A Light in the Darkness

Like a lot of kids, I grew up being afraid of the dark. There was always a light on, a door cracked, or a flashlight hidden under the covers. I longed to be in the light and keep the darkness as far away as possible. It wasn’t “the dark” that kept me awake at night but the thought of what might be hiding there. As an adult, the night-lights have long been put away and the switches to lamps are turned off at night. Even though those physical lights are no longer necessary, there is still a desperate desire to keep myself in the light of the Lord and find delight there. The darkness that brought fear before is still there, but it looks different now. Instead of monsters under the bed and boogie men in the closet, I fear the lies of the enemy, the doubt he brings, and the frustration he puts in my heart.

Those lies fill the darkness for believers. The enemy lives and thrives there.

However, we often make the mistake of thinking that the darkest of places are inhabited by the darkest of people. Surely only fear, hate, and anger can thrive there...right? We need not look far to find the answer.

John writes that Jesus came to earth as “…the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) He didn’t reassure us that He would provide light bulbs or flashlights for all, but that He WAS light. Jesus came as light because there IS NONE without him and it shines through His children. His light pierces through the darkest of places. Good people don’t bring light, good deeds can’t produce it, neither can laws or government…Only Jesus.

And where is Jesus needed the most? IN THE DARK. It’s where his light shines brightest through his disciples.

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God has allowed us to partner with some of his disciples to provide for the physical needs of his children. The thought that people care for those they haven’t met, allows a new light to shine in their lives. Although these people may live in a dark place, this does NOT mean that darkness lives in their hearts or abounds in their lives.

You can help us by providing the following:


Blankets (Large quilts) Closed toe shoes (all sizes) Rain Boots (all sizes) Pants Long sleeved shirts Short sleeved shirts (for men and children)* Long dresses Long Skirts Sunglasses New packages of underwear New packages of socks Rain Jackets Children’s clothing (ages newborn-12)Key Chain Flashlights


Shorts Tank tops (sleeveless shirts) Bathing Suits Flip-Flops Leggings Short Sleeved shirts (for women)* Any items with stains or tears

*Modesty standards for women are much higher and generally women are covered at all times. This includes only wearing long sleeved shirts or dresses (no low necklines). Please only bring short sleeved shirts for men and children.

This will be delivered to a refugee camp that is home to over 6,000 men, women, and children. This specific camp has only received outside help ONCE in the last 6 months. Those donations provided for only 1/3rd of the people there.

This help is needed. It is appreciated. And it is more than just clothing.

It is a small glimmer of light that shows someone cares for them. Someone is thinking of them. They are not forgotten or insignificant. Their lives matter and have a purpose.

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Will you put Luke 11:33 into practice in your own life?

"No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light.”

HOW TO HELP         

Please bring new or GENTLY used items to the office by Monday, May 9th.

One Vision Office: 2915 Alcoa Highway Knoxville, TN 37920 Hours: 9am-5pm Monday-Thursday 9am- 12pm Friday

If you plan on shipping your items, they can also be shipped to this address.

-This container will be received during the summer months. Lightweight clothing is preferred.

-Unlike our last container, there are no cultural restrictions on the color of clothing. All colors are welcome.

A Busy Month in the DR

Our team in the Dominican Republic has been hard at work this December! The Lord is giving them opportunities to minister to those in Carrera de Palma and they are seeing spiritual growth. Claudia, one of our missionaries on staff with OVI, started a women's bible study almost 2 years ago. In that time she has seen these women grow from being interested in the Bible, to women who are seeking after God's own heart. Recently, they approached her and asked if they could take turns leading the study. What a blessing! Now Claudia helps them prepare but is able to be a part of a group that is teaching EACH OTHER from God's word.

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Recently it was Aris's turn to lead the discussion. She shared that "In the time I have attended bible study, I learned that we can not kneel before pictures and statues because the Bible, the Word of God, says that."

This is a powerful statement from a woman who has grown up in a very Catholic community where prayers to Mary and the saints are the most common forms of worship. Claudia had made a point to avoid talking about religion and only taught straight from God's Word, so this testimony was a "light in the dark" for these women.

The men have also started a bible study on Sunday afternoons with Alejandro.

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This is a great answer to prayer and we are excited to see how God will use the men of Carrera de Palma to lead their families and community to Christ! Continue to pray that:

  1. God would stir a passion in their hearts for His Word
  2. He would give Alejandro wisdom as he leads them closer to the Lord
  3. They would invite others to join them in bible study

The youth also had their first bible study this weekend! Even though these kids have been involved in the after-school program from the beginning, this is a great way to intentionally reach out to the older youth and teach them what it means to study the Word.

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Last, but not least, December is the month that the after-school program celebrates June-December birthdays. The kids all came together for a big celebration at Mathilde's house.

We are so thankful for our Dominican team and all of the hard work they put in to see the Lord glorified through the lives of these men, women, and children! We are also grateful for our sponsors, trip participants, donors, and prayer warriors, that help to make this all possible. God is doing a great and mighty work in Carrera de Palma, DR!

A Gift that Gives Back

Black Friday....Cyber Monday....Trying to find a meaningful Christmas gift can be stressful and often makes one forget the real meaning of Christmas. Christ! During this time we should be drawn to thankfulness. Being thankful for Jesus, his birth, life, and sacrifice for us. Without Him there is no reason to celebrate after all.

All throughout the year, our focus is to share the love, compassion, mercy, and truth of the Gospel with people in the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Asia. We do so by helping meet immediate physical needs such as providing training so that women can earn a living for their family, school scholarships so children in the DR can have an education, and medical clinics so low income families have access to trained doctors and medicine.

This Christmas you can avoid the malls and online shopping to give a gift that gives back to the people of Brazil. You can choose an ornament that describes the needs of a child, adult, or entire family in rural Brazil.


By choosing an ornament, you are committing to purchase either a hygiene pack (which you can shop for yourself) or to donate $50 towards a water filter. This filter will be used by an entire family to provide clean water to drink, cook with, and wash dishes.

You can email rcox@onevisionintl.org to sign up for a ornament or stop by our office at 2915 Alcoa Highway to pick one off of our tree.

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These hygiene packs and water filters help keep parents healthy so they can provide for their families and help kids avoid treatable illnesses so they can stay in school. When believers pass these packs and filters out to needy families it also opens the door to share the REASON we give. We give because Christ first gave to us. We sacrifice for others because He sacrificed everything for us.

Consider giving a gift that makes a difference!

Team Insights

Ben Golden has travelled with One Vision on several occasions. We have been blessed by the opportunity to get to know him, his heart for the Lord, and his passion for missions. Last month he joined us on our first trip back to Brazil in five years. When asked to summarize the trip, this was his answer: photo 1 (2)

"By spending a brief yet immersing 8 days in Brazil, I developed a new appreciation for community and fellowship. I learned so much from the local Believers about what it truly means to live out the Great Commission and share the love of Jesus. Going into this trip, I wanted to expect nothing and experience everything. As far as the country of Brazil, I enjoyed the sunshine and warm weather, the unlimited tropical fruit, the beach, and the overall laid back atmosphere. My two main takeaways from the trip revolved around the relationships built and the type of work we did. As the week unfolded, I really enjoyed getting to know my teammates and seeing how God had purposefully placed this team together. From the start, we were shown incredible hospitality and love from Pastor Florencio and his family, and everyone else involved in our stay. We built genuine friendships even with language barrier challenges, and this had such an impact on me.  Taking part in the construction of the church and attending the evening church services was the perfect blend. The mixture created such a visual, knowing that the building structure would be a continual gathering place for local Believers. I look forward to being a part of these gatherings on my next journey to Brazil with One Vision."

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Ben has already committed to go back to Brazil in 2016. If you have questions about how you can join him on his trip or would like to know more about how God is touching the lives of people in Brazil, email rcox@onevisionintl.org for more information.

A Lesson in Teamwork, Humility, and Urgency

One Vision has been blessed with the opportunity to serve in Haiti and the Dominican Republic over the past several years. It has been incredible to see how the Lord has worked in and through the hearts of those overseas and how he has transformed trip participants in just a few short days. Recently, when He closed the door in Haiti, we were left wondering what the next steps would look like. However, God never ceases to prove his faithfulness and where one door closed, another opened.

There is no easy way to sum up the most recent trip to Brazil. We went with the hopes of finding a specific project that One Vision could invest in. Rather than finding one particular project, we found at least half a dozen areas where the Holy Spirit was already moving in and through the people.

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One of those was a church plant in Madiero where we helped to finish construction on their new church building. Christians from the mother church, other local churches, and new believers from the community all came out to work on the building and spend time together. It was encouraging to see Christians from all denominations so excited about reaching their own people with the Gospel of Christ.

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While we were there we got to hear their stories, work together, and help them reach out to local schools and classes. This was not a time where we went to serve or came to be served but rather a time where we all came together, as a family of believers, to serve people who did not know Jesus Christ. Pastor Machado was a constant example of what it looks like to humble yourself before others and reflect the love of the Lord to a lost community.

On Wednesday night we arrived at the completed church building for the dedication service. We were concerned when we noticed there were large fires burning on either side of the church and winds were pushing them closer. We were told that teenagers had started at least one of the fires but no matter what, the service would go on as scheduled. As we watched, we noticed that there was one man working to put out the flames. Pastor Machado was standing beside his new church, in his suit and tie, beating out any flames that threatened his church body. (See video in FB page)


Where we were quick to worry, he was quick to act. He never brought attention to himself and people filing into the church didn’t even seem to notice. How often does the Lord care for us in that way? While we spend our time worrying about what is to come he is already quietly caring for us. Holding back harm and planning for our future. He does not scream, “Look at me!” but whispers, “I love you, and you are mine” Isaiah 43:1-13

There are too many stories to share them all but the trip can be summed up by remembering that we are not taking Jesus to Brazil. He is already there and moving is ways that are hard to describe in words. What we CAN do is continue to be faithful to the call to GO! We can partner with our brothers and sisters who are already sacrificing so that their own people will understand salvation. We can share the joy, hope, and redemption that the Holy Spirit has placed in our hearts. Our friend Florencio told me, “missions flows in our veins and our hearts burn in clamor because of our suffering people who are enslaved away from God"

Does your heart hurt for the lost?