A conference organized by the European Students Missionary Association (ESMA) was held in Adelshofen, Germany, March 18 - 21. During the conference, more than 210 Bible College students discussed the question "Where should European Christians do their missionary work at home or overseas?"
According to the Kenyan mission director Francis Omondi each Christian should first gain experience at home before spreading the Gospel in another culture. Indigenous mission agencies are active in many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, Omondi explained. They are in a better position to take the Gospel to their contemporaries. They have no problems adapting to their culture and living conditions.
The greatest problem was lack of funds. Omondi¹s own mission, Sheepfold Ministries, was founded in 1988 and has sent out 85 missionaries mainly to Muslim communities in East Africa. The ministry is sustained mainly by members of Kenyan churches. About 20 candidates had to be turned down for lack of funds.
Financial assistance, so Omondi, would be the most effective contribution by North American and European Christians. But he would also welcome any European missionary with a clear calling to Africa.
According to Omondi German missionary organizations should focus on the unreached people at home. In the former Christian Occident millions had not heard of Jesus Christ, for instance many immigrants.
In addition, the number of people without any church affiliation was on the rise in Western Europe. They account for 30 per cent of the German population and up to 50 per cent in the United Kingdom. ESMA was founded in 1954 and encompasses more than 40 theological seminaries and bible colleges.