Reaching the Embattled Through His Love

In a country struggling to recover from nearly five years of war for independence, one Christian leader has devoted her ministry to serving impoverished communities of Croatia. Edita Plascak has devoted her time to delivering donations and other basic needs to those seeking to survive the country’s ailing economy.

“I try my best to visit as many families as possible,” she said. Although her ministry focuses on humanitarian aid, Edita also responds to their spiritual needs through Christian counseling that draws those she serves closer to God. “So many people we serve need someone to present the hope of Christ when listening to them,” she shared. “Every person needs someone to listen to their story, no matter their situation nor the size of their problem.”

As a country working through post-war crisis, Croatian communities battle more than sin and a lack of repentance. Among the impoverished young families with children, Edita found that their limited knowledge of scripture often makes their circumstances feel more dire. Utilizing her training from Evangelical Theological Seminary (ETS), Edita works with other church leaders to teach the value of learning, studying, and using scripture in everyday life. “The people I serve are struggling, but little by little I am seeing them gain more hope and optimism about their future,” she said.

Edita also shares what she has learned at ETS with friends and family who are eager to learn about theology. Without a regular income, the scholarship assistance made it possible for her to finish school and earn her degree. She looks forward to using her knowledge to continue helping the poor and needy.

Thank you for your faithful support of our ministry!

Enjoying the Sunrise in Ethiopia

Yoseph Haddis teaches and leads ministry at his local church and has recently expanded his ministry to include mentoring at Youth for Christ -Ethiopia, a local youth organization.

Yoseph’s work is critical to his community. Due to extreme poverty and hunger, many youth are out of school, forced into child marriage, child labor, and human trafficking. Each week Yoseph draws upon his training from our partner school, Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology, to coach small group leaders and gives them tools to serve their communities and be prepared to handle life challenges. He also organizes teams that address spiritual needs of the people they serve. “My ministry is about helping others find hope in Jesus Christ and to passionately pursue the Word of God,” he said.

Although Yoseph’s community faces major challenges with marriage, parenting, and unemployment, his work has begun to have a big impact on the church. First, a new ministry was created which focused on serving impoverished and at-risk teenagers. Then a children’s ministry was restructured to utilize teenage volunteers who are new to the faith, as mentors for youth. The ministry now serves six times the number of children, most of whom come from the homes of non-believers. Yoseph has also developed Bible study materials that are impacting how others are learning about God’s love for them and living in a way that honors Him.

The scholarship assistance Yoseph received has allowed him more time to study and learn the Bible, and has enabled him to think strategically about the most effective ways to have impact for the Lord in his community.

Thank you for your faithful support of our ministry!

Greater Together for His Kingdom!

As a ministry of United World Mission, Overseas Council looks forward to even greater Kingdom impact in 2018!

By teaming up with UWM, OC has gained a significant teammate whose influence has been felt on a global scale. And our mission of equipping Christian Leaders by partnering with vital seminaries worldwide to advance God’s kingdom will have even greater impact, in more than 70 countries!

Planting Seeds of Hope in Guatemala

My wife and I serve more than 300 in our community by working in youth ministry as part of the leadership team. In addition to preaching and leading team meetings, we are also in charge of the marriage ministry. One of the great joys of working in ministry with my wife is that I not only have the opportunity to preach to her and our community during services, but I also get to see my wife work with Sunday school teachers, training them and teaching kids.

We have witnessed how essential it is to share the knowledge acquired at SETECA. Through the classes we have taken, we have been able to more deeply and accurately serve the people of our church who want to learn more about God. More importantly, the knowledge I have acquired at SETECA has helped me in my spiritual life. It is from this growth that I can share the Word with others so they can be spiritually strengthened.

“The scholarship from Overseas Council has turned a great obstacle into a great opportunity to serve in His Kingdom.”

Press Release: OCI and UWM

Merger Brings Leadership Development Organizations Together to Further Serve Global Church

United World Mission to assume leadership of Overseas Council International, uniting formal and non-formal training efforts that help equip thousands.

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Two organizations with a long history of helping grow and strengthen the global church through training and leadership development are joining forces to maximize their impact.

The merger will bring Overseas Council International (OCI,, based in Indianapolis, under the leadership of United World Mission (UWM,, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., effective Jan. 1, 2018.

The two groups have played a largely behind-the-scenes role in equipping thousands of missionaries, pastors, church planters and lay people over the past 70 years. Each emphasizes the development of indigenous leaders for effective ministry in their communities and nations. By uniting they expect to expand their reach and deepen their impact.

Founded in 1946 when a group of Ohio churches united to collaborate for global mission, UWM today has 400 staff serving more than 100 national partners in 48 countries. With an emphasis on non-formal methods, UWM makes ministry training accessible and reproducible to people that are outside the reach of formal efforts.

Established in 1974 by a group of businessmen in Indianapolis to raise funds to support Korean seminary students, OCI—or Overseas Council—today serves 130 partner schools in 70 countries which equip almost 60,000 students annually. Its focus is on formal theological education for Christian leaders who can equip and influence the church.

The combined organization will be headquartered in Charlotte, with OCI functioning under the name Overseas Council (OC), a Ministry of United World Mission.

“This move makes sense at so many levels,” said Dr. John Bernard, president of UWM. “We share many of the same values, even as we carry out ministry in distinct ways. We anticipate synergies that will lead to greater impact in both formal and non-formal ministry training. Beyond economic efficiencies, strategies, and aligned mission statements, we believe this merger enables us to better reflect the unity of Christ’s body on mission together.”

Scott Cunningham, OCI’s interim president and CEO, said that he believed the merger would be a “God-glorifying combination for the expansion of leadership development for the health of the global church, accomplishing more together, by God’s grace, than we ever could separately.”

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About United World Mission

Founded in 1946, United World Mission (UWM, exists to develop well-trained, spiritually-formed leaders, and to strengthen and multiply disciple-making churches that proclaim and demonstrate the gospel.  They fulfill this mission by partnering with the church around the world. Currently UWM’s 400 staff serve more than 100 national partners in more than 48 countries. 

About Overseas Council International

Established in 1974 to provide Korean seminary student scholarships, Overseas Council ( has since grown into the largest leadership development ministry of its kind in the world. Under the banner “Called. Trained. Multiplied,” Overseas Council now “equips Christian leaders by partnering with vital seminaries worldwide to advance God’s kingdom.”

CUTLINE: FUSBC (Biblical Seminary of Colombia) in Medellín, Colombia, is one of the Christian leadership institutions with which Overseas Council (OC) and United World Mission (UWM) have partnered to help raise up and equip indigenous church leaders—work that continues as OC and UWM merge to maximize their efforts.

Christian Leader from Kenya Is Having an Impact on College Students

Our ministry empowers Christian leaders around the globe and this past month we learned how one leader is working to leave a lasting impact on her community.

While studying for a Master of Divinity degree at African International University in Kenya, Christian leader Joyce Mwangi works with the Fellowship of Christian Unions (FOCUS). FOCUS is the Kenyan equivalent to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in the USA with a mission to equip college students for effective service to share the Gospel. Specifically, she is involved in student ministry, discipleship, mentorship, and training in different areas.

The Lord is using Joyce to preach to students on African campuses. She is also serving as a mentor for Norwegian exchange students who are coming to Kenya for a six-week program.

This exchange program where young Christian leaders learn about cultural context when teaching God’s word was made possible by a partnership between the FOCUS movement in Kenya and the Norwegian Students Christian movement. Mwangi is also a member of the Anglican Church of Kenya, St. Francis Karen, and the Mother’s Union, while serving as a preacher in youth services.

Your willingness to pray, give, and share for this ministry creates opportunities for Christian leaders all over the globe, like Joyce.

Argentinian Pastor Carries Influence Within Government

I Pastor Because…

One of the many great privileges that we experience at Overseas Council is to see how God’s hand is in everything. In the case of Argentinian Roberto Vilaseca, his Christian influence within government has a chance to impact a country that has struggled with police abuse, poor prison conditions, endemic violence against women, and obstacles keeping indigenous people from enjoying the rights afforded to them by Argentine and international law.

“Earlier this year, God opened a door for me to further extend my reach in the community. I was appointed Advisor of Religious Affairs for Buenos Aires’ city government. My theological preparation has allowed me to flourish in my new role. With God’s help, I will make a positive impact on our city leaders and community members,” said Vilaseca.

Currently enrolled in FIET Theological Institute, Vilaseca currently also fulfills the role of pastor at the Source of Life Christian Church in Buenos Aires. “I hold a Master of Journalism and Communication degree, but as a pastor I recognized my need for more theological training. FIET is equipping me with new skills and knowledge to become more effective in my calling and I am filled with joy to see how God is using me, His servant, to influence society and the Argentinian Church,” said Vilaseca.

Your willingness to pray, give, and share for this ministry creates opportunities for Christian leaders all over the globe, like Roberto.

Thank you for your faithful support of our ministry!

Ukraine Doctoral Program Celebrates Its First Graduate


Because of your support, Ukraine’s Dr. Roman Soloviy is the very first graduate to earn his Doctorate of Theology within the borders of the country!  This is a monumental event in Ukraine’s history because it means that the country will be growing its capacity to train future Christian leaders locally, thus providing greater access to training.

The lack of receiving an accredited theological degree from inside Ukraine has been a major problem for Christian leaders to receive proper training and education under Communist reign. Several years ago Overseas Council began working with the local Ukrainian church leaders and the government to allow for students to receive an official degree, approved by the government.  OC’s Regional Director for Euro-Asia, Taras Dyatlik, has led this project and has helped organize two cohorts of students to receive their degrees in Theology. Never before have faculty members in Ukraine have had this opportunity!

The aim of this faculty development project was to empower the Ukrainian Church by providing a path for faculty members of evangelical Ukrainian seminaries to gain higher education credentials in their own country. With this opportunity Christians in Ukraine would no longer have to leave their country to receive training. This new opportunity carries a lasting impact that will transform thousands where it is needed most.

Thanks to your support, we have helped tear down walls that have prevented access to theological training in Ukraine for many years.  Your support creates opportunities for Christian leaders all over the globe, like in Ukraine.

Thank you for your faithful support of our ministry!

He Heals the Brokenhearted and Binds Up Their Wounds

The tragic loss of a parent can greatly impact the path that a child chooses for their life. This was the case for Megono Zhimomi whose father was murdered when she was only five years of age. The Lord has proven that He can turn tragedy into good in Magono’s life.

“I held onto horrendous anger and hatred towards those who had killed my father,” said Megono. “As a young adult, I was encouraged by a mentor to lean into God, rather than be absorbed with revenge. After 15 years of holding onto revenge and hatred, I made a life-changing decision to give my heart to the Lord and became a new person in Jesus Christ.”

As Megono began growing in her relationship with Jesus,  she applied to Shalom Bible Seminary, in India to become more biblically sound. Since graduating in 2013, she has been working to impact her community as a teacher and a chaplain.

“Currently, I am serving in Timor-Leste (a small country south of Indonesia) and I have several responsibilities. I teach English to adults and children, I’m the school secretary, I sing on a local radio station, and I am the preacher for our women’s services,” said Megono, who also directs the community and children’s choirs when she has free time. “My students are predominantly non-Christian.  Jesus has given me a remarkable stage to share with others about the hope that Jesus brings.  My prayer is that God will use my life to reach these precious souls living in darkness. May we all faithfully do our part to multiply God’s Kingdom.”

Megono Zhimomi teaching students in English class.

Planting Seeds

O.C. partner school Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) has utilized a unique program to reach their most vulnerable students: Theological Education for Arab Christians at Home (T.E.A.C.H.). According to Elie Haddad, President of ABTS, “OC has been very influential in the maturity of ABTS. Their willingness to come alongside us and develop programs like T.E.A.C.H., where we were able to collaboratively build a whole curriculum in Arabic online has increased accessibility to critical information and teaching for our vulnerable students in a much- needed region.”