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Vol. 5: No. 4
May 4, 2016

Preparing for STM Service

by David Nakhla

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Colossians 3:2 (ESV)

I've been participating for a few years now in helping to train the teams that run the "English for Kids and Teens" Bible camps in Quebec. My 45-minute presentation focuses on preparing for the short-term missions (STM) experience in general – spiritual and physical preparation as well as planning for important post-trip reflections and communications. My slides are available here if you would like to use them to help prepare your STM team for service. I am also available if you would like me to present the material to your team via web-conference.

I also recommend the following article by Daniel Rickett as a means of STM preparation. In Short-Term Mission Partnerships: Lessons from Paul and the Philippians, Rickett concludes that "Paul’s relationship with the church of Philippi calls for a different paradigm of short-term mission:

  • It changes the way we envision and plan short-term missions.
  • It changes our approach from a hodgepodge of unrelated trips to a series of intentional engagements with the same people in the same place.
  • It changes our starting position from being givers to first being friends.
  • It changes our orientation from being teachers and service providers to being companions in the gospel.
  • It changes our methods from doing for others to accompanying others in living like citizens of heaven on earth.
  • It changes the impression we leave from being tourists to being fellow citizens in the struggle to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8)."

Read the full article by clicking below:


L to R: Brian Murphy, James Benefiel, Gelu Vasiu, Noah Rice, Patrick Lewis,
Liviu Marhao, Petre Pindic, Cal Cummings on the roof of the Nozomi Center

"While We Worked on the Building,
God Worked in our Hearts"

Patrick Lewis of Harvest OPC (Wyoming, MI) served on one of two Work Teams that traveled to Japan in April 2016.  He shared the following testimonial with us:

"Team One’s mission trip to Yamamoto-cho, Miyagi, Japan, to work on the Nozomi Center proved to be a success and blessing for all. While we worked on the Nozomi Center building, God worked in our hearts.  It was impactful to see and meet those who come and use the center on a weekly basis, which reiterated and demonstrated the importance of what we were there to do. 

"We started the second week off by worshiping with our beloved Japanese brothers and sisters in Sendai. It felt like such a great honor coupled with much humility to worship with such dedicated believers. Their love for Jesus Christ did not go unnoticed, and we were blessed in being received by them . . ."


Current Opportunities: 


Two (2) fluent Spanish-speaking volunteers are needed to complete the team that will help the new church plant of the OP Uruguay Mission present its first VBS in Montevideo this summer! 

Dates: The VBS will take place July 5-7, 2016, and ideally our Spanish-speaking volunteers will come and stay July 2-11 to help make preparations and canvass the neighborhoods with invitations, then join in “questionnaire evangelism" after the VBS.

July 2016:
Two Fluent Spanish Speakers Needed for VBS in Uruguay

Lodging as well as some meals will be provided in the homes of our missionaries in Uruguay.

Rev. Markus Jeromin is currently serving short-term in Uruguay and is helping to organize the VBS.  He invites you to contact him for further details or to express your interest in joining the team!

Rev. Markus Jeromin


2015 Work Team in Magna

Courtney Habegger

July 2016:
Join Work Team in Magna, Utah

You are invited to join two teams from California and Michigan that are collaborating this summer on the on-going refurbishment of the large OP church building in Magna, Utah!

July 8-16, 2016, the teams will work primarily on finishing the pastor's office and 3 classrooms, including ceiling work, framing, drywall, wainscoting, trim, and painting.

"There are many other projects that can be taken on depending on the size and skill level of our final team," says PSC Team Leader Courtney Habegger.


August 2016:
Leaders Needed for Teen Camping Trip in Quebec

Young men with camping experience are needed to help lead a Bible-centered, English-immersion camping trip for French-speaking teens in Quebec, August 1-5, 2016.  The camp is sponsored by St. Marc’s Reformed Church in Quebec City, where OP Missionary Ben Westerveld is the Pastor.

Rev. Ben Westerveld


Rev. Jim Zozzaro
Elizabeth Horst


Openings at the Boardwalk Chapel in Wildwood, NJ

  • May 2016: Workers needed to help clean, organize, repair, paint, etc., the Chapel before the summer season begins
  • Young man skilled in music (particularly guitar/drums) needed for this summer's full-time staff
  • There are openings for "end of summer" staff to start in the middle of August
  • You are welcome to sign up your church group now for a week or service as a Ministry Team at the Boardwalk Chapel in 2017

Request details and an application (due May 31st) from:

Rev. Douglas Clawson
Associate General Secretary Committee on Foreign Missions

Teach English at the University Level in Asia

There are exciting opportunities to serve as a full-time university instructor of interactive English conversation classes in Asia!  If you have at least a BA, can commit to at least 1-2 years of service, and are able to raise your own support, you could be a candidate to begin in September 2016 or February 2017!


Dr. Martha Wright

Teachers Needed in Uganda

Men, women, or couples are needed to serve as teachers for 1-3 months with the Karamoja Education Outreach project (KEO) in Uganda!

College students seeking an independent study project are also welcome to apply! Dr. Martha Wright is qualified and available to supervise your work!


Deacon Charlie Farrell

Short-Term Service Opportunities in Brick, New Jersey

Consider Faith Bible Church in Brick, New Jersey, your short-term missions destination point on the central New Jersey coast!

The church is offering service opportunities including work projects and local outreach from spring through fall for individuals or groups who wish to share their time and skills serving within our denomination.


Young men are particularly encouraged to apply!  Ideally, the individual would be available this autumn 2016, or at the latest January 2017.

Rev. Douglas Clawson
Associate General Secretary
Committee on Foreign Missions

Missionary Associate Needed in Quebec

After two years of faithful service, Missionary Associate Jennifer Nelson will be leaving Quebec to return to the USA in August.

"In order to continue serving our Lord and reaching out to the people of Quebec City with the Gospel, we would love to welcome as Missionary Associate a professing believer of Reformed conviction who speaks French (to serve a minimum 1 year) or who desires to learn French (to serve a minimum of 2 years)," writes Rev. Ben Westerveld, OP Missionary and Pastor, St-Marc's Reformed Church in Quebec City.


Year-Round Opportunities 


Key West

Bring your church group for a week of classroom training and practical experience in evangelism with OP Pastor Bill Welzien, who has been presenting the gospel 3 times a week for over 20 years during the popular Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square in beautiful Key West, Florida!  

Rev. Bill Welzien
Keys Evangelistic Ministries


Join in a "Cafe Anglais" (English Cafe) in the parks and malls of Quebec City.  The citizens of French-speaking Quebec look for opportunities to practice English with real Anglophones (those whose mother tongue is English). This can lead to sharing the gospel and the Reformed faith! 

Rev. Ben Westerveld


South Korea

Missionary Training Institute (MTI) in Yeosu, South Korea, is seeking teachers for its ESL Program (English as a Second Language.) Five teachers are needed for each semester (March to July, and September to January).

"MTI is a place where Korean missionary trainees live and study together in a residential community setting. Native English speakers from Australia, Canada, USA, and UK assist the students in the further development of their English language skills."

Mrs. Mihyang Choi-Yoon


With an operating medical clinic, a farm project, the Karamoja Education Outreach project, village evangelism, and ongoing construction projects including well-drilling, there are many opportunities to serve on a short-term basis with the OP Uganda Mission (OPUM) year-round!

For more details:
OPUM Website
Visitor's Handbook

Mrs. Sunshine Okken



Individuals able to teach English at the university level (must have at least a Bachelor's degree) to start in September 2016 or February 2017. Minimum commitment of one year.  

An individual (particularly a young man) able to speak French (or interested in learning to speak French) to assist in the outreach and discipleship ministries of St. Marc's Reformed Church.

Missionary Associate Openings

A missionary associate (MA) is an individual who is appointed by the Committee on Foreign Missions to labor on an OP foreign mission field without cost to the committee. There is an application process, and terms of service are generally 3 months to 2 years.

Rev. Douglas Clawson
General Secretary,
Committee on
Foreign Missions


Two individuals to assist our missionary families in Mbale with homeschooling and more.

Two individuals to participate in the Karamoja Education Outreach (KEO) program.

Skilled individuals to assist our missionary deacons.


STM Resources


Can Your Church
Use a Team?

Is there a project that your church could undertake if it had the help of volunteers from another OP church or presbytery? For example:

  • Need help with Vacation Bible School?
  • Need help with community outreach?
  • ​Need help making improvements to your church building?

In making such a need known, your church actually provides an opportunity for those who seek to share their time, gifts, and skills with others in the OPC!

We can help you get the word out and look for a team!  Contact us at for further information, or click below to complete a form to request a team to help your church!



Bulletin Insert
or 8.5x11 Poster

of this
S.T.O.R.M. Report


David P. Nakhla
Short-Term Missions and Disaster Response Coordinator

Office 215-935-1007
Cell 562-760-7606



Questions and comments regarding the S.T.O.R.M. Report may also be directed to:

Janet L. Birkmann
Administrative Assistant
Short-Term Missions and Disaster Response