On Sunday, February 21, 2016, thousands of churches and missions agencies on every continent except Antarctica will join together in song, in every major world language, to sing the hymn, “Facing a Task Unfinished” as part of a united effort to draw attention to the persecution of Christians worldwide.
This global movement of churches was announced by OMF International, an international and interdenominational Protestant missionary society originally founded by Hudson Taylor as the China Inland Mission in 1865.
In the 1920s, China Inland Mission worker Frank Houghton originally wrote the hymn, “Facing a Task Unfinished,” as a call for 200 missionaries to go into the heart of China at the height of persecution. Despite great peril, by 1931 over 200 set sail for China to plant the seeds of the Gospel, contributing to what mission experts believe to be the greatest growth of Christianity in the history of the world – an estimated growth of over 80 – 130 million people.
OMF International recently celebrated its 150th anniversary and invited Keith and Kristyn Getty to re-visit Houghton’s much loved and still timely hymn. Christian artists The Gettys are privileged to be part of introducing this anthem for Christian missionaries to a new generation. The song will be the title track of Keith & Kristyn’s upcoming album (June 2016) and international tours. All composing and publishing royalties from the song will be donated to OMF International in support of their continued work in perpetuity.
“Songs have the ability to unite and move us as groups,” says Keith Getty. “Frank Houghton understood this and in response to great turmoil in China, turned to writing hymns to encourage those who were witnessing martyrdom around them. ‘Facing a Task Unfinished’ provided inspiration to a generation of missionaries when it was first written, and it urges us on still, even as we also live amid persecution and martyrdom, both at home and around the world today.”
This revived hymn, traditionally based on the Samuel Wesley hymn, AURELIA (The Church’s One Foundation), has been fitted with a new chorus by Keith and Kristyn to help serve a new generation of congregational singing. Married to the traditional lyric by Houghton are the added lines:
“We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord”
To be a part of this global movement, churches are encouraged to register their involvement at www.gettymusic.com/facingatask. Participating churches will receive access free musical resources to aid in their congregation in singing the song such as fully orchestrated sheet music, choir parts, hymn charts and audio resources.
About the Gettys
The Gettys are world-renowned contemporary hymn writers whose songs are sung each year by more than one hundred million people. Their most popular hymn, In Christ Alone (co-written by Keith Getty with Stuart Townend) is the #1 most popular hymn sung in the UK for the past nine years, was voted the 2nd most-favored hymn in the UK in a 2013 BBC nationwide poll, and sits among the top 15 most popular hymns in the U.S. To date, the Gettys have written eight of the most popular hymns sung in the U.S., and 23 in the United Kingdom, according to Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI), the group that licenses and charts church music (the religious equivalent of ASCAP and Billboard). Through their spring and fall tours and their annual Joy–An Irish Christmas tours, The Gettys have performed before sold-out houses throughout the U.S. and abroad, and at notable venues as London’s Royal Albert Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. The duo met in Belfast, Northern Ireland when they began songwriting together. They were married in 2004, and two years later, they recorded their first project as a couple. To date, the Gettys have released 6 full-length albums and 2 limited edition EPs. They currently reside in Nashville along with their three young daughters.
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