Out of the Comfort Zone Asia 2016
After five days of bible teaching, missions training, corporate worship, and cross-cultural orientation, the 77 Out of Comfort Zone Asia (OCZ) participants left on July 15 for a 10-day or 14-day outreach. The participants were split up into ten outreach teams to be involved in hands-on ministry in eight different countries.
“All of us want to serve the Lord, but then we need to learn some proper techniques and methods of how to use our passions for His service,” said Malaysian volunteer Patricia. “I [needed] to get proper training for missions and I believe that OM always does that really well.” She wasn’t the only who felt this way. This year five participants were returnees, who enjoyed the variety of outreach options available at OCZ and chose a new country to go on outreach to this time.
Others had no missions experience but came as well. “This is my first missions trip, but my pastor encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and try something new,” a Malaysian man shared. While a young girl from the Netherlands said she “googled missions and Japan, and OCZ came up.” Whether their initial step into overseas ministry or their fifth, participants, with an age gap of 16-70 years, took part in the event energetically.
The various teachings and interactive evenings helped both returning and new participants to engage in missions abroad, but also encouraged them to implement changes at home. “I learned more about what I want to take home with me to Germany,” participant Lydi said. “So often our prayers are selfish, but [at the prayer night] my eyes were opened to new ways to pray for the world!”
One of the volunteer teachers, David Lim, a professional clown from Malaysia, said, “The benefit of using these creative magic tools is to get people’s attention and draw them in to listen to you – and then you can tell people what you want to tell them: about God, Jesus, sin, and our need for Him. Using balloons provides visual representation of what you are talking about.”
Before the ten teams headed out, they spent time learning a variety of evangelism and ministry tools, as well as learning from country representatives about their host culture, about their own cultural habits, and how to transition into a foreign country well. “I’ve never been on such a diverse team – it requires a lot of patience, talking slower, and a good sense of humor to laugh through the misunderstandings,” shared Emily, an American going on outreach to East Malaysia.
“Are we content to feast alone?” Su-Kim, an OM staff member, posed to the OCZ participants after a viewing of a video about Asian food that states that 90% of Asia’s population does not know about Jesus. “I believe that you are not, and that is why you are here.” The challenge was clear: to see that the majority of the 4.4 billion people living in this part of the world are unreached; and to get involved in bringing change. OCZ invites people from around the globe to benefit from its five-days of training before stepping out on a practical outreach within Asia. The need for workers to go out and share about Jesus is real, and OCZ is an exciting way to be part of God’s plan!
Published: Monday, 08 August 2016
Credit: Ellyn S.