All in Africa

We are not a travel agency

“…to many host ministries, short-term outreaches can be a blessing or a curse,” shares OMer Ivy. “Here I would like to share some tips that help me feel less like a tour guide and more like I’m helping facilitate an exposure trip for the Kingdom.”

Stuck in the mud

“Just like the children’s game ‘stuck in the mud’ we need others to help us, to set us free. Sometimes the game gets so crazy that people don’t know you are stuck and need help," explains OMer Renette.

Turn to Him

“People would ask me how it was going, how I liked the city, and without fail some comment about the weather would pop out of my mouth quicker than I could swallow it back. The weather. That’s what I chose to talk about day after day. Because it was safe,” shares OMer Rebecca. “I didn’t want to admit it, but I was struggling. I wasn’t sure what I was doing or where I was going in life. But saying that I was struggling out loud felt like failing and I am not one for failure.”

Not just numbers

“I’ve noticed the format [of reports] many times focuses heavily on the results. How many people did the project impact? What is the difference from last year?” says OMer Ivy. “While it’s important to examine the work, it’s hard to measure the lives of people.”

Joshua, Caleb and my mosquito net

“God will protect us from the enemy but we may still see and hear them. We sometimes need to glimpse the giants we are facing to experience the greatness of God. We sometimes need to see the Red Sea to witness God’s power as He makes a way,” shared OMer Renette. “The more we learn to trust in Him, the better we understand that He really WILL protect us and be with us. The giants before me and the mosquitos around me is the world challenging my faith. What will I hold onto in the moments of anxiety?”

I am a foreigner

"Why was being a foreigner a problem though? It isn’t wrong. It’s not a bad thing, nor anything to be ashamed of. It simply means ‘I’m not from around here.’ But in my mind to be called a local would have meant that I had made it – that I had fully adapted and that I ‘belonged.’ And while it is important and recommendable to assimilate into the local culture where you are, it is equally important to remember that the world is not our home," said OMer Rebecca

To touch the 'untouchable'

"This story brings me back to my knees in prayer for God’s forgiveness and love," shared OMer Ivy. "My love is too limited and I need God to help me overcome the fear...I need to daily remind myself that love is the reason why I am here and it’s risky. I know there will be times when I want to run away and pray from a distance, but instead I need to run to God and ask for His power and love to fill me and help me reach out my hand to touch the 'untouchable.'"

Buying the knife

"I suppose that’s what I wanted to grasp onto—why I was so quick to buy the knife," shared OMer Andrew. "When I return to America this month, I’m not just taking a bunch of disconnected experiences in a vacuum. I’m taking a completely different outlook on life."

Zero is a number too

"In the Bible, the New Testament often uses the analogy of a human body to illustrate the church. The illustration is that the body is composed of many members with many gifts and abilities and because of that we can achieve more," shared OMer Simon. "But you don’t hear the hands taking credit over the head or the head over the legs. Yet, in my discussions with my wife, I seem to forget this important lesson."

Pray Give Go

"The great thing about Discovery Bible Study is that you figure out the text as you go along," explained OMer Renette. "As people shared what they learnt about God and about man in this passage, we all started talking about the different roles each of them had. Moses’ solely role was to keep the rod up, Joshua oversaw the battle and Aaron and Hur were there to support Moses. It struck me that this is an example of the tagline we have in OM: Pray, Give, Go."

Cultural lenses

"We all look at the world with our different cultural lenses," said OMer Ivy. "However, I feel like I am the only one wearing yellow glasses among people wearing either green or red glasses.

My passport is my roadmap

"To me, my greatest accomplishment is that I filled all the pages of my passport before it expired," stated OMer Renette. "Sometimes when I feel like I haven’t done any real ‘adult’ stuff I open my drawer, find my travel pouch, take out my passport and flip through the pages. Sometimes I flip through fast, imagining a man is jogging on the top right corner of the pages. Most of the time, I just look through each page remembering the trips I took, the space I was in when I travelled. There are so many seasons captured in those passport pages."