Mel Croom

What is your current ministry?

I am working in the UK with Diaspora Returnee Ministries (DRM) doing evangelism, discipleship and planning our Chinese Returnee Retreats. I also run the UK DRM team centre.

Highlight of your term?

In 2014 I was asked to be on the DRM training team for Africa. Before the Lord called me into OMF and work with the Chinese, I had thought I might serve him in East Africa. It was exciting to see him bring both these passions together and have me help train Africans to reach the Chinese.


How can we pray for your future and your field?

This Home Assignment leads to my retirement but with a difference. I joined OMF in 1983 and the Lord led me to Taiwan, then to service in the UK China Programme. Since 1994 I have served in the team that grew into DRM, based in the UK. I joined a team of four and it’s been amazing to see DRM grow to a global field of some 80 members. Pray for the Lord’s continued guidance as the leadership team respond to many exciting opportunities. As I begin retirement I have been asked to continue as a co-worker running the team centre.

Praise the Lord for his faithfulness in all the ways he leads me!

Hiromi Soma

How has God directed your life towards mission in the UK?

I became a Christian when I was in the UK. As I had never met a Japanese Christian in Japan, I thought I would be the first one when I returned home.  I discovered I wasn’t the first, but I had a hard time adjusting to Japanese church culture. I realised that this adjustment would be difficult for other returnees as well if they didn’t get specific support for their transition. I felt it would be too late if I waited for returnees to seek help in Japan since they quickly settle back into the busy schedule of life at home and have little time to go to church. So I felt that God was calling me to work in the UK to support returnees.

Do you have a dream outcome for your ministry in the UK?

It is said that 80 per cent of returnees cannot settle in Japanese churches for various reasons.

I would like to organise an equipper gathering for returnees to help make a connection between believers in the UK and Japan. These gatherings would help both returnees to prepare for the challenges they will face and local Christians who wonder how and where they should send returnees. I would like 100 per cent of returnees to be able to settle in Japanese churches in the future.

What can we pray for your future?

Please pray for my adjustment to life in the UK and that I can find a good community of returnees to work with. Pray, too, for my family’s salvation, as I am the first Christian in my family.