2021 is the 55th anniversary of the Philippine Home Council of OMF-International. PHC was founded as a response to the need for Asian workers in missions. As Rev. Max Atienza, who was once the Director of the Far East Broadcasting Company and the founding Chairman of the Philippine Home Council of OMF wrote during the inception of PHC,
“Here, Roman Catholicism was introduced into the Philippines almost 450 years ago and is the religion of the majority of the country’s thirty-four million population.
But strangely, the Philippines remains largely a receieving rather than a sending mission field. Of course, evangelical Christianity is barely seventy years old, but with so much background of Christian civilization, this country should have become the chief source of Christian missionaries to her … neighbours, but such has not been the case. A Filipino Christian missionary is a rare species.”
As the sending arm of OMF Philippines, the Home Council sends Filipino Christians to serve in other parts of Asia, as well as within the Philippines. On April 1st, 1967, the first Filipino workers, William and Eden Layda and Dr. Linda Dumlao, were received into the fellowship of the OMF. In the East Asia Missions August-September, 1967 issue, William Layda wrote,
“As we prepared to leave the Philippines , friends asked us many questions. The classic one was, ‘why should you leave our country when we still have tremendous need for Christian workers here?’ We explained that our call does not depend upon the present needs of our country. If we wait until the need in the Philippines are met before launching out as missionaries, then Filipinos could never go. On the other hand, if we Asians would like to see Asia evangelized in our generation, we must ourselves take an active part. I believe God has called us to preach the Gospel to our Asian brothers. I trust, too, that more Asian Christians will hear His voice and join us for His glory.”
Today, the Philippine Home Council of OMF-International continued its proactive pursuit in mobilizing the Filipino church for missions. From the initial three missionaries in 1967, who took the challenge of leaving the comforts of life in order to “preach the Gospel to our Asian brothers”, in partnership with Filipino churches, today PHC has thirty active members. They are serving within the Philippines and across Asia in various capacities. However, they have the same vision and passion, “Through God’s grace we aim to see an indigenous biblical church movement in each people group of East Asia, evangelizing their own people and reaching out in mission to other peoples.”
As PHC continues on, let me express my deepest gratitude for your unceasing partnership in missions. Together, let’s continue to be steadfast in our faith, steadfast in our obedience to make disciples of all nations, and steadfast in living out our calling as God’s children so that the world may see and experience God’s love, faithfulness, and grace in Christ Jesus, our Savior and Lord.