There are dozens of organizations around the world doing Kingdom work. So, how did I choose OC International out of all of them? Let me take you back a few months…
I knew I wanted to go into missions around Christmas of 2009. There had been inklings before, but I really knew after meeting Alece. Hearing her heart for Africa, for what God is doing in Africa, and for the need in Africa caused a head-to-heart shift for me. I knew I wanted to serve my King and I knew I wanted to live overseas, but the how was always just out of reach. The possibility of visiting the organization Alece started gave my dream something tangible on which to cling. And with that realization, my heart became engaged in missions.
I spent the summer of 2010 in South Africa working at that organization. And I fell in love. I fell in love with Africa, her people, her hunger for God, her need for transformational leadership training, and her desire to be different. I met people so on fire for God and being a light in the world, it was hard to keep from catching the flame. I met people in such poverty with seemingly no hope but who were filled with such joy, they couldn’t keep from dancing when we talked about Modimo (which means God) because of their love for Him. I saw the impact that was made when one person took the time to pour into the life of just one leader. Change is happening. It is real.
So, when it came time to find an organization to join for full-time missions, I wanted one that focused on local leadership multiplication. I wanted one that empowered the people through servant leadership. I wanted one that valued missionary member care because I saw the importance of refueling while on the field. I wanted one that stressed unity in the Kingdom. And I wanted one that believed in the importance of cultural sensitivity; one that approached serving as ‘how can we learn and grow together’ instead of ‘this is right and you must change’. To be honest, I wasn’t willing to compromise on any of those criteria.
So I prayed.
And felt lost.
And wasn’t sure if such an organization existed or how to find the needle in the haystack.
And I waited.
And then through a series of beautifully orchestrated events, OC International and I found each other. I began talks with them in early December. I asked them every question about their missional strategy, values, dreams, where they see the organization going in the future.
And I was drawn to all of it.
OC International is an organization which values partnership, family and member care, servanthood, working together in teams, multiplication of leadership, and the freedom for each team and individual to be creative to meet the needs they face. Teams approach their mission in a student/servant way: let us learn the needs of the people we serve so we can work and grow together. OC International is in the business of supporting local pastors to help them build healthy churches to reach the unreached. This organization also believes in sharing what they know and what they have learned with other ministries. They partner with dozens of other ministries around the world in order to have the biggest impact possible in the Kingdom because they believe God is a God of unity. Along with all of that, OCI is global. They have nine sending offices around the world. Teams are international, not just American missionaries going to other countries. Missionaries from all over the world come together in dozens of countries to grow the Church and tell the unreached about Jesus. And I absolutely love that.
Every criteria I had was met in this organization. Something that seemed impossible, unreachable, fell in my lap when I thought I had reached a dead-end. I learned last summer that God is the Way Maker when all paths seem blocked. I experienced this first hand in my search for an organization. God blew open a path and I’m following where He leads me.