But the word of God continued to spread and flourish.

— Acts 12:24

Ministry to domestic helpers in Hong Kong is difficult currently as helpers are being kept in the home by some employers, not allowed out to church meetings or given a day off. These restrictions are causing a lot of stress. Pray for an outpouring of mercy and grace that they might find some rest.

Many Chinese students studying overseas are very fearful for family and friends in China. Pray that OMF diaspora workers in their communities can continue to give them the ongoing support they need, and know God’s leading as they do this. Many of our teams also continue to hear from returnees back in China and seek to continue to mentor them; it can be quite stressful just now with significant pastoral issues emerging. Pray that many students come to see who God really is through this experience and turn to Jesus for the peace they seek.

Pray for many East Asian returnees who are going back to East Asia and facing 14 days of quarantine. Pray that they will be a strong testimony to those they can witness to. Pray also that we can encourage them wisely with what little time we have with them before they return.

Many of our East Asian friends have received some horribly biased comments in light of the news of the coronavirus. Unfortunately, news such as this seems to bring out the ugly side of fear, resulting in prejudice. Pray the Lord comforts those who have experienced these comments and allows others to speak out against such comments. Pray also for God to work in the hearts of those holding such prejudice.

Pray for the OMF Diaspora & Returnee Ministry leadership team to have wisdom as they plan some significant meetings in March. Pray that everything can go ahead as planned and that cost-effective travel solutions can be found. These meetings are critical since the group only meets face-to-face twice a year.

People Profile

About East Asia’s Diaspora

Vietnamese in Macau. Chinese students in Kansas.   Japanese students in Oxford. Whether voluntarily or involuntarily, East Asians are moving across borders, and the global church is reaching out to them. Many of these East Asians will return to the country of their birth. Before they return, will they be prepared to thrive as Christians back home?

On the Move

There are over 250 million migrants around the world today and 85 million of them are from East Asia. Five million international students bring diversity to universities – forty percent of all international students come from China alone. Many leave their homeland for economic or political reasons. Some are the victims of human trafficking. Others are tourists. In 2016, there were 122 million Chinese tourists overseas. People are often more open to the gospel when they are outside of the comfort and pressure of their home.

Welcoming the Stranger 

Moving to a new land is always disorienting. The Church has a great opportunity to show Christ’s love in action through welcoming internationals: meeting newcomers at the airport, helping them settle and adjust to life in a new country, inviting them over for a meal, helping out with language or career development skills.

Evangelism and Discipleship

To be a disciple of Jesus is to follow Jesus. As the Father sent Him, so He sends His followers. The vision is to see the worldwide movement of East Asians discipled and sent out to their own people and beyond!  Pray for Asians returning home with Christ, to thrive and be missional in their home country.  Pray for those that go on to other countries to be cross-cultural in mission.

The Challenge

East Asians tend to be open to the gospel while overseas and many make a commitment to Christ through campus ministries. However, there is a great tragedy about ministry to the Asian diaspora. Experience shows that eighty percent of new Christians do not continue in the church when they return to their home countries. Family, societal and governmental pressure, high work demands, and failure to connect with a local church are among some of the reasons for this problem.

Population

  • Total: 85 million
    • (figures from field)
    • Over 10% of International students globally are from China
    • 28,000 Vietnamese students in Japan
    • 18,000 Malaysian students in the UK
    • 6.2 million Indonesian migrant workers globally

Religions

  • Non-religious
  • Islam
  • Buddhism
  • Animism

Lord, you know the needs for East Asia’s Diaspora. We pray that Asians on the move would hear the gospel and believe. Please help believers all over the world to welcome the stranger. We ask that you would help Asians to return home with Christ, prepared for the pressures they will face, and to continue growing in their faith.

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