One of the things I like about OMF Japan is that it has a direction, a road the organisation wants to travel on. We all know that if you are going on a journey, you need to know your direction of travel—that’s what you get from organizational values.
One of OMF Japan’s values is: We provide member care and development—training, equipping, and supporting each member in their life and ministry.
This comes from Bible verses like, “[Christ] is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ” (Col. 1:28 NIV), and “A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).
Of course we desire to do this for the people of Japan, but we also do this for each other in OMF Japan. The values of supporting and caring, equipping and training, are all ways to help others to maturity in Christ and together be a witness to the watching world.
For more than half our missionary career, my wife and I have served in this area of member care and development with OMF Japan.
We served new workers for nearly eight years. We welcomed people at the airport, took them to homes that we had furnished, and helped them settle in. We helped with the administration that is needed when arriving in a new country—health insurance, driving licenses, gas, and water. We arranged language classes, taught about Japanese culture, and helped new workers navigate their first couple of years in Japan as missionaries. We cared and trained, we listened and explained, we prayed and encouraged.
Now Janet is the Pastoral and Spiritual Care Coordinator and I am the Training and Development Coordinator for OMF Japan. We care for missionaries—we visit people, listen to their concerns, help where possible, pray with people, and follow up. We train missionaries—we coach, encourage, provide materials, and run courses. Jointly we’ve run a number of spiritual retreats and recently trained colleagues in listening skills.
We, personally, and OMF Japan, organisationally, travel in this “direction” of providing member care and development. We don’t just do it for the health and wellbeing of OMF Japan missionaries—although that is reason enough. We work to care for and train missionaries for long-term and effective ministry in Japan for the establishing of his kingdom.
Care and development of our members is one of OMF Japan’s “directions”, one of our values. Please pray that we will keep going in this direction so that we live and preach the gospel faithfully in Japan.
By Peter, an OMF missionary
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray that OMF Japan will keep going in this direction, so that we faithfully live and preach the gospel in Japan.
- Pray for those who care for the health and wellbeing of missionaries: that they will do the best job they can in God’s strength.
- Pray for missionaries who are struggling right now, pray that they’ll receive the kind of support they most need.