On Dec 5, OMF International officially appointed Rev. Dr. Patrick Fung, former International Director of Mobilization based in Singapore, as the tenth general director, marking the first time an Asian was appointed for the position.
On Nov. 12, Rev. Dr. James Hudson Taylor III, great-grandson of OMF (CIM) founder James Hudson Taylor delivered a message titled, "He is My Chosen Instrument" at the International general director selection thanksgiving worship service.
He said that the Lord spoke through Ananias to Saul who used to persecute the church, and that he is the chosen instrument to carry the Lord's name before the gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel, and he will suffer much for the sake of His name. From the calling of Paul, we can see that man is only an instrument inside the hands of God, and that the Lord can perform his authority through a weak person.
Twenty years ago, Taylor shared his personal experience in feeling unworthy and fearful as he led OMF International. In the same way, God has chosen Fung and his wife to stand in this important position to lead OMF in facing the challenges in the future.
He also encouraged all the believers to understand that God needs to use us to proclaim the hope and plan of the gospel to those around us. He deeply wished that all can become the pure instruments in God's hand.
Fung expressed his determinations through three aspects, and then he prayed for the future of OMF: first, it is to continue the spirit of bringing the gospel to places where it has not been pioneered, deeply penetrating into Asia; second, it is to continue to remain pure and holy so they can be used by the Lord; lastly, it is play role of a good educator for the young people.
Fung was born in Hong Kong. While he was in Australia studying as a medical student, he became Christian and was drawn to the lives of retired OMF Australian missionaries. In 1982, he returned to Hong Kong to practice medicine. In 1988, after he has finished studying theological studies of a year-long courses, he and his wife joined OMF International and served in a Muslim context through medical evangelism. In 1995, Fung was appointed as the Hong Kong OMF regional director to help mobilize students and graduates for mission, and train church congregations, particularly Chinese churches. He encouraged mission groups and churches to establish partnerships in fulfilling the mission goals together. In 2000, he was appointed as the OMF International Director of Mobilization based in Singapore to oversee mobilization of church congregations in mission out-reach. This year, he and his wife took a study-leave to England, and they will return to Singapore on Feb. 11, 2006 to officially begin his position as the OMF International general director.
In the recent interview with the assistant chief-editor of Chinese Christian Missions (CCM), Fung said that OMF expects that the International General Director to be familiar with Asian churches, to serve as the bridge between the East and West, young and old.
As of now, OMF has around 1,100 missionaries from over 20 countries and the youngest are 19-years-old and the oldest is 80-years-old. He said, "Ten years ago, Asian did not even comprise of 13%, but the percetage has grown to 30%. Based upon this, you can see how much the movement of mission in Asia has matured and that it is no longer an un-reached field. It can also become the great mission base to send out many missionaries.