Thursday, February 5, 2009

Lois Ooms--A Woman of Vocation and Faith


Lois Ooms is a reformed woman of vocation and faith. She has been actively involved in demonstrating the mercy of Christ and manifesting his love to different African peoples for approximately four decades now. She has done through her vocation in the fields of education, medical/health and community development in Africa. These mercy efforts have also included sharing her hope in Christ with Muslim women and assistance in church planting:
Lois began serving in Kenya in 1969, teaching high school students and elementary school teachers. She worked with the youth of the African Evangelical Presbyterian and assisted the Tei wa Yesu (Compassion of Jesus) Health Center in the finance department. In 1987, Lois began a community health/evangelism program, which included health teaching, digging shallow wells, AIDS education etc.
Read more about this woman of vocation and faith, including a recent update by Lois Ooms here and here.

Dr. Jim Knox has recently informed me that Ms. Ooms is currently visiting the Akisyon A Yesu Pesbyterian Clinic in Karamoja, Uganda. She will be speaking to the Karimojan people about the importance of health and personal hygiene, as well as, instructing the staff of the clinic how to be more efficient in getting this message to the people.

These efforts have two distinct, yet, related goals. First, the Karimojong people are fellow image-bearers of God, and therefore, are inherently valuable and to be cared for (Psalm 8). As such, it is loving to seek to help them learn how to be freed from unnecessary illness, disease and physical suffering. But these efforts of mercy and beneficence are not a substitute for preaching the gospel, but rather are supplementary.

The main need of the Karimojong people is deliverance from their spiritual bondage to sin. And the only means toward this liberation is in the church being the church, i.e., the right preaching of the gospel, the right administration of the sacraments and church discipline. So, the second goal of these efforts of mercy and beneficence is that they reinforce and support the ministry of the Word. The hope is that these efforts would point the Karimojong people to the true source of healing, which is only found in Jesus Christ. Often, they come to hear the gospel proclaimed on the Lord's Day, because they have experienced mercy during the week.

Please pray for Ms. Ooms, Dr. Jim Knox and the clinic staff that her presence there will be successful, and that the Karamojan people would follow the simple steps that could help protect them from undo disease and suffering. And that they would come to worship on the Lord's Day and receive and rest upon Jesus Christ as he is freely offered in the gospel.

If you are interested in reading about the relationship of the ministry of the Word and diaconal aid, then read here . . .

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