Posted by: ocihannah | December 21, 2011

Christmas Perspective

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  Out come the decorations, wish lists, and favorite family recipes. Homes bask in the rich smell of spices and evergreen. Preparations for grand gatherings consume mind and wallet.
I recently stood in line at a popular eatery. A man in front of me complained about his order, and after speaking rudely to the waiter, demanded a refund. You might view his complaint as a first world problem; while much greater issues plague people in developing countries, his small inconvenience bothered him.
During a time when we give thanks, sometimes we celebrate but forget to be thankful. We focus on what we lack rather than on what God has blessed us with. This holiday season, whether we have much or little, let us be grateful for the One who gave His life for us.
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15, NKJV)!

*Column written by Hannah Kuntz, originally published in the December OCI Donor Newsletter.

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Posted by: OCI | July 25, 2011

NEWS: Summer Updates From OCI Ministries

Here are a few updates from OCI ministries around the world.

The Turning Point Foundation, Sweden: During the last two months, the ministry has been blessed with various volunteers from Senegal, Afghanistan, and Germany. Much work was accomplished with the help of these volunteers; the greenhouses, as well as the outside garden patches of beetroots, onion, and dill, were planted, well-watered, and weeded.
In the near future, the team would like to be able to get fresh water from their well, and also get their sawmill running. The sawmill will allow them to build one or two cabins and also to prepare for a cafeteria. Special equipment is needed to cut the logs correctly, which will cost $1,875.

DayStar Adventist Academy, USA: DayStar is seeking to update their industrial arts program for the new school year and is looking for partners to support this endeavor. With $6,000 the academy would be able to make  the necessary changes. The ministry is thankful for increased enrollment for the new school year.

LIGHT, USA:  In January 2012 LIGHT and Amazon Lifesavers Ministry will join forces to begin training church members to work as missionaries both for the unreached in the Amazon basin and the unreached of metro Manaus, Brazil. The ministry asks for your prayers and invites you to help sponsor the training of a missionary for $100.

Cross to Crown International
, USA:  CCI is now working with radio stations all over Nicaragua, but needs help with the cost of updated equipment and with building a physical plant in Puerto Cabazas. Remote villages are asking the ministry for visits from lay workers. The team is excited to see how God is working in Nicaragua. However there are needs, including a caretaker for the physical plant in Francia, someone that can maintain the batteries for the radio station. The ministry also needs a solar pump for their well, which would cost around $800. The pump would enable villagers to get water all day instead of just a couple of hours in the morning.

Heritage Academy, USA:  During the storms and tornadoes that battered the South this spring, staff and students at Heritage Academy responded quickly. Since 2005, Heritage has responded to more disasters than any other Seventh-day Adventist academy or university worldwide. And within 24 hours of the 2011 April tornadoes, the academy staff and students were serving meals, making damage assessments, setting up a distribution line, and cleaning up debris.  Heritage Academy has been very active in training academy students, as well as adults, for disaster response across the U.S.  Since the tornadoes, Heritage Academy trainers participated with ACTS World Relief in training students at Southern Adventist University.  The academy plans to continue to train volunteers this fall in anticipation of future hurricane seasons.

Eden Valley Institute, USA: Sixty-nine Maranatha workers came to Eden Valley in June to give the ministry a facelift. The volunteers put siding on many of the ministry’s buildings, as well as painted, replaced windows, and did cement work. The team at Eden Valley is extremely grateful for Maranatha’s work and hopes that some of the Maranatha volunteers will return for the second phase of the ministry’s plan to build a new lifestyle center. Eden Valley is also teaming up with It Is Written. It is Written will hold a large evangelistic series, Babylon Rising, in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Eden Valley will organize and execute the health component of the program. Health evangelism training in preparation for the evangelistic series will be held in the spring of 2012 at various Las Vegas churches. Eden Valley will also hold a one-month medical missionary training course from October 9 – November 6, 2011.

Posted by: OCI | July 15, 2011

HEALTH: Strawberry Summer

It’s been awhile since we’ve posted a recipe!

For many, summer’s sweltering temperatures are enough to subdue the heartiest appetite. However, fresh fruit like strawberries is a great way to savor the flavor of summer without feeling bloated and heavy. These cheery red fruits are loaded with vitamins and fiber, as well as high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols. Did you know that one serving of strawberries (about 8 strawberries) provides more vitamin C than an orange? Not only are strawberries a tasty and healthy way to enjoy summer, but they also protect your heart, increase good cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and guard against cancer.* So long after summer is over, you’ll be reaping the long term benefits!

What are you waiting for? If you’re tired of strawberry shortcake, here’s a healthy variation. Enjoy!

Strawberry Delight – from the kitchen of Black Hills Health & Education Center, an OCI member ministry in South Dakota.

1. In a baking pan spread a layer of granola.
2. Cover with a layer of Sweet Cream.
3. Add a layer of fresh sliced strawberries (blueberries are also good).
4. Add toasted coconut.
5. Serve at room temperature. If using frozen fruit, let it mostly thaw first.

Sweet Cream:
2 cups water
1 cup cashews
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/3 cup crushed pineapple with the juice
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. pineapple extract (lemon opt)
pinch of salt

1. Blend until very smooth.
2. Pour into kettle and cook until thick and boiling stirring constantly as it burns easily.
3. Cool.

Posted by: OCI | June 29, 2011

NEWS: DayStar Opens Training Institute


SERVE Evangelism Training Institute
By Jason Churchwell & Alexa Hernandez

“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
Psalms 1:3

Located in the high desert of Castle Valley, Utah, nestled at the base of the La Sal Mountains and fed with underground water cisterns from these mountains, DayStar Adventist Academy is truly an oasis, in a dry and thirsty land.   Surrounding DayStar’s campus are rich fields of alfalfa, green grass, winter wheat, and multiple greenhouses all growing and thriving amidst the hot dry towering red mesas on either side.  As my eyes daily take in the beauty of this campus, I am constantly reminded of the deep spiritual lessons that all of this symbolizes.

In Ellen White’s “Education” pg. 116 we’re told, “The tree of the desert is a symbol of what God means the life of His children in this world to be. They are to guide weary souls, full of unrest, and ready to perish in the desert of sin, to the living water. They are to point their fellow men to Him who gives the invitation, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink’ John 7:37.”

DayStar’s newest program SERVE endeavors to answer this call.  SERVE Evangelism Training Institute is a 16-week course designed to train complete soul-winners, whether overseas or within your own community.  SERVE is unlike any other evangelism institute in that it combines instruction in evangelism with training in medical missionary work and practical trades.  Just as Adam and Eve worked in the garden, Jesus toiled at the carpenter’s bench, and Paul labored as a tent maker. We believe training in the practical skills of life is of vital importance.  At SERVE you will learn how to till the soil, grow your own food, the basics of construction and mechanics, as well as natural remedies and healthful cooking, all tools to be used as an opening wedge to minister to thirsting souls.

One of the most exciting parts of SERVE’s training is the opportunity to put your new skills into practice.  The course will include a mission trip within the United States as well as an optional, one-month overseas mission trip, during which students will be mentored by experienced missionaries in the field.  These trips along with going door-to-door, health expos, and cooking and farming demonstrations will teach you how to be a complete soul winner.
In the gospel commission, Jesus in Mark 16:15 commanded His disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel. This commission was not for the disciples alone, but for all who would profess belief in Christ until the end of time. Therefore, as followers of Christ, we shouldn’t ask ourselves if we should serve as missionaries, but the question should be where?  At SERVE you will be trained to follow Christ’s method of evangelism by learning practical skills to meet people’s physical and spiritual needs.  Evangelism will be taught for half the day with the other half devoted to outreach and missionary training.
You are invited to join us in becoming an effective soul winner wherever God calls you.

“One worker who has been trained and educated for the work, who is controlled by the Spirit of Christ, will accomplish far more than ten laborers who go out deficient in knowledge, and weak in the faith.”
“Evangelism” pg. 109

If you would like more information about SERVE, visit the website www.serveevangelism.com

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