New prayer guides

Prayer is an extraordinary gift, through it the God who made the heavens and the Earth invites us to participate with him in his work in the world. However, we know that as well as being an amazing privilege it can also feel hard and overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to begin, and what to pray for, especially when praying for people and places we have never seen or experienced. This is why OMF works to produce resources that equip people to pray. We have two new prayer resources available; both provide insight into areas of East Asia that perhaps we often hear less about. Both of these guides are available through the OMF (UK) office.

DPRK: A Door Swinging Open – £1

We are likely aware that people of the DPRK (North Korea) need our prayers, but given the secretive nature of this country, it can often be hard to know where to begin. The insights and stories within this guide provide a great way to get started.

Praying Down the Mekong River – £1

The Mekong River flows through China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. This guide will equip you to pray for the many millions living along it who have currently not heard the good news of Jesus Christ.

Contact Reuben Grace for more information: 01732 880 321

Hanamaki church building project

Where did you first hear about Jesus? Was it in a basement Sunday school room with Christ’s genealogy chart on the wall? Or maybe on a wooden pew during a worship service? A classroom at a university Christian group meeting on campus? At a campsite far away from internet and parents?

Wherever it was, it’s safe to say we need a place to gather to know God. The Church is not a building but the Church, his people, need a place to gather.

Excitingly, Hanamaki Grace Christ Church, an OMF church plant in northern Japan which began meeting in 2014, have found they need a bigger place to meet. They have outgrown the place they have been renting till now. So, in April they purchased a used building which they will renovate into their church! By the time you read this, the work should have taken place over the summer to create a comfortable meeting space for 50 people. The building will also include rooms for Sunday school and outreach activities, plus accommodation for short- and medium-term workers.

Hanamaki has a population of around 90,000 people, about the size of somewhere like Weston-super-Mare or Halifax in the UK. There are only around 100 Christians across Hanamaki’s different churches. OMF (UK) workers Mark & Sarah Gelsthorpe, serving in Hanamaki write: ‘Our passion is to share the good news of Jesus with this community and we praise God for his generosity and provision. By God’s grace, we have already connected with many people in the community through English classes, cooking classes, kids’ clubs and an open house café. We pray that God will use the new building to help draw more of the people of Hanamaki to himself.’

New book: Through Life’s Changing Scenes

What is the one thing that can keep you going through riots, political upheaval and physical hardship? In his new book, former OMF (UK) National Director, David Ellis shares his honest answer. Ellis shows how grasping God’s providence, knowing that as we follow Christ our circumstances ‘are not works of chance but all come to us from His fatherly hand’, is the only thing that can sustain us.

Through All the Changing Scenes: A Lifelong Experience of God’s Unfailing Care, released by Christian Focus Publications in September, draws together Ellis’ personal experiences of over more than fifty years of ministry in Asia and the UK his wife Adèle with deep biblical insights. Ellis shares not only about his times in Asia, but also more recent years caring for his wife Adèle through her Alzheimer’s. In this book, Scripture becomes the lens through which we are helped to view our experiences, offering insightful guidance, encouragement and challenge.

The title comes from a hymn based on Psalm 34 reflects on God’s presence in trial and difficulty. In his forward, Sinclair B Ferguson writes: ‘Anyone familiar with the hymn itself will probably assume this is a book for people going through rough times, encountering unexpected difficulties, facing trials, and needing encouragement. It is indeed that. But it is much more.’ There are stories of danger and difficulty, romance, but also deep insights on the Christian life drawn from these rich experiences.

OMF General Director Patrick Fung says of the book: ‘Ellis encourages readers to find meaning in the frightening turmoil of the ‘organized insanity’ of our world today, taking heart in the promise of the God who reigns, who suffers, and who holds the future: that death shall die, for Christ is our witness. Ellis’ vulnerability and transparency stand out in this heart-warming and deeply moving book, and everyone should read it to the very end.’

You can order Through All the Changing Scenes: A Lifelong Experience of God’s Unfailing Care from Christian Focus Publications (RRP £9.99) on their website or by calling CPF on 01862 871011.