Get to Know Dick Durston, U.S. Candidate Director

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Name: Dick Durston or “Richard of Brighton”
Role at OMF (U.S.):  Candidate Director
Length of service: 32 years (4 years church planting in Japan; 15 years Japanese diaspora ministry in U.S.; 11+ years Candidate Director)
What is your favorite:
Food: Tuna sandwiches
Movie: Sound of Music
Band/song: Berlin Philharmonic/ Beethoven Pastoral Symphony #6
Book: Bible and with respect to historical novels, Louis L’Amour Westerns
Item in your work space: MacBook Pro
Gift to receive: Model Train cars or engines
Part of your job: Meeting Candidates (missionary applicants) face to face
What are three words someone might use to describe you? Nice, funny, diligent
What do you do for OMF?
Screen missionary candidates out to the field. Candidates are those people who are applying for missionary service in East Asia with OMF. It seems at times that we turn more applicants away than we accept, but our intention is to assess and screen well, and get as many new missionaries to East Asia as we can!
What’s one major hesitation that people tend to have about going long-term? And what is your response to that?
The one major reason that people hesitate about going long-term these days is that they aren’t certain of their call. They don’t “count the cost.” They start the application process with us, but don’t really realize what the process entails and aren’t willing to leave their lives in the U.S. for a missionary career overseas. I think this is a reflection on the lack of spiritual depth and commitment that many people have, and the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 isn’t taken seriously. Churches aren’t preaching and teaching missions as much as they used to.
After all these years, why did you stick with OMF? What do you appreciate about what OMF offers?
OMF has always been willing to listen to us, to how we have perceived God’s guidance. OMF leaders are flexible and always affirming. And God has always supplied our needs.
What is a hobby you enjoy? How did you get into that hobby?
Model railroading. My father built model railroad cars as a hobby during WWII and said if he lived through that, got married and had sons, that he would give the cars to them one day. Thus, the hobby started in grade school.
What is something you’ve always wanted to try but have been too scared to? Snow skiing (non-beginner slopes).
And most importantly, if you could have a superpower, what would it be? To be able to live forever with my wife in heaven, in our own cottage.

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