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  • 08 Oct
    Heard Nathaniel on Premier Christian Radio?

    Heard Nathaniel on Premier Christian Radio?

    If you heard Nathaniel Ayling interviewed this afternoon on Premier Christian Radio here are some of the things he spoke about.

    OMF in Japan

    NextGen Event

    The Serve Asia Podcast

    By chriswatts Article Blog post Podcast
  • 21 Sep
    Snapshots from International Student Ministry in Sheffield

    Snapshots from International Student Ministry in Sheffield

    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 already arrived for the first event, World Food Night, in Egerton Hall. They filled every available seat, and we were feeling encouraged to see such a wonderful response. But then another 100 came in the door! Thinking fast, we directed them to cross the street to Christ Church Central, where they could wait in the main meeting hall for dinner to be served.

    A joyful but frantic scramble followed, as we carried tray after tray of food across the street, while still trying to serve the original 60 in Egerton Hall. By the end of the evening, our team had somehow managed to feed 180 students with a meal prepared for 50! (I don’t think miracles were involved, but I do still wonder—how did we do it?)
    We continued to experience record-breaking attendance at our evening events throughout the week. Eighteen students came to the evangelistic Bible study that I led on Thursday—and nearly all were opening the Bible for the first time!

    From the Many to the Few

    Now when a free meal is on offer, it is really not that hard to attract a crowd. And, as long as the free meals continue, the crowds keep coming back for more, as Jesus and the disciples discovered in John 6:24-34. But after the crowds have consumed all of the food that perishes, how many will remain for the food that endures to eternal life?
    As we can see at the end of John 6, not many! But the few students who do remain with us after Welcome Week are our greatest joy and the focus of our ministry throughout the rest of the year.
    On a typical Monday, our DIG Bible study (Discipling Internationals for Growth) meets at Egerton Hall at 5.30pm. We serve a home-cooked meal and lead our group of students in studying and discussing a passage of Scripture. Then, at 7.30pm, International Café begins, a social evening attended by about 40 to 60 students, many of whom have some interest in spiritual things. But they might still need some time to see what Christians are like before considering whether to take the next step of faith.
    We discovered recently that several DIG members from China are already practicing Christians. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if these Christian students were to serve alongside us over the next few months as we share the “word of life” (Philippians 2:16) with other internationals? All around us, in Sheffield’s city centre, live thousands of international students who have not yet heard the good news.

    Stuart
    Working with East Asian students in Sheffield

    Please pray with us:

    1. Please pray that more Christians in Sheffield (and elsewhere!) will see that God has brought the world to us and get involved in reaching international students.
    2. Pray for OMF’s Diaspora Returnee Ministries (DRM) around the world– the north of England, central Europe, North America, Kenya, Japan. We want to see churches in East Asia grow because of the thousands of East Asians who are coming to faith while studying or working abroad!
    3. Pray also for our DRM workers. In most cases we have only one worker in a city, surrounded by thousands of East Asians. Pray that God will provide partnerships with local churches in each city so that they will not be isolated or unfruitful.

    By reubeng Article Blog post
  • 18 Jul
    Letter addressing events related to a former OMF UK member

    Letter addressing events related to a former OMF UK member

    An Open Letter

    A former OMF member’s alleged misconduct in the 1990s and the early 2000s

    To whom it may concern:

    OMF International has recently received letters of complaints that, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, three women were inappropriately and forcefully touched by an OMF missionary who had worked extensively in Indonesia.

    OMF International deplores both, the behaviour alleged and that a missionary may have misused his ministry platform and the established trust with these women. This missionary’s alleged behaviour contravenes the standards and values expected of all our members.

    When the complaints were recently received by OMF International, the missionary had already stopped working with OMF for a number of years. OMF International UK has reported the allegations to the UK police, the UK Charity Commission, as well as the relevant Safeguarding Officer in the Church of England. It is not possible for OMF International UK to report to the local police, where the alleged incidents happened, as any report must be made by the victim directly in that jurisdiction. OMF is currently reaching out to the three women who came forward, to render any assistance needed.

    OMF is deeply sorry for any pain suffered by those affected by these allegations.

    OMF would like to convey our gratitude to those who have stepped forward and courageously raised their experiences with us. Our hope is that OMF’s acknowledgement of these allegations and the taking of appropriate action in relation to them will engender trust, and thereby encourage others who may have also been affected by this missionary’s behaviour to come forward. Persons affected are asked to write in to: Sam.Wunderli@omfmail.com.

    Such conduct is absolutely unacceptable to OMF. OMF International is committed to holding those who cause harm or behave inappropriately to account for their actions, while supporting those affected.

    Yours sincerely in Christ,

    For OMF International,

    Sam Wunderli

    Assistant General Director

    By Ryan Hunt Article
  • 04 Jul
    10 Reasons Why You Should Do an OMF Internship

    10 Reasons Why You Should Do an OMF Internship

    There are hundreds of Christian internships to choose from, so why do one with OMF?

    We asked past and current interns and their colleagues in the National Office.

    Here’s what they came up with:

    You get to…

    1) Do more than make coffee and photocopies

    OMF interns get to do a whole lot more than making coffee! They make a real contribution to our UK office team, using their skills to work on a whole range of exciting projects, whether it’s developing the handbook for our short-term workers, helping process their applications or producing content for social media.
    (Though, if you want to learn how to make coffee to a barista standard, we can help with that too!)

    Hear from our intern who never made coffee.

    2) Use your skills to contribute to God’s mission

    One of the most exciting things about doing an OMF internship is that you get to use your skills in a wide range of projects and tasks that tangibly contribute to God’s mission.

    3) Be flexible

    We welcome applications from anyone 18 and over. And an OMF internship can be a great experience before or after uni.

    We offer two internships. Our mission intern works with our Serve Asia short-term mission department while our media intern works in the communications team.

    There are also a number of options depending on the time you have available. Our mission internship is for 11 months while our media internship can be taken part-time, for 3 to 6 months or for up to 11 months.

    4) Gain practical workplace experience

    This experience, either before or after a university or college course, can give you an edge over other students or applicants for future jobs. And aspects from the internships can tie up with courses as diverse as film studies, history, English language and human resources.

    Interns also get real-life experience of areas of media interest or human resources, so you can try them out and see if they’re for you. In fact, through their time with us some of our past interns have developed their skills and found their path to their ideal career.

    5) Meet real-life missionaries (and other cool people)

    Based at the OMF UK National Office in Kent, you’ll get to meet OMF workers back in the UK and hear their stories of faith, service and how God is at work. Interns also get to meet new missionaries preparing to go out to East Asia and hear how God has been at work in their lives. And the UK National Office team are a pretty cool bunch too.

    6) Grow in your discipleship

    An OMF Internship isn’t just about developing your professional skills, it’s also about your discipleship. We’re passionate about learning from and living out God’s word in our daily lives and in mission. So a key part of our internships is training that helps you to grow in your knowledge of God and of his heart for mission. This may include weekly training sessions through a local church as well as in-house training modules. In addition, we have daily prayer times and weekly Bible devotions in our office.

    7) Experience East Asia

    You don’t stay in the office for the whole internship: we want you to experience our workers’ ministry first-hand and to see God in East Asia. Your time in East Asia (usually a month ) takes place as part of our Serve Asia short-term mission programme, which makes sure you are appropriately prepared for, supported during and debriefed after your placement. We seek to ensure that your time in East Asia gives you the chance to be involved in the ministry or country that excites you most, best fits the gifts God has given you, and matches opportunities for meaning partnership with those in East Asia.

    8) Have fun!

    There are loads of great spiritual and professional reasons to do an OMF internship, but it’s also a lot of fun. From team building days involving escape rooms, duck herding (yes, really) to more serious spiritual retreats. And office activities like skipping at lunchtime (which is optional, of course)!

    9) Work inter-denominationally

    OMF is an inter-denominational organisation. This means that working with us you may get to hear new perspectives and meet people with different church backgrounds to your own, but also focus on how we unite together in God’s mission.

    10) Join an experienced team

    OMF has been involved in equipping and training people to get involved in God’s mission for over 150 years. We’ve been running these internships for several years and have loved seeing God develop the next generation of Christians using their professional skills for God’s glory. Could you be next?

    By reubeng Article Uncategorized
  • 03 Jan
    Meet our Media Intern

    Meet our Media Intern

    Stephen joined us in September 2018 to do one of the OMF Internships, specifically the Media Internship. Here’s a little bit about him and why he joined us…


    Tell us about your background
    I was born in Chengdu, China, and have spent 14 years of my life there as a Third Culture Kid (TCK). I moved back to the UK in April to Bournemouth until moving over here to Kent in September. I’ve just finished secondary school this summer and I have a Foundation Diploma in Art, Design, and Media.

    What hobbies do you have?
    My biggest hobby right now is by far photography. It’s just about all I ever do in my free time. I have started taking an interest in filmmaking and it is something I am hoping to pursue more in the future. I’m also a big football fan and enjoy both watching and playing football. I enjoy playing in defence and my favourite football club is Southampton FC.

    Why did you apply for the Media Internship?
    I wanted to apply for a media internship because I hope to gain valuable work experience in media production and learn to work as part of a team before I go to university.

    What are you hoping to get out of this year?
    As well as gaining valuable work experience, I hope to broaden my skills in branches of media that I am not very familiar with, such as design and illustration. I hope that my experiences and familiarity with China and East Asia will be beneficial to the work I will be doing at OMF. As a young maturing Christian, I also want to work in an environment that can help strengthen my faith in Christ.

    What do you hope to do in the future?
    As for the future, I know that I want to do something behind a camera lens! What exactly that is, I’m not sure yet, but I know that ultimately I want to use it to serve God. I will most likely be going to Bournemouth University in September 2019 to study Film for three or four years, and then after that on to wherever God takes me on from there!


    If you are interested in the OMF Internships (or know of anyone who might be) then check out/pass on the Internship page for more information.

  • 07 Feb
    Why missionaries need the gospel too

    Why missionaries need the gospel too

    Our guest blogger and OMF missionary in Japan, Levi Booth, explores missionaries’ need for the gospel:

    I thought I’d write a blog on blogging. Now there’s probably a saying that you shouldn’t blog about blogging. Just write something useful to the readers. Nobody wants to hear introspective mumblings.

    But this isn’t a blog post about blogging. It’s about the gospel.

    OK, fine, it’s about the gospel and blogging. Satisfied?

    No, of course you’re not. Readers of blogs are never satisfied. They simply demand more and more. Pouring out silent criticism on all they read. Or at least that’s how it often feels.

    I project my self doubt and insecurities onto my readers. Assuming that they will view my writings without mercy. And so I don’t write. Or rather, I write but I don’t publish.

    In Need of the Gospel

    Yes, bloggers need the gospel too. Even those who blog about the gospel. Even [checks nobody is watching me type] missionaries who get asked to blog about mission and the gospel. I need the gospel.

    Because here’s the thing. We serve a generous God – a ridiculously generous God. But often we tend to view him in the same way the servant viewed his master in the parable of the talents.

    In case you’re hazy on the details, a rich guy entrusts three of his servants with bags of gold of various sizes and then goes off travelling somewhere. When he gets back, two of his servants have doubled their cash and the master puts them in charge of cities (like you do).

    But when it comes to the third servant, we get this,

    “I knew that you were a hard master . . . so I was afraid and I hid the money you gave me.” (Matthew 25: 24-25)

    The servant had received a gift from his master. He had been entrusted ‘according to his ability.’ He wasn’t the top servant, but he was in the top three, and he got entrusted with a figurative tonne of cash. The master had faith in him. However he didn’t have faith in his `hard` master. He was afraid of failing, so he hid his talent.

    So often – too often – I do the same. I look at those around me and see that I’m not the most talented. So instead of using what I have been given, and over time being entrusted with more as my gift grows, I bury it in the ground and no one wins.

    For example, writing. I love writing. I do it all the time. Sometimes mid-conversation. Someone says something that triggers an idea, and I just zone out and start crafting sentences in my head.

    But writing isn’t meant to stay in our heads. Heads, and notepads and word documents, are for sorting out the good ideas from the bad ones and working out how to say them in the best way we can. We are meant to publish our ideas for the world to see.

    Superabundant Grace

    The driving force here should be the generous nature of God. His grace. His superabundant grace whereby he entrusts us with talents to use for the good of others. He is not ‘harsh’ or ‘demanding,’ he smiles on our good efforts, even when we write something that isn’t as good as it could be. He is our master, but he is also our Father. The ground and proof of that is the cross of Jesus. The gospel motivates me, not just to write blogs, but to a life of mission.

    `He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?` (Romans 8:32)

    Except when I forget the grace of God. Or when I reduce it, tying it up with conditions and limitations – “Sure God can save me apart from anything I do, but he couldn’t possibly save others through something I do.” – then I end up paralysed and mute. Whether it’s blogging, or preaching, or just talking with friends about Jesus over a bowl of ramen, missionaries need the gospel to free us up to be bold in using the gifts God has entrusted us with.

    So pray for the missionaries you know. And maybe write to them too. Remind them of God’s grace. Rejoice with them over the truths of the gospel. We need it. You can serve the global church much more than you know. Use your talents: encourage us to use ours.

    By reubeng Article Blog post
  • 25 Jan
    From our archive: A Light Shined in the Cell

    From our archive: A Light Shined in the Cell

    This short pamphlet from our archive in the OMF UK office tells the story of a Chinese Christian’s zeal for God, his imprisonment and how God used his time in prison to witness to the others in the jail.

    It reminds us that God has his purposes when difficulties, hardships and even imprisonment come to his people and challenges us to pray that God will work out his purposes through the difficulties rather than removing them.

    By reubeng Article Blog post
  • 12 Jan
    Christmas is Over: Long Live the Christ!

    Christmas is Over: Long Live the Christ!

    Our guest blogger and OMF missionary in Japan, Levi Booth, explores the importance of post-Christmas evangelism:

    I’m guessing the Christmas season is over in the UK? I mean technically your tree and decorations should all be down by now, right?

    In Japan Christmas is definitely over. It’s a distant memory in fact. For the first half of December shops everywhere had decorations up and Christmas songs playing, but once we hit the 26th that all changed. Overnight the music changed. We were into full-on New Years mode. People were off traveling to visit family, enjoying drinking parties, and hunting for bargains in the sales.

    And then today (January 8th) it’s ‘coming of age day’ so my instagram and facebook feeds are overrun with photos of twenty-year-olds in kimonos and suits (boys generally leave the traditional Japanese dress to the girls). And from tomorrow it’ll be back to normal school term and working life.

    Christmas in Japan is undoubtedly the easiest time to invite people to church. We were even allowed to advertise for our Christmas party at the local community center, despite their usual restrictions on religious events, and we had over forty people come and hear about the birth of Christ. All over Japan the Christmas season creates amazing opportunities for Christians to share the good news.

    But now the Christmas season is well and truly over. So what now?

    We rejoice in the good news of Christmas, that’s what.

    The news that the Christ has been born. The King has come. God came to earth. And he didn’t remain a baby. Christmas was only for a season. It was only always for a season. If Jesus had remained an infant – silently sleeping in a horse trough – their would be no hope for Japan. None for you or me either, for that matter. He outgrew the stable (or guestroom, whichever it was). He outgrew Bethlehem. He outgrew Nazareth. He lived the perfect life, he died the perfect sacrifice, he was risen and now he reigns as  the perfect high priest, and the perfect king.

    For sure Christmas creates great opportunities to introduce people in Japan to Jesus. But our hope as Christians is not in the season of Christmas but in the Spirit of Christ – in us, empowering us, guiding us to make disciples of Jesus whatever songs play in shops or movies play on TV.

    Maybe you’re feeling the post-christmas ‘what now?’ blues. After all, Japan and the UK aren’t so different. OK, they’re crazy different. But British people can be just as apathetic about Jesus as the Japanese. So it might feel like you too have missed your chance to introduce people to Him. Maybe next Christmas, eh?

    Or how about join me in praying. Praying for ordinary Japanese Christians to have boldness to share the gospel with friends and family this new year season. Praying for missionaries to not lose heart, but to rather be filled with expectant faith for what God will do through his church in the coming months. And know that I am also praying for you to have opportunies and boldness to share about Jesus, whatever the season.

    Christmas is over: long live the Christ!

    About the author:

    Levi lives in Yokohama (a bit west of Tokyo) and works for a church there. When he’s not working there, guest blogging here or writing on his own blog, he can be found exploring Japan by foot, playing Ultimate Frisbee, or relaxing in a cafe with espresso and manga.

  • 12 Jan
    On our bookshelf: 6 books to read in 2018

    On our bookshelf: 6 books to read in 2018

    In the first few weeks of the new year, many of us are thinking about books we’d like to read over the next 12 months. So we asked the OMF UK Directors to recommend a book or two each, either one they’d enjoyed last year or one they have just started themselves.

    Here are their suggestions. Happy reading!

    Mike – Director for Candidates

     America’s Pastor: Billy Graham and the Shaping of a Nation by Grant Wacker

    Themes:

    Billy Graham is a global phenomenon that God used to bring unity in local churches, between races, between political parties and even between cold war states.  No one is perfect and this book graciously addresses some of the mis-steps of such a visible figure.

    Why I read it:

    It revealed something significant about the culture that shaped me.  I could see myself and my American up-brining “in living color” as I followed this gripping story.

    Read it yourself: 

     Available from Amazon.co.uk.

    12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke

    Themes:

    Reinke doesn’t ignore the benefits we receive through our phones, nor does he overlook the great temptations that they put before us.  He suggests that we should proceed with caution realising that the instant gratification our phones give us makes us short-tempered with those we love, it makes us fear missing out, and although we seek connection through it, our phone can make us lonely.

    Why I read it:

    I’m a technophile.  I love exploring the latest cutting-edge features, but I didn’t realise how it was changing me!

    Read or listen to it yourself:

    This title is available for free at ChristianAudio.com in January. Or as a standard paperback from 10ofthose.com.

    Darren Wall – Director of Finance & Corporate Services

    The Day the Revolution Began by Tom Wright

    Themes:

    Wright challenges that for many of us interpreting ‘Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures’ we have platonised our eschatology, moralised our anthropology and paganised our soteriology;  in slightly broader terms, its not just about being saved to go to heaven, seeing sin as primarily a personal issue and God being seen an angry deity pouring this out on Jesus to sort the problem out.

    Instead, Christ dying on the cross enables us to be freed from the power of idolatry to take up the vocation of being those who God created us to be, ‘created to live as worshipping stewards within God’s heaven and earth reality, rather than as beings who by moral perfection qualify to leave earth and go to heaven instead’p78.

    Why I read it:

    I’ve read it twice and will probably read it again this year.  Although I don’t agree fully with Wright’s paganizing conclusion, there’s much which helpfully challenges our view of what we’re saved for and how we understand sin, something which Wright helpfully wraps up in challenging our understanding of ‘mission’ as he brings the book to a close.

    Read it yourself:

    Available from Amazon.co.uk.

    Beverlea Parkhill – Director for Member Care & HR

    Deep Calls to Deep: Spiritual Formation in the Hard Places by Tony Horsfall

    Themes:

    This book looks at a selection of Psalms that all use the phrase ‘out of the depths’ in some way and gives ‘insights into the reality of life with God’.

    Why I will read it:

    I have valued Tony Horsfall’s writings in the past and it has been recommended to me!

    Read it yourself:

    Available from Bible Reading Fellowship (BRF) online.

    Trevor Warner – Assistant Director for Mobilisation

    More drops, Mystery, Mercy, Messiology by George Verwer

    Themes:

    ‘Messiology’ is George’s word for the mistakes and messes of the church. In this book he openly and honestly takes a look at God working in the midst of mistakes and messes in the church, in people’s lives and in his own, and see where there is mess God’s grace abounds more.

    Why I read it:

    George is a world statesman in mission and openly and honestly writes about his own life in a way that few others are willing to do, and brings deep biblical insights to bear on these issues.

    Read it yourself:

    Available from CWR.org.uk.

    The scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Mark A Noll

    Themes:

    Noll addresses the issue of why the evangelical church, particular in America, has not engaged in society, he argues that Evangelicals have not been taught to think about how to apply Christian thinking to the world but to withdraw.

    Why I read it: 

    The book tackles some difficult issues of why evangelicals don’t engage in politics, the environment, science etc. from Christian worldview, whereas Christians in a previous generation or other streams of the church believe that they should.

    Read it yourself: Available from Amazon.co.uk.

  • 14 Dec
    On our bookshelf: Ten Boys Who Changed the World

    On our bookshelf: Ten Boys Who Changed the World

    This great little book is part of a 10 book series by Irene Howat, each one takes 10 Christians and looks at how God used them for his glory and sharing of the gospel. They are a great introduction to the wonder of reading Christian biographies and brilliant way to introduce even the youngest to some of the great names who have gone before us.

    10 boys who changed the world has a particular focus on boys who grew up to become men who saw the gospel they proclaimed transform cultures and situations around the world. From William Carey and David Livingstone to George Müller and Billy Graham.

    The mini biographies are carefully crafted to keep young readers, or listeners, engaged. Each opens with a story from the childhood of the great man of God, which helps to captivate the imagination of a child with something they might be able to relate to, I thought was particularly helpful given how ‘other worldly’ the rest of their lives often appear. From dashing round dining room, to falling in mud and being more interested in football than school, these figures of Christian history and made personal and alive through Irene’s clever retelling of their lives. And from these starting points unfold 10 high pace adventures.

    I also enjoyed the way that Irene retained a good sense of reality in these mini biographies. Given all the great things these “boys who changed the world” did, it would have been easy to remove any sense of hardship or challenge from their lives, to have sanitised them and overlooked the difficulties they faced. But Irene hasn’t in the few pages each biography is given you really get a true sense of the person, their joys and successes, their relationship with God and also their struggles, the times it all went wrong, the times they were sad and thought they might give up. All of this goes a long way to show the realities of following Jesus and helps to make the gospel even more marvellous.

    After each of the 10 biographies there is a short section to help you think and consider the life you have just read about. Irene gives four headings each time. Fact File: this paragraph helps shed some light on an aspect of the story that might not be clear to a younger reader, such as what Communism is or how cotton is grown.

    • Keynote: this is essentially a summary of the story and the one thing the author wants her readers to remember.
    • Think: this section is particularly poignant as it draws the reader from the story of then to the life they live today.
    • Prayer: a short reflective prayer that asks God to help the reader the to take on board and live out an aspect of gospel living seen in the life they have just read about.

    The addition of these sections to the book is a wonderful addition to this book. It really helps to reinforce that these stories and the lives they speak about are not just a dusty truths from the past but something that can speak to us today.

    Overall this book and the others in the series are brilliant. A great way to get older children to start reading Christian biographies themselves or an easy way of sharing the lives of Christian heroes with those not yet able to read for themselves.

    We‘ve got the whole set and are looking forward to our son hearing the stories and taking on board what they teach him, if you’re still looking for Christmas presents for the younger members of the family look no further!

    Chris Watts – UK Communications Manager

    10 Boys Who Changed the World is available from 10ofthose.com.

     

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