Here is a snapshot of just a few of the diverse ministries OMF workers are involved in. Please take time to pray and see if God has gifted you with skills that you could use in mission.
Linda McFerren – Taiwan
53 and counting! No, that’s not my age, that’s the number of grandchildren I have! Having worked at a home for children from dysfunctional families, it’s a joy to see many of them grown up, married and having children of their own.
So often I’ve felt that unless I had the gospel to share with these children, then things would be pretty hopeless. Rejected, hurt, abused, fearful. All are from non-Christian backgrounds, so it’s their first contact with the gospel. Bible stories, devotions in small groups, one-to-one time. What an open door!
All our staff are Christians but we have many volunteers who come to help the children with homework. “What are you doing here?” they ask – always curious about the foreigner the children call Mum.
Seeing the children who have grown up teach their children about the Lord, or praying for parents who have hurt them, are big encouragements.
“Grandma Linda, will you come to my house for dinner on Sunday evening? My other Grandma and Grandpa will be there too – we need to tell them about Jesus.” – a request from six-year-old Melody.
God opens many doors through little children.
Richard Killer – Japan
Sharing the good news with men in Japan is hard – most men are busy with work having little time for people outside their “circle”. Getting into the “circle” is almost impossible, especially for a foreigner – but not totally impossible…
I have discovered that the Japanese are far more open to people who share a similar interest. In my case this has been surfing and snowboarding! I have teamed up with a like-minded colleague from Germany, and we have been praying for a number of years, seeking how this “different” ministry opportunity might take shape in Hokkaido.
Although it is still early days, last summer we were able to host a short-term team of surfers from California who helped kick-start the ministry. They distributed tracts at popular surf spots and invited surfers to attend an evangelistic surf movie night. Recently we started a small group for local Japanese Christian surfers – lots of great ideas are flying about and things are starting to happen – God is at work!
The reality is this: on a Sunday morning in Japan, there are many more surfers in the water than people attending church! The needs are great, the opportunities are many, but we are so few! Please pray that more would join us – It will be exciting to see how God shapes this ministry over the coming years.
Lynn – East Asia
The unreached people group close to my heart have their own distinct language and culture and can be found all over Asia, but they often go unnoticed when it comes to outreach. Who are they?
My own journey began ten years ago as I felt a prompting to learn Sign. God opened an opportunity for me to teach at a deaf school. There I realised that many had never heard about Jesus before. However, I also discovered Sign Language’s great ability to express a wealth of ideas in a single action. The universal sign for Jesus is to extend both your middle fingers outwards and point to the opposite palm showing that Jesus was nailed to a cross. So even before you understand much about Jesus you already know he is the crucified one.
What should a deaf church look like? Over the years we have learnt more about deaf culture, such as how the church must be visual. When telling a Bible story, using images or acting it out makes a world of difference. True fellowship is vital. One boy, who was visiting the church, was hurt and angry because he felt outside of society. He was impressed by the fellowship in the church, he could see people cared about each other. They had joy and a place to belong; he wanted that for himself.
Although hearing people started the fellowship our vision is to train up deaf people to lead. It’s been wonderful to see young deaf students learning how to lead worship, prayers and Bible Studies. As these students graduate and disperse, I pray that through them more deaf people may come to know Jesus.