The Hope of Survivors • January 9, 2014
Last fall, The Hope of Survivors acquired a new facility in Iowa (see below). Now they have teamed up with Maranatha Volunteers International (www.maranatha.org), a nonprofit organization connecting service-minded people with much needed construction projects, to renovate The Hope of Survivors new Renewal Center. Work began in November to add bathrooms and modify existing space for accommodations, but the renovations are still underway. Anyone who wishes to volunteer on this project is encouraged to contact Maranatha at (916) 774-7700.
Thanks to a generous donor, The Hope of Survivors will be relocating to Bedford, Iowa, after the acquisition of what has been known for years as The Bedford Inn. This property will serve as the organization’s world headquarters as well as a place of healing and renewal for victims of clergy sexual abuse, primarily adult females.
“After years of praying for a place of respite for victims, and having no place for them, this home is an answer to prayer and a tremendous blessing,” says Samantha Nelson, Vice President & CEO. “We look forward to putting the programs together for victims who come to renew and heal from the devastating abuse they’ve endured. We feel very blessed that God has answered this prayer in such a remarkable way.”
The Hope of Survivors’ founders and directors, Steve and Samantha Nelson, will reside at the property. Steve is the pastor of the local Seventh-day Adventist Church in Bedford, while his wife Samantha spends her time managing The Hope of Survivors.
To learn more, click here to read a letter from Samantha.
Oklahoma Academy • May 24, 2013
In March, Oklahoma Academy’s senior class traveled to Kiev, Ukraine, to hold two simultaneous evangelistic campaigns, English classes, and other community outreach activities.
Despite various challenges including the language barrier and a venue change, God provided, blessed, and protected the students as they ministered to people in Kiev. More than 1,000 attended the meetings, and many were encouraged by the student-led presentations.
“Seldom do we see the youth interested in spiritual things,” said Katya Bondarchuck, youth director for the Kiev Seventh-day Adventist Conference. “To have them actually leading out greatly impacted those new to the faith as well as the church members.”
During the final week of the trip, the seniors were joined by the Oklahoma Academy Bell Choir, Chorale and String Ensemble. In addition to playing for the evangelistic meetings, the musicians also performed for local churches, aids and cancer patients, and The Ukrainian College of Arts and Sciences and Seminary. The Ukrainian division of Hope Channel also recorded them in its studio.
Unfortunately one student was not able to participate with the rest of the group. On the way to Ukraine, Erik, and a class sponsor were detained in Germany. Erik did not have the required visa to enter the country; however, God had a plan for him as well.
Erik was able to connect with a Seventh-day Adventist church in Germany and stay with a local family. He even spent an additional two weeks ministering to the church by providing special music, leading out in Sabbath School lessons, and preaching.
God’s providence never ceases to amaze the staff and students of Oklahoma Academy, whether in daily classroom activities or on large mission trips to a foreign country. The ministry seeks your prayers and support as it continues to train students to be workers for God’s harvest.
OCI Headquarters • March 26, 2013
A new series featuring 17 OCI ministries will air on Hope Channel beginning on April 7 through the end of June.
During the past year and a half, OCI President Steven Grabiner and two OCI team members traveled to six continents to film footage for a 13-episode video series. The series highlights the work that OCI ministries are doing around the world, including medical missionary training, evangelism, education, medical launches, and much more.
OCI ministries support the work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church through these various outreach projects. However, there is a great need for church members and lay people to get involved, too. Many OCI leaders work in remote areas with minimal funds and support. The ministries are constantly in need of prayers, encouragement, and volunteers. OCI hopes that the video series will help to bring people to a greater awareness of these needs, as well as facilitate connections between individuals and OCI ministries.
Traveling more than 100,000 miles to 17 countries, Steven was joined by Janell Hullquist, OCI communication director, and Eric Hullquist, who directed and edited the series. The team members faced various challenges, but despite these difficulties, they were excited to interact with OCI ministry leaders and witness their efforts firsthand.
“Around the world, ordinary church members have made the extraordinary decision to dedicate their lives to God through service at self-supporting ministries,” Janell says. “Our aim is to share their stories, what they are doing, and how God is working through them.”
While Eric is not a member of the OCI office staff, he enjoyed the opportunity to get involved in the work its ministries are doing.
“It is an honor to help support the work that OCI and its member ministries are doing around the world to spread the good news of Christ’s soon return,” Eric says. “Being involved with this project has been a great example to me of how God can use anyone for His work no matter their talents or training.”
The video series has the potential to touch countless lives by inspiring people to get involved in the Great Commission. On behalf of its more than 80 ministries, the OCI team asks for your prayers and support as the series airs in April. Most of all OCI hopes that the programs will motivate people to share Christ with others, at home or abroad.
New episodes will premier on Hope Channel every Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET for 13 weeks. Episodes will be played again during the week. OCI will also upload aired episodes to its Vimeo and Facebook accounts. To view the complete schedule, please visit the OCI website. You can also share the trailer with your friends and family.
Mount Akagi Institute • March 13, 2013
In May, Mount Akagi Institute in Japan will host a mission group to help provide a much-needed facelift to its lifestyle center.
For more than 50 years, Mount Akagi has facilitated medical missionary work in Japan. In 1978 three families from Eden Valley Institute, an OCI ministry in Colorado, helped to expand the work there. The team currently runs a bakery and works with individuals to improve their health. However, the ministry would like to reopen the lifestyle center, which hasn’t been renovated in more than 30 years.
Not all of the ministry’s contacts are Japanese. In August 2011, John visited Eden Valley. While in Colorado, he enjoyed the fellowship with other guests and staff and also heard about Mount Akagi.
Having lived in Okinawa, Japan, for more than 15 years, John took an interest in the ministry. When he began regaining the weight he’d lost at Eden Valley, John’s wife, Sook, called Mount Akagi. The director, Marty Brown, explained the ministry’s approach to natural health and sent John a suggested dietary plan.
Encouraged by the outline, John started eating a vegan diet again, and he decided to visit Mount Akagi. By the time he and Sook arrived in December, John had lost 22 pounds. During his stay at the ministry, he lost more weight. Since then, he has stayed faithful to the plan and continues to find improvement in his health.
Remodeling the lifestyle center will allow the ministry to help more people like John. Renovations will include painting, carpet replacement, and floor repairs. In the future, the team hopes to install electric heating and to improve the treatment rooms.
The remodeling will cost an estimated $30,000. While a donor has already pledged $5,000, the team asks for your prayers that God will provide the additional funds.
If you or someone you know is interested in the mission trip, please contact Don and Rumiko Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don is the Asia Pacific OCI Field Vice President.
Bantu Hope Ministries • February 12, 2013
In January, a fire destroyed a building where church members in Cameroon, Africa, were meeting to study the Bible.
OCI member Bantu Hope Ministries, shares Jesus’ love with remote villages in Central Africa. Two years ago, Bible workers started witnessing to people in Bafou, Cameroon. Jaques Metenou and his wife, Marie, were among the first in the community to give up ancestral worship and be baptized. Last October, Jaques and Marie began opening their home every Wednesday to study the Bible.
On January 14, the Metenous left to work in the fields while their two children were at school. When the couple returned, they were shocked and devastated to find their house and all their possessions destroyed by fire.
The source of the blaze remains a mystery. However, villagers have tried to convince the Metenous that the Adventist Church is to blame, especially the villagers who are upset that the family no longer practices ancestor worship.
Bantu Hope is working with the Metenou’s home church to raise $10,000 to help rebuild their home. Please continue to support the work of Bantu Hope Ministries as they meet the physical and spiritual needs of people in Africa.
The Hope of Survivors • November 27, 2012
This month, The Hope of Survivors was recognized as a 2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit by GreatNonprofits.
“We are excited to be named a Top-Rated Nonprofit,” says Samantha Nelson, vice president & CEO of The Hope of Survivors, “and we are proud of our accomplishments this year.”
The Hope of Survivors is an OCI ministry located in Nebraska that provides support, hope, and healing for victims of clergy sexual abuse. The ministry also offers educational and informational materials and seminars to pastors and churches of every denomination, worldwide.
During 2012, the ministry has provided direct support to nearly 100 new victims, conducted training sessions at grade schools and universities, and presented seminars for victims and their spouses (in English and Spanish). The team also expanded its outreach in Romania, Canada, and within the Spanish-speaking community. In the future, the team hopes to purchase a suitable property to establish a healing center.
Being on the list of top-rated nonprofits comes at an important time of the year, as donors look for causes to support during the holiday season. The Top-Rated Nonprofit Award is based on the number of positive reviews received by organizations listed on the GreatNonprofits website; these reviews are written by volunteers, donors, and clients. Many people post their personal experiences, too.
“We are gratified by The Hope of Survivors for its work,” says Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits. “They deserve to be discovered by more donors and volunteers who are looking for a great nonprofit to support. Being on the top‐rated list gives donors and volunteers more confidence that this is a credible organization.”
Through its online database, GreatNonprofits seeks to provide other nonprofits with a platform to promote greater feedback and transparency among donors and volunteers.
Click here to see a complete list of Top-Rated Nonprofits.
Vida Sana Redension • November 6, 2012
From October 31 to November 4, more than 100 people gathered in Colombia for the first OCI Latin America Leadership Retreat.
The meetings were aimed at encouraging and strengthening workers from supporting ministries in Latin America; OCI ministry leaders and staff came from Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Honduras, Uruguay, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States. Inspirational biblical messages and exciting mission reports were presented around the retreat theme,”Raising the Walls,” from Nehemiah. On Sabbath more than 130 people worshiped together, and the Holy Spirit was present as more than 60 attendees dedicated themselves to serving God; half of them also committed to receiving training as Bible workers and medical missionaries.
The meetings were conducted in Spanish, and featured speakers included OCI Vice President, Craig Harding, Jesse Zwiker from Wildwood College of Health Evangelism, and Johnny Suarez from Pan de Vida Productions. Various church leaders, including two Colombian conference presidents, attended the retreat. When the retreat ended, they requested for OCI leaders to come to their conferences to conduct health expo training for their pastors and youth leaders.
Please continue to keep Latin America in your prayers. Retreat attendees left with a renewed enthusiasm, and OCI and its member ministries will continue to seek ways to work together to train new workers and share the Good News with as many people as possible.
LIGHT • August 16, 2012
Three OCI ministries are collaborating to restart the medical missionary school in Dominican Republic.
For more than 15 years, Seventh-day Adventist lay-workers have faithfully endeavored to operate a small supporting ministry in Dominican Republic, called Country Life Institute (also known as Liga de Servicio Cristiano). In earlier years, the ministry had a vibrant educational program out in the country, as well as an active agriculture program, community evangelism outreach, and a restaurant in the capital city, Santo Domingo. During the past few years, however, the team relocated to Santo Domingo and the property in the country and school were left vacant.
At a recent Country Life Institute board meeting, the decision was made to reopen the medical missionary training program. The local conference president also invited LIGHT to conduct three one-month training sessions between January and April 2013 near large cities. These training sessions will be aimed at educating church members, as well as raising awareness and creating an interest in medical missionary work across the country.
Eden Valley Institute will also be working alongside LIGHT and Country Life Institute to help spearhead the program’s revival.
Between now and next May, Country Life Institute hopes to restore the beautiful campus and to prepare it for a permanent training program. Plans are also being made to open a wellness program a year later.
These OCI ministries ask for your prayer and support as they plan and prepare to make the most of this exciting opportunity to resurrect a vibrant and much-needed medical missionary school in Dominican Republic.
Congo Frontline Missions • June 5, 2012
Last November Congo Frontline Missions’ Three Angels Radio (107 FM) went on the air in Democratic Republic of Congo for the first time. The ministry never anticipated the miracles God would work to help it impact the community.
The ministry’s 1,000-watt transmitter should only extend about 62 miles, but the station has been reaching listeners as far away as 150 miles, giving them more than two million potential listeners. After seven months of programming, the station is already the most listened to in Kisangani, out of 10 other local stations. When a national radio inspector visited the studio, he commented that it was the best in the area and praised the team for its excellent programming and presenters.
Jeff Marube, the station manager, has organized a team of volunteers to operate the station and produce the programming. At first the team mostly rebroadcast programming from Tanzania in Swahili, but the station is now producing about 90 percent of its own programs in Swahili, Lingala, and French.
Hearing broadcasts about health has helped many listeners to change their eating habits. Some are also attending baptismal classes, and a few have been baptized. The station has also helped to create awareness about the Seventh-day Adventist Church and has opened many doors for the ministry’s Bible workers.
Despite the exciting advances, the radio station faces various challenges, including inconsistent electricity. The ministry recently received a donated diesel generator, but additional funds are needed to buy fuel. In addition, the station start-up and operating costs have been more than expected.
As the ministry continues to expand this new arm of outreach, the team is grateful for your support and prayers. It is their hope that the radio station will continue to attract new listeners as they broadcast the message of Christ’s love into this dark and war torn part of Congo.
Herghelia Institute • May 31, 2012
For the first time in three years, the International Medical Missionary Training Center at Herghelia Institute in Romania will offer its training program in English.
When the school opened in 1999, the majority of students were international, which created the need for classes to be taught in a common language; however, more recently only Romanian-speaking students were admitted in order to provide more trained medical missionaries to work in Romania. When the training session begins in October, the school hopes that international students will again be encouraged to enroll. Scholarships are available for six worthy students enrolled in the third module of the training program, which begins in January.
Many of the school’s graduates have helped to develop other similar projects or are employed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church as missionaries in Romania and abroad. The school strives to provide students with a quality education by employing dedicated teachers and professionals. Staff from Loma Linda University, Wildwood Lifestyle Center & Hospital, as well as others, have taught many of the classes.
In order to continue providing a high standard of education, the school is looking for dedicated individuals interested in teaching English and Bible, as well as assistant boys’ and girls’ deans. The staff would prefer that these positions be filled quickly and that the people stay for the duration of a year.
While an English language preparation and gardening course is already underway, the intensive training module will begin October 7, 2012. The third module will begin in January 2013. For more information visit the school’s website or email email@example.com.