September 17, 2014
 Download a printable Bulletin Insert
or Poster version of this S.T.O.R.M. Report
Another Impact of Short-Term Missions


by David Nakhla

 

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life . . . 

(1 John 1:1 ESV)


A rainbow in the Sumava Mountains (Czech Republic)


 

Typically, when we think about the impact of short-term missions (STM), we think about the impact on the people who are served.  This is good and proper, since that really ought to be the primary reason that STM teams or individuals are sent out.  But the STM experience can also have a significant impact on those who are sent to serve.  And, frankly, this may prove to be the more lasting of the two.

 

Thanks to her persistent efforts, my assistant, Janet, has collected a good number of personal testimonies from individuals (many of them high school and college age) whose candid, heartfelt stories reveal how deeply they were impacted by their personal experiences on STM trips this summer.  The sights and sounds, impressions and memories, that result from leaving behind our familiar environment and interacting with people in an entirely new setting teach us lessons we might never learn from a book or a teacher or in our day-to-day lives.

 

For example, I think back to my first exposure to short-term missions over 20 years ago - working in Mexico with Missionary David Crum.  To this day, I can vividly remember waking to the savory aroma of the breakfast being cooked by the wife of the Mexican family that hosted us in their one-room house, the walls of which were composed of four discarded garage doors! I was hit that morning with the realization that this family knew how rich they were in Christ despite having very little in this world, and that was why they served us with such a giving spirit, even though we'd gone there "to serve them."  The Lord has blessed us with many senses, and when our senses are engaged in conjunction with a teachable moment, the result is a lifelong memory.  Short-term missions often provide just such a "sensory classroom."

 

Please enjoy the testimonies in this issue of the S.T.O.R.M. Report, and visit www.opcstm.org to review all of the testimonials (as well as reports and photo galleries) representing the experiences of many members of the OPC who participated in short-term missions this summer!


 

Possible Trip to Uganda in January 2015

by David Nakhla




The OP Uganda Mission is contemplating the possibility of a having a short-term missions team come to Uganda in January 2015 to help, primarily, with running a Vacation Bible School at one of the village churches in Mbale.  We are not yet ready to post details, but would like to hear from those who might be interested and available for such a project.  If this is of interest to you, please email me as soon as possible. This will greatly assist the planning stages. Thank you.

Contact:

David Nakhla
OPC Short-Term Missions Coordinator
 
Life as a Disciple of Jesus 


by Elizabeth Horst, Calvary OPC, Schenectady, New York

  

Boardwalk Staffers on stage: Susanna Buckley, Lizzie Kafka, Elizabeth Horst, Sarah Buckley, Wilfredo Hernandez, Nate Cochrane


Elizabeth Horst was one of a group of young men and women who served full-time as Staff at the OPC's Boardwalk Chapel in Wildwood, New Jersey, this summer, and has shared her testimonial with us.

 

EXCERPT:
 

"It was Jesus who led me and many others to the Boardwalk Chapel this summer, and it is only through His grace that the Chapel has been preserved, challenged, and expanded for the 70 years that it has stood here on the boards. The ministry has blessed countless people from all over the world, both saved and unsaved, and the Lord has sustained and grown many disciples within its walls. All this, and much more, I have been blessed to know firsthand, after only five months of knowing about this ministry, after only three months of living and working here full-time. (O Boardwalk Chapel, where have you been all my life?)"

 

Read Elizabeth's full testimonial at www.opcstm.org under "Testimonials" by clicking here.

 

"English for Kids and Teens" Camps (2014)


by Suzy Djeki, Camp Director



This summer, we hosted our 9th year of English immersion Bible camps here in Quebec - "English for Kids" and "English for Teens." As in previous years, the four weeks of camp ignited much energy and enthusiasm. We were blessed with wonderful weather and the energy of the children, many of whom enjoyed learning English as well as the Bible stories. We also hosted the one-week "English for Teens" camping trip.  We took 13 teenagers camping, including several activities such as survival training, fishing, canoeing, and camp fires. We were able to keep the kids busy and have good discussions about the Word of God.

 

A big 'Thank You' to everyone who supported us in prayer, as well as financially. Join us in 2015 for our tenth edition of 'English for Kids!"

 

Read Suzy's full report at www.opcstm.org under "Quebec," by clicking here.


 

Photo Gallery:
"English for Kids" Camps (2014) 


  


Every  summer, St-Marc's Reformed Church in Qu�bec City (Pastor: OP Missionary Rev. Ben Westerveld), reaches out to the community through "English for Kids" Bible Camps that aim to teach the Gospel truth by meeting the interest of French-speaking children in learning to speak English proficiently at a young age.  V
olunteers from the OPC and other Reformed churches in North America work with a bilingual coordinator to conduct the Bible camps.

 



 

See the full gallery of photos at www.opcstm.org under "Quebec," by clicking here.


 

Sowing the Seeds of the Gospel


 by Leah Baugh, Escondido OPC, Escondido, California

Team Praha 2014 (Leah in the back row in a black top)

Leah Baugh was a member of two short-term missions teams that were sent by the Presbytery of Southern California to the Czech Republic during the summer of 2014: "English Family Camp" and "Team Praha," and has shared her testimonial with us.

EXCERPT:

 

"English Camp is one of those camps where you really feel the urgency and importance of proclaiming the gospel message. The gospel we proclaim is a life and death matter, more important than anything else. English Camp really brings you back to that truth. We are not there simply to see the sights or even just to teach English. The teaching English part is what draws people in, but it is the gospel these people deeply need....

 

"Team Praha is a trip everyone should go on at least once. I was humbled by how many people, Christians and non-Christians, thanked us for coming, for taking time out of our lives to invest in others' lives and share the most important thing in our lives, namely the gospel of Jesus Christ."

 

Read Leah's full testimonial at www.opcstm.org under "Testimonials," by clicking here.


 

Photo Gallery: Team Praha 2014 

  

Prague ("Praha")

From July 21 to August 11, 2014, The Presbytery of Southern California's "Team Praha" was in the Czech Republic working with OP missionaries Jerry and Marilyn Farnik.  Over the course of 3 weeks, the team led a VBS, participated in a Czech Mountain Adventure focusing on friendship evangelism and discipleship with Czech teens and young adults, and ran a Ready, Set, Go Camp for children in Prague.

 

Hiking up Snezka


 

See the full gallery of photos at www.opcstm.org under "Czech Republic," by clicking here.


 

Cohesiveness as a Team - A Great Blessing 

  

 by Anne Lehan, Bethel OPC, Wheaton, Illinois


 

Outreach on Indian Reservation

Anne Lehan served for a 5th year as a member of a team that presented Vacation Bible Schools at two Indian Reservations near the OP church in Zoar, Wisconsin, and has shared her testimonial with us.

 

EXCERPT:

 

"In addition to the crucial one-on-one time we spent with the kids (and while we had a captive audience - free lunch, hooray!) we put on a skit with a complimentary Bible lesson, along with a clear presentation of the Gospel from one of the pastors. The skit was another great moment when our cohesiveness as a team proved a great blessing. The children this year were very responsive to and receptive of the message we were sharing through the means of drama. Many children even remembered lessons learned from previous years' skits and lessons. Praise the Lord!"  


Read Anne's full testimonial at 
www.opcstm.org under "Testimonials," by clicking here.


 

 

Trust Him Who Began the Work 

  

 by Alexander Patocs, Calvin OPC, Phoenix, Arizona

and Audrey Southgate, First OPC, Portland, Oregon

 


Alexander Patocs and Audrey Southgate were two of the young people who helped conduct an "English for Teens" Bible Camping Trip in Quebec this summer.  They've shared their testimonials with us.

 

EXCERPT:

 

Alex:

"As one who has been on several mission trips both domestically and abroad, it is interesting how much things stay the same, regardless of where you are. Spiritual starvation. While the culture and language may be different, the reality of sin doesn't disappear...."

 

Audrey:

"I wish I had been more patient; I wish I had been more ready to give a defense of my hope; I wish I could have seen the fruition of the seeds that were planted. Ultimately, I need to lay aside these weights and trust Him who began the work to bring it to completion...."

 

Read Alex and Audrey's full testimonials at www.opcstm.org under "Testimonials," by clicking here.

 

Skilled Workers Still Needed!

 

NEON, KENTUCKY

Skilled workers will be needed when construction resumes on the church/manse building of Neon Reformed Presbyterian Church (OPC) this winter in Neon, Kentucky.

 

If you can help, please contact:

Pastor M. Jay Bennett

bennett.1@opc.org







BRICK, NEW JERSEY

Site Coordinator Charlie Farrell reports that Hurricane Sandy (October 2012) relief work continues in Brick, New Jersey, where reconstruction of just one more home of an OPC member needs to be completed.

 
Current needs and projects include:

  • Someone with carpentry skills to build an approximately 4 x 5 ft. landing with steps off the back door
  • Back door and screen/storm door installation
  • Interior painting (some sheetrock patch work and trim)
  • 2 bathroom sink installations (caulking around the sinks)
  • Sorting and organizing papers and files in the attic:
    • creation of a filing and storage system
    • accounting or paralegal skills would be helpful

If you can help please contact:

Mr. Charlie Farrell, Site Coordinator

arre954@regis.edu 

 

Year-Round Opportunities for Service 

 

Uganda 

The Orthodox Presbyterian Uganda Mission (OPUM) is the largest mission station in the OPC, and is ripe with opportunities for short-term mission work - year round!  With an operating medical clinic, a farm project, an education outreach project and village evangelism, not to mention continual construction projects including well-drilling, there are many ways for a short-term visitor to serve on this field.  Read more at www.opcstm.org under "Global STMs - Uganda" by clicking here.


 

Key West, Florida 

How would you like to spend a week in beautiful Key West, Florida, growing in your ability to speak with boldness about the eternal hope that is in you?  OPC pastor Bill Welzien presents the gospel three times a week in an engaging open-air style during the famous Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square, and he invites you to come, learn and practice hands-on evangelism with him, at any time during the year.  Read more at www.opcstm.org under "National STMs - Current Opportunities" by clicking here.

 


 


 

Quebec City

Rev. Ben Westerveld, OP Missionary and Pastor of St. Marc's church in Quebec welcomes you to come join in a "Cafe anglais" (English Cafe) in the parks and malls of Quebec City.  Since, the mother tongue of most of the citizens of Quebec is French, they enjoy any opportunity to practice English with real Anglophones (those whose mother tongue is English). This type of outreach can lead to sharing of the gospel and the Reformed church.  Read more at www.opcstm.org under "Global STMs - Quebec" by clicking here.


 

Current Missionary Associate Openings

 

A missionary associate (MA) is an individual who is appointed by the Committee
on Foreign Missions to labor on an OP foreign mission field without cost to the committee.
There is an application process, and terms of service are generally 3 months to 2 years.

 

Asia

Individuals able to teach English at the university level (must have at least a Bachelor's degree).

 

Quebec

An individual able to speak French (or interested in learning to speak French) to assist in the outreach and discipleship ministries of �glise r�form�e St-Marc's church.

  

Uganda

Two individuals to assist our missionary families in Mbale with homeschooling and more.

Two individuals to participate in the Karamoja Education Outreach program.

Skilled individuals to assist our missionary deacons.

   

For more information and/or to apply for missionary associate service:

Contact Rev. Douglas Clawson, Associate General Secretary
Committee on Foreign Missions at clawson.1@opc.org

 
Printable  S.T.O.R.M.  Reports:   www.opcstm.org/storm-reports  
  

 David P. Nakhla

  Administrator, OPC Committee on Diaconal Ministries

  Coordinator, Short-Term Missions & Disaster Response

 

  Phone 562-760-7606

  nakhla.1@opc.org

  www.opcstm.org

  www.facebook.com/OPCShortTermMissions

  www.facebook.com/OPCDisasterResponse


 

Questions and comments regarding the S.T.O.R.M. Report may also be directed to:

Janet L. Birkmann, Administrative Assistant, Committee on Diaconal Ministries, and
Short-Term Missions & Disaster Response, at birkmann.1@opc.org