Don Ostrom Story

  I was raised in church and deep poverty as a teenager. My folks were poor and they had the idea that if you had lots of money you surely couldn’t be spiritual. I was saved at 13 years old but was wishy-washy until I was filled with the Holy Spirit at age 17.

What a change! Right after that I led one of my classmates to the Lord.  He went on to bible school; I felt led by the Lord to attend Northwest Bible Institute in Seattle, graduating four years later. One lesson I learned was to stay active in church, starting with our youth group in Vancouver, Washington.

Manila! After three weeks aboard ship, we finally arrived in the Philippines. Neither my wife Marlene nor I could speak the language; we knew no one there,  and we knew little of their customs. In spite of these severe limitations, the Lord faithfully honored our
obedience and blessed our efforts as we pioneered a church in Mindanao.

Our first service started with two people. Today there are 500 churches which may be traced back to that first little church where we ministered for three years.

Tragedy interrupted this promising missionary work. My wife's father and sister were killed in a plane crash. Marlene's mother had passed away about six months after we arrived in the Philippines. It was imperative that we return to the States to run the six
convalescent centers which her father had owned and operated.

I fully expected to return to the mission field, but the settling of the estate took nearly three years. I was confronted with the painful question. "How can a man who has been a pastor, an evangelist and a missionary be just a businessman?"
Confused, I got down on my knees in the basement of our home on Magnolia Street in Seattle and cried out, "God, I don't understand. I want to know.  Am I a businessman or a preacher?"

As clearly as when He had called me into the ministry, the Lord replied, "Son, it makes no difference to Me if men call you one or the other. As long as you do My will, you will bring glory to My name." God taught me some valuable lessons during that struggle.  He
showed me there isn't much difference between being a missionary and a Christian businessman. It's just a matter of location.

I have led more people to Jesus than I did when I was a missionary. The convalescent centers themselves constitute a needy mission field. My staff and I have the thrill of leading many patients to the Lord.
One day one of my managers introduced me to a couple of elderly ladies, saying, "These two women have just given their hearts to the Lord." One of them said, "Mr. Ostrom, just think - after all these years, now I know where I am going."
I also have had the joy of seeing people healed in our centers. One year, 50 percent of those who came to Belmont Terrace returned to their homes.

Even though Marlene and I were called home from the Philippines, God did not lift our burden for the world. He has led me to participate in a number of evangelistic outreaches, including a FGBMF airlift in which we shared the Good News in Denmark, Norway,
Scotland, Germany and Honduras. In each of those countries we saw people saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit. Others were healed.  As a businessman I have traveled to over 50 nations of the world.

Some time ago Demos interviewed me on the "Good News!" telecast where I was able to share my faith with millions in this country and in Canada.

My story is unique. I was raised in a full gospel church, completed Bible school and served the Lord as pastor, evangelist and then as missionary. While God calls many businessmen into fulltime ministry, He called me from the Philippines to serve Him in the
marketplace.

I have a ministry, for now as a businessman I can speak from a different perspective than that of a preacher. The man in the marketplace can identify with me. I understand what he is going through, and he can relate to my experiences.
Minister or businessman, my task is the same:  to bring such men to Jesus.

Don Ostrom owns and operates four convalescent centers in the State of Washington. He and his wife Marlene are members of Christian Faith Center in Kirkland, Washington.

Favorite quote:  “How many of you men own a suitcase? (Everyone raises their hand.) How many of you men have a passport? (Just a few hands go up) OK. You men that don’t have a passport, get one because we are going to the nations.” Don’s enthusiasm for
souls inspired Bob Bignold to be one of those men called to go to the nations. Bob became one of the great pioneers of “Airlifts.”

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