One Year Challenge
新年快乐 (xīnnián kuàilè)! Happy Year of the Dog! In celebration of the Chinese New Year this week, we are featuring a special China edition of "This Week at the OYC". Read these articles to learn about the OYC and about Christianity in China:
A Brief History of Christianity in China ICOC Teacher Don Downs gives a brief history of Christianity in China. He concludes that China is at the forefront of the "worldwide search for values". In other words, China is more open to the gospel than it has ever been.
This week, listen to the OYC Guys share their stories and convictions on the latest episode of the ICOC Weekly Podcast hosted by Rich Bartoli. You can listen to this episode and many more episodes on the podcast's website at www.icocweeklypodcast.com.
This week, the Edinburgh Church welcomes its first, courageous braveheart for the One Year Challenge! Hailey Wright (second from the far left) arrived in Edinburgh last week from Nashville to begin an OYC in one of the world's most beautiful cities. Hailey instantly helps form the core of a new and re-loaded campus ministry in Edinburgh.
Two disciples, Dillon and Chelsea, volunteered several years ago for an OYC. This past Sunday, we saw God bless their faith with two more friends baptized at the OYC sites where they went to serve.
Disciples taking the One Year Challenge started both of the churches where these two baptisms took place. Dillon first met Luke (above) in one of the student cafeterias on a university campus. Chelsea, who recently returned to the U.S. to get married, met Daisy.
This week we are excited to welcome our newest OYC site: Belfast, Ireland! The site has an exciting opportunity for training with a small but growing church. The church in Belfast is looking for an eager and highly teachable sister who will be trained by the women's ministry leader to help out with the singles, teens and campus ministries. Our family in Belfast is the only church of our fellowship in Northern Ireland.
This week, the OYC Guys present you a special episode: The Best Christmas Gift. Why does being on a One Year Challenge during Christmas make the holiday special? During Christmas, disciples get to give to people who have not heard of Jesus a chance to hear the Gospel message.
Being away from home may be especially difficult during the holidays, but disciples on a One Year Challenge are bringing the Christmas spirit to new friends.
At one of the OYC sites this week, disciples began a month-long series of outreach activities for themselves and their friends to prepare for Christmas. The first activity was for making Christmas ornaments and decorations together. Next week, they will teach their friends how to make traditional holiday food and drinks. The final week's activity will teach Christmas songs.
This series of events culminates in a Christmas Eve celebration. With people around the world focused on Jesus' birth at this time of the year, what better opportunity could there be to share with those who have not heard the Gospel?
This week we celebrate the wedding of a disciple who met her husband on a One Year Challenge! As Ruth said to Naomi in Ruth 1:16, "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God, my God," our sister Terra decided to marry a local brother at her One Year Challenge site. She loves his country's people not only as a disciple, but also as a devoted wife.The wedding ceremony was conducted almost completely in the OYC site's local language, evidence of Terra's love for her new husband and his homeland. We honor this sister, as well as many other disciples who wholeheartedly love all the nations in this way.