OMF Conference Ignites Passion for East Asia Missions in S. California

( [email protected] ) May 06, 2006 11:58 AM EDT

Following the mission conference in Redwood City, San Francisco last weekend that has received over 250 attendants, Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) spreads its call for East Asia missions down to Southern California.

The conference "God of All Generations" is set to be held at First Evangelical Church of Cerritos Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Targeted on Asian American Christian individuals and families, the conference aims to challenge them to reach out to their Asian kinsman with the gospel. Dr. Patrick Fung, the first Asian OMF General Director, will be the keynote speaker.

Southern California has a large number of immigrants from Asian since the mid 19th century. Thousands of ethnic Asian churches have been planted in the U.S. and many of these are vibrant, growing and reaching out to their communities.

The opportunity in Asia missions is huge, but as the cultural background in Asia is very diverse, it could become a roadblock for foreign missionaries to plant the Gospel deeply among Asians. Overseas Asians are challenged to bring the Gospel back to their home countries in the most appropriate cultural context.

To open wide the door of gospel in the culturally diverse Asia, the role of Asians has been increasingly important as well. Fung's appointment illustrates the fact that OMF's membership has become increasingly Asian during the past 40 years. Over 30 percent of our membership is now ethnically Asian.

OMF reported that how Asia missions are flourishing, "We rejoice to see the ways in which the gospel has powerfully impacted Asia in recent decades. Churches in Asia are increasingly aware of needs and opportunities beyond their own borders and are actively involved in cross-cultural mission. Mission fields have become sending bases."

"New generations of global Christians are being sent from Korean, Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese and Cambodian churches - in Asia and all other continents," it continued.

OMF, formerly known as the China Inland Mission (CIM), was originally founded with the vision to evangelize China. However, CIM was forced to leave the country as the communists had taken control by 1951. Since then, the organization has switched its focus on other Asian countries. Currently, it is one of the leading mission groups in Asia working alongside the church in ten countries on the Asia Pacific Rim.

The workshops of the conference Saturday will be conducted in different languages- English, Korean and Mandarin- for the Asian American audience. The second generation of Asian immigrants is under the spotlight of discussions, especially about why it is important to teach children about world missions, how to evangelize the international students, how to help children grow in personal faith and other topics related to families.