Diaspora Prayer Resources

East Asians on the move

What is The Task Unfinished?

29% of the world’s population are considered unreached, that’s over 2 billion people with little access to a church, a believer or a bible.

Currently, among East Asia’s peoples, over 667 million people are still unlikely to meet a follower of Jesus.

Billions of East Asians do not know Christ, and millions have little to no access to the gospel, a Christian church, or even a single believer. We believe God is calling us to focus prayer, people and resources to bring the hope of Christ to unreached peoples in East Asia and around the world.

For OMF, The Task Unfinished is a focused effort to inspire believers world-wide to work together to bring the gospel to unreached people groups.

Each month our aim is to start a focused prayer movement for a different unreached country or people group. We hope you will consider being part of this movement—and help bring the hope of Christ to those who have little to no access to the gospel.

Stories about East Asia’s Diaspora

God specialises in the unexpected

Who is the most unlikely and unexpected people group to share the Gospel with Japanese people? Perhaps Chinese. Yet God is doing a surprising thing in Japan.

How can we prepare new Christians to return home? Pass the baton on!

Since January 2018, I have been reaching out to Japanese people in Birmingham and, for those going back to Japan as new Christians, helping prepare them for that transition. I started the Japanese student ministry at the University of Birmingham last September. I met around 20 Japanese students at the curry night I organised for [...]

Wonderful Welcome Week: Snapshots from International Student Ministry

On Monday morning, 15 July, a team of British and international students fanned out across the city centre in Sheffield to distribute flyers to international students, inviting them to join our Welcome Week activities. We were hopeful, but no one anticipated the enthusiastic response we were to see that evening! By 7pm, 60 students had [...]

Books and articles on diaspora

{{ vc_btn: title=Browse+-+resources+for+returnee+ministry&color=danger&link=url%3Ahttps%253A%252F%252Fomf.org%252Fasia%252Fdiaspora%252Fresources-for-returnee-ministry%252F%7C%7C%7C }} Publications on diaspora: Charles R. Ringma, Karen Hollenbeck- Wuest & Athena O. Gorospe, eds., God at the Borders: Globalization, Migration and Diaspora (Manila, Philippines: OMF Literature, 2015). Enoch Wan, ed., Diaspora Missiology: Theory, Methodology, and Practice, 2nd ed. (Portland: Institute of Diaspora Studies of USA, 2014). J. D. Payne, Strangers Next [...]

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.

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.

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.

Kunthea’s Story: From Cambodia to Canada

Meet Kunthea - a young Cambodian lady who was sent to Canada by her non-Christian family to pursue higher education a few years ago. While here, she came to know Christ as her Lord and Saviour through the ministry of her Christian home-stay family. Since then, she has grown in her faith to the point [...]

Building Bridges and Witnessing to God’s Multi-cultural Kingdom

With increased migration and globalisation in recent decades, there’s been growing mixing of traditionally separate cultures. And there are growing numbers of multicultural people, whose parents belong to one culture but who have been brought up in another culture. And so they develop their own new forms of culture from a mix of the two. [...]

International Friends

Synopsis: This is a personal account of how a lay person can delight in God’s love by loving the international students she befriended over the years. Claire McConnell Claire is the Archivist at the OMF International Center in Singapore. Before coming to Asia she taught mathematics and science in a Northern Ireland grammar school. She [...]

Japanese Cultural Dynamics: Their Influence on Japanese Abroad and their Impact on their Return

Synopsis: This paper looks at how group identity, deference, and shame shape the Japanese in their responses to the world and impact their time abroad. It offers direction on how to help Japanese friends adjust to life away from home and face the prospect of return. Graham Orr With his wife Alison, Graham served in [...]

Preparing Diaspora Converts for their Return to East Asia

Synopsis: This paper presents an overview of returnee challenges and discusses how to reduce defection among returnees in issues they commonly face. Practical suggestions on preparing returnees for the transition before they return to their home countries. Stuart Bullington Dr. Stuart Bullington served as a missionary in East Asia for nearly eleven years, where he [...]

Multi-dimensional Discipling for Diaspora Communities: Partnership between Host Church, Ethnic Church, and Parachurch Organizations

Synopsis: This paper presents case studies to discuss how host churches, ethnic churches, and parachurch organizations can work together to engage in multi-dimensional discipleship for people who first encounter Christianity while away from their home countries. Carolyn Kemp Carolyn joined OMF International in 1993 and was a church planter for several years in Manila’s slums [...]

“Going Home is Not What I Thought It Would Be”: The Unique Challenges Faced by Returnees

Synopsis: This paper looks at how cultural values of overseas students from China affect them, discusses the common challenges to adjustment faced by returnees, and offers practical suggestions to help prepare them before they return. Mission Round Table Vol. 12 No. 2 (May-Aug 2017): 31-35 “Going Home is Not What I Thought It Would Be”: [...]

Mission to, through, and from Diaspora: Foundations and Demonstrations Drawn from International Student Contexts

Synopsis: In this paper, Terry McGrath and Victoria Sibley-Bentley shares insights gleaned from years of ministry to international students in New Zealand and highlights the opportunities for the gospel to flow in multiple directions. Terry McGrath Victoria Sibley-Bentley Terry McGrath and Victoria Sibley-Bentley Terry is the Lausanne Asia-Pacific Regional Facilitator of the International Student Ministries [...]

Hopes, Dreams, and Dangers: Nepali Young People and the Next Generations of the Church in the UK

Synopsis: This paper discusses the findings from interviews conducted with different generations in a Nepali church in the UK, the challenges they face and how they responded to build bridges and work together to relate to the majority culture and their traditional community. Richard Evans Richard is a Lecturer/Tutor at All Nations Christian College in [...]

Missional Migration

Synopsis: This paper looks at migration as an ancient reality and a growing trend. It addresses the important question of what happens when migration is missional. Lightyear is a social researcher working in Southeast Asia, training governments in good practice and churches in cross-cultural mission. Missional Migration Mission Round Table Vol. 12 No. 2 (May-Aug [...]

Celebrating Chinese New Year with International Students

It seems that Chinese New Year (春节) always takes place during one of our local Christian Union (CU) event weeks. This year is no exception and we will enjoy partnership with Friends International and with one of the CUs to help organise the International track in their events week. The week will be working from [...]

Coming Alongside: Partnership in Kenya

There are around 50,000 Chinese people living and working in Kenya. Many of these are managers and technical staff for Chinese companies operating in Kenya. Others run their own business in Kenya. Very few of them have an opportunity to hear about Jesus. Since 2006, the African churches have on numerous occasions invited OMF to [...]

Continuing in Ministry: Partnering with a Japanese Church in Canada

In 2011, when Pat and I were due to retire after 33 years of service with OMF in Japan, the pastor of the Vancouver Japanese Gospel Church, which had supported us while we were in Japan, invited us to come on staff and help with a busy and growing church. We accepted the position as [...]

Discovering new opportunities with Diaspora Returnee Ministries

When returning from church planting work in Japan, we were told that work with Japanese overseas would be ‘different’.  ‘You’ll have to be flexible’ they said.  ‘Open to being involved in different ministries all across the city’. Well, we are coming to the end of our first year of outreach among Japanese short-stay residents in [...]

Mel’s Mission Story

Mel Croom has worked with OMF since 1983, first in Taiwan and later with Chinese students in the UK. We asked Mel a few questions about her journey into mission. Mel grew up in a farming family in England but from an early age had an interest in far off people and places. Her first [...]

Diaspora Returnee Ministries – Why

God is at work through the global movements of East Asians to draw many to himself. Watch our short animation to find out more about the opportunities to welcome, evangelise and disciple East Asians away from home.

Listen to hearts

I’d heard “returnee” and arrogantly thought, “Okay so I know what kind of person she’ll be.” But I was wrong. It was a rebuke not to judge people’s hearts.

Connecting to the Church in Asia

In 1997 Kana left her devoutly Buddhist home east of Tokyo, to study at university in Denver, Colorado. There a Christian befriended her and invited her to church. She was given a Bible but struggled to understand it reading on her own. She decided to attend a Bible study with her Christian friend. After many [...]

Through Friendship to Faith

 When Kyoko*, a young Japanese woman, arrived in Australia on a working holiday visa, she held an intense dislike for all religions, regarding them as cults who ‘brainwashed’ their followers. Yet before her visa expired, she had become a Christian, and is now continuing to follow Jesus back in Japan. During my interview with Kyoko [...]

Music to our ears

Miki (a Christian returnee) came to faith in the UK. When she returned to Japan she was put in touch with our returnee network, but though I invited her to events and suggested meeting up, she didn't respond. She also tried a few churches but didn't settle. Eventually, when her British friend was visiting Tokyo [...]

Isolated and alone

It was 1 am Sunday morning, but Emiko couldn’t sleep. She sat in her Tokyo apartment thinking of her friends in the UK. She missed them so much!

Necessary Adjustments

It was the middle of the night when Miss M woke, aware that someone was in the room. As she lay there she saw a man, dressed in white, standing near her. She was not afraid of him. She asked him two questions – ‘who are you?’ And ‘why have you come?’ He didn’t answer [...]

Learning to Cross Cultures

‘Everybody needs some TLC. If you are a native English speaker, that usually means Tender Loving Care. But today I would like to help you think about Trust, Language and Culture. These are the areas we need to consider as we reach out to others with the message of the gospel.’ This is how I [...]

Diaspora Returnee Ministries – The Opportunity

Patty’s Story

Patty was enjoying her work as a lecturer at a university in South Thailand when she decided she would like to study for a PhD.  She applied to go to the UK and was accepted at Nottingham University. When she arrived in Nottingham, a new and unfamiliar environment, she met a Chinese lady who was very kind [...]

Tokyo, London, Frankfurt, Hanoi: how one Japanese couple are doing mission on the move

Maki came to the UK from Japan with her husband, who was sent to London by his company in the 1990s. Together with the wives of fellow employees, Maki joined a Bible study group, run by an English Christian. Maki was thrilled, though, that she could read the Bible in her own language when Yoshie, a [...]

Freed from Prison

 On April 24, 2017, I was called to translate at the High Court for Tang who had lodged an appeal to lessen his sentence. Tang had been sentenced to 7 years imprisonment in early 2014 for possession of ivory products valued at US$300. He was in transit at Nairobi travelling from Mozambique to China when [...]

China Comes to Marple

 In 2012, after having served in the Philippines and the UK with OMF for 29 years, Margaret* and I joined the OMF Diaspora Returnee Ministries (DRM) Field. We began work in Manchester supporting a local programme called English Corner, teaching English, building friendships and sharing the gospel with some of the 7,000 Chinese academics who [...]

Do They Know It’s Christmas?

It’s lunchtime on Christmas Day, we’re sitting around our dining room table about to tuck into the turkey, ham, stuffing and cranberry sauce – the traditional Christmas dinner. Sitting around the table is my husband, my mum and dad, Alison and Andrew (a boyfriend and girlfriend from China), Tim* from Vietnam and not forgetting Archie [...]

Priscilla’s story

There are great opportunities for international student ministry in the UK, US, Australia and elsewhere and new Christians can apparently make great progress. However, for East Asians who make a profession of faith away from home, returning can be a difficult time and sadly many stop going to church and fall away when they return [...]

More Than Happiness

Ploy is a young lady from Thailand. Raised in a loving and happy family, she studied in Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, for a BA. After encouragement from parents she moved to London to study for her Masters, and from there onto Glasgow for her PhD. She struggled being away from family for so long. Thailand, at [...]

International Student Q&A: Nicole

When you think of God bringing someone’s journey “full circle,” Nicole’s story should come to mind. An international student who came from China to study at the University of Denver in 2011, Nicole met Christ through the OMF Diaspora Returnee Ministry, and now—four years later—reaches out to Chinese students through the same ministry. Nicole shares about [...]

A Global, Mobile Mission Force

At one time OMF’s ministry was tied to East Asia geographically, but today people are on the move as never before. In 2014 there were an estimated 100,000 flights a day around the world. In 2015 there were an unprecedented 244 million international migrants according to the UN. Today there are Chinese business people in [...]

Mission Round Table—Vol. 12 No. 2 May–Aug 2017

Strangers in a Strange Land: Ministry to Diaspora and Sojourning Peoples This issue of Mission Round Table looks at ministry to “Strangers in a Strange Land,” people in migration or living outside their homelands. Loving the stranger begins with loving the God who loves the stranger. Only as we get to know the strangers in [...]

Settling In

As Taiwanese women start receiving a better education than in the past, many are choosing their career over marriage. Taiwanese men are finding it harder and harder to find Taiwanese wives and are increasingly starting to marry overseas brides. Currently in Taiwan there are over 80,000 Vietnamese brides. Mr. Gao (pronounced “gow”) owns a small [...]

Divine Appointments in Africa

Partnership is crucial in cross-cultural ministry. Recent years have seen an influx of Chinese into the continent of Africa. Below is a story of how OMF has partnered with African churches, local universities and other mission agencies to spread the gospel among the flood of Chinese migrants to Africa. Excerpt from God’s Faithfulness: Stories from […]

How can we welcome internationals?

“You are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.” Deuteronomy 10:19 It’s been well-noted how advances in technology have “shrunk” our world. Long gone are the days when international travel meant taking a months-long trip by boat. In the 21st century you can be transported from the bustling streets […]

Q&A with David Sorteberg, OMF Diaspora Returnee Ministries

In 2013/2014, nearly 275,000 Mainland Chinese students studied at U.S. universities[1]. The OMF Diaspora Returnee Ministries team, led by David Sorteberg, is taking notice of this staggering trend and investing in the ministry of welcoming— in short, inviting internationals into a warm, loving community in hopes that they will one day embrace the invitation to follow […]

“Da Lu”—Return to China

Samuel is a Chinese brother who is just one of the many Chinese in Diaspora who are truly influencing China and the world for Christ. Samuel is around 55 years old. Born in China, he was educated in the U.S. Very bright and gifted, he went on to become a vice-president of the world’s largest […]

Neuer Glaube in der alten Heimat

Erfahrungen einer japanischen Studentin nach ihrer Rückkehr nach Asien. Sie war in England Christ geworden und musste nun in ihrer alten Umgebung den neuen Glauben leben. (This is Back to Asia: Reaching Asia's Diaspora with German Subtitles) Asiaten vor unserer Haustür174 Millionen Menschen weltweit sind Migranten; davon bilden Asiaten die zweitgrößte Gruppe. 62 Millionen Chinesen [...]

Asiaten verstehen lernen

Viele Asiaten leben in Deutschland, der Schweiz und weltweit. Um ihnen das Evangelium glaubwürdig zu erklären ist es wichtig, ihre Kultur und ihren gesellschaftlichen Hintergrund zu verstehen. In der Begegnung mit Asiaten sind Zeit, persönliches Interesse und eine eigene, glaubwürdig gelebte Beziehung zu Jesus das A und O. Lassen Sie sich auf diese Herausforderung ein! [...]

Asiaten vor unserer Haustür

174 Millionen Menschen weltweit sind Migranten; davon bilden Asiaten die zweitgrößte Gruppe. 62 Millionen Chinesen leben, arbeiten oder studieren in anderen Ländern. Wie können Christen zu diesen Menschen Kontakt aufbauen, ihnen praktisch helfen und ihre Fragen nach Wahrheit und Sinn beantworten? (This is Overview: Reaching Asia's Diaspora with German Subtitles)

Freundschaften mit Asiaten aufbauen

Auf welche Art und Weise kann eine Freundschaft zu Asiaten in Deutschland und der Schweiz aufbauen? Dieses Video gibt praktische Tipps. Ausserdem werden Brücken aufgezeigt, wie man mit Menschen aus einer atheistischen Gesellschaft über den Glauben ins Gespräch kommen kann. (This is First Contact: Reaching Asia's Diaspora with German Subtitles)

Asiaten im Kulturschock

Wie fühlen sich Asiaten, wenn sie aus ihrer Heimat in eine völlig andere Kultur verpflanzt werden? Was hilft, um ihnen in ihrer schwierigen Situation zu helfen? - Tipps für Menschen, die gerne praktisch helfen wollen. (This is Culture Shock: Reaching Asia's Diaspora with German Subtitles)

Asiaten auf die Rückkehr vorbereiten

Für Asiaten ist es herausfordernd, als Christ in die Heimat zurückkehren. Im Land selber hat sich viel gewandelt. Aber auch eigene Werte haben sich verändert. Die Gemeinden im Heimatland feiern die Gottesdienste auf andere Art wie im Westen. Es ist wichtig, diese und viele andere Herausforderungen vorauszusehen und sich entsprechend vorzubereiten. (This is Preparing to [...]

Understanding: Reaching Asia’s Diaspora

"If you want to know the way across the mountains, you must ask someone who has been that way before" - Chinese proverb. Meeting someone who can explain the gospel is great, but someone who also understands your culture can be more helpful. Japanese Cultural Dynamics: Their Influence on Japanese Abroad and their Impact on [...]

Preparing to Return: Reaching Asia’s Diaspora

Japanese Cultural Dynamics: Their Influence on Japanese Abroad and their Impact on their ReturnSynopsis: This paper looks at how group identity, deference, and shame shape the Japanese in their responses to the world and impact their time abroad. It offers direction on how to help Japanese friends adjust to life away from home and face [...]

Overview: Reaching Asia’s Diaspora

Find out how OMF are reaching East Asians, outside their home country, and how you can be involved. Japanese Cultural Dynamics: Their Influence on Japanese Abroad and their Impact on their ReturnSynopsis: This paper looks at how group identity, deference, and shame shape the Japanese in their responses to the world and impact their time [...]

First Contact: Reaching Asia’s Diaspora

Understanding the language and culture of East Asians can really help build lasting friendships. Japanese Cultural Dynamics: Their Influence on Japanese Abroad and their Impact on their ReturnSynopsis: This paper looks at how group identity, deference, and shame shape the Japanese in their responses to the world and impact their time abroad. It offers direction [...]

Culture Shock: Reaching Asia’s Diaspora

Experience life outside your home country through the eyes of a student in the UK for the first time. Japanese Cultural Dynamics: Their Influence on Japanese Abroad and their Impact on their ReturnSynopsis: This paper looks at how group identity, deference, and shame shape the Japanese in their responses to the world and impact their [...]

Back to Asia: Reaching Asia’s Diaspora

Find out what life is like for a new Christian to return home. Japanese Cultural Dynamics: Their Influence on Japanese Abroad and their Impact on their ReturnSynopsis: This paper looks at how group identity, deference, and shame shape the Japanese in their responses to the world and impact their time abroad. It offers direction on [...]