Glory to God!
OAC JAMAICA - A TESTIMONY
Sharlene Sutton is a pastor's daughter. We both attend the same church. At our 35th wedding anniversary last December, she shared in the programme. She said that as a young girl she went to summer camp, where I was the speaker. When I gave the invitation, she gave her heart to the Lord. Then she said it was my wife, (Auntie) Bev who counselled her.
HIGHLIGHTS: from Slovakia, Singapore, Boston USA.
SLOVAKIA We have had a very busy few months with camps for all ages from 721. With all the camps, we have seen some great things, and we hope to see their faith stronger the next time they come to camp. We will continue to pray that they will come to know Christ in a deeper way. I wish you Gods blessing and His strength in all the work you are doing for Him. Katka Bencova
Please pray for...
We really appreciate your support and particularly prayer!Here are just a few things for which you can be praying, things which will forward the gospel through us around the globe in 2008. Pray for:
More information about OAC can be obtained from our offices around the world
OPEN AIR CAMPAIGNERS INTERNATIONAL International Office: OAC; PO Box 22 502; Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand