Easter in the Philippines

On Easter Sunday, 12 new Christians in the Philippines were baptised in the sea!⁠
OMF worker Andy Smith shares:⁠’Pastor James*  is planting a church in an agricultural town in the Philippines. Although my church in Manila could not gather for Easter, his could. ⁠
The congregation awoke early on Sunday morning. They cooked special food for the day. At the prescribed hour, they arrived at the meeting place. Then they filled two jeepneys and headed to a beach. At the beach, they held a worship service. As part of the service, they baptized twelve new believers, many of whom were adult men. After the service, a couple was married. They spent the rest of the day at the beach eating, swimming, swapping stories, and encouraging one another in the faith.’⁠
Irene McMahon, OMF Philippines Field Director, shares more encouraging news from elsewhere in the Philippines. Another church had 15 baptisms on Easter Sunday, while just before Easter there were more than 20 baptisms on Samar island. Elsewhere, Basketball for Jesus, a ministry in Quezon city, reports 10 to 15 house groups meeting for Bible study regularly. While churches in the Bicol area which were devastated by typhoons last October report significant growth.⁠
*Name changed.

National Conference: Save the Date!

We’re excited to announce that in 2022 there will be an OMF (UK) National Conference in Swanwick, Derbyshire. From the 11-13 March 2022 we will gather together around the theme of learning from the global Church. Our Bible teacher for the weekend will be Rico Villaneuva, a Filipino Old Testament scholar who works as Asia Regional Commissioning Editor for Langham Publications. We will also hear from a variety of speakers on global partnerships OMF is engaged in, as well as prayer updates from people on home leave. More details and how to book will follow in the September edition of Billions and on our website.

Heading for the office in Japan

Japan is infamous for its long working hours; but for those who spend most of their time and effort in the office, there are very few opportunities to hear about Jesus Christ. Local churches often struggle to reach these busy professionals. OMF Japan’s main focus is on evangelism, discipleship, church planting, student work, and theological education. They do these in partnership with Japanese Christians, churches and para-church ministries.  While this is still the core of their work, since 2020 OMF Japan has been part of an innovative pilot project. This allows foreign Christians in secular workplaces in Japan to partner with OMF and receive support to help share their faith with their colleagues. As Japan changes, with some firms adopting English as their corporate language, there are growing opportunities for non-Japanese workers. Currently, OMF Japan only has limited spaces to support professionals, but they are looking for a Marketplace Ministry Coordinator to enable them to support more Christian professionals coming to Japan.

Find out more about this opportunity here.