One year. That’s how long it’s been. Most people don’t sum up their year in spring, but I find myself doing it now because on the 18th of April, Shannon and I moved back to a place we now call home. We have called a lot of places home over our four short years of marriage: Illinois, Arizona, Florida, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda. I’ve adopted a saying to keep up with our moving about, “Home is where the wife is.” Cute, I know. It helps me acclimate quicker to ‘home’ changes. Our journey also reminds me of the passage in Matthew chapter 8 where a man came to Jesus and said he would follow Him wherever He went. This was Jesus’ reply:
“Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
This passage has a deep meaning behind it but it can be summed up this way: Are you really willing to follow Me in all ways the word ‘follow’ can be defined?
I do not believe all ministry requires physical mobility like Shannon and I have experienced, but I do believe it is required by some. I also know God is not done moving us. I have always been interested in the ministry my grandparents had in Saudi Arabia. When I started pursuing missions as a career, I have to admit that that’s all it was, a thought wrapped in an unbreakable package. I was too selfish and afraid for a difficult ministry like working in a Muslim country would be. When I got married I pushed it back even further, selfishness again. It wasn’t until God made us mobile that I began to be open to the thought that was there all along. God was working on my heart. One year ago, I talked to Shannon about Muslim ministry and found complete support and a desire that matched mine. Funny how God works. We don’t know where this desire will take us but don’t be surprised if we let you know in our next newsletter that we are moving to a new home. Pray with us as this desire unfolds.
Summer is a busy time at the main base in Florida. It is also one of our favorite parts about serving with Teen Missions International. Our short-term missions program starts soon and our property here in Florida will have hundreds of teens and preteens preparing to head overseas to share the love of Jesus. Our two weeks of “The Lord’s Boot Camp” will train and prepare the team members (and leaders) for their work projects and evangelism outreach that they will do for four weeks on the field. Many of these team members will experience God in a radical and very real way this summer and their lives will never be the same. Some of them will experience Him personally for the very first time. In any case, hundreds, if not thousands, of lives will be impacted for eternity.
We have been asked to lead a group of teens to China where we will help run a summer camp focused on English. Our team members will serve as camp counselors, dorm monitors and recreation leaders for each of several week-long camps. Since outright evangelism is illegal in China, our love and actions will serve as our witness; however, the Chinese campers will see us doing our daily Bible studies as well as personal and group devotions as a team and they are welcome to ask questions. We are excited to see what this summer holds as we serve these teenagers and they serve the people of China. If you would like to write to us in China, our address will be:
Justin and Shannon O’Hara
Teen Missions Team 14003
c/o Greg Cole
Shanxi, Taiyuan, Yangqu County
You can write to us there up to July 13th and we should still receive it in time. It is always nice to hear from family and friends during our summer trips.
In closing we wanted to share some sad news we received recently. Two of our friends, Ocen and Quinto, whom we served alongside in Uganda, were in a scary motorcycle accident. They were hit head on when a car entered their lane on their way back home to the base in Koboko. Both of them have a broken leg. Quinto seems to be doing well; however, Ocen was in a coma for a week. We received news that he is awake and now back at the base in Jinja. We have given you pictures of our friends and ask that you would join us in prayer for their full recovery. They are wonderful men who love Jesus and the orphans they serve.
Together in His Harvest,
Justin & Shannon O’Hara
God has given us the opportunity to serve in missions outreach, discipleship and supporting roles
The faithfulness of our prayer and financial supporters
Ocen and Quinto’s full recovery
The next step in our ministry, specifically the possibility of ministering to Muslims
Continued growth in our relationship with the Lord – diligence in prayer & Bible study
That our desire to be parents would be fulfilled and for contentment even if it isn’t