About Mid- and
Long-Term Missions

Spend one to three years of your life serving in cross-cultural ministry. Or, commit your life serving among an unreached people group in East Asia. Plant churches, train leaders, lead Bible studies, or work among children, youth, and students to bring the gospel to the rich and poor, deprived and privileged. Use your professional skills to reach peoples otherwise unreachable. Engage in community development, bringing justice to the poor and marginalized.

If you have any questions, please see our FAQs below.

Qualifications, Terms of Service, Cost

Specific Opportunities

Preparation and Care

Potential Barriers to Service

Qualifications, Time, and Cost

What are the qualifications to go to Asia with OMF International?

  • 18 years of age for short-term workers – age 20 and over preferred for longer term members.
  • Evidence of an active, maturing relationship with Christ
  • Good physical and emotional health.
  • Ability to build relationships with people.
  • Experience in ministry.
  • Prayer and financial support.
  • A supportive sending church.
  • A sense of God’s direction in ministry (a place, people group and/or mission agency.)
  • Depending on the ministry role, there may also be specific requirements for theological and professional training and experience.

How long do you consider “mid-term”?

We consider service of one to three years as mid-term.

How do I serve with OMF International for one to three years?

The first step is to fill out a profile on MyOMF. You will then be contacted by a member of our National Team who will do their best to build a relationship with you and help you begin your journey towards missions among East Asia’s peoples.

How are workers with OMF International funded?

OMF International is a faith-based mission—we depend upon God for financial provision concerning his kingdom work.  For 150 years we have seen God provide for us during wars and recessions, as well as in times of abundance.  Each person is required to raise financial support in dependence upon God. While we avoid direct soliciting for funds, we seek to be honest and clear communicators as we share the vision for East Asia with our churches, family and friends. As God brings those that are burdened for this ministry to us, we share openly with them about our financial needs. We recognize that this is not the only method of raising support and do not look down on other individuals or organizations that raise support by soliciting directly. The amount each person raises depends on the country of service, size of family and on-field ministry costs.

How much does it cost to serve with OMF International?

It is difficult to state what the financial needs will be as it varies so much depending on the location, ministry role and family situation.  A Total Support Figure is developed during the application process for each individual or family that includes basic living expenses, housing, ministry expenses, as well as fees for services such as receipting donations, paying taxes, paperwork, prayer letters, training, mobilization and keeping the headquarters operating.

What is the difference between going mid-term (one to three years) and long-term?

The application process for those going less than three years is slightly less extensive with fewer references. Mid-term workers usually raise less support because most of our fields of service offer a subsidized rate.  Either way, you are considered field missionaries and are an important part of OMF International’s ministry in East Asia.

If I apply to go with OMF International, how long will it take me to get to Asia?

Most people are able to leave for Asia 18 to 24 months after they begin the application process. The application process followed by partnership development to nurture a prayer and financial team can be a lengthy and time consuming process, so we suggest you start applying about six months before you expect to attend our Candidate Course; although you may start as early as you like.

What is OMF International’s relationship to the sending church?

Missions is the responsibility of the local church and OMF International is committed to serving and equipping the local church to help it fulfill its God-given mission. Members are not sent without the support/endorsement of their local church.

How can I be involved in missions now even though I am not ready to go overseas?

Great ways to prepare for international service include serving faithfully in your local church, joining an OMF Prayer Group, visiting an international church, spending time with internationals in your local community, taking the Perspectives Study Program, getting further education that may be necessary or mobilizing through our OMF International volunteer ministry. Service here among the people you wish to work with in East Asia is always a great way to prepare.

Preparation and Care

Does OMF International provide medical care and insurance for their missionaries?

The basic care is provided by the Canadian provincial medical insurance. Medical care and insurance on the field are provided through each missionary’s Total Support Figure.  OMF also has a team of Medical Advisors both in Canada and in the field who give advice and input on medical issues.

Does OMF International have a retirement plan?

Yes, we have a retirement plan for all members who have served for a period of 10 to 30+ years and who retire in good standing with the Fellowship.  A member’s Total Support Figure includes an annual amount to be invested in an RRSP and used to supplement Federal government programs, e.g. the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), Old Age Security (OAS) and Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).

What kind of training does OMF International offer?

OMF International requires that every candidate come to a 9-day residential Candidate Course prior to acceptance and offers a three-week Orientation Course in Singapore. The Singapore Orientation Course provides not only orientation to OMF International as an organization, but cross-cultural and leadership training as well. We also provide training and seminars for our workers while they are on the field.  Initial language and cultural training for new workers can take from one to two years, depending on the country.

What is OMF International’s approach to member care?

From early in the application process we work to understand each person’s personality, strengths and experiences, as well as issues that may need to be addressed to insure long-term growth as a person in Christ and effectiveness in cross-cultural ministry. On the field there are member care personnel who provide resources, training and counseling as needed and workers rely on each other as a fellowship for mutual support. Annual vacations are not just encouraged but required. When workers go on home assignment, they have significant time for personal renewal and refreshment. Workers also attend a week-long seminar designed to address personal and family issues, as well as equip them for home assignment ministry.

Does OMF International work in teams?

Yes, we work in teams. We believe in working together to reach East Asia’s people and we believe that we need each other in order to do so. While some of our teams are close-knit, others are more loosely-defined, depending on the ministry situation and political climate of the area. Most importantly, we would never think of sending a new worker into an area where there was not already an existing team.

Potential Barriers to Service

Do I need seminary training to be an OMF International missionary?

Seminary training is not necessarily required for field service; however, if the person’s desire is to do church planting or church leadership training, formal theological training is required. In some creative-access nations, where a person will be serving through their profession, theological training is also necessary, but the requirements are less than for those who are church planters.

I have school debt. Can I still serve with OMF International?

One reason Hudson Taylor established the China Inland Mission was because he believed God did not want his workers to accumulate debt for his kingdom work. He believed that God’s work, done in God’s way, would never lack God’s supply. To be good stewards, we strongly encourage people to pay their debt prior to serving with OMF. This includes student loans, credit card debt, car payments, lines of credit and mortgages. In some special situations you may be able to pay or defer your educational debt while serving.

I am divorced. Can I still serve with OMF International?

OMF International affirms the biblical standards of the sanctity of marriage and the biblical principles governing divorce and remarriage.  A divorce is not an automatic bar to joining OMF International. Each applicant is considered individually, taking into account factors such as length of time since the divorce, healing, sensitivity to the people being served and the emotional preparation of the applicant.

Can I go with OMF International if I am not a citizen of the sending country?

Yes, you can go with Serve Asia (short term) without being a citizen of the sending country. However, if you are planning to go for longer than one year, you must be a Canadian citizen or have Permanent Residency status.  Check with your OMF International mobilizer about other sending countries.

 Specific Opportunities

What kinds of degrees are more useful for getting into creative access nations?

For the worker who wishes to minister in a creative access nation, it is usually beneficial to have a secular degree (i.e., business, engineering, medical, educational, technical, administrative, musical etc.), as opposed to a theological degree.

Can I go with OMF International as a tentmaker?

Yes. If God has strategically placed you for a season in Asia, consider linking arms with us and commit to being a Friend of OMF International.  As a Friend of OMF International, you will join a local ministry team, minister alongside long-term workers to further the gospel and have long-term impact while still pursuing your current career.

Do I need TEFL/TESOL training to teach English in East Asia?

Many English teaching positions in East Asia only require a bachelor’s degree in order to teach, while some positions may require more training and experience, such as a TEFL/TESOL certificate.  It will depend on the specific teaching position for which you are applying.  We often recommend people take TESL training offered by CELTA, an organization with a reputation for being especially excellent.

What kinds of opportunities does OMF International have besides church planting and Bible teaching?

As we seek to plant churches and help establish indigenous, biblical church movements all throughout East Asia, we also work in many non-church planting roles. We have medical opportunities in China, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand, working in clinics, orphanages, medical universities and other non-hospital settings. We have engineers teaching in universities, doing postdoctoral research and providing computer, technical and building support in East Asia. We have business entrepreneurs starting small cafes or restaurants, developing agricultural projects and using many other missional business strategies in Creative Access Nations.

Is there a way to do ministry with OMF International while working in a secular role in Asia?

Yes. If God has strategically placed you for a season in Asia, consider linking arms with us and commit to being a Friend of OMF International.  As a Friend of OMF International, you will join a local ministry team, minister alongside long-term workers to further the gospel and have long-term impact while still pursuing your current career.

Billions are waiting. Will you go?

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