Fellowship in love, faith, encouragement
OCF is packed with examples of being united in one spirit, one purpose
It was the phone call no parent ever wants to receive, but one that LTC Joe and Cathy Orosz, USA (Ret.), nonetheless received one morning in 2013: “Your son John has been injured. He is undergoing medical treatment and will be evacuated to Germany.” Once their then-1LT son arrived in Landstuhl to begin what would be a long and arduous journey through years of surgeries and rehab, Joe and Cathy couldn’t get there immediately to help support him as he faced his daunting challenge.
However, even before John’s aircraft left the tarmac, the word had gone out throughout the Body of Christ and especially that of the OCF family. I received a call from my daughter in South Korea who asked me what had happened to John Orosz. Although I hadn’t yet heard anything, Ashley said it was already being shared online by all the kids who had worked with John at OCF’s White Sulphur Springs Conference Center, a place where the Orosz family spent time enjoying each other and other military believers in fellowship.
Much to Joe and Cathy’s delight, several of our OCF family quickly converged on Landstuhl and became the surrogate parents and family for John.
As John himself later said, “Even before everyone in my family knew what had happened to me in Afghanistan, my OCF extended family that I’d known from senior staff and conferences were all praying for me. People in Germany who didn’t know me at all were coming to see me, to comfort me. I even had a friend from staff take almost every conceivable form of transportation to come from England and help care for me. That’s how the Body of Christ should work and I’m so glad that there is an organization like OCF to support and strengthen leaders and families in our military.”
It’s distinctive to note that the second of OCF’s eight Spiritual Pillars—Uniting for Fellowship—is not saying that we unite in a fellowship. True OCF fellowship is a verb, mirroring the very essence of the Greek word koinonia, which is found twenty times in the Bible, starting in Acts 2:42, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” As I reflected on the family of OCF coming alongside John Orosz and his family with their active care and concern, I realized this was fellowship in action as it’s meant to be.
According to GotQuestions.org, the koinonia we are called to throughout the New Testament is best summed up in conjunction with the phrase “one another:”
- Be devoted to and honor… (Romans 12:10)
- Live in harmony with… (Romans 12:16)
- Accept… (Romans 15:7)
- Serve… (Galatians 5:13)
- Be kind to… (Ephesians 4:32)
- Admonish… (Colossians 3:16)
- Encourage… (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
- Exhort… (Hebrews 10:25)
- Be hospitable to… (1 Peter 4:9)
Putting a finer point on the “checklist” above, another example of koinonia fellowship is captured in an OCF Pensacola ministry report from earlier this year:
"A Naval flight student had completed the initial flight training and was awaiting his PCS to Kingsville when he suddenly went blind. His party-buddies dropped him like a hot rock!
"Two of our OCF family rolled in and sacrificially gave of themselves to take this now blind flight student to the hospital and his follow-on doctor appointments, and in supporting him in other ways during this difficult time. He wanted to know why they were doing this and they seized the opportunity to share Christ with him. God used blindness to get his attention, and after a couple months of seeing Christ’s love in action through these two men he accepted Christ as his Savior. After accepting Christ this young man was ravenous for the Word of God and several of us have had the privilege to disciple him.
"He has spent the last year trying to convince Navy medicine that his eyesight is back to normal and he should be allowed to continue. They granted him a waiver and he is on his way to Kingsville over one year later, now on fire for Christ."
If you want the best example of fellowship, we have to look no further than God, who is the author and definer of fellowship—the kind of fellowship He built us for: “That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3).