Nov 4, 2018

The Art of Communication

I am blessed to be able to share with you this beautiful story coming with Taiwan, about how God used some of our Incarnate 2018 Graduates in a powerful way in Taiwan, to communicate some of the deeper truths we hold in the Kingdom of God.


OM International | Taiwan

In May 2018, OM Taiwan received three Christian visual artists from the U.S.A., East Asia and Hong Kong. Before they came, they had received a three-months training in Italy with OM Arts Incarnate – where they lived with various Christian artists from all over the world and learnt how to exercise their artistic gifts for the Lord.

After the training, they stayed for one month in Tong Luo, a Hakka town. In Taiwan, the Hakka people are considered least reached, with only a 0.2% evangelical Christian population. The artists were asked to create artwork which reflected the characteristics of the Hakka people as well as Christian values. By connecting with locals, the artists were able to find some cultural Hakka elements to include in their artwork. These pieces were pulled together in an art exhibition at the Tong Luo train station – the most populated public area in the small town.

The main purpose of the exhibition was to reach out to those who did not know Christ. The OM team had never done a one-week long event in the train station, and were not sure if the permission would be granted to do so. Surprisingly, when they met the train station master, he did not ask too many questions. Within only a few minutes, the permission was given for the exhibition. The OM team believes that it was God who opened the door for the event to happen in that location.

'What is home?'

These three artists have different artistic styles. Jane* from East Asia creates artwork using languages and words. One of her pieces was to separate Hakka into "Hak" and "Ka", which in Mandarin can mean 'guest' and 'home.' Then she wrote 'What is home?' and 'What does it mean to be a guest?' on a large sheet of paper. Many visitors came and left their comments. One uncle wrote, "I am a Hakka. I eat my dinner and watch TV every night." A team member wondered why he wrote this because it didn't seem to have anything to do with being Hakka. The elderly man explained that his children all work in other cities, his wife passed away a few years ago, and therefore, every night he watches TV together with the photo of his deceased wife and has his meal all by himself. He expressed his deep feelings towards the words 'guest' and 'home' because even though physically he was at home, emotionally he felt like a guest. This man visited the team every day during the exhibition to chat with them. Through these conversations the team learnt to deeply feel and identify with the loneliness of the elderly in the community.


Sherrie from the U.S.A. often projects her own situation and feelings into her work. In this exhibition, she decided to use 3-D abstract objects to express her concept. Sherrie grew up in the U.S.A. as a second-generation Taiwanese descendant as both her parents are Taiwanese. She created an artwork named 'Conversation.' She explained that in Chinese society, it is quite difficult to have a real conversation within families. Even though parents love their children, they seldom express their love verbally. In her piece, she reflected that people should strip away their pride and societal norms and allow God to give the courage to be real and talk to each other. Her artwork reflected the family situation of the town because many parents work in other cities and leave their children with the grandparents. Grandparents usually express their love to their grandchildren by providing for their material needs but are not good at conversing with them; seldom expressing their love verbally. Sherrie's artwork was something that the younger generation could easily identify with.

'Guest Postcard'

Amy from Hong Kong created an artwork named 'Guest Postcard.' She, as a guest in the town, invited locals to sit down at a table and share their Hakka stories with her. After that, Amy would make a hand drawn postcard according to what they shared and mail the postcard to them from Hong Kong. However, the project did not go well at first because people did not have the time to stay long. So Amy adapted and had visitors share their stories, and then select a prayerfully pre-prepared painted postcard in an envelope. People then opened the postcard and miraculously, almost all the visitors got one that matched their stories. The team believed that it was the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

A retired elementary school principal came to the exhibition and was amazed when she got a picture of many chairs lined up in a queue just like in a school setting. Amy explained the meaning of the postcard to the principal: That the chairs symbolised children waiting for help, and whoever choose this card would be the one who helped them. The principal responded that it was exactly her situation. This principal is not a Christian yet, but has partnered with the OM team for campus ministry for many years. She helped them expand the ministry among other schools. Last year she retired and the team has been praying that God would continue to use her in new ways; most importantly that God would draw her close to Himself.

Leading people to the truth

Artists often use metaphors to express their ideas and look at things from different perspectives. Their artwork helps people think deeper into the reality behind the surface. Even though the artwork itself is not a direct communication, it provides many interactive opportunities for the communicators and visitors do not feel they are forced to listen to a lecture. Instead, they take the initiative to interact with the artwork and chat with the creators. In this exhibition, the OM team had many chances to share the gospel and their own personal testimonies with visitors. One said "We experienced how Art combined with the Word of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit can lead people to the Truth."

*name changed

Published: Thursday, 01 November 2018
Credit: OM International
© 2018 OM International 

Aug 27, 2018

Something Old, Something New

A very cool thing, 25 years in the making, happened yesterday in Ujpalota (Wee-pal-oat-a = "New Palace) a suburb of Budapest, Hungary.


The Pastor there, Gabor, met us with such enthusiasm!  We found out that he had been following OM for many years.  He is the man who discipled Attila Kapoc, the current Field Leader of Operation Mobilization in Hungary, when Attila first came to Christ many years ago.  Gabor's church building is brand new, and he was so excited to host us in his modern facility.


As he was "briefing" us on the church, the upcoming concert, etc., he pointed us to a shelf that held a "Bill Drake Band" Cassette (!) that he purchased at a Bill Drake Concert in 1993, shortly after the Iron Curtain came down.  He said it was the first contemporary Christian album he had ever bought - and he even had it signed by the author!


It was amazing to see a cassette of mine from 25 years ago, still intact, bearing my signature, and well-worn.  But I was not ready for the "rest of the story", which Gabor shared at the end of our concert when he came forward to wrap everything up.


As the concert was about "Legacy", he got up and shared personally about his own story of following Jesus, and how The Lord called him into the ministry, when he was visiting St. Andrew's in Scotland in 1992.  He returned to Hungary and went into seminary, but found out quickly that it was more like "cemetery", where many men had their faith shipwrecked.  He himself was ready to quit.


Then Gabor was invited to an OM Concert, where he heard an artist called "Bill Drake", and he was captivated by the deeper lyrics translated into Hungarian, and the testimony of a transformed life - from rejection to fatherhood, from suicidal to missionary.  He especially liked the song "I'll Obey and Serve You".  This prompted him not only to buy the cassette, but also to re-commit his life to ministry and pursue the pastorate, regardless of the "hot mess" that the reformed seminary there was or had to offer.


And here we were 25 years later:  the same artist now stood in Gabor's brand new church, where under his leadership, by Hungarian standards we were witnessing nothing short of a miracle - vibrant congregation growing like crazy had built a brand new building for the glory of God to service the local community there in "New Palace".  


And there was Attila, the young man he discipled, now the Leader of OM in Hungary, bringing to Gabor's church the artist Bill Drake who brought Gabor the song that encouraged him to recommit his life to following his dream of being a Pastor one day - all in the same building.  The convergence was nothing short of God-wrought.


The concert went extremely well.  The Gospel was preached, people were impacted, tears were shed - all in all an awesome experience.  But I walked away in dumb-struck awe, at how the God of the Universe rolled back the curtain for just a moment, for me to see how a difficult trip from England to Hungary in 1993, had a significant role at a critical juncture in this Pastor's life, which ended up discipling the future leader of OM in Hungary, and leading to his building of a church and a congregation that is making huge impact in this part of Budapest.


What is so cool about this Brian, is that you are part of this - I would never have been able to go, if you guys were not supporting us, holding the lifeline, in prayer, in finance, and in partnership on the Mission Field, wherever God calls us to go.


So thank you.  And thank you from Pastor Gabor.  The look on his face when I presented him with the brand new CD that has the new version of "I'll Obey And Serve You" on it - was priceless (Legacy – The Mission).  He beamed, full of joy, as obviously the Lord reminded him again that He holds all of these things in His hands, and nothing we do for the Lord goes un-noticed.  Hallelujah!

Oct 31, 2017

On Beauty, Structure, Hospitality, and Worship...

I thought on this day that many in the West "celebrate" or "glorify" the spiritual ugliness inherent in Halloween, I would post something I have been pondering concerning Beauty.  And I want to thank Mat Carson, Director of OM Arts International, for helping me to set my brain on things like this - 

The relational God Who brings order out of chaos has invited us into the process of His ongoing creative acts - right down to having children, refining culture, or shaping the physical and invisible architecture of Worship.

One of the things we have been considering in the Arts, is that "Beauty is Hospitable" - I liken that to the warm feeling of invitation that comes from approaching a well-laid and appointed dining room table. In fact, when it comes to Worship, we are told in the Scriptures that Worship itself is Hospitable - The Lord God has chosen to inhabit the praises of His people.  

The effort God went to in order to give instructions concerning His Tabernacle, His Temple, and the Beauty and Order that went into that, (not to mention the order that is found in our physical universe) demonstrate to us how concerned God is that there is a reciprocal relationship between Worship, Beauty, Order, Structure, all for the purpose of Hosting "right relationship".

But lest we get stuck in the Old Testament, the New Testament has the same instruction - in the unseen recesses of the heart - God still wants to inhabit the praises of His redeemed people, corporately, but also individually - which is why we are all likened to being the Temple of the Holy Spirit. For a New Testament redeemed Jew, this temple metaphor would bring enormous meaning - including Beauty (virtue), Structure (order and governance), and yes, right Relationships.  

Hence the enormous emphasis on Discipleship, and now Spiritual Formation - we have been tasked with the privilege of Hosting well the Holy Spirit, and living our lives out as Living Sacrifices of Worship for the Most High God - to behold the Beauty, the Beauty of the Lord - to inquire in His Temple - The Temple of the Lord (with all New Testament meaning intended!). This cannot be done without some form of governance and structure - God is not the author of confusion or chaos - in fact, He intrinsically reacts to confusion to bring Meaning, and He intrinsically responds to chaos, to bring Beauty and right Order.

And the minute we become more enamored with our structures, or serve our structures, or spiritualize our structural preferences, over maintaining right relationships with one-another and with The Lord God, we have then left Beauty, and strayed into the ugliness of Idolatry...

Sep 27, 2017

As I Come Into Your Presence

This song was written while two precious young women were blown into eternity by a terrorists grenade in the Philippines. God has used their ultimate act of worship to inspire thousands around the world to continue to spread the love and grace of His Son Jesus Christ.

You can see the Video here: 

You can read the full story of their martyrdom here, and scroll down to As I Come Into Your Presence:

Jun 11, 2017

Drake's Update Summer 2017!

A long overdue letter!
It's hard to believe that we are already into June!  Where has the time gone?  Well, after a season of unprecedented travel and some health issues, here we are! We are grateful now to be able to give you an update on what we have been doing these last 5 months! 
Personal Stuff
I am very proud of my husband, Bill, for his accomplishment of losing over 50 pounds to date, as it isn't as easy to lose weight with a slow metabolism!.  He is enjoying starting to get a new wardrobe and a better feeling of well-being!

I (Teri) had surgery for a retinal detachment on April 11th.  They say the recovery period is about 8 weeks or more, and presently I am in the 8th week and am enjoying improving sight day by day!  There was no special reason for the detachment other than being over 50 (what?!) and having had cataract surgery (which increases the risk of a detachment) two years ago!  Part of the recovery required me to lay on my right side for 20 hours out of a 24 hour period of time for two weeks!  I listened to a lot of scripture and books as I couldn't read either!  Definitely a trying time!  But thank God my eyesight is about 90% back to normal!

On another note, after spending some quality time with God at a retreat center, I decided I want to return to using my given name of Teresa out of respect for my parents and the name they gave me at birth.  I am in the process of making the change, which might be a bit of a challenge for friends and family after all these years!  But I really felt the freedom to do it, and so I will!  :)  
Now for the Ministry Stuff!
After 25 years of faithful service in OM as International Music Minister, and then founder and Director of OM Arts International, Bill was asked by the International Director of Operation Mobilization to become the Director of Catalytic Ministries.

"What exactly is that?" you might ask!  Well, firstly Bill has not been asked to stop doing public ministry!  He will continue to do concerts, lead worship, evangelize, preach and teach and disciple, and he even gets to continue in his role as Director of Incarnate:  OM Arts' school of mission which raises up other younger Artists to become missionaries.

Bill is now in a top, Senior leadership position in OM, where he is the supervisor for all those who are running ministries that are seen to be catalytic ministries for "Planting Vibrant Communities of Jesus Followers Among the Least-Reached" (OM's new mission statement and ministry focus).  As OM moves more and more toward becoming a church-planting movement, there are a number of key strategic ministries that have been raised up over the years that have a demonstrable impact in evangelism and church planting, especially in nations and people's that tend to be in difficult regions of the world that have been resistant to the gospel.  Bill's experience in developing OM Arts was part of the reason why he was chosen for this new role, and as such, he will be overseeing the extremely talented people who run ministries in OM engaging in Arts, Sports, Business 4 Transformation (B4T), Relief & Development, HIV/AIDS, and Justice.

One of the things that makes ministries like this so powerful, is that they all are engaging in cultural universals - these ministries touch culture where culture "lives", and as such, speak to a culture in ways that the culture is already speaking to itself.  These ministries are "Incarnational", in that by engaging in these arenas of life as Christians with those we wish to bring Jesus to, we humble ourselves, we arebirthed into other cultureswe embody Christ in our life and work, and we "dwell with" those to whom we bring the love of Christ.  These four ingredients encapsulate what it means to be Incarnational, as Jesus exemplified for us in Phil. 2 and John 1:14, and we are never more Christ-like than when we are incarnational in the way we approach those we want to reach with the gospel.

The result is that Bill has embarked on probably more travel than he ever has before in his life!  Just this year alone, he has been to Thailand, Turkey, Germany, and Sweden, and before the year is out will be in Hungary, Austria, Canada, South Africa, Zambia, and Moldova, the poorest country in Europe.  These Catalytic ministries are meeting people on the raw cutting edge of life, and are bringing the truth and hope of Jesus right where they live, breathe and work.  It is an incredible privilege to be used in this way, and we look forward to how God is going to use us further in the coming days.

See below for two stories that come from two of these Catalytic Ministries, and how people were brought to Christ, and lives were totally changed!
Teresa's Corner -
I have been working with our team regarding curiculum, spiritual formation etc. for our upcoming Incarnate school starting late January 2018!  We aim to make this the best one yet.  Of course learning from the past year's experience always helps.  I also am available to Bill for some administrative tasks.  I also have 2 young women I mentor regularly and often Bill and I find ourselves counseling with young marrieds and singles as well.  Being available to server in various roles as the Lord leads seems to be the season I am in at the moment.
Applications are being accepted for Incarnate 2018! If you know of anyone who would like to join us for 90 days to learn how to use their artistic gifts
(visual art, music, dance, and/or drama)
in the ministry, please direct them to

We met Nabin* and Suraj* in 2012 through the fact that the OM Nepal guys team used to buy their coffee there.  An investor trip was planned for that August,and in June we had already started putting a business plan together.

 The brothers had many ideas, but we felt that the most critical and 'catalytic' would be for them to acquire a larger coffee roaster.  At the time they were roasting coffee in an old popcorn roaster…roasting 1 kg every hour. 

 We submitted their business proposal and they were able to secure a loan of USD22,000.

They sourced a  roaster in India, and Nabin went for training, and this roaster was able to roast 20kg in 20 minutes.  A 60 fold increase…  This led to an increase in production of roasted coffee beans, more employment opportunities in Kathmandu and rural communities, outreach into communities, strengthening relationships, more finances released into ministries that they support… etc.etc.

 Nabin and Suraj source their coffee from 8 collection centres in the Himalayan foothills.  Each collection centre serves around 10 farmers.  They therefore now have direct contact with 80 farmers, their families and their communities – all in an area of the world that is crying out for communities of Christ followers …

 After the earthquake in 2015, Nabin and his family and church were able to go into these areas, share the gospel of Jesus Christ and minister in practical ways His love to people who had lost almost everything.  Another person working in Nepal has had the following words spoken to him: "Thank you for what you are doing for us.  Our own people are not doing what you do.  We love your religion!" (Matt 5:16)

 By B4T partnering with ONE businessman, we are growing and strengthening the Kingdom of God in a very real and tangible way, in tens, if not hundreds of communities in the Himalayan region… Jesus is demonstrated in word and deed, and people lives are being totally transformed.

 PS. Spin-offs of High Mountain Coffee has been the opening of Kathmandu Café, Grace Café, and soon to be opening a third café.  This has led to twenty or more people being trained as baristas, and others in the catering business – a key issue in Nepal, a country that loses many, many people to overseas work, pulls families apart and breaks down the social fabric of the society… and all hear the Gospel!

The Lock and the Door 
 (In a Middle Eastern City) 
The young artist looked at the painting she had just completed, and wondered,
"How could God ever use this?"

This artist, in a Muslim country with a team of visual artists for a short term mission trip, had struggled to render the concept that OM Arts had asked the team to paint: I am the door, those beautiful words of Jesus that invite us to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. But she had painted a lock—a heavy, massive medieval kind that looked impenetrable and imposing. Through the keyhole another door was visible, slightly open with light emanating from it. How could this communicate? How could God take that which she had painted and use it for His glory?

The old man strolled slowly through the open-air art gallery that had suddenly appeared in the plaza. He surveyed the beautiful pictures of doors and gates. There was one that captured his attention; it was of a lock. He stood stunned, as the revelation hit him. Someone had painted his life, his longing, his desperate condition of being locked out from the light. Light that he just knew was there for him, but had been so elusive in his own religious tradition. He knew in the moment he saw the painting that the artist who painted it had the insight and wisdom he had been seeking his entire life.

The young artist approached the old man with a translator, and asked him why he was staring spellbound at her painting. Through tears, the man said to her, "My entire life I have felt locked out from all God had for me. I can see it through the keyhole, but I can't get to it. Can you please tell me, what is the key that will unlock the door of my life, and let me run into the light of God?"

At that moment the young artist had the privilege of sharing the love of Christ with this man
right there in the plaza. The Holy Spirit had used her painting to unravel this man's heart, and draw him to the Father heart of God. 

The near future...
Our next ministry trip takes us on our annual Bill Drake Band tour in Hungary!  We are privileged to be doing this trip with our daughter, Sharayah, and our Hungarian son-in-law, Bence.  That's where it all started for them anyway back in 2010!  We will be doing 10 evangelistic concerts in 14 days.  Some of the venues are outdoor in a town square, another includes a drug rehab center and then crossing the border into Vienna.  All concerts are done in partnership with local churches and OM Hungary.
A few weeks after we return, Bill will be going to Canada to lead worship for a missions conference and then to Zambia and South Africa for a variety of different kinds of strategic ministry from teaching, evangelizing, helping with church planting, and mobilizing Africans in to mission.
Thank you for your interest, prayer and support for us!  We appreciate having you all our our prayer and financial support team!
Prayer Points
  • Safety and favor in Hungary - we will be doing a lot of driving and with all the terrorist attacks going on pray for none to come near us.
  • Safety and favor for Bill while traveling to Canada, S. Africa and Zambia.
  • Wisdom for Bill as he takes on this new Senior leadership position in OM.  Bill leads the Catalytic Ministries Division of OM International, and as such plays a very strategic role in seeing vibrant communities of Jesus followers are planted amongst the least reached peoples of the world.
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Feb 26, 2017

The Creative Process

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. - Eccl. 3:11

Meditating this morning on the mysteries of the Creative Process, inspired by a colleague who wrote insightfully about nurturing his desire to "Listen".  It has been obvious to me that in his artistic work, he has been learning to "perceive" better and better, as it has beautiful impacted his artistic expression... 

I have been using that paradigm much lately when explaining "how the arts work" to people who are just beginning to notice their power, their allure, their ability to engage at the most visceral level:

- that we all "Perceive" things, but Artists are granted by God with that innate ability to see further, deeper, wider - its part of the prophetic nature of the arts... and true "listening" is part of the art of perceiving...

- and then of course there is the "Process" part of it - and that brings in all our filters, our experiences, the nuanced hues of our differing rainbows, all pointing back to the God of Restoration, but at the same time allowing us to put our own autographs on things as small "c" creators...

- and then "Production", that sometimes glorious, sometimes tortured process of giving birth to something that at once produces stretch-marks and relief, a product that comes from the convergence of those internal forces of perception and process, incarnating something that tells a story, invites a journey, confronts a stronghold, brings reconciliation - so many uses God has for the things He helps us procure... 

And that leaves me with the beauty of Philippians 1:6 converged with Ephesians 2:10.  Seems the Apostle Paul understood a bit about the Creative Process as well...

Aug 26, 2016

Light Into Darkness

The Bill Drake Band at Rackeresztur, Hungary

The Bill Drake Band has toured in many countries all over the world, and as such, we have been in a variety of circumstances – on a ship in Turkey, in a prison in the UK, playing on truck trailers in Azerbaijan, and setting up the drums on table tops in Serbia!  But rarely have we had the opportunity to do a concert in a Roman Catholic Church, and even be allowed to carefully move some of the more “valued” items on the platform, such as a statue of the Mother of Jesus, or a solid stone lectern used for the Scripture Readings. 

But the little Catholic Church in Rackeresztur (pronounced: ‘rats-care-est-tour’ whilst rolling all the “R’s”!) Hungary, not only allowed us to do so, but welcomed us with open arms to bring the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the men of the local drug rehab center and their extended families. 

We arrived at the rehab center for lunch, and were treated to a great Hungarian meal.  Marcel, one of our translators, noticed a young man looking extremely dejected, as he was apparently being enrolled in the drug rehab center.  Hovering nearby, his mother was extremely distraught, while his father, obviously distancing himself from what was an embarrassing and disappointing situation, was trying to stay detached.  The mother was trying to get her son to go to his father, but neither man was willing to bridge the gaping chasm that was separating them. 

Later, after setting up, respectfully moving certain religious paraphernalia, and sound-checking in the difficult space, we started the concert to a hall nearly filled to capacity.  After the first three songs, I usually share my testimony, and this time was no different, emphasizing the part where my dying mother prayed for me even though I cursed Jesus in her face.  I shared how I rejected God after her funeral, and went out and trashed my life. 

As I was sharing, many in the room began to tear up, and some began to weep.  That particular testimony ends with me sharing how Jesus Christ saved my life, and how I hope my mother can see her prayers have been answered.  I close with dedicating my next song, There’s a Place of Immeasurable Blessing, to all the mothers in the room who pray for their children, regardless of where they might be at with God in the moment.  It was obvious to all of us that the story and song had a deep impact on the audience.

At our next tour Devotions, my daughter Sharayah humbly shared that she had had a vision during that part of the concert.  She said through great emotion, that as we sang the lyrics,

There’s a place of immeasurable blessing
There’s a song that cannot be unsung
There is God Who inhabits our praises and sings over us

…it appeared to her as if the painted ceiling of the church opened toward the back of the sanctuary, and angels began descending into the church, and began processing up the aisle.  They were carrying torches, and bringing light into the areas and hearts in the room that were dark.  As the song finished, repeating the same opening lyrics, Sharayah felt as if God were impressing on her, “These messengers of mine are inhabiting My presence.”

Others in our Devotional time recalled that many responded to the Lord at the end as we impressed upon them the message of reconciliation from 2 Corinthians 5:17-21: 

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Marcel then shared the epilogue to his story:  During the invitation time to the concert, he noticed that the father of the troubled son had moved next to him in the pew, and had his arm around him.  Praise God for the ministry of reconciliation.