Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) USA held their annual "Heart for Asia" conference to raise awareness about missions.
In New England, about 100 lay people, half students and half professionals, attended the conference to pray for OMF missions and to learn about how to serve.
Neil Thompson, National Director of OMF USA brought forth a challenge that every Christian can be involved in missions. It doesn't matter how gifted that person is as long as they have the heart to serve Asia, he said according to Steve Niphakis, OMF USA Eastern Regional director.
To further illustrate, Thompson spoke on a passage from the bible about a little girl who was able to heal others. "She did a wonderful work of God, but she wasn't a preacher."
Other speakers included Dr. Barb Hopwood who spoke on theological education in Indonesia, a medical missionary, a graduate of missions at Moody Bible Institute who is an intern at OMF USA headquarters, Steve Niphakis, and Director of mobilization for OMF USA Mark Bradley who presented the six practices of mission — learning, prayer, sending, going, mobilizing, and welcoming, in an attempt to help others become more "mission effective."
A team of seminary students from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary were also there to present their research on the churches in Burma.
After coming back from Myanmar, the team described the situation and said that there was a drought and many of the citizens thought that they would die of starvation.
One of the students who participated said that he read a lot about people who went hungry, but he never stood before someone who said that they would die.
By raising awareness through the conference, "peoples' hearts break from what they hear, then the Lord can change them," Niphakis said.
"People have a desire to know more about Christ."
OMF International was started as the China Inland Mission by James Hudson Taylor in 1865. It continues to serve throughout East Asia through works of evangelism, discipleship, church planting, tentmaking, student ministries, and mobilizing and equipping Asian churches for world mission.