Outpost Ministry Solutions • December 13, 2016
OCI held its Eastern North America Retreat in Haymarket, Virginia, at the Living Hope SDA Church, November 18-20, 2016. Those in attendance were privileged to hear many thought-provoking presentations under the theme “Tidings from the East.” Even if you missed out on the meetings, you can still download the seminars for your enjoyment. Please click here to download all the presentations.
Reducing the Risk of America’s Leading Killers: Heart Disease and Cancer
by Mark Sandoval
How do “healthy” people on a vegan diet develop heart disease and cancer? What is it that we are missing? Let us discover together the deeper issues of disease and its causes.
Validation of Natural Remedies
by Lee Wellard
Discover how science is vindicating what inspiration has already revealed! We will be discussing the effectiveness of simple herbs and remedies, when used in the way God intended.
Living the Life of Faith
by Norbert Restrepo
A life of faith is a journey where our trust in God, our faith in His promises, and our confidence in His providential leading is constantly growing. Christ has promised to give us wisdom, strength, and power for obedience and service. We can experience this. “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).
The Joy of Scripture Memorization
by Pastor Bob Banks
Everyone knows it’s important to memorize Scripture—but how? This seminar will teach you 7 easy principles that will enable you to effectively memorize Scripture to deepen your spiritual growth and communion with God. Pastor Bob specializes in memorizing whole books and chapters of the Bible!
Making a Difference Through Health Evangelism
by Teenie Finley
There is a new receptivity and interest in health worldwide. This seminar explores practical ways to reach your community through the health message using proven methods and field-tested materials that will impact your witness for Christ and build bridges from the physical to the spiritual dimensions of life. You can make a difference following Jesus’ methods!
Personal Fitness for Busy People
by Vaughan Sparrow
We all know we need to exercise, but it isn’t always easy to find the time. This workshop covers 8 ways to fit in a workout on a busy schedule, the benefits of exercise, and exercise basics. Does walking qualify? Is there such a thing as an exercise cure?
Sustainable Country Living
by Charles Cleveland
This workshop addresses the counsel of the Lord to “get out of the cities as soon as possible and purchase a little piece of land where you can have a garden” (Country Living, p. 17). How can you afford a piece of property and even build a place to live? Hear how some have done it, and how to set up your property for sustainable country living to live like kings and queens.
Power at a Price
by Frank Fournier
Additional seminars included:
Healing God’s Way Through Natural Remedies – Lee Wellard
Reach the World Next Door with Joy – Scott Griswold
Blueprint Evangelism for Total Member Involvement – Richard Ramont
Please click here to download all presentations.
Portuguese Association of Preventive Medicine (VitaSalus) • July 21, 2016
The coastline of Portugal was the backdrop for the 2016 OCI Leadership Retreat held May 2-7. Approximately 185 attendees gathered to reflect on how God has led in the past and how He is guiding into the future with the theme Fast Forward. This year’s retreat drew a larger crowd from Europe, which gave the audience the opportunity to hear of the efforts going on in the United Kingdom, France, and the Muslim arena. And as usual, attendees were blessed by the opportunity to fellowship and network with likeminded believers as we look to the soon return of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Following the Leadership Retreat, our hosts, the Portuguese Association of Preventive Medicine (VitaSalus), coordinated an excursion to Lisbon, Penela, as well as other scenic cities along the journey. Participants listened to the history of Portugal, learned about the origins of cork, and purchased souvenirs as a recollection of their travels. The highlight was hearing the inspiring story behind the Portuguese Association of Preventive Medicine from its president, Viriato Ferreira.
To catch a glimpse of some of the presentations that were shared, click to download audio recordings or slide presentations.
The 2017 OCI Leadership Retreat will be held at Cohutta Springs Conference Center in Georgia in March of 2017. Stay tuned for more details.
Train Them 2 Fish • December 21, 2015
The OCI family has expanded by three full member ministries since August, 2015. We are excited to see how the Lord will continually use them to shine a light in darkness around the world.
ATO Padada Christian School – Philippines
Since 2004 ATO Padada Christian School has provided quality, Seventh-day Adventist education to more than 100 students between kindergarten and sixth grade. This is a major evangelistic endeavor as none of the children come from Adventist homes.
Hartland Institute of Health and Education – USA
In addition to running a college, Hartland Institute has a lifestyle center, farm, bookstore, and publishes a bi-monthly magazine. They are a short drive from Washington D.C.
Train Them 2 Fish – Democratic Republic of Congo
Through the ministry of Train Them 2 Fish, Bible workers are sharing gospel truths in the Eastern region of DRC. The team also offers vocational programs such as basket weaving and sewing for individuals with special needs.
OCI Headquarters • August 25, 2015
God is continually raising up new ministries and helping OCI fulfill its vision to see a thriving network of lay ministries reaching every country of the world. These are the ministries that we welcomed to OCI most recently:
Escola de Profetas—Brazil
Students at Escola de Profetas go door-to-door to share the everlasting gospel as a part of their missionary training.
Fundacion La Alborada—Colombia
Fundacion La Alborada does organic agriculture. In addition to managing the farm, they produce and sell natural foods and products. They also offer health workshops, seminars, and vegetarian cooking classes and hold evangelistic meetings.
In addition to offering cooking classes in the community, Fundacion Manalser runs a small lifestyle center and operates a natural food store.
International Children’s Care Australia—Australia
Through various projects in Microfinance, ICC Australia develops programs to fight against human trafficking by providing better opportunities to those suffering in poverty.
Salem trains people for mission service as medical missionaries. In addition to teaching Bible and health evangelism classes, Salem has a special emphasis in music.
Aidar Lifestyle Center—Ukraine
Due to the political situation and this ministry’s location in a warzone, Aidar Lifestyle Center has not been able to function as a traditional lifestyle center for some time. Nonetheless, they continue to minister to people in their community in whatever ways they are able.
Changing Lives Foundation—Guatemala
Changing Lives stays active by doing health evangelism in churches, including health expos, cooking classes, and medical conferences. They also provide community services.
Desert Tree Ministry—Chad
The team at Desert Tree Ministry operates an audio program producing Bible stories and training materials for use with mp3s. They also runs a school to train laypeople through seminars and Biblical storytelling, since some students are illiterate. In addition, Desert Tree prints literature in small quantities for distribution.
Kingsway Preparatory School—Kenya
Kingsway Preparatory School provides pre-school through eighth grade education to approximately 250 children. Their presence has positively influenced the morale of their townspeople.
Kristina’s Kitchen—Kentucky, USA
Kristina’s Kitchen is a small vegetarian bakery and café where the community can also receive monthly cooking classes. The staff aim to bring better health to their Appalachian neighbors.
Light Kenya offers medical missionary training with government-recognized certification. They also distribute Christian literature and run a small-scale farm.
Los Aromos Wellness Center—Chile
Los Aromos Wellness Center offers health expos, cooking schools, and health classes in the community in cooperation with their local church. The staff also offers short medical evangelism courses on a monthly basis.
PATMOS Latin America—Costa Rica
PATMOS Latin America provides health expos, cooking classes, seminars, and health talks in their local community.
This family-based orphanage cares for 145 children. SALT Ministries also runs a bilingual K-12 school for more than 300 children. In addition to their school, SALT offers a six-month LIGHT course, and they manage a media center known as SALTCAM-TV.
Waldens International Academy—Republic of Korea
Believing in the fundamentals of true education, Waldens International Academy provides Christian education based on the Bible and the writings of Ellen White.
OCI Headquarters • July 17, 2015
by Steven Grabiner
What place does a mechanic, builder, or plumber have in the mission field? What about an IT expert, accountant, or graphic designer? Unquestionably there is a spot for teachers, doctors, nurses, and pastors, but what about the rest of us? One of the great misconceptions about mission work is that the opportunities are limited to a privileged few. Here are some suggestions to help you fulfill your gospel commission:
1. Recognize Your Gifts
God never intended for you to be someone else. The talents that He has entrusted you with are needed. Too often young adults question the value that their practical skills might have in the mission field. Actually, this is an area of great need. Whether you are a gardener or a teacher, a writer or a dentist, God’s work needs your abilities.
Education and training are valuable preparation for ministry work. However this can take different forms. Not everyone has the desire to spend four years or more at a university. There are also short training programs and vocational options to learn new skills.
3. Begin Where You Are
Do not wait for the opportunity to work overseas or in an established ministry to begin serving. Get involved in outreach where you already are. Encourage other young adults to join you in seeking what ministry God has in mind for you.
4. Find a Mentor
Youthful enthusiasm, energy, and excitement are powerful forces for good. To optimize these assets, connect with an experienced leader who can give feedback, guidance, and input on your ideas. Someone already in ministry can point out pitfalls and common mistakes.
5. Listen to God
There is no question that God has a plan for your life, and that plan involves serving others. God is intensely interested in leading you to your great commission. As you surrender to Him daily, He promises to guide you. That guidance will be recognized as you work faithfully where you are and watch for His clear providential leadings.
OCI Headquarters • July 6, 2015
Album available now! Click here to purchase.
Look Among the Lowly features 10 uplifting Christian songs performed by Naomi Jackson, who serves as OCI’s communication director. Each piece melodically draws the listener closer to the heart of God. It emphasizes the reality that Jesus gave Himself selflessly for the sake of our eternal life. Inviting us to follow His example, Christ calls His children to care for “the least of these.” Though the journey of sacrifice for the sake of the gospel is certain to be filled with storms and trials, living for God’s glory has its sure reward.
One-hundred percent of the proceeds from Look Among the Lowly support the advancement of mission work around the world through the work of OCI. Click here to download a free sample song. Click here to purchase the album.
Naomi Jackson grew up singing from a young age and even studied music in college, but her career in communication took her down a path she thought would never intersect with music. As she traveled overseas, music remained a hobby she engaged in as her surroundings permitted—filling the woods with melody in Honduras, recording two albums with friends in Austria. Yet she still could not see how music fit into a grander plan for her life.
It took prompting from a singer-songwriter friend for Naomi to realize that God had given her musical gifts to utilize in spreading the gospel. Finally learning to embrace her inner contralto as unique instead of unusual, Naomi brings depth and harmonic richness to the music God has beautifully woven into her professional life.
OCI Headquarters • March 17, 2015
by Steven Grabiner
It happens all the time; two people make the exact opposite decision, and both think it is for the best. A football team fires their coach, and another team hires him right away. One person sells a stock, and another buys it. In both instances, and many more besides, everyone thinks they are making a good decision. It is only later, much later in some cases, that it will be seen whether these were, in fact, good decisions. Only hindsight can judge whether some decisions were right or wrong.
However, we can create a good decision-making process, which will help guide our choices. While there are always many variables, a good process can enhance the probability of good decisions. To increase the likelihood of arriving at a good choice, it is helpful to broaden our perspective. One way to change our frame of reference is to ask, “What would I tell my closest friend if he/she were asking my advice in this matter?” It is astonishing how quickly we might be able to answer that question, when we have been struggling with the same issue. By thinking of the situation in relation to a friend, we have shifted the focus and seen things in a different light.
In a work-related environment, we might ask, “If I were replaced, what would my replacement do?” Once again, by changing the frame, we begin to weigh the decision confronting us from a different perspective. That shifting of perspectives helps our decision-making process from being too narrow or constricted.
Time will tell how the decision plays out over the coming months or years, but by thinking of the process itself, we can raise the probability of coming to a good decision.
OCI Headquarters • February 17, 2015
by Steven Grabiner
I’m sure that you have experienced this problem at some time in your life. There is an important decision to be made and you are feeling stuck–torn between competing options that all have something good about them, as well as potential for going wrong. You have thought about, prayed about it, counseled with others, but as the one responsible, the leader, it is time for you to decide. Yet it seems like the closer you get to the decision point, the greater mental paralysis sets in. However there are some things you can do to help jumpstart the process. Just as turning your computer off and on again can clear certain problems, there are a couple of helpful tips that can assist in clarifying what choice to make.
One of the keys in breaking the logjam of decision paralysis is to shift your point of view, or to reframe the issue at hand. A frequent decision making inhibitor is too narrow a perspective. If we are viewing the decision from one point of view, we are missing many other possibilities. To help in this situation, take the choice you are leaning toward, and remove it (perhaps temporarily, perhaps permanently) as an alternative. This will force you to look around for possibilities you may have ignored, thus creating new insights.
Another way to change your focus is to think of all the reasons your current favorite choice is a horrible one. What evidence can you find to argue against the path you want to take? How would you convince someone else this really is a bad option? This will help you think more broadly about your choice.
With both of these tips, you might come back to your first option, but at least you will have thought through the situation more carefully.
OCI Headquarters • February 3, 2015
by Steven Grabiner
Successful leadership involves many skills, some of which seem to be directly contrary to each other. A good leader needs to know how to facilitate consensus around a decision, so that it can effectively implemented. At the same time, team members need to engage in constructive conflict to help ensure that the final decision is a good one. Leaders need to think through the process of how a conclusion is reached, to avoid making many mistakes. The importance of blending these leadership traits is the subject of Michael Roberto’s Why Great Leaders Don’t Take Yes for an Answer.
The book offers many practical pointers based on in-depth research of intriguing case. Divided into four parts, the first portion of the book lays the foundation by pointing out the necessity for healthy conflict and formulating a good decision making process. The second section emphasizes the dangers that can occur when good conflict is absent in an organization. One of Roberto’s chief examples was the Challenger space shuttle explosion in 1986. A lack of freedom to dissent appears to have been a major contributor to the disaster.
The third part stresses the need for building consensus and the danger of allowing a small group to hijack the organization through overt or subtle resistance. This can be manifested through a culture of “no,” where people tear down ideas without alternatives; a culture of “yes,” in which team members give the appearance of agreeing but work behind the scenes to undermine; and the culture of “maybe,” in which the decision process seems never ending. The final section gives guidance to leaders wrestling with these various issues.
Roberto’s wide research and depth of knowledge of interesting cases and situations provide very practical illustrations throughout the book. Anyone interested in improving their leadership skills in these areas will be benefited by learning why it is not always best to get a “yes.”
OCI Headquarters • January 20, 2015
by Steven Grabiner
Everyone in leadership knows the feeling. A situation has occurred, conflict has arisen, and the person you are attempting to reason with just doesn’t see your side of the story. The more you endeavor to clarify the issues, emotions boil more vigorously. In fact, as I write this, I am in one of the situations. I am caught in the turmoil of one of those life conflicts. What can be done to help the other person see my side of the story?
Perhaps that’s the wrong question to ask. Maybe instead of seeing my side and their side, we both need to look at the other side of the story. Instead of being a participant in this conflict, how would I describe it from a third side? What would a neutral observer see in both of our perspectives that would help create understanding between us? Ultimately this is the aim of all good conversations—to learn from one another.
Telling the other side of the story would necessitate describing the situation in such a way that both of us would agree that the conflict is truthfully represented. We would both see the accuracy of the description. Rather than determining who is right or wrong, we could then find common ground in understanding the problem. From that territory, we can together explore a path toward resolution. The essential skill would be to describe the difference in my story and their story. At least we can agree that are we viewing things from very different perspectives—and that vision might help us see our way forward.