Throughout the year our Evangelists are often invited by churches to report on the work of OAM in a deputation meeting. Because no such meetings are possible at present, here is a report video to keep supporters and supporting churches informed.
The Mission Committee set aside 20th April to review the full-employment status of our workers whilst all normal activities are curtailed. In other words, do we ‘furlough’ staff and avail of the 80% under the ‘Job Retention Scheme’? The Committee unanimously agreed to continue paying full salaries for all our workers.
As a Christian, gospel and faith organisation, depending on God for everything, we feel that going down the furlough route to dependency on the Government is not a correct way of thinking. God has been good to us in providing funds (through our supporters) adequate to meet the current and immediate future needs. While taking the Government route is permitted for Charities like OAM (i.e. it is not illegal, underhand or devious) the application of their scheme is to prevent redundancies along with supporting those needing ‘shielding’ and those looking after children at home, where a school has closed.
During these unprecedented times we are grateful to the Lord for the opportunities afforded to us online. Many of our Evangelists have been able to produce short gospel videos which we have shared on our website and through social media. These have been widely viewed and have prompted some correspondence from non-Christians leading to profitable dialogue. The Office in Luton remains open, manned by one member of staff and we are encouraged to receive requested for our ‘Enquirer’s Packs’. Our Evangelists are able to benefit from this time aside from the regular work in prayer, reading, study and preparing new material.
Thank you for your continued prayerful and practical support for the Mission. May the Lord use this time for His glory and the furtherance of the gospel and may the time come soon when we can be out, once more, proclaiming the glorious gospel of Christ in the open-air!
We have uploaded more videos to www.oamission.com/watch. We would encourage you to share these videos widely so that more non-Christians may watch them.
Former Committee Chairman, Graham Cole passed into the presence of his Lord on March 31st, 2020.
We express our sincere condolences to his wife, Pam, and the family at this time. Please remember them in your prayer.
I first met Graham when I visited his home fellowship for deputation meetings on behalf of the Mission. Although I didn’t know him very well, I was impressed by His love for the Lord, his love for God’s Word and his evangelistic zeal. I suggested to the Mission Committee that he should be invited to join the Committee and he was duly appointed in November 1992. His banking background was invaluable when it came to matters of finance. Graham became chairman in 2004 and held that position for many years, eventually retiring from the Committee in November 2015.
During those years of working with Graham, I came to value him more and more. It is difficult to speak too highly of Graham. All who worked with him held him in the very highest esteem. If I had to summarise his life and ministry in one phrase, it would be the character from Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, ‘Mr. Valiant for Truth’, for that seems a fitting description.
Any hint of compromise was totally foreign to Graham. He stood foursquare on the truth of God’s Word. He radiated his love for the Lord and was always eager to share the truths of the gospel with others. I saw him in action at Epsom Races and at Tower Hill in London, one of the sites where he preached fearlessly on many occasions. The gospel message he proclaimed was never in any way obscure. It was straight to the point – Heaven or Hell at the end of life’s journey, always centring on the cross.
Alongside his work with the Mission, Graham took a major role in the work of the Gospel Hall that he and Pam attended in Welling, being involved in leadership generally and in the children’s and young people’s work there for many, many years. One of his unique ministries was the visits he made to Bexleyheath Broadway late on Saturday nights where he would mingle with those coming out of the pubs and clubs and offer gospel tracts. He often suffered abuse and sometimes physical danger but nothing would deter him. He was set for, “The defence and confirmation of the gospel” (Philippians 1:7) that Paul spoke about. Again, that is how we shall remember Graham.
Mention must be made of his sense of humour. We were never in his company for long before laughter would be ringing out. So, we thank God for all our memories of Graham, knowing that he has been an outstanding example to us. We do pray for dear Pam and the other members of the family at this time of sadness, thinking particularly of the difficulties that the current restrictions are creating.
Alan J. Greenbank (Retired General Secretary)
The Committee met online on the 25th March to discuss various things pertaining to the work of the Mission. Whilst we still have the usual business to conduct, obviously the Coronavirus situation has dominated much of our discussions.
In the light of Government advice, on 17th March a memorandum was issued to all Staff and Associate workers suspending all normal open-air activity. This includes preaching in the open-air and also distribution of tracts (on the street and also through letter boxes). There is a Government ‘stay at home’ policy currently in force which forbids anything but essential travel (for food, health reasons or work (where you cannot work from home)). We understand the frustration of wanting to share the gospel outside at such a time as this, but we must act in accordance with Government advice and maintain a good testimony. We would not wish to be seen as ‘irresponsible’ at the moment which would bring shame upon the gospel.
However, we are looking to develop further online resources to reach out during such times. Our hope is that staff and supporters to share these widely through social media, emails and messages. We are encouraging our workers to spend time reading, praying, studying and preparing new resources (open-air talks, videos etc.). We have also, inevitably, cancelled the Leeds Team Event, Family Conference and also the Tissington Well Dressing outreach. We will keep other future events under review based upon the latest advice from the Government.
In support of our workers, the Committee’s decision at this time is that we will continue to employ staff on full pay.
We look forward to the time when we can be out once more, proclaiming the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ in the biblical, effective and face-to-face manner of open-air evangelism!
Latest, up-to-date, Government information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
As believers we look to our Sovereign God and cultivate a deepening reliance on Him.
Those who trust in the Lord
Are like Mount Zion,
Which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
So the Lord surrounds His people
From this time forth and forever.’
26th March 2020
Staff Evangelist Andy Little gives a short message of hope in times of anxiety.
During a time when we cannot be outside sharing the gospel as we would like, we are developing our online resources. We will be posting these on social media at regular intervals and would encourage you to ‘like’ and ‘share’ these.
By doing so, more non-Christians are brought into contact with the gospel online. Even if we cannot (at the moment) reach them outside, let’s try and witness for Christ on the internet.
A video version of our popular gospel leaflet.
Why not like and share it online?
It is with regret that we announce the joint OAM-UBM Training Day will not now take place on Saturday, 21st March.
Many expressed an interest in attending (over 130 bookings) and so we shall be postponing until later in the year. Further details will follow in due course.