From the General Director It is a common perception that the road to mission is a long and lonely journey. Stories of courageous people sent to mission frontiers to do pioneer work often leave a deep impression on us. But when we read the biblical account of the Apostle Paul's missionary journeys, we find that there were also footprints of fellow workers along the paths he travelled to spread the gospel. The heart of God is for us to partner in global mission while we take on different roles and responsibilities, so together we may participate in the Great Commission and share its blessings. In the history of the mission of COCM, we have been blessed with many fellow workers and supporters from around the world. Since the beginning, we have been planting and setting up Chinese churches and fellowship groups throughout Europe. When the churches are more mature we encourage them to become our mission partners by supporting us through their prayers, provision, and participation. Meanwhile, we continue to help the established churches by supporting their needs in evangelism and equipping believers. This has been our model of partnership to encourage Chinese churches in the mission field to take part in the Great Commission. As the mission field in Europe faces changes and new challenges, we are keenly aware of the need to explore new and different models of mission partnership. Last year, the launch of the COCM Gospel Team led to the beginning of a new partnership between COCM and local British churches in Sunderland, North East England. Because of a shared vision to bring the gospel to the large number of mainland Chinese students on campus, we worked together to utilise the strengths of people speaking different languages and having different cultural backgrounds. Such teamwork proves to be more effective for the ministry of the gospel. God continues to open doors for us to build new partnership with church denominations from other parts of the world. Last year, Gordon Lam and Maggie Siu were sent from Australia to join COCM. Rev. Sui-Foo Liaw and his wife Joy were originally sent from the USA by the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) to minister to students in London. Because C&MA and COCM share a similar vision and mission strategy regarding the student ministry in the UK, the two mission organisations worked together to arrange for Sui-Foo and Joy to join COCM as seconded missionaries. Early this year, Tzyy-Terng Su and Yu-Mei Wu joined COCM as the first lay missionaries sent overseas by the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT). This is also the first time for PCT and COCM to become mission partners in Europe. The first Presbyterian missionary to Taiwan, Dr. James L. Maxwell, was from Scotland. Today, a new generation of missionaries from Taiwan are bringing the blessing of the good news of Christ back to Europe. Over the years, churches in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and North America have been faithfully sending missionaries to join COCM as well as providing for the diverse needs of the mission field in Europe. We are truly thankful for the numerous fellow workers and supporters God has given us along our missionary journey. We continue to pray that God will raise up more brothers and sisters to join COCM as longterm missionaries through various partnership models. May God help us to labour in the mission field as partners in the gospel and to "stand firm in one spirit, striving together as one man for the faith of the gospel." (Philippians 1:27b)
INSIDE Encouraging Partnership in Mission ~Rev. Esther Ho Pioneering in London ~Rev. Sui-Foo Liaw Response to His Grace and Call ~Tzyy-Terng Su The World Is Coming to Us ~Dr. Ashley Liston
Rev. Henry Lu
Reaching the Chinese to Reach Europe
Encouraging Partnership in Mission
Rev. Esther Ho
Mission is the heartbeat of God. God sent the first missionary, his one and only Son into our world to preach the good news of the kingdom of God, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Those who are gathered into His kingdom are His church on earth. Christ establishes his church in different places so that we can be involved in His mission on earth. I would like to share with you how Leicester Chinese Christian Church (CCC) is learning about partnership in mission. In August 1988, COCM moved my base from Kettering to Leicester, as it was a bigger city and more central for all my travels. Eleven days after I arrived in Leicester, God called Mr. Rowe, the founder of Leicester Chinese Christian Fellowship to glory. ‘The Lord buried his servant but carried on his work’. A year later Sam and Teresa Sham graduated from Bible college and applied to join COCM. The Mission leaders sent them to Leicester to be under my supervision and to work with me in developing the ministry in Leicester. Under good teamwork with God and man, the work grew in many areas, and so Leicester CCC was inaugurated in 1992. Later Sam and Teresa and their children were moved to Belfast to help the fellowship in Northern Ireland and I continued to use Leicester as my base for student ministry in the UK. From the early years of its establishment, the church felt the need to be in partnership with COCM so that the gospel could spread to other parts of the UK and Europe. Leicester CCC supported COCM both financially and in prayer. We co-operated with COCM in making known the training that it conducted. A few of our members attended discipleship courses organized by the Theological Education by Extension department. Our students and young professionals participated in regional conferences such as the South England Easter Conference, Midlands Easter Conference and prayer conferences. The youth enjoyed Phat Camp. Participants benefited a great deal from all these events. Our members were equipped, strengthened and encouraged. God used these trainings and conferences to enlarge the vision of our members.
Rev. Esther Ho (fourth from right in the second row) at the induction service
Partnering with COCM through supporting missionaries In January 2005, Leicester CCC commissioned Hannah
Wong to join COCM as a missionary to serve in the prayer department. Through supporting Hannah, we felt that we were partnering COCM to extend its ministry to more needy people. After Hannah completed her service at COCM, we began supporting Lawrence and Clara Sin with a small monthly offering.
Partnering through joint outreach work Leicester is a city with two universities, and the new students who arrive yearly continue to be a big opportunity for the Chinese Church. Last year, I felt the need to approach Connie Yu (second from left) comes on a monthly basis to help with the work COCMâ€™s General Director Rev Henry Lu for amongst Mandarin speaking students in Leicester CCC (provided by Mary-Kate Bing). additional help in our outreach towards the mainland Chinese students in our city. I thank God that Henry was helpful and encouraging. thank COCM for all the help rendered to Leicester CCC He arranged for Connie Yu to come on a monthly basis over many years. From merely receiving, I hope we to help with the work amongst Mandarin speaking have now grown to share in partnership by supporting students in Leicester CCC. Connieâ€™s monthly visit is being and praying for the missionaries. It is my prayer that, appreciated by the Mandarin speaking congregation. Leicester CCC may become like the Antioch Church in As the leaders of the COCM Gospel Team, Gordon Lam Acts, ready to send out missionaries to work at gathering and Maggie Siu will give us a further opportunity of in the spiritual harvest for the kingdom of God. The fruit partnering with COCM in the special evangelistic meeting of partnering with COCM does not stop at the church or for the Mandarin speaking students in November 2011. in the UK; some of our members have gone back to their We look forward to working together with more COCM homeland and were called by God into full-time ministry. workers. In this way we could pray more specifically for May the Lord draw more Chinese Churches to be partners the workers we come into contact with. They are then no with COCM in providing manpower, prayers and longer just names as the church develops a relationship financial resources so that we will be mutually blessed in with the missionaries. the work of His kingdom not only for our cities but also throughout the continent of Europe. As one of the pastors of the church, I would like to
Pioneering in London Rev. Sui-Foo Liaw
rachuted into aries are like troops pa I often say that mission that they can ngth and the supplies the front line. Their stre there is no ttle are very limited. If carry with them into ba t, then it is port from the home fron clear strategy and sup the task. survive, let alone finish impossible for them to The gospel concert was organised by London Grace Church C&MA and a short-term mission team from USA to reach out to the students from Middlesex University
As early as the 1990’s the Chinese Churches Association of C&MA in USA already had a concern for and also supported the needs of the Chinese in Europe. As a result the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) churches Rev. Sui-Foo Liaw and his family made concerted efforts to send out short-term mission teams and missionaries to various European countries for pioneering and mission work. Towards the end of 2007 the C&MA arranged for me to spend a few weeks in London for short-term mission. According to statistics of the time the number of Chinese students studying in England had already reached 45,000. You could see Chinese students everywhere at the Middlesex University in Hendon, London. The place was like a mini Chinatown. The words of Jesus rang in my heart, "they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd…The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few." On the weekend crowds upon crowds of people flooded the streets of London but in contrast the number of people gathered for worship in the church on Sunday was far and few between. Seeing the desolation of God’s house, I could not help but weep. It was at that moment that my unwilling heart to come to London for long- term mission was touched by the Holy Spirit. I said to God, "here I am, please send me." So it was that in October 2008 I stepped out as a missionary to London with the confirmation and commission of the Chinese Churches
Association of C&MA in USA. I have known my wife, Joy as early as 2000 in the church in New York. We became very good friends down the years. Under God’s guidance we started going out with each other in 2007. At that time she had many reservations about our relationship, including the fact that she had never thought about being a pastor’s wife and also about leaving family and friends and the place where she had lived for well over 10 years. After many months of seeking God in prayer, she was finally willing to obey God’s leading. We married in June 2009 in New York and Joy came to London in October. By God’s grace our son was born in September 2010. When I first arrived in Hendon, London I lived in a small room. At that time we didn’t have a place to meet and more importantly we did not have anyone to attend meetings. Once when I was having my quiet time at Middlesex University, God opened my eyes to what He had prepared for me – the library next to the university would be my office, the coffee bar and lobby would be the base for evangelism, Bible study and fellowship. Moreover, these places were all free! Praise God that all these existing facilities could be used for His work. After many months of inviting students to our place for meals, we held the first evangelistic meeting in November 2009, 26 students attended, 4 believed in the Lord and 2 rededicated their lives to God. The next day we held our first "unofficial" worship with the brand new believers at the university’s coffee shop. Under God’s leading the London Grace Church C&MA came into being at Easter in April 2010. We started our first proper Sunday service with more than 20 students, 6 of whom were Christians. In recent years the students who come from Mainland China are mostly of the wealthy generation
born around 1990. Middlesex We praise God for allowing University has connections with us to join the big family of COCM universities in China and many in September 2010 as mission students complete the third year partners. In the 2010 staff retreat of their undergraduate degree at we got to know all the COCM Middlesex. The novelty and freedom London Grace Church C&MA was founded in April staff in the UK, Europe and Hong of living overseas, the desire for and 2010 Kong. Our common experiences chasing after famous brands are and aspirations in mission, the always at the forefront of the minds of these students. As fellowship, prayers and encouragement warmed our they are only in London for a year most of the students hearts as lonely missionaries far away from home. Our will go travelling in the UK or Europe during weekends whole being rested and were refreshed. COCM’s years and holidays. Only a handful is willing to attend the of mission experience and strategy of working among Friday night fellowship and Sunday worship. overseas students provided us with a great deal of help Students often ask me the following questions: and inspiration. We also attended the UK pastoral retreats (1) Pastor, does your "boss" give you commission if you that COCM organized and through them have gotten succeed in converting someone into your religion? to know other pastoral workers. This has deepened our (2) What do you do as a pastor? Who pays your wages? understanding of the churches and the spiritual state of (3) Why did you become a pastor? You must earn loads the believers in the UK, especially in the London area. of money, otherwise you wouldn’t have come from The annual Bible camps and the camps in spring and New York to London. winter are opportunities for Chinese overseas students Most of these students have not had much contact from all over the UK and even Europe to get to know with Christianity so it isn’t strange that they should ask one another and to grow and put down roots in their such questions. It is not easy to lead these students to spiritual lives. The students form our church benefitted the Lord and helping them to grow in the faith is even a great deal from these camps. One student went to one more difficult. Although these young people born in the of them, loved it so much that he has now been back 3 80’s and 90’s do not lack in money and material things times. Through getting to know other brothers and sisters yet they feel very empty inside. They are at a loss about in these camps we have seen how he has become more the future, they need guidance and help, and above open, confident and grown in his desire for the Lord, so all they need the Saviour. In 2 years of exploring and much so that he is preparing for baptism. COCM also experimenting we have discovered that the traditional sends the Gospel Team and staff to help us in our work ways of evangelism do not suit this group of young on campus. This lightens our load in mission resources people. Organizing activities that allow students to and manpower. God’s grace is indeed beyond all that we experience English culture, for example, outings, can ask for or imagine. May we as God’s children work watching West End musicals or letting students who love alongside one another for the sake of His kingdom. It is singing participate in music evangelistic meetings can my prayer that our partnership in the gospel will bring attract more students to attend. Methods of evangelism God’s grace to a greater number of lost sheep and for can change with the times but the content and God’s love this group of blessed Chinese students to take the gospel do not. The key to leading these students to Christ is still to Europe, back to China and indeed to the ends of the to care for and to encourage them, offering them support earth. in the times when they feel lonely and helpless remain the best witness.
Response to His Grace and Call A poet once said "life is like a play, and a play is like life". However, unlike a play you cannot rehearse your life!
For my wife Yu-Mei and I, the journey from Kaohsiung in South Taiwan, to becoming full-time missionaries in the UK has been quite an adventure of faith. During this journey, we have been encountering His grace and guidance, and gradually stepping into the path of mission. We responded to God's Call and joined COCM with gratitude. In 1999, while I was still working in the bank, I often spent my free time reading newly published books.
Tzyy-Terng Su One of the books I read recorded Mother Teresa’s lifelong service to the poor. This book touched me deeply. I thought about the different ways people could live their lives. Some people live extremely simple lives to serve others in such meaningful ways. Though they only have a little money, yet they are extremely "rich", for they will be remembered by this generation and the next. On the contrary, there are people who slave away their lives earning lots of money, but they are actually "poor", as
Encouraging in Investment Analysis at the University of Stirling. money is all they ever During that time, I had the opportunity to work with have. That year the COCM missionary Chu-Yin Ho who was sent to minister 921 earthquake struck among the overseas Chinese students in Scotland. Later, Taiwan on my 30th while job-hunting in Edinburgh, I continued to serve in birthday. Under such the local church and to lead a small Bible study group. circumstances, I had In August 2009, Rev Edward Wei warmly invited my to ask myself, "how wife and me to attend a COCM team building camp. much longer is God That was the first time we visited the COCM mission allowing me to remain centre. We got to know other staff members and also on this earth?" gained a better understanding of the vision and mission A f t e r Yu - M e i field of COCM. Later, Yu-Mei was invited to take part in and I got married in COCM’s media and website-design ministry. I decided 2000, we wanted to to return to Taiwan to take up a job offer that came up follow the model of after a year ’s prayer. Before my departure, we were Aquila and Priscilla Tzyy-Terng Su and his wife Yu-Mei Wu invited to spend some time at the COCM mission centre. as a Christian couple. From then on, God flung open the door for us to serve We joyfully opened Him at COCM. We thought that Yu-Mei would finish her our home and established a small Bible study group. ministry project with COCM and come back to join me We thought that we would earn our own living as tent in Taiwan, but my job transfer within a listed company makers and at the same time support evangelists like group did not work out as expected. In July 2010, God Paul the Apostle. once again brought me from Taiwan to the UK, and by In 2003, I went to a theological seminar entitled then we felt convinced that God had a different plan for "God’s Predestination and Human Freedom" in us as a couple. Kaohsiung given by Rev Stephen Tong. He spoke of the After a time of seeking God in prayer, in September fact that if Jesus hadn’t personally grabbed hold of Paul 2010, we decided to respond to God’s call and to live out the Apostle, enabling him to turn to God, Paul would still our faith by serving in the mission field of Europe. Once be straying on the wrong path. This grace, predestined we made this decision, we applied and were granted from the beginning of creation, was given to Paul more missionary visas to the UK. Then we started to contact than 1900 years ago. The same grace given to Paul has the leaders from my home church in Kaohsiung, as also been given to me. Suddenly I realised that though well as the General Assembly Office of the Presbyterian my life in the grand scheme of time is a casual existence, Church. Rev. Henry Lu, the General Director of COCM yet it is not accidental. Every moment has a special came to Taiwan to meet with leaders from the PCT purpose and the source of all answers and meaning is General Assembly Office to discuss the possibility of connected to the Head – which is Christ. That day, full sending us out as missionaries and establishing a mission of joy and trembling, I responded to an altar call – to partnership with COCM. The overseas missionaries be a minister of Christ regardless of my job position. I sent by PCT in the past had all been ordained ministers; went home and told Yu-Mei, only to find that she had therefore we would be the first lay missionaries to be responded to the same altar call made by Rev Tong 10 sent out. Thanks to God, our application was approved years ago! at the annual meeting of the General Assembly, and it Under God’s guidance, in 2004 I gladly left my job became the PCT’s first case of sending out lay people to at the bank. I joined an international volunteer project be overseas missionaries. For the first time, a mission organised by the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) partnership is also established and Community Service Volunteer between the Presbyterian Church in (CSV), and came to the UK. I spent Taiwan and COCM. a year learning and serving the local Since becoming a COCM community, which was the beginning missionary, my responsibilities of my close connection to the Chinese include coordinating the resources Evangelical Church and the student of the COCM mission centre and fellowship in Edinburgh. After providing overall support to all areas returning to Taiwan in 2005, I was of mission ministries. At the same accepted by the Tainan Theological time, I participate in and support College and Seminary. By the grace the Taiwanese Student Fellowship in of God, I was able to manage two years of theological study whilst Tzyy-Terng Su (second from right in the front London (TFiL), which was planted working part-time. I returned to the row) with students from Edinburgh & Heriot-Watt and cared for by missionaries from the PCT. Once a week, I attend the UK in 2007 to do a Master’s degree Student Fellowships
Tzyy-Terng Su (first from right in front row) with Taiwanese Student Fellowship in London
fellowship to help seekers to understand more of the Christian faith and to strengthen the brothers and sisters. Looking back, God’s guidance was incredible, and it all started with our first response to His call. As we truly believe that "for if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have." (2 Corinthians 8:12) Also we trust in God’s faithfulness and good will, as He leads the way and provides everything, because "the one who calls you is faithful and he will do it." (1 Thessalonians 5:24) With thankful and fearful hearts, we walk the path of grace in mission. May glory and praise be to our Lord God.
The World Is Coming to Us Ashley works full time as a family doctor (GP) and is a leader in the Bethany City Church in Sunderland, which was planted in 2005. Ashley leads the Globe Café with a team of workers who are committed to welcoming, befriending and providing hospitality to overseas students. Recently, their partnership with COCM has resulted in the development of a Bible study group in Mandarin.
Globe Café – our contact point with international students The city of Sunderland has a large student population with a high percentage coming from overseas. It seemed an ideal opportunity to start a ministry, which would allow the church to meet with and share the gospel with students from all around the world. The Globe Café in Sunderland was one of the first ministries formed in the newly planted Bethany City Church seeking to connect with many international students. The concept of a Globe Café is offering genuine friendship to international students during their time in the UK. The Bible provides plenty of encouragement to engage in this sort of work. The story of the Good Samaritan is used by Jesus to illustrate his answer to the question "who is my neighbour". The story graphically illustrates that our neighbour is anyone of any race, creed or social background who is in need. The work is not complicated. We set up tables and chairs in an informal arrangement with the room nicely lit and decorated with flags from all over the world. We provide good quality coffee, tea and nibbles and set up a sports hall with a variety of games. Though the work is simple, it is most sincere. The students who attend the café are not infrequently in need. They are often lonely, especially at the start of their studies when they have left home. The café provides a safe and friendly place
Dr. Ashley Liston
to meet other international students as well as some friendly local people who are often able to provide practical advice Ashley and his wife Jane and support as well as an opportunity to practice the English language, albeit with a ‘Mackam’ accent. These are some of the things that seem to be valued by the students who often come to see the café as a very special part of their time at university. But surely a church ministry should have a more overtly evangelistic objective. Providing food and drink will meet some bodily needs and friendship will help them emotionally and socially but their greatest need is surely spiritual. The experience of working at the Globe Café is that God seems to use this simple ministry to provide numerous opportunities for the gospel message to be shared. The presence of large numbers of students coming to Sunderland from countries where the gospel message is rarely heard provides a huge opportunity. We are commanded by Jesus to "go and make disciples of all nations", and at the Globe Café we find the nations of the world are coming to us.
COCM – our partnership in reaching out to Mandarin-speaking students Last summer we were approached by COCM asking if we might be able to host a mission event in partnership with them. Eugene Chan who is one of the COCM team popped into our Globe Café quite "out of the blue". As we talked about the different work we were involved in, it became quite clear that we shared the same passion to reach international students with the gospel message. The specific mission of COCM to reach MandarinAshley introducing the work in speaking students was especially exciting as the majority Sunderland of students attending the café as well as our own church were from China and Malaysia. The mission event held in October was an outstanding success. The church hall, which the Globe Café normally uses as a sports hall, was packed with students. They were provided with some excellent food, had great fun playing party games and then listened to a presentation about the "True Love" that can be found in relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Following this mission event a Mandarin Bible study group has been formed. This meets in an upstairs room at the same venue as the Globe Café. Many of the students join the café after their meeting but encouragingly some of the café students have started joining the meal and discussion group. Our partnership in sharing the gospel message has truly been extended to include COCM and their local affiliates. We have been immensely impressed with the energy and commitment we have seen in the COCM organisation over the past few months as we have worked in partnership with them. We have clearly seen God working as we have worked together, in His strength to do His work in the city of Sunderland. We now have a partnership where one church provides premises for our work; another church hosts the café and supports the COCM activities whilst working closely with the local university Christian Union. We have found synergy and great mutual encouragement through this working partnership, which we still very much see as a work in progress. In our experience of sharing the Word of God we have seen the full range of responses that Jesus described in the parable of the sower. Frequently we see it falling on stony ground. The message seems to make no sense or have no relevance to their life experience and, usually very politely, it is rejected. We have seen several students who have appeared extremely interested in the Word but then find it becoming mixed up with established and competing ideologies or belief systems. We have also been enormously encouraged to see students coming to faith in Jesus and join in Christian fellowship where they are nurtured and grow in their faith. The opportunity to share the gospel message to the nations of the world through the international students attending our universities and colleges is immense. We pray that God will equip us to continue to prepare good ground for His seed to grow in the lives of these students.
HEADQUARTERS General Director: Rev Henry Lu 2 Padstow Avenue, Fishermead, Milton Keynes MK6 2ES England UK Tel：+44-(0)1908-234-100 Fax：+44-(0)1908-234-200 E-mail：email@example.com Web Site：www.cocm.org.uk
HONG KONG OFFICE Rev Tang Chi-Ming Room 522, Metro Centre II, 21 Lam Hing Street, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong Tel：+852-2549-5288 Fax：+852-2549-5155 E-mail：firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site：www.cocm.org.hk Chairman: Rev Cham Nai-Bun
MALAYSIA OFFICE Mr David Liew Unit 697-2-2, Desa Kiara, Jalan Damansara, 60000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel：+60-(0)3-7954-5884 E-mail：email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site：www.cocmsea.org Chairman：Mr Bryan Lee
SINGAPORE OFFICE Chairman：Mr Alan Wong 420 North Bridge Road #05-07 North Bridge Centre Singapore 188727 Tel：+65-6466-7678 E-mail：email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site：www.cocmsea.org
USA BOARD Chairman：Rev Daniel Chan 1960 Silas Deane Hwy, 2nd Floor, Rocky Hill, CT 06067, USA Tel：+1-860-257-3986 E-mail：email@example.com Web Site：www.cocmusa.org
CANADA VANCOUVER BOARD Chairman: Mr Lawrence Chen P.O. Box 32528, Richmond, B.C. V6X 3S1 CANADA Tel：+1-778-591-0109 E-mail：firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site：www.cocmcanada.org
Published by the: Chinese Overseas Christian Mission. Registered Charity No.232651 No.1135892 Company No.7106567
Rev. Henry Lu．Ling Lu．Min Yin． Yu-Mei Wu
Translator：Monica Li．Cherry Yip
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God called us to serve in Europe, and we are thankful for the ﬁnancial support from individuals and churches around the world over the years. The vast majority of people living in Europe have yet to accept the Gospel, hence we ask humbly for you to work with us. If you are moved to support us ﬁnancially, please get in touch. Donations from UK By Cheque Cheques made payable to “COCM” may be sent to: COCM, 2 Padstow Avenue, Fishermead, Milton Keynes MK6 2ES By Bank Transfer or Standing Order Please contact COCM Headquarters for detailed information. Donations from overseas Please contact Your local COCM ofﬁces / boards or COCM Headquarters (Please see the contact information at the right-hand column on the back page.)