OM Ireland marks two significant anniversaries
By Hannah Rueber
(From the October - December 2017 issue of VOX)
From the heart of one man, George Verwer, came the dream, the challenge and the invitation to young people to tackle a huge task: to go anywhere and everywhere in the world and to do whatever it takes to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. From the conviction that “everyone must hear the gospel at least once,” Operation Mobilisation (OM) has become a global outreach bringing Good News to the people of the world… no place too far away and no idea too crazy to try.
For 60 years, through the ministry of OM, God has been transforming lives and presenting Himself to millions of people. Now based in over 110 countries, tens of thousands of people have joined in this mission with OM to see “vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached.” Hundreds of millions of people have heard the Gospel already but the work is far from over.
For the past 15 years, OM Ireland, based in Co. Roscommon, has been reaching out through kids’ clubs and in schools, on-board a red double-decker bus, through a GAP year programme, through short-term missions and by placing long-term workers with churches.
OM Ireland Director and Co. Donegal native Alastair Kerr says, “It’s been a privilege to see how OM has played a small but significant part in encouraging and resourcing Irish churches to proclaim the Gospel. Being from Ireland, I appreciate the encouragement that we provide. It’s quite exciting.”
After hosting a short term team this summer, Pastor Paul from Cootehill in Co. Cavan wrote, “It is a great encouragement to the church to have a team truly dedicated to reaching our community. This week is such a big event in our church calendar. We are so thankful that there are people interested in volunteering a couple weeks of their summer for outreach.”
A weekend of celebration
OM Ireland was honoured to welcome OM-founder, George Verwer back to Ireland to encourage, challenge and share with us as OM celebrates 60 years as well as OM Ireland’s 15 years of ministry. Events took place last October at Swords Baptist Church and Crinken Church in Bray.
George also officially launched OM Ireland’s new Dublin office, which is based next to the Irish Bible Institute. “There’s lots of growth in Dublin,” said Ab van Aalst (Dublin mobilising officer). “This office location will provide the opportunity to mobilise, to serve the church and to help reach the city with the Gospel.” Ab hopes that through this new office, OM Ireland can be a blessing by coming alongside churches and other organisations.
Understanding that the local church is the key to establishing vibrant communities of Jesus followers, OM seeks to partner with churches in the hope of seeing workers sent out. “I love the opportunity to encourage people in their personal relationship with Jesus, and from that [solid] foundation to motivate them into missions,” Ab explained.
Created for mission
The mission field is not just for pastors or the evangelists. Within OM, we believe that everyone was created for the purposes of God. God made us with different passions and skills for a reason. The mission field needs journalists and mechanics just as much as it needs street evangelists.
Irene Roor (OM Ireland Mobilising Director) emphasises, “There are lots of people who have no clue their skills can be used in missions. Often, people have the desire to share the Gospel and there is an opportunity for everyone in missions. God can use you to build His kingdom.” Even if you aren’t serving on the mission field, you can be praying and supporting missionaries around the world.
Maybe you’re not quite ready to jump into missions for “the rest of your life.” If you want to start small, there are one and two-week opportunities throughout the year. Recently four people from Ireland went to Serbia to serve refugees for a few weeks.
Yulin who took part in the team wrote, “At the camp we were not allowed to talk about the Bible at all, except when people asked and then we could share our testimony. Our job was simple: serving tea and setting the table for them. We had such a great chance to talk with them and play card games with them. Some had an interest in what we were doing and why we were there. One of the friends from the camp asked about Christianity and Jesus. So I could share the Gospel with him. It was pretty sad and broke our hearts to see their situation. Most of the refugees have lost or left their family. Many have been there [in the camp] over a year. Food, clothes and hygiene (their basic essential stuff) are insufficient. It was a huge privilege to be there. Even in the crazy situation, God is working and using that. God is big and amazing and full of grace. Just indescribable.”
God can use anyone anywhere. He puts no limit on skill level, distance, length of commitment, or age. The work of His kingdom is ongoing and He will use you. Visit the OM Ireland website www.om.org or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 090 662 3964 for more information.