Passionate about media in missions: interview with new OM EAST leader

written by Inger R.

“I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” – 1 Corinthians 9: 22 (ESV)
Whether living in the UK, Seychelles or in Austria, working in fibre optic research, radio broadcasting or now leading OM’s media team, David Fry has found his home and purpose in being where God wants him to be. In an interview, the new OM leader shares the team’s vision to help OM ministries use media to share the gospel with all nations, in all languages and in all cultures.  

1. Where are you from and where is home?
David Fry: I grew up in the old Roman town of Bath, in England. I loved the place and it was very much home. However, home for me is where you make it. We have “family” wherever we have lived — in the UK, Seychelles and now in Austria. My perspective of what we think of as security changed when my wife and I lost our young son. His accident made me very much aware that security is being where God wants you to be, in the centre of His will.

2. What prompted you to go into missions?
David: It was literally a telephone call. At the time, I was enjoying my secular job in fibre optic research. Out of the blue, my pastor’s wife phoned me, saying: “I think your skills and gifts are wasted; I think God has something else in store for you — I don’t know what it is, but I think you should consider it.” I was shocked. I had zero inclination for missions, thinking that it was for those who can learn languages and for up-front people. However, it made me start exploring options in ministry or missions.

3. You have worked in missions for nearly 30 years, most recently with Trans World Radio in broadcast, distribution and scalable digital solutions; what has kept you in missions?
David: I came to the conclusion, that I can do a stressful job in missions because I believe in it, but I can no longer do a stressful secular job because my heart is not in it. We are light and life where we are, whether we are called to missions or to secular work. I like OM’s vision of including people who are in secular work to be part of missions and of involving churches as partners. This reflects the beautiful diversity of the worldwide church.
4. What motivated you to join OM EAST and take on the challenge of leadership?

David: One night in 2013, when I came home from work, I had a vision about how to use media in missions. Inspiration came for a media exchange platform and it clicked how this could come together. I was trembling and tears ran down my face because I knew that to realise this vision would be painful. I prayed, “Lord, if you want me to, I will do this; I will follow.” When I met with OM EAST in 2019, I found they shared that same vision and discernment of what was needed. Later, I was invited to apply for the position of team leader. It is not comfortable or easy, but when I looked through the job description to see if there was one excuse to say “no”, I found none. I saw that God was opening this door.

5. Could you share OM EAST’s vision for the future?
David: Media is very powerful. We need to learn how to use it well and equip ministries to release that potential in their situation. Giving them something to leave with the people they are trying to reach opens the gate for further conversation and increased engagement. However, we don’t want to just produce stand-alone content, but rather encourage teams to develop a media strategy. We seek to complement the work of the teams, helping them help themselves — like being a conductor in an orchestra, enjoying the music and seeing it take off!
6. OM EAST is redefining their vision, preparing to serve OM teams globally and planning to change their name; can you describe any other next steps?
David: OM EAST is already well equipped to provide graphic design and layout for print and digital media. Now we want to further develop in the area of digital media, including pursuing the dream of a media exchange platform, a tool that will have huge ramifications because it enables ministries to share content easily. Practically speaking, clearing out the office is a physical representation of the transition we are going through. We acknowledge and build on the past, giving thanks and praise, but also accepting a new role with new impetus. It will look different; the world has changed and so has communication.
7. How will OM EAST contribute to OM’s overall vision of sharing the gospel among least reached people?
David: I see a huge opportunity to play a role in supportive media. I have heard in OM that what we have to offer is desperately needed. There’s a sense of new possibilities to work together. When I took on the leadership role, my question was, “will OM’s top leadership endorse this?” Their support now opens huge doors. I am passionate about the vision and it gives me joy to see the readiness for it!
8. Have there been encouragements during your first months in the role?

David: There has been a great welcoming culture and many affirmations. At the leaders’ conference, one speaker said: “Never let me hear any of you say, ‘OM did this’; it is God’s work and we are His labourers in His harvest field.” This is a foundation that excites me! Let us lay a good foundation and be faithful. Let us not be afraid of taking the risk of doing what we believe God is calling us to do!