In The Market Place
Wherever God Opens a Door
Daryl and Mary Jo Oft
“God changes lives” may sound like a slogan, but to us it’s become a theme that permeates our personal, professional and spiritual lives. In essence, it’s now our way of life.
For years our focus was on growing our business, Diversified Solutions, which provides occupational health services. Then in 2004, we suffered a near-collapse financially. It was then that God brought a paradigm shift.
Through an unlikely encounter with Duane McKey, then president of the Arizona Conference, we were invited to participate in a ShareHim evangelistic trip to Kenya.
What a life-changing experience it was! And it brought a shift in focus for us, from our business to ministry.
Rusinga Island is located on Lake Victoria in Kenya. When visiting Rusinga during our trip to Kenya, we saw tremendous poverty, and an opportunity for service. A local village had been without a fresh water source for more than three years. All the water technicians had died of AIDS. In fact, nearly half of the island’s residents had AIDS, and 80 percent of the children were orphans.
We felt God was opening a door. And what He has done over the past four years is nothing short of amazing. Living Waters International is a small non-profit organization we founded to give humanitarian and spiritual relief to the people of Rusinga. Our first priority was providing pure drinking water.
We began by refurbishing a dilapidated windmill and water infrastructure system. That system now provides abundant water to the village center as well as the Living Waters boarding school, medical clinic, church, and our newly-built feeding center.
We’re so excited about the feeding center, which provides a daily meal to 68 children. Those meals are essential to the kids’ productivity in school. Imagine attending school on an empty stomach! We plan to eventually feed more than 200 children every day, along with elderly widows who cannot provide for themselves.
Living Waters has five full-time local staff members with responsibilities that include tending our half-acre garden, night watch, case management and project management.
Five evangelistic campaigns have also been held, with more than 300 people committing their lives to God through baptism.
Our focus on ministry has also manifested itself back home in the United States. We’ve committed ourselves to witnessing in the Payson, Arizona community. Partnering with our local Seventh-day Adventist church, we’re working to provide spiritual and physical restoration through a variety of programs.
Christ-centered seminars and community outreach programs are offered at The Meeting Place, which is operated cooperatively by our business and the Payson Adventist Church.
We’ve also used our business to be actively involved in Sharing Christ in the Marketplace, a perspective we learned after being introduced to ASI three years ago.
Our two occupational health clinics are staffed by dedicated Seventh-day Adventists, and we’re excited to join with them in sharing the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ with those who come to our offices. In fact, we’ve had problems keeping enough free literature on the shelves.
This year Diversified Solutions and the Payson Adventist Church will conduct a Year of Evangelism. We’re hosting a New Beginnings evangelistic campaign and a Lifestyle Matters program. Community vegetarian potlucks will be offered each month, along with cooking classes.
We encourage anyone reading this to just step out in faith. God will direct your path. Go boldly to proclaim Jesus, and He will exceed your greatest expectations. Never doubt or question what God is willing to do in and through you. We guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Expect your life to be radically transformed, as ours was. Peace and contentment, as well as excitement and adventure, await all who say, “I am willing.”
Not long ago, we were about our business. Today, we’re all about our Father’s business. Our motto is “We will go wherever God opens a door.”
God is opening doors for you too. Go boldly, full of faith, and experience a life unlike any other.