On Sunday, 21 February 2016, over 1.1 Millions people from 100 countries in 5,000 churches joined together in 11 languages. They sang the missions hymn, “Facing a Task Unfinished” as part of a united effort to draw attention to the imperative need for gospel messengers to go worldwide.
Alongside OMF were the internationally acclaimed hymn writers Keith & Kristyn Getty.
Facing a Task Unfinished was originally written by Frank Houghton in response to a bold move of faith by the China Inland Mission (CIM, now OMF).
In 1927, darkness fell over China and its missionaries suffered persecution. Half of the overall missions community left permanently. Still, in 1929, the CIM issued a call to prayer for 200 new workers. Two years later, 203 workers set sail for China to plant the seeds of the Gospel. Today mission experts believe China to be the greatest example for growth of Christianity in the history of the world – an estimated 80 – 130 million people now follow Christ in China.
In 2015, OMF International celebrated its 150th anniversary and invited Keith and Kristyn Getty to re-visit Houghton’s much loved and still timely hymn. The Gettys have been delighted to be part of introducing this anthem for Christian missionaries to a new generation.
The song will be the title track of Keith & Kristyn’s upcoming album (June 2016) and international tours. All composing and publishing royalties from the song are being directed back into the work of OMF in facing the unfinished task among East Asia’s peoples.
[blockquote6]”Songs have the ability to unite and move us as groups,” says Keith Getty. “Frank Houghton understood this and in response to great turmoil in China, turned to writing hymns to encourage those who were witnessing martyrdom around them. ‘Facing a Task Unfinished’ provided inspiration to a generation of missionaries when it was first written, and it urges us on still, even as we also live amid persecution and martyrdom, both at home and around the world today. Into these situations the call of Christ and His Kingdom is our only hope. His gospel is the window of light pouring into the darkened corners of this world. He is the good news we must sing and bring.”[/blockquote6]
This revived hymn, traditionally based on the Samuel Wesley tune, AURELIA, has been fitted with a new chorus by Keith and Kristyn to help serve a new generation of congregational singing. Married to the traditional lyric by Houghton the Gettys have added the lines:
We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord
About the Gettys
The Gettys are world-renowned contemporary hymn writers whose songs are sung each year by more than one hundred million people. Their most popular hymn, “In Christ Alone,” (co-written by Keith Getty with Stuart Townend) is the #1 most popular hymn sung in the UK for the past nine years, was voted the 2nd most-favored hymn in the UK in a 2013 BBC nationwide poll, and sits among the top 15 most popular hymns in the U.S. To date, the Gettys have written eight of the most popular hymns sung in the U.S., and 23 in the United Kingdom, according to Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI), the group that licenses and charts church music (the religious equivalent of ASCAP and Billboard). Through their spring and fall tours and their annual Joy–An Irish Christmas tours, The Gettys have performed before sold-out houses throughout the U.S. and abroad, and at notable venues as London’s Royal Albert Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. The duo met in Belfast, Northern Ireland when they began songwriting together. They were married in 2004, and two years later, they recorded their first project as a couple. To date, the Gettys have released 6 full-length albums and 2 limited edition EPs. They currently reside in Nashville along with their three young daughters.
About OMF International
OMF serves the people of East Asia through building relationships, evangelism, and discipleship. For 150 years OMF has seen God raise up men and women through whom he has touched millions of lives for eternity.
Read more at: omf.org/about-omf