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McNeill's at OMSC
Dr. John McNeill
Community Picture from OMSC - John and Christel McNeill left of centre in the middle; Jon and Jean Bonk are on the right.

Sabbatical at Overseas Ministry Study Center

Dr John and Christel McNeill have just returned to Otterburne after a six-month sabbatical, most of which was spent at the Overseas Ministry Study Center (OMSC) in New Haven CT.

The McNeill’s role at OMSC was to be the “senior scholar in residence” couple, a job without clear description, but that involved both John and Christel, increasingly as the time passed. They worked with about thirty missionaries on study furlough from around the world, with Asia and Africa being the regions with the most representatives. They simply tried to get close to the other OMSC residents as they went through a process of rest and retooling prior to returning to their very diverse and challenging mission fields (for example Mainland China, Mongolia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar). It was very special for John and Christel to be able to work together, make friends with people from very diverse parts of the world, and contribute in various small ways to their processes of healing and growth.

While in New Haven John was also a research fellow at Yale, the most amazingly well equipped place for research that he has ever worked in. He had a whole list of research projects to work on that have been languishing in his computer, some for more than a decade. Most of them are still there. In fact, the first of two projects that he did complete this past fall were not even on his list when he left Otterburne. It had to do with Korean missions in the former Soviet region and began as a result of the first talk he had with Dr Jon Bonk, the OMSC director, when they arrived. The results of his research were immediately picked up for Korean publication.

Having seen what John had to say about Korean mission, Dr Bonk invited John back to OMSC for a Korean Global Mission Leadership Conference to be held from February 10-14. A group of Korean experts will meet with an equal number of Western specialists to discuss Korean mission, its problems (it is acknowledged by all concerned that they are serious), and possible ways forward. John’s paper will be part of the discussion and he is expected as well to respond to one of the Korean presenters. John is thankful for the privilege to be part of this meeting and would certainly appreciate prayer that it will be fruitful.

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