Looking ahead to 2021 and making plans for how to connect with and mobilize people is challenging. Pray for the OMF Australia team to have wisdom in knowing what to take up and what to drop, and for God to provide the skills needed to adapt regarding how we interact with people.
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
On the November 4th, OMF Australia is hosting a seminar in Sydney about talking to your parents about mission. Pray that the seminar will be practical and encouraging for the enquirers who attend.
Pray for two opportunities for OMF Australia to connect with and teach students who are part of the Sydney Missionary and Bible College Bridge (gap year) program. The first session is focused on short-term mission and the second is teaching a class about supporting missionaries on home assignment. Pray that it will be interactive and encouraging for participants.
The OMF Australia center is exploring missional business opportunities. Pray for God to send the right people to advise, assist and go.
Pray for David Loon as he brings some new people on board to the OMF Australia Finance and Administration team. Pray for the Victoria team as they move offices soon.
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.
- 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%
- 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.