Helen Lyttle

How long have you served with OMF?
I joined in February of 1983. I can scarcely believe it myself, but that is 39 years ago!

What is your current ministry?
My primary ministry over the last 22 years has been to be OMF Japan’s Third Culture Kids (TCK) Advisor. That has involved walking alongside families from the point of their acceptance as candidates to serve in Japan, right through the twists and turns of multiple transitions, the growth of their families, and whatever it has meant for every child on that journey.

Can you share a highlight from the last four years?
In the course of my sojourn in Japan, I’ve also been involved in three church plants. During this term of service, one celebrated its 50th anniversary, another its 30th, and the third its 20th. I praise God for opportunity to see first-hand how he has protected these churches in a country where there are still so few Christians.

What is the strangest thing you've seen?
My first Sunday back in Japan for this term of service proved to be the final ‘normal’ service since then. I didn’t know about Zoom calls two years ago but now I praise God for the multiple opportunities to connect with our scattered OMF families, and especially with a geographically scattered group of very special teenage TCK girls that I have met with every Tuesday night.

What can we pray for your future and where you serve?
As I move into ‘retirement’ I hope my enthusiasm for supporting and encouraging TCKs will not wane, but please pray that I’ll find the best way to do that.

David & Lucy Ma-Tiao) Eastwood

How long have you served with OMF?
David first went out to Taiwan in 1992 as a single man and during his first few years of language study met Lucy in a local church. We married at the beginning of 1996.

What is your current ministry?
David is the director of OMF’s work in Taiwan and is responsible for around 70 OMF workers from 15 different countries. This means making sure everyone gets good care and support and ensuring that OMF’s work in Taiwan is strategic in addressing unmet needs. He also does a lot of preaching and teaching in local churches. Lucy focuses on reaching poorer people through running a food bank and starting small groups. She also does voluntary social work at several old people’s homes.

Can you share a highlight from the last four years?
For David: It’s been exciting to see how God continues to send new workers to Taiwan even after the arrival of COVID-19. New ministries have been started in some of the parts of the island with very few Christians. I’ve also had opportunities to be involved in Chinese preaching training in Taiwan and Malaysia, and in teaching both locals and missionaries about the challenges of reaching those from working class and folk religious backgrounds.

Lucy: I completed a Master’s degree in social work and have become involved in advocacy for the elderly who have no family to care for them. I’ve enjoyed being involved in a local church and encouraging them to see the needs of the poor and marginalised in society.

How can we pray for your future and where you serve?
David will continue in his role for the next few years. Pray for wisdom in leading OMF Taiwan to respond to the many opportunities for ministry in Taiwan especially among the poor and marginalised.

John & Paula Richards

How long have you served with OMF?
We’ve served with OMF in the Philippines since 1991, mainly on the island of Mindoro but also in Manila.

What is your current ministry?
Since 2006 we’ve been concentrating on working with the Mangyan, an indigenous people group in Mindoro, usually as part of a team consisting mainly of Filipino nationals. We have particularly been involved in supporting the Mangyan Bible School and efforts to translate the Bible for the Occidental Tawbuid (a Mangyan tribe), which is now almost complete after 12 years’ work.

Tell us about your last term of service
It’s been very unusual. We returned to the UK earlier than planned, in July 2020, after John’s mother died in March. We were grateful to still be here when John’s father died in May 2021. In November 2021 we returned to the Philippines for a short while. This gave us an opportunity to say ‘farewell’ and bring closure to our life and ministry in the Philippines. The Lord was plainly directing us home, to a new assignment, that included helping support Paula’s brother in caring for their elderly parents. In January this year, Paula’s Dad died and we both had COVID-19. We returned to the UK in mid-February. Being here will give us the opportunity to thank in person our amazing prayer partners. Our hearts were greatly touched by all the love and support we received through difficult times from those we worked with. We were also thankful for good closure endorsed by the Mangyan Church Association and OMF.

What can we pray for your future?
Please pray for us as we adjust to life in Edinburgh and the UK, for the skills needed to care for Paula’s mum and to establish ourselves in a new church and community. Pray for us as we discuss our future relationship with OMF as well.