In my homeland Australia right now it is my birthday – but thanks to moving to the UK for a time, I conveniently have an extra 10 hours of being twenty something, rather than thirty. So, what do I have to say for myself?
The last few weeks leading up to my birthday have been difficult at times because I feel sad that I am so far from my family and from the friends that I’ve known for the longest – that whilst I know that I’ll have a good celebration here, I’ll be missing people who would need to sell all their earthly things twice over to attend. But is there something more than that? Do I fear the big 3-0? Continue reading Last thoughts of a Twenty-something
It’s here! We’ve been working on this DVD since I started with OMNIvision last year, and I’m pleased to say that it is a truly wonderful collection of prayer videos. Five videos from five countries where God is at work and lives are being transformed. Continue reading Vision 12
Four years ago Chris and I were at De Kroze Danne Conference Centre for our GO Conference – an introduction to the values and work of OM. This August we were back there for the third time, watching 243 more people embark on their journey with OM. Having helped with OMNIvision at the 2 previous events this summer I felt much more part of the crew this time and enjoyed the chance to try some new things. However, I was also there in my role as Family and Educational Advisor so my time was split between the two roles. Here are a few of my highlights from the conference:
Continue reading Go Conference
At the end of March I flew out to Hong Kong to visit the Logos Hope for 10 days. It was strange to be back on board when there are now only a few people that I know but it was wonderful to catch up with some special friends. I had the chance to visit the city centre with some people, take the teachers out for a meal and also to go up the peak; despite the typically British weather we still got to see a bit of the view! Continue reading Visiting Logos Hope
“Transform is about faces. An Albanian girl promised a better life in Italy; now forced to sell her body. A deeply religious man who fears God but is controlled by hatred. A Turkish student giving up because there is no future. A Libyan refugee who fled the conflict with nothing.”
Continue reading Transform
The first big event of the year, the Go Conference in Mosbach, Germany brings together over 100 new workers from around the world for 10 days of worship, teaching, cultural adjustment and transition before they “go into all the world” – many for the first time in their lives. Continue reading Go
According to my job description one of my main tasks is ‘to network with other missions on issues involving the education of missionaries’ children.’ This was one of the areas I identified before I started as being something totally new for me. Any networking that I have done in previous roles has all been set up for me and I didn’t really have any idea how to get started with this. However, as always God had it all planned…
A few weeks ago I was sorting through documents I’ve inherited with the role and found a load of old articles about TCK (Third-Culture Kids) education published by another organisation. Curious as to whether they were still being published I e-mailed the address given to ask. I got a response back that informed me they were but that also said ‘we have a Global Connections TCK Forum event due on the 4th October in Birmingham on educational issues which would be really useful for you.’
So, last week I headed down to Birmingham for the day to attend the forum. A 3 hour journey each way meant it was a long day but it was definitely worth it. There were about 25 others there from various mission organisations, as well as the speakers and organisers. Once again I saw God’s hand at work in the sessions provided – both of them were about topics that I was planning to start researching so that I can update documents (UK University Entrance for TCKs and Home Schooling Support organisations). Attending this forum has saved me hours of work in trying to find things out myself! There were also opportunities to hear about new and updated resources that are available and to meet other people who have similar roles to my own.
I’m sure that the connections made will be useful in the weeks and months to come. Global Connections run these forums regularly so I look forward to attending future ones and continuing to develop networks that can ultimately benefit the families we have in OM.
Whilst the church in exotic far away places like Africa, Asia and even the Middle East is growing at an amazing rate (just look at China) – the church in Europe is in steady decline. Weath and prosperity has replaced the need for God’s provision, advanced science and philosphpy has convinced most people God doesn’t exist – but neither have filled the emptiness inside every human being.
TeenStreet is a large international event in Germany where almost 4000 Christian and undecided teens come and experience God face to face. Powerful, exciting, confronting main meetings with intimite worship and challenging teaching are the spark of a flame that is fanned in small groups where the teens work out the mechanics of living their lives for Christ. Some commit their lives to Christ for the first time, others resolve to serve Him wholeheartedly, others still get a heart for local and world missions. All are impacted in some way.
We were pleased to be a small part of this huge conference in roles that we feel comfortable in. Chris was a part of the OMNIvision crew who covered the video for the main meetings – making sure that people could see, hear and understand the message being spoken to them. The title of this year’s TeenStreet was ‘Newsong 40’ – following Psalm 40 it encourages teens to leave behind the ‘old song’ of the world and start to sing the new song from God: “We were created to start each day anew, not consumed with the pain and regret of yesterday, or the fears and worries of tomorrow. Instead, to start a day in relationship with the Happiest person we know. Starting the day singing the Truth of the Kindest person we know, and what HE says about who you are. This is the song of our Father, who’s desire is to see His Kingdom come on Earth, as it is in HEAVEN!”. (www.teenstreet.de)
Part of Chris’s role for the week was to edit and upload recordings of the sessions. You can watch them online at http://www.omnitube.org/TeenStreet_Germany/. Feel free to use the clips or the ideas in them for your youth meetings etc.
Ruth coordinated the kids program – KidStreet – that ran simultaniously for the kids of helpers and organisers of TeenStreet. Following the same theme of a new song, the kids enjoyed a range of fun activities on their level, helping them to leave behind their old song and sing the new. Leading a group of kids who all speak different languages is difficult, but thankfully we had helpers from all the language groups!
This has been a big highlight for the start of our time with OM ICT in Carlisle, especially for Chris. We look forward to going to Holland in two weeks for the Global Orinentation (GO) conference – where new missionaries entering the field are given intense cross cultural missions training over two weeks – we did this ourselves when we joined the ship! After that we get to settle down into life in Carlisle – working with families in the mission field and creating multimedia resources for missions.
Having spent a significant portion of my childhood as an MK (missionary kid) I developed a strong awareness and interest in mission work which stayed with me into adulthood, although I never had any plans or ideas where this would take me. By the age of 5 I’d chosen my career path and this finally came true in 2004 when I qualified as a primary school teacher. These two passions have always been present in my life to varying degrees. Throughout university and my years teaching in the UK I went on several short term mission trips and was involved with the mission team at my church.
In 2008 I finally felt the time to serve longer term in mission was approaching. For me it was an obvious and easy decision to teach MK’s as this combined my own experiences, passion for mission and love of teaching. Eventually I ended up on Logos Hope, as a teacher in the school onboard. Amongst the 400 crew onboard there are usually about 40 children, aged from 0 – 16. The school usually has about 8 teachers who provide an education for these children during their time onboard.
Having taught in the school on Logos Hope for 2 years I returned to the UK in October 2011, again wondering how all my passions and experiences could be combined. Through a series of thoughts and conversations God has led me to take on the role of ‘Family and Educational Support Advisor’ with OM.
Part of this role is to ensure that families and children on the mission field are well cared for, receiving the support and advice that they need to raise their family, make educational choices and deal with the unique challenges they face. This means providing resources, support and advice at all stages of their journey: as the plan and prepare for the mission field, during their time overseas and as they re-enter their home country. Having been an MK myself I can understand some of both the positive and negative impacts that can occur and I hope to be able to help maximise the former and minimise the latter.
Another part of the role is recruiting and supporting teachers, especially for the ship school. Recruitment is something totally new for me but having been a teacher onboard the ship I have some understanding of how to support them effectively. This includes being available to answer questions, providing resources and ensuring they are kept up to date with the curriculum.
Successfully fulfilling this role will require a lot of networking; researching about MKs, attending conferences and liaising with OM offices around the world. One person described the need for someone to be a ‘children’s advocate’ and I guess in many ways that is what I am hoping for – that I will be able to speak up on behalf of the children involved in mission and ensure that their needs are remembered by all involved.
All of this will be a part time role. In many ways stepping out of the classroom and into an office is a daunting prospect but I feel that my experiences all add up to help me face this new challenge. And to make sure I don’t go completely insane through a lack of interaction with children I hope to be able to teach part time. This will have the added benefit of enabling me to keep up with the changes to the curriculum. At the moment I have no idea what this teaching job may actually look like but am trusting that God has something lined up for me and will reveal it at the right time.