Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.

— Psalm 86:11

In November and December, OMF Australia has multiple families hoping to return to Australia for home assignment, but flights are limited, expensive and frequently cancelled. Pray that everyone who needs to return will be able to. Pray for home assignees who are struggling to connect with churches and supporters during lockdowns. Pray for more prayer partners for each OMF field and worker.

Give thanks for new opportunities to connect volunteers with needs in Tibetan Buddhist ministry, and for God’s provision of new volunteers. Pray for volunteers involved in digitising e-books, and that these publications will equip workers ministering to Tibetan Buddhists in remote places and lead to many coming to know Jesus. Give thanks for Simon and Arthur, who contribute their professional skills to advise the OMF Australia team. Pray for more opportunities for volunteers to contribute to specific gospel needs. Pray as volunteers reflect on their time of service that they would be encouraged by what God has done through them.

Pray for the Missions Coaching Weekend on October 16-17 for people exploring missions. This event will feature a mix of online and in person gathering. Pray for Luba as she runs the event, for logistics to run smoothly and for God to bring people to attend. Pray for OMF’s Western Australia team as they look for a suitable venue that will allow for a face-to-face component to the weekend.

Pray for OMF Australia members as we grieve the loss of Simon Crittle, a much loved member of our OMF community here. Pray especially for his wife Meg and his daughter Mel at this time.

September 11 is the date of the Challenge Conference in Perth, Australia (a conference to challenge young adults into full time ministry). Pray for the section on missions that Phil and Irene Nicholson will speak at, and for there to be a good response to the challenge of mission work.

Country Profile

Australia is one of the wealthiest Asia–Pacific nations and has enjoyed more than two decades of economic growth. In addition to abundant natural resources, its economy has benefited from an effective system of government, a well-functioning legal system, and an independent bureaucracy. Australia is an attractive destination for investment and immigration.

Australia is very diverse and multicultural, with ethnic peoples from all over the world. As of August 2017, over 700,000 international students enrolled in its educational institutions, mainly from China, India, Nepal, Malaysia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Indonesia and Hong Kong. There is incredible potential for growing diaspora work and partnership with multicultural churches.

At present, OMF Australia has a small team reaching out to the Chinese, Thai and Japanese peoples in Sydney and Melbourne, but it hopes to facilitate and encourage work amongst other growing groups such as Indonesian and Vietnamese peoples. Research shows that while some will become Christians through university campus ministries and through local church outreach, 50-80% will abandon their faith in the first year of returning home. One focus of the Diaspora Returnee Ministries in Australia is therefore to work alongside churches and existing university ministries to help prepare and connect these new believers with churches and fellowships back in Asia so that they can continue to be discipled.

Notably, there is a decline in Australians who identify as Christians over the last decade, and a dramatic increase in those who claim to have no religion. For the first time in Australia’s history, the 2016 census revealed that the number of individuals who identify as ‘no religion’ had surpassed the number of people who claim to be Catholics. Many churches are aging and young people are increasingly finding Christianity irrelevant as they wrestle with popular social issues such as homosexuality, feminism and scientific reasoning.

Despite this, Chinese and multicultural churches are growing supporters of mission work, with approximately 40% of OMF workers sent from Australia being ethnically Asian. Bible colleges are also partnering with mission agencies to mobilise their students through mission conferences, partnering events, and short-term trips. OMF’s short-term program, Serve Asia, is receiving strong interest, and many volunteers return years later for long-term work. Encouragingly, the mission discussion and mentoring groups have been incredibly popular for young adults. However, many young adults and young families seriously wrestle with the challenges and implications of cross-cultural work, juggling career, family, and expectations.

OMF Australia Map

Population

  • Total: 24.6 million

Top 5 Countries of birth

  • Australia: 66.7%
  • England: 3.9%
  • China: 2.2%
  • New Zealand: 2.2%
  • India: 1.9%

Religions

  • Christian: 52% (Catholic: 23%, Anglican: 13%, Other Christian: 16%)
  • Non-religious: 30%
  • Muslim: 2.6%
  • Buddhist: 2.4%
  • Other: 13%

Lord, thank you for the abundant opportunities to reach East Asians who are coming to Australia for work and study. Please raise up more workers to reach out and disciple new believers to go back and be missionaries in their home countries.

Lord, thank you for churches around Australia who are faithful to you and your mission, and the work that you are doing through them. Please continue to use them in praying, sending, and mobilising for your work amongst East Asians.

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