Sep Dec 2014
News New Horizons europeGrowing Urban church
Get to Worktune our Hearts
at Work and Play
God graciously loans us our time, gifts
and circumstances. Circumstances provide us opportunities to sow gospel seeds; work places create space to build relationships and may open doors cross culturally. A musical gift can serve the church and engage a community. Circumstances and gifts, together with the people we are and the time God gives us, form our own unique setting to serve the gospel.
Thinking about what God has already provided for us to serve his Kingdom, might prove more fruitful than adding more things to the to-do list.
chris WattsEditor firstname.lastname@example.org
A perceived sacred secular divide is not only a misunderstanding but also leads to missed opportunities.
We serve the church and seek to bring the gospel to all the peoples of East Asia. We help place Christians with professional skills in China and other Asian countries, and share the love of Christ with East Asians worldwide.
Through Gods grace we aim to see an indigenous, biblical church-planting movement in each people group of East Asia, evangelising their own people and reaching out in mission to other peoples.
Bringing hope to hard places
From the editor
aUstralia18-20 Oxford StreetEppingNew South Wales 2121Tel +61 2 9868 4777Fax +61 2 9868 email@example.com
MalaYsia3a Jalan NipahOff Jalan Ampang55000 Kuala LumpurTel +60 3 4257 4263Fax +60 3 4251 4313 firstname.lastname@example.org
siNGaPore2 Cluny RoadSingapore259570Tel +65 6510 3130Fax +65 6474 email@example.com
iNterNatioNal HeaDQUarters2 Cluny RoadSingapore 259570Tel +65 6319 4550Fax +65 6472 firstname.lastname@example.org
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News 4 the Growing Urban church 6 How do people plant churches?
New Horizons europe 10Responding to the European church
Notes from Hokkaido 12Finding my place as a Christian musician
Get to Work Get to Mission 8 Paul the Tentmaker
tune our Hearts 14Gods people have always had a song
Denmark has just completed a year at one of our boarding
homes in Thailand.
Jussi and riitta
with their young family have left their
home in Finland to reach out to young people in a
provincial town in Taiwan.
laurens is a Bible school student
in latvia. He wants to explore missions, and has shown an interest in East
Asia. Pray as he tries to raise the funding for a short-
NewsSelected snippets from OMF's work with East Asians around the world.
Praying with JapanThis summer a small team went on a prayer trip to Hokkaido, Japan. Maddy Griffiths and Angelo Lebrato were part of that team and share with us what they found:
Nishi Okoppe (that's West Okoppe to you and me) a small town in Hokkaido only distinguishable from the places around it by the presence of the road signage. Cattle outnumber people three to one. Total population? About 1,300. So why is it worth your time?
One of the things that captivated me was getting the chance to speak with missionaries who have been in the country for more than 30 years, people who in their 20s gave up their comfortable lives to serve the Japanese and are still crying out for their salvation. They are an example of discipline and persistence in what the Lord called them to do.
I'm convinced that prayer is the key for Japan. We met with pastors who have been praying for revival in their nation for 20 years. They believe that the prayers are going to be answered in their lifetime. Personally, I would love to see more people coming for prayer walks and short-term missions, to encourage missionaries and to minister to the local people in Japan.Angelo Lebrato
Try to find the place on a map you will struggle. In this tiny town, one couple faithfully share the gospel with their community through traditional Japanese arts such as the tea ceremony, ikebana (flower arranging) and karate as well as reading to local children and working with a mums and tots group. They have, as yet, seen only one person come to Christ but they are hopeful and they continue. Stepping off the career ladder, and consequently living on a reduced income, they have faithfully freed up time from their working lives for Christian outreach. These are not foreign missionaries; they are local people who have continued in their witness for twenty-five years. Their faithfulness challenges many of us.
Prior to the Prayer Team's trip to Hokkaido I used to ask everyone to pray for Japan. After visiting towns like Nishi Okoppe, I'm now asking people to pray with Japan. There are local people passionately wanting to see salvation come to their towns and they pray persistently for Jesus to be made known.Maddy Griffiths hopes to be a long-term missionary to rural Japan.
Caring for CreationAnybody who passes by the new OMF Centre in Switzerland will see the architects hand in the well-constructed building. Nobody would consider the notion that it all happened by chance there is a creator behind the building. The creators behind it know that there is a God who made and cares for the world. Because God cares for the world, the creators of the new OMF Centre wanted to use sustainable and clean building technologies.
The solar panels produce warm water and enough electricity for the spacious office, the cafeteria and the energy needs for heating, air conditioning and lighting. Geothermal energy is used for additional warm water and heating the well-insulated building. The long-term benefits and savings from these energy sources will more than offset the additional costs for the installations. The savings of about 20t CO2 per year show care for Gods creation. It is part of the testimony that Christians care for what God cares for.
New WebsiteYou may have seen it already, but in case you havent; OMF has a new website.
Behind the scenes, a team from across OMF has been working hard to decide what an OMF website should look like, what it should do, and who would be using it. Having reached some consensus it then needed to be built.
For those involved it has been an exciting but exhausting process. We are thankful to those across world who have generously given of their time, expertise, energy and prayers.
The beginning of this year brought a final big push to get the site ready for the world to see and use. Then, just one day after the launch it broke. Again members of the team worked hard, outside of usual office hours, to put things right.
Now that it is ready, we hope that you find improvements to both the function and content of the website beneficial. We would welcome any feedback as the website is and will continue to be in constant development.
report the Growing Urban church
In East Asia, one OMF couple got the opportunity to be part of a new church plant. Of course, they did not realise it at first. The pastor of a small local church approached the couple to help some young members of his small church start an English club. They hoped that the club would be a stepping-stone to bring people into a new Bible study they were starting about the same time.
Once a week, between eight and nine young Christians from the church would meet with the OMF couple to learn English at the club. Local Asian people hoping to learn English began to join the group. The opportunity to learn English from a white face was just too good to ignore.
The session followed a regular routine. The OMF couple would give a talk lasting between 15 and 20 minutes on any topic that prompted discussion. They spoke about all sorts of things; the nature of love, the meaning of Easter, and even physics got a mention! Next, those attending broke into smaller groups to discuss the topic, where they had a chance to practice their English. One young Christian would lead each group, directing conversation and making friends with the non-Christians attending. Not only did the smaller groups provide a way for relationships to develop, but the discussion topics lent themselves towards allowing Christians to share their faith.
The group was so successful that they decided to start meeting on Sunday afternoons, as well as mid-week. The Sunday meetings were still English lessons, but they also began
to take the form of Bible studies. The non-Christians attending had the chance to develop their English while discovering more about the faith the young Christians had shared during their discussion times.
Through these Bible studies, the English club members started to give their lives to Jesus. As more and more people became Christians, the Bible study developed into a Sunday morning meeting. It was the start of a new church. Who would have thought that God would use an English club to start a new church?
Today, the club has evolved into a church of about 250 students and young professionals led by a permanent local pastor. They even have their own building! The OMF couple who were part of the English club are members of the church, working under the leadership of the local pastor. The English club still runs, now with about 60 weekly attendees. An OMF worker estimates the English club has seen about 1,300 people come through its doors, many of whom have came to faith in Christ and attend the church.
God can use anything to grow his church.
In the western world, church plantin