Mission Round Table

The OMF journal for reflective practitioners, Missison Round Table focuses on contemporary mission in Asia viewed from the perspective of active missionaries, students of mission, or interested supporters. Articles are designed to provide biblical, theological, and missiological foundations for thinking about mission and real-life examples that anchor the theory in practice.

Latest issue

“As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

Vol. 14 No. 1 Jan–Apr 2019

Some stories are well known and repeated so often that one storyteller can pick up where another has left off without missing a beat. While the voice changes, and some details may be enhanced or slightly modified, the underlying story remains the same. This is what we find in the biblical Gospels. Four distinct voices ring with a unified testimony about “That which was from the beginning [of the Christian faith], which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life” (1 John 1:1, ESV). The Gospels are faithful accounts of what the apostles saw and heard and touched and experienced. And they give us stories that can and should be told over and over and over again by many voices speaking in many languages.

This issue of Mission Round Table tells some stories about God’s work in his church that are so well known that readers could come in and take up the tale in their own words and style, though it is likely that it might develop in somewhat different directions. Some stories told here are probably not as familiar as some might have imagined, and at least one will hardly be known at all.

The articles in this latest edition are:

  • Do We Need Missionary Societies? – David Harley
  • ‘Making all things new’—or Did We? – Rose Dowsett
  • Beyond the Cambridge Seven: The Rev. Arthur Twistleton Polhill and the Dazhou Fú Yīn Táng – John M. Usher
  • God’s Mission to the Lisu – Walter McConnell

Synopsis of articles in “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

My Buddhist Friend’s Story

My Taiwanese friend, Jane*, is a devout Buddhist. I remember a class in high school on Buddhism, learning the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path and words like enlightenment, nirvana and karma. But high school was a long time ago and I was curious as to exactly what my friend believed. So I asked Jane [...]

Reaching Japanese professionals with an English dinner

These OMF missionaries are reaching Japanese professionals in Tokyo who have worked overseas with international companies—with a simple monthly dinner and English conversation.

Two Dollars

马文凯, MaWenKai came home last night. He’s been my husband for seven years, and in all that time he’s never held down a job for more than six months. He travelled to the north-east for work. He was supposed to come back with a bank card full of money. Lots of people from our area [...]

Christian community is vital for Japanese returnees

Japanese who return to Japan after encountering Christianity overseas need to find Christian friends in Japan to help them go on in the faith.

The Doctor’s Temple

In Taiwan, there are numerous temples and all kinds of gods. Each god has a specific purpose and power. As new missionaries with OMF in Taiwan, we recently visited a temple that is dedicated to health and Baosheng Dadi, a medicine god. This god was a doctor during China’s Song dynasty. I call this temple [...]


In this video you can experience what it means to observe a day of Ramadan from morning until evening.

Keeping the faith: from English to heart language

This missionary couple were shocked when a new Japanese Christian they met in the US was troubled by encountering Christianity in her heart language.

Marking the End of Ramadan: Happy Eid

"Eid-al-Fitr is the three-day festival that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan for my family and thousands of other Muslim families in China. The Best Clothes Early on the first day of Eid-al-Fitr I will lead the family in ceremonial washing, after which, for this very special day, we put on our [...]

A real Chinese New Year in Taiwan!

Arriving My Taiwanese friend kindly invited me to her mother’s family’s home for the second day of the new lunar year. This is a day when women traditionally visit their family. The major event is a meal celebrating the new year. On reaching the house, I realised this wasn’t going to be an inside meal [...]

Miss Liu – What it’s like to teach missionaries

I have been working as a language teacher for nearly twenty years in Taiwan. I love my job and I’m much obliged to all the language students of mine, especially the dear missionaries from OMF. The OMF missionaries spend the beginning of their time in Taiwan learning the languages. How blessed I am to meet [...]

From Chicago to Manila: Crossing Cultures in Youth Ministry

Working with Chicago teens prepared Rebecca for Manila.

Japanese ministry can happen outside Japan

Janet, a future missionary in Japan, found she could do ministry with Japanese even before she left home. This experience helped her prepare to go to Japan.

Partnering in training in Japan

Training across organisations can be challenging. Workers from OMF Japan’s offices and a university student ministry spent two days together learning how their roles fit into the bigger picture of God’s mission of reaching Japan.

Extending our reach in Japan through partnerships

“If God had not put us in touch with OMF, we would probably have left Japan after the first year. Praise God for the connection and partnership!”

Singapore to Japan: Shao Xiong & Levene’s Mission Story

Shao Xiong & Levene are heading from Singapore to Japan for two years with OMF. We caught up with them to find out about their journey to this point. Where did your interest in missions begin? Levine: “All along, ever since I’ve been a Christian, I’ve seen missions is very important. but it was only [...]

Ministering as a Professional Big Sister

  Through my time as a boarding home assistant (or “Professional Big Sister, as I like to be called), Christ has granted me a place of work, worship, and family while allowing my time here to be purposeful. As I began the process of application for this position, I had one thing in focus: to [...]

Partnering with a Japanese church as a short-term worker

He served in a place no other OMF missionary had ever served.

Ramadan on my Road

"What's Ramadan like in my area? Well, during working hours in Ramadan the city streets are much quieter than usual with people trying to conserve energy by staying in their air-conditioned shops and offices. This all changes in the mid-afternoon, as everyone joins the rush home, often stopping at a Ramadan market on the way [...]

The Night Before the Fast

“The night before the fast starts is an important time in for my Muslim neighbours. There’s a sense of anticipation – this is a very special month and they’ve have been looking forward to it for some weeks now. Some of them will be watching Ramadan-related shows on TV, which feature prominently throughout the fasting [...]

Running a cafe in Japan: partnership in mission

Sometimes God surprises us by unexpectedly opening the door into a new ministry partnership. This happened recently when an OMF couple began work in a cafe in Sapporo.

Browse or download past issues

Sep-Dec 2018 The Bible
The Church in Mission and the World

May-Aug 2018 The Bible
in Mission and in the World

Jan-Apr 2018 Thinking
Christianly in a Pluralistic World

Sep-Dec 2017 Suffering
and the Church

May-Aug 2017 Ministry to
Diaspora & Sojourning Peoples

Jan-Apr 2017 Mission
Agencies in the 21st Century

Sep-Dec 2016 Mission
from the Majority World

May-Aug 2016
Journeys with Jesus

Jan 2016 Tell Them
the Old, Old Story


Sep 2015
Christ Meets Culture

MRT v10.3 (Sept 2015) Christ Meets Culture

May 2015 Identity in
Christ and in the World

Jan 2015 Fellowship and
Partnership in Mission

Sep 2014 Discipleship
in east Asia

May 2014
Missional Creation Care

Older volumes (Jan 2005 to May 2014)

MRT 1.1 to 9.1