Pray that there would be a lift of the entrance ban for those coming from Hong Kong so that all the OMF Asia Homeside Leadership Council participants will be able to attend the meetings this coming March.
The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice.
— Psalm 97:1
Pray for several OMF workers from the Philippines who are trying to get cleared to return to the field soon. Pray also for three new candidates from the Philippines; ask God to lead them in their preparation and provide for their needs so they can get to the field.
Pray for a smooth adjustment period in the ministries of three workers from the Philippines who will return to serve in other parts of East Asia in the coming weeks.
Pray for God to provide a Serve Asia coordinator soon for the OMF Philippines Homeside team, as Sam (the current coordinator) prepares to attend the May 2020 Orientation Course. Two individuals have expressed a willingness to take on the role on a part-time basis.
Pray for the OMF Philippines Homeside Council Mobilization Coordinator’s trip to Taiwan this month (January 10-22) to attend a medical mobilization consultation, participate in a winter conference and visit colleagues. Pray for this trip to give the OMF Philippines Homeside a broader perspective of the work and needs there so that OMF’s Philippines office can mobilize more effectively. Also pray that the visit would encourage Filipino colleagues and lead to more informed, relevant prayers for OMF workers serving in Taiwan.
Pray for OMF Philippines Home Council’s mobilization team year-end evaluation and 2020 first quarter planning on December 2-4. May God guide and direct their steps.
Pray for the OMF Philippines Home Council Board of Trustees meeting on November 23. Pray for spiritual guidance and discernment as they meet.
A major earthquake rattled the island of Mindanao in the Philippines on October 29. Close to 200,000 people have been affected. Pray for strength, wisdom and protection for Christian workers in Mindanao as they assess the damage and are actively involved in relief operations.
An orientation course for new OMF workers begins today. One of the participants will be joining the OMF Philippines team. Lord, please use this training course to equip and encourage the new team members.
The OMF Philippines Administration and Finance Committee meets today. Reviewing 2018 accounts will be part of the agenda. God, please give the committee members wisdom to enable ministry through these services.
About the Philippines
The Philippines contains a diverse range of ethnic groups, with each group clustered mainly in their own provinces. The three largest groups are the Tagalog, the Cebuano and the Ilocano. Chinese Filipinos form about 1.7% of the population. There are more than 170 different languages spoken across the Philippines; the most popular is Tagalog, followed closely by English.
The Philippines has one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, with GDP growing at an average rate of 6.5% every year. Electronic goods, machinery and transport equipment are some of its key exports. However, the Philippines also has among the world’s fastest population growth rates. There is an increasing need to create more jobs for the expanding labor force. Unemployment is high (at about 6%), and there is a large informal sector (about 38% of the working population). Population distribution is uneven; large areas are virtually uninhabited, while others have a relatively high population density.
Religion in the Philippines is heavily influenced by its history as a part of the Spanish Empire. After the end of the Spanish-American war in 1898, protestant missionaries began to arrive in the Philippines. The Philippines is a country open to the gospel, with an estimated 12% of the population professing to be evangelical Christians. Many of these are first generation believers needing intentional discipleship. 6% of the people follow Islam, mainly based in the southwest area of the country. The separation of church and state is constitutionally established in the Philippines, and Filipinos have the freedom of worship without discrimination.
The protestant church is growing in the Philippines; there are over 50,000 churches there today. Churches have to counter false religious teachings and doctrinal distortions among their congregations. It is very encouraging that the Filipino church has strong missionary zeal. More than 4,000 Filipino full-time missionaries work outside of the Philippines, sharing the gospel and planting churches. The Philippines has the largest diaspora network in the world, with more than 11 million Filipinos living overseas.
OMF Church Ministries
OMF workers have been serving among a wide range of peoples in the Philippines since 1952. They work in partnership with local churches in church planting, evangelism, and equipping ministries. With over 20,000 barangays (communities) still without an evangelical church, there are still many places share the good news.
OMF Mission Sending Ministries
Since 1966 the Philippines Home Council (PHC) has been sending Filipinos to serve cross-culturally within the country, as well as in other countries in Asia. OMF aims to develop deeper relationships with sending churches of our Filipino missionaries and other partner churches; care for our missionaries; provide transformational learning for churches, missionaries and partners; share and be good stewards of God-given resources, as well as seek dynamic partnerships to further God’s kingdom. The key challenge however is to stay relevant to the ever-changing church.
- Total: 108 million
- Tagalog: 28.1%
- Cebuano: 13.1%
- Llocano: 9%
- Bisaya: 7.6%
- Ilonggo: 7.5%
- Bikol: 6%
- Waray: 3.4%
- Others: 25.3%
- Roman Catholic: 71%
- Evangelical Christian: 8-12%
- Quasi-Christian groups, cults and sects: 8%
- Muslim: 6%
- Indigenous Tribal: 2%
- Chinese Buddhist: 1%
- Non-religious: 1%
Lord, thank you for your love for all the peoples in the Philippines. Please continue to strengthen your church, raising up leaders that will bring peace through the good news of your gospel. Please keep using your people in the Philippines to share your good news with others around the world who have not had a chance to hear yet. We pray that the church will continue to be a powerful sending force in missions.