At the beginning of fall (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), we asked One Challenge mission workers to share something they were thankful for in 2020. You might think this was a tall order to give thanks amid COVID restrictions, but it turned out to be quite the opposite: we had more responses than we could use in our printed publication.
So here are all the wonderful, God-filled responses from OC mission workers all over the world:
“The Lord gave me the gift of motherhood. Even though it’s a bumpy ride, it’s full of joy and hope of new life,” Lydia, United States Mobilization Center.
“In 2020, the Lord opened a door of hope through our ministry partnerships that provided a water well for one Laotian village and house church, as well as food to another needy village in the mountains. We are thankful this open door of hope will make a way for the Lord to open springs and rivers on gospel-thirsty lands, and where He will feed the poor and hungry with the Bread of Life,” Debbie and David, Singapore.
“There is encouraging hope in our hearts for the traditionally reserved British, who are now more open and hungry for deeper conversations. May this give opening to the eyes of their hearts, seeing Jesus in these pandemic Brexit days,” Steve and Renee, England.
“In early 2020, we ‘surrendered’ one of our assistant team leaders to go serve in another department. We are so grateful God raised up two others to fill the need. God restored our hope by reminding us that He is building and using our team to His glory,” Larry & Stephanie, Global Research Team.
“The Lord is bringing hope to our lives in 2020 through us getting to know our neighbors better and discovering that some are Christ-followers too! We are so thankful for a growing community of believers to impact our apartment complex for God’s glory!” Alisa, Southeast Asia.
“The Lord has brought hope into our lives in 2020 through new relationships with neighbors. We thank Him for allowing us space to develop a community where we can have impact,” David and Cherie, United States Mobilization Center.
“Four years ago, my oldest son had a traumatic brain injury during the fall of his senior year in college. It was devasting for him and our family. He survived, but at the time he felt his life was over and he had no hope. In God’s great providence, He healed my son and gave him a vision for his life. After completing his education, only one semester late, God led him to the Kanakuk Institute where he met a beautiful, God-filled woman. They got engaged this summer, and now we are excitedly planning his wedding in November. His faith has grown exponentially, and his smile has been restored. God is good!” Scott Lee, OC Board.
“My high school relationships 53 years ago continue to this day – three months ago I called three buddies I have known well since third grade, teammates in basketball and baseball. I pointed out the video series The Chosen, which was taken well, and all three said they appreciated the decades of me being a faithful friend, asking about their lives, and pointing out things for them to consider. During this time of the pandemic, I was wondering what God was doing as we had to cancel all the team and coaching opportunities we had around the world. Now I see that some one-on-one relationships needed some nurturing,” Robin, Sports Ambassadors.
“Thousands are coming to Christ in the Philippines through Group Chat. As we multiply this to higher levels, we have very high hopes that the fruit to come will be far greater yet,” Dave, Philippines.
“The Lord has brought hope into my life in 2020 by entrusting me with the care of my 98-year-old mom, growing deeper in relationship with her. Though my ‘bubble’ is small, I thank Him for these special days that I can continue to learn from her and share life with her,” Sylvia, United States Mobilization Center.
“The Lord has brought us hope during this season because we are seeing and hearing from people who are still participating with us in the Great Commission outreach to the Muslim world, and we are especially thankful for the OC weekly chapel that was made available to all of OC virtually due to the restrictions of the pandemic,” Ray and Marge, living in Oregon and serving the Muslim World.
“I have hope to connect with God in deeper ways through new resources for emotional health,” Joshua, Southeast Asia.
“I am grateful to God for the unique virtual meetings that have been possible this year. If normal travel was possible, and if normal, personal, social-circles in mission remained status quo, we would have never attempted the virtual leader meetings that have developed in the Global Mission Research arena. Praise God for unprecedented virtual communication!” Warren Lawrence, Southeast Asia.
“God has brought hope to us by multiplying many, many very small groups studying the Word in spite of COVID-19 restrictions,” a couple serving Muslim neighborhoods.
“The Lord has brought me hope in 2020 in various forms – spiritually, mentally, and physically. By removing many things, He’s displayed steadfast faithfulness and boosted my confidence in His plan,” Josh, Guatemala.
“We have done 90 online coaching sessions during the last six months all over the world with diverse kinds of groups and individuals. This online coaching format has opened up the world for us to connect in a new way,” Daniel and Ellen, International Ministry Team.
2020 started out with the thrill of witnessing the birth of our first grandchild in Texas. Wow, Psalm 139 in action: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. When I returned home to Colorado, COVID hit. So thankful that as life slowed down, our family (senior adults and college kids) enjoyed unexpected time at home together,” Shannon June, United States Mobilization Center.
“All our boarding students were able to make it into Germany with not one single issue. No questions about entry, no missed flights, no delayed flights, and no lost luggage,” Eric and Heather, Black Forest Academy, Germany.
“We have been in a longer transition than expected. In this scenario, the Lord infused hope in our souls bringing friends on our way to join our support group in a totally unexpected way, as they cared for our souls in a deep time of need. The Lord’s goodness and kindness is overwhelming, has no end, despite the reality we faced this year. We do serve a God who knows no barriers when caring for His children is the agenda! We are grateful!” J & S.
“For Mobilization, we are filled with hope today because, even though ‘sending’ is on hold due to the pandemic, obedience isn’t! People are still connecting with us about how to respond to God’s leading in their lives, and we are honored to help them take those steps and share with them how life and ministry would look if God is leading them to be part of our ministry family,” Jeff Boesel, United States Mobilization Center.
“Thankful that our college outreach and English Bible study at the Sports University continues to stay strong and grow during the pandemic,” Jeff, Taiwan.
“The Lord gave us hope, after a period of isolation, with the church huddle of seven people who meet in our home to watch the TV sermon. Most we did not know before, and we have discovered the joys of the ‘old’ home church model! Praise God for the brotherhood of the church, demonstrated in different ways,” Sue and Jim, retired in home country of U.S.
“Our local ‘mission’ field changed when we moved to the States. Seeking to convey Jesus through fun and friendship, we’re reaching out to the homes around us in new ways during this ‘slow down season.’ During the past months, we’ve hosted six neighbor families for outdoor BBQs. Two kids have come to know Christ so far, and great conversations have emerged with adults. Along the way, we’ve found our own lives enriched and a sense of community deepened on our cul-de-sac. In new ways, we’re learning that mission begins right where we live,” Kathie and Dean, United States Mobilization Center.
“The Lord has brought hope into our lives in 2020 through the surprising medium of technology. Via Zoom and other platforms, God has blown open access to pastors and leaders we have not met in person. We thank Him for their hunger and passion to grow in love for the Lord and for those they serve,” Dave and Debbie, Brazil and Latin America.
Holistic Ministry One Challenge is an international agency committed to bringing God’s transforming love and hope to all people. We identify and work to meet the physical, emotional, and social needs of individuals and communities, providing opportunities for deeper level relationships and deeper levels of change. These ministries include education, medical services, agricultural development, community development, and small business mentoring … helping local people to build a healthy community.