Where is the Philippines?
The Philippines is located in Southeast Asia. It is south of Taiwan and east of Vietnam. To its south lies Indonesia and Western Australia.
Who do you partner with?
We partner broadly. We partner closely with three church associations that we helped to establish. We partner with three seminaries and a few Bible schools. We also partner with several other ministries though not as closely.
We have established or helped establish additional ministries that are now independent of OMF. This includes Christian bookstores, foundations, a Christian publisher, student ministries, video ministries, and much more.
What are the needs of the Philippines today?
Several leaders of the church in the Philippines regularly mention that they would like to see more OMF missionaries serving here.
Missiologists say that three generations of a people needs to be discipled before the Gospel exerts a broad and deep impact on their culture. Among some peoples, we are already serving the third generation of Christians. Among others, we are serving the first or second generations. It would be wise to serve them for several more years. Our role among them is often a behind-the-scenes one: training, mentoring, coaching, and encouraging.
In what areas are missionaries needed to serve in the Philippines?
The Philippines experiences many natural disasters. We are thankful that local prediction and warning services are improving all the time.
The nation also experiences many man-made disasters. Since we often have a sense of where they might take place, we can avoid most of them.
There are several rebel groups in the country. Most of them operate in known geographical areas. We tend to stay out of their territories. We only enter them when local leaders invite us and guarantee our safety.
Is it hard to serve in so diverse a country, one with many peoples, languages, and cultures?
Many peoples live in the Philippines. Most sources mention that around 180 languages and dialects are spoken here. To effectively serve the least-reached peoples, most OMF workers learn two languages and cultures. So if you find it hard to learn other languages, yes, it could be hard to serve in the Philippines.
On the other hand, if you find it enriching to learn languages and cultures, then the Philippines could be a good place for you. Having said the above, Filipino is now being spoken in more and more of the country. It is slowly becoming the national language.
Aren’t there more exotic places to serve?
A local author titled his book Authentic Though Not Exotic. He agrees that there are more exotic cultures in the world. This is largely because a wide variety of outside cultures have influenced the peoples of the Philippines. As a result, a unique and authentic culture has developed among each people group although they are not exotic like those that have been less touched by the outside world.