OMF and China Inland Mission (CIM) History

The China Inland Mission (CIM) was established by James Hudson Taylor on June 25, 1865.

In 1866 Hudson Taylor, his wife children and 16 missionaries left England for China. Eager to reach the inland provinces of China with the gospel, the mission called people to prayer and sent out waves of workers to China throughout the late nineteenth century.

Hudson Taylor believed the gospel would only take root if missionaries were willing to identify with the culture of the people they wanted to reach.

History Stories, Articles & Resources

Book review – A Foot Wide on the Edge of Nowhere: Olive and Theo Simpkin—Sharing Good News in China

A Foot Wide on the Edge of Nowhere: Olive and Theo Simpkin—Sharing Good News in China By Majorie Helen Joynt Wattle Glen, Victoria: Helen Joynt, 2019. ISBN 9780648384908. 400pp. Reviewed by Claire McConnell Archivist at OMF International This is a book I had been anticipating for quite some time. My own personal story with the [...]

How Indigenous Are the OMF Asian Home Councils? Tracing the History of their Establishment.[1]

This paper recounts the birth and development of OMF’s Asian Home Councils, points out the key issues faced by these councils, identifies changes that have emerged over the years, and considers whether Asian Home Councils can be legitimately considered indigenous. Koyuki Sami joined OMF in 1992. She worked among the urban and rural poor in [...]

The First North American China Inland Mission Party

David Michell recounts the stirring story of God's work through a fascinating interweaving of lives and events that birthed the missionary movement to China from Canada and New York State. The story traces back to 1885 when Jonathan Goforth received a copy of Hudson Taylor’s China’s Spiritual Need and Claims. At the conference at Niagara-on-the-Lake, [...]

Reaching Japanese people through Bible camps

It was over 35 years since Yoshi had come to faith at a Bible camp in northern Japan. He wondered, “Was it still operating?” He and his wife decided to go and find out.

Book review – Planting an Indigenous Church: The Case of Borneo Evangelical Mission by Jin Huat Tan

Planting an Indigenous Church: The Case of the Borneo Evangelical Mission Regnum Studies in Mission By Jin Huat Tan Oxford: Regnum, 2011. ISBN 978-1-870345-99-6. 336pp. Book review by Ka-Neng Au Librarian, OMF International Mission Round Table Vol 14 no. 1 (Jan-Apr 2019): 35 The Borneo Evangelical Mission (BEM) was founded in Australia in 1928 on [...]

A Description of CIM Missionary Workers to the Tibetan Highlands Prior to 1950

This research paper describes the sociodemographic characteristics of early CIM pioneers who sought to take the gospel to the Tibetan plateau prior to the withdrawal of CIM from China in 1952. The discussion is based on data obtained from the CIM Registry and China's Millions of sixty-nine missionaries who worked in the Tibetan Highlands up [...]

Reflections on the Korean Missionary Movement: A Critical Review of Recent Research

Synopsis: This paper reflects on how recent scrutiny of the Korean Missionary Movement sheds insights on the contexts of Korean mission and the development of Korean mission agencies. Warren Beattie Reflections on the Korean Missionary Movement: A Critical Review of Recent Research Mission Round Table Vol. 12 No. 1 (January-April 2017): 35-41 Rev. Dr. Warren [...]

Future Proofing OMF

Synopsis: This article discusses the lessons learnt from the discontinuation of OMF Southern Africa and the transition period when the team worked hard to let the old OMF Southern Africa model die. The lessons were profoundly important in the development of New Horizons (NH) as OMF’s means to engage workers from non-traditional sending countries. The [...]

Religious confusion in Japan

Margaret, a missionary in Japan, found that many Japanese people she spoke to about their beliefs didn’t consider themselves religious. Rather, they usually followed the traditions of their family.

Japanese Buddhists saved by faith?

Logical reasoning rarely leads to a change of heart in Japan, where Buddhism is deeply ingrained and a way to stay connected to one’s family. Only the Holy Spirit can convict this family of their need for Jesus.

‘Making all things new’—or Did We?

Synopsis: This article recounts the “reluctant exodus” of the China Inland Mission from China and its re-formation into the Overseas Missionary Fellowship. The world was changing and the Mission was forced to change right along with it. Decisions were made that would shape the organization and its ministry as it began to work in new [...]

Beyond the Cambridge Seven: The Rev. Arthur Twistleton Polhill and the Dazhou Fú Yīn Táng

Synopsis: The article tells the story of Arthur Polhill, the youngest of the Cambridge Seven—the young men who joined CIM and left what could have been the good life in late nineteenth-century England to share the gospel in China. Even though we know that they became famous for what they gave up, the careers of [...]

God’s Mission to the Lisu

Synopsis: The article focuses on one of the most familiar stories in CIM/OMF history told in the biographies of J. O. Fraser and books by Leila Cooke and Isobel Kuhn. Is it possible to say anything new? Are we familiar with the other missionaries who labored among the Lisu? This article tells some things in [...]

It’s time for a different miracle in Japan

In 1989, at the beginning of the Heisei era, the Japanese economy was booming. Three years later, the bubble burst and Japan’s economy went into recession. Cracks are increasingly appearing in Japan’s prosperous façade, and it’s possible to glimpse the spiritual poverty this country is labouring under.

Suffering and Mission: Narrative Research from Cambodia, with Special Reference to Cambodian Church History

Synopsis: The paper presents the findings of narrative research on suffering in the lives of Cambodian Christians. It begins with a discussion of what the Bible says about suffering and a historical review of the suffering in Cambodia and her church. The paper shows how the scars inflicted on Cambodia through decades of suffering still [...]

The Church, Local, Wider, and Universal: A Study in Diversity, Unity, and Relationships

Synopsis: This paper contrasts the way early believers understood the church with the reality that whereas OMF perform many “churchly activities,” from a practical point of view it does “not really have a working ecclesiology.” It lays some biblical bases for understanding the church, overviews some historical understandings of its nature, questions the concept of [...]

History and Context: Shaping Mission and Church

Synopsis: This paper paints a backdrop that highlights the influence various evangelical groups in nineteenth century England had upon the young Hudson Taylor. It looks at how his Methodist heritage, revivalism, and his association with significant members of the growing Open Brethren movement shaped his thinking and practice as he founded the China Inland Mission [...]

Hudson Taylor and the Bible

Synopsis: Taylor inspired many people to work in China. He was not only responsible for widening the impact of the gospel in China, but he also had a crucial role in challenging the moribund spirituality of Victorian Christianity and showing how the life of faith essentially issued in a passion for mission, especially mission to [...]

Raising the next generation of leaders

How has God used OMF to work in and through Japanese students over the years? Here is just a little glimpse.

Who is OMF Japan? What are we doing?

Find out the needs of the church in Japan and how OMF Japan are seeking to meet those needs in the coming years. Maybe you could be an answer to our prayers…

Indigenous Mission Movements in China

By Steve Z Synopsis: This paper reviews historical and recent attempts by Chinese Christians to engage in their own mission movements. The first section looks at the origins of Chinese indigenous mission movements in tracing the growth of local churches during the Tang, Yuan, and Ming Dynasties. The second section focuses on Chinese Christians who [...]

With Bethel in Manchuria, 1931

Synopsis: This excerpt from Leslie Lyall’s inspiring account of the Bethel Bands[1]—a significant indigenous evangelistic movement in China in the first half of the twentieth century—recounts the evangelistic work in Manchuria by Andrew Gih, John Sung, Frank Ling, Lincoln Nieh and Philip Lee in 1931. Leslie T. Lyall[2] Son of an itinerant evangelist, Leslie Lyall [...]

CIM/OMF and the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement

Synopsis: This paper traces the response of CIM and OMF leadership to the challenges of accepting members from Pentecostal and charismatic backgrounds into a mission that is broadly evangelical. These challenges have not gone away. The discussion concludes with considerations about how we can maintain unity amidst differing theological understandings and practices. Walter McConnell Walter’s [...]

Guiding Light from the Cloud

Synopsis: Neel Roberts draws out key aspects from the writings of William Carey and Jonathan Edwards—two trustworthy guides who have personally influenced him and many others who sought to discern how they might best serve the Lord. The connection between William Carey and Jonathan Edwards is included in the historical account of how these two [...]

TCK Education-A Page from History

  Chefoo School in China was started in 1881, in the earliest days of CIM/OMF.  The dedication of teachers and resilience of students was tested to the limit during the war years.  In a fascinating BBC article, Mary Previte shares her experiences of being interned by the Japanese, sharing the prisoner of war camp with […]

When Hudson Taylor met D.L Moody

Right now, OMF General Director Dr. Patrick Fung is speaking at Moody Bible Institute. The link with Moody and OMF, goes back a long way, about 127 years back. James Hudson Taylor met D.L Moody in London, 1888 and wrote: “I had not the remotest idea in coming to America that anything specially bearing upon […]

The Martyrs’ Example – John and Betty Stam

The postmaster in the small town of Miaoshou in Anhui province recognized the Chinese Communist Army’s foreign prisoners. They were John and Betty Stam, missionaries with the China Inland Mission (CIM) in the area. “Where are you going?” he asked John. “We do not know where they are going,” John replied, “but we are going […]

Hudson and Maria’s Prayer of Jabez

Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying,“Because I bore him in pain.” Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so [...]

Our Story Begins

Available with English, French, Polish, Russian, Italian & Traditional Chinese subtitles. Click this [CC] ^ button. Our Story Begins from OMF International Media on Vimeo. 150 years of God's faithfulness to CIM and OMF International. From Hudson Taylor in 1865 to our current ministry across the world, see how God has been at work to [...]

The Tract that Saved ‘Dear Hudson’

Just before Christmas, a small group of us from the UK office took a trip to the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) to take a look at the vast amount of OMF archive material stored there. As we were browsing through all the different materials that have been so diligently preserved, I suddenly […]

That by all means – Hudson Taylor Quote

Download for your screen 1280×800 1440×900 1920×1080 2048×2048 "Let us in everything not sinful, become like the Chinese, that by all means we may save some" James Hudson Taylor's reflection on 1 Corinthians 9v19-23 From Our Story Begins video

Weak & Feeble – Hudson Taylor Quote

God uses those who are weak and feeble enough to lean on him. James Hudson Taylor More wallpapers at  

Gospel & Risk – Hudson Taylor Quote

“Let them see that you are rejoicing in God, you do not need any other protection, you put your trust in God, you are prepared either to suffer or be delivered as He sees best. They will learn that there is something in the Gospel worth risking life for.” James Hudson Taylor Founder of the […]

CIM/OMF Timeline: pre 1865 to 2015

A.D. 635 -1839 The early attempts to evangelize China Early attempts to evangelize China, such as those by Nestorian Christians in A.D. 635, were often met with persecution. By 1839 the Opium Wars had broken out and Protestant missionaries entering China in the 19th century found evangelization work to be restricted and slow-going. Around this time [...]

150 Years of Innovation | Jan-April Millions 2015

Welcome to the first Billions of 2015, the 150th year of OMF International. In this issue we begin a year of reflection and celebration of the past 150 years and see how that shapes the present and the future. Focusing on the first 50 years of the China Inland Mission, we will explore the ground-breaking […]

150 Years On – Are We Still Needed?

by Peter Rowan According to Rollin Grams of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, ‘most mission agencies have lost the vision of mission.’ After 150 years of engagement in mission, is this true of OMF? Do we have a future? Here is my six-fold answer– which is a ‘yes… but…’ response as to why I believe there […]

World War I, OMF and Mission

On 4 August 1914, Europe descended into the deadliest war in history. More than 9 million people lost their lives. Families throughout Europe were devastated; homes were destroyed, businesses were lost and children displaced from their parents. Amongst the pain and loss, what was God doing? 100 years on, can we look back and see […]

The History of Christianity in Asia

Hudson Taylor may have entered China’s provinces in 1865, but the gospel got there 1500 years earlier. The missionary finds it hard to meet the eyes of the new convert. He’s been asked the question he dreaded.But if the missionary works in East Asia, he doesn’t need to feel ashamed on behalf of Christians in […]

2000 years of Christianity in Asia

Hudson Taylor may have entered China’s provinces in 1865, but the gospel got there 1500 years earlier. The missionary finds it hard to meet the eyes of the new convert. He’s been asked the question he dreaded.But if the missionary works in East Asia, he doesn’t need to feel ashamed on behalf of Christians in […]