In the basement of the OM office in Tyrone, Georgia, several large printing machines produce materials that are sent around the world: prayer cards, ministry magazines, financial appeals and more. Randy Jury, a worker who oversees the printing process, nodded affectionally toward one machine on a quiet Friday morning: “We’ve got that green monster there that everyone’s afraid of,” he joked. Rather than scare him off, that machine—and the others—provide Randy a place to serve in his element.
“I enjoy doing stuff with my hands, working with equipment,” he explained. “I’m thrilled I can have a part in ministries around the world, helping communicate their vision… so they can concentrate on reaching those who don’t know about Jesus. It’s important, and I get a lot of satisfaction out of it.”
When Randy first heard about OM, he traveled from his home state of Pennsylvania to Genova, Italy, on a self-funded six-week stint to use his practical skills onboard OM’s ship, Doulos. “But then I just fell in love with it,” he said. Forty-three years later, he’s never looked back.
Randy’s first job with OM was welding on both Doulos and its sister ship, Logos. His skillset, developed from a previous seasonal construction job and honed onboard, was crucial to the ships’ operations.
During his time with the ships, Randy also met and married the love of his life, Jaana, a Finnish woman and fellow shipmate. The couple continued to serve onboard for the early years of their marriage and had their first two sons, Daniel and Mikael, while living at sea. “I thought ships forever. We never even thought of going somewhere else,” he said.
In 1988, the young family spent some time in the US, helping the OM office relocate from New Jersey to Georgia. Then they returned to the ship. But in 1992, Randy and his family moved back to the US so he could take on the operations manager role for the growing OM office there. That position changed rapidly as the office expanded, with Randy eventually overseeing the reception desk, the print shop, the mail center, the bookstore, facilities and maintenance. “It was too much,” he admitted. “I couldn’t do anything well because I had too many responsibilities.”
Leadership listened and began appointing other people to manage some of Randy’s responsibilities. Now, Randy, who is now 65 years old, concentrates on mailings and printing, along with another team member. “It’s enough,” he said.
“I’m a doer and am practical with my hands, but I’ve learned and I’m still learning that God’s not as much interested in what we do as He is in our heart and our relationship with Him,” Randy shared. “I can easily work from sun-up to sun-down, but it’s so much more important to spend time with the Lord.”
Of course, sharing God’s love is not limited to those serving with an organization. “Whatever skills God gives you, there’s a place for them if you want to serve,” Randy said.
“Everybody can be a missionary where they are…. There are people around you all the time that need the Lord,” Randy reminded believers. When his family moved to Georgia, they felt insulated in a bubble—working at OM and attending church. But then his kids got involved in baseball and Boy Scouts, so Randy started coaching and helping with the Scouts.
“There were a lot of non-Christians I rubbed shoulders with,” he remembered. “Just live your life in front of them and look for opportunities to share. If you’re not looking for those opportunities, they’ll pass you by, but there is definitely a need in this world, now more than ever, to show love.”