Originally from Waukegan, IL and raised in a non-Christian home, Tom felt the call to be a missionary in his early twenties. During a Missions Conference as a Moody Bible Institute student, Tom first connected with Christar, a missions organization that seeks to establish churches within least-reached communities around the world. Since 1985, Tom and Michele have served in Philippines. In addition to Perfectly Natural Herbs (a company which trains local farmers in organic farming techniques with herbs for medicinal teas and capsules. Growing tea raises their standard of living and thus helps farmers provide for their families and provides financial support for Filipino missionaries ministering to other least-reached people in Asia), the O’Brien’s teach in the Life Resources Foundation (a two year training program to prepare former Muslim Filipinos for ministry), in a church plant and in evangelizing the Maranao people. Tom and Michele have three children: Amanda, Stephanie, and Colin.
The second half of February, the O’Brien’s visited Malaysia for future ministry possibilities. Here’s their update:
Our trip to Malaysia went well. We traveled from one end of the country to the other. Most of our time was spent in Kuala Lampur, but we were also in Singapore, Ipoh and in Penang. Malaysia is a nice country but very needy. It is illegal to witness to Malays, so there are no churches at all among this 65% of the population. The rest of the population is Chinese 22% and Indian 13%. Islam is the official religion and if someone believes in the Lord, they are taken to re-education facilities in the forest. Yet, there is some spiritual interest being displayed. It looks like Filipinos will be welcomed there and can use our Perfectly Natural Herbs business here to make contacts and spread the gospel. We met with a number of workers in this country. Their numbers are few, but they love the Malay and welcome us coming to help.
- *Pray for us as we prepare for Christar’s New Personnel Orientation from April 13 to 20. We have 25 candidates who will probably come.
- Pray for Rasmea and Komeni with whom Tom is trying to start a Bible study.
- Pray for a number of mobile clinics scheduled.
- Praise for the Malaysia trip and the ministry opportunities it revealed.
Tom and Michele will be in the States on furlough in June. They would love to personally share with individuals, family, small groups, Sunday school classes, youth groups about how God is using them in the Philippines. Watch for more detailed information!!