Sept â€“ Dec 2012
What's stopped you? Will God Forgive?
The Mission Chain Drip Feeding Mission
Breaking Through Barriers cover_04.indd 1
Bringing hope to hard places
We serve the church and seek to bring the gospel to all the peoples of East Asia. We help place Christians with professional skills in China and other Asian countries, and share the love of Christ with East Asians worldwide. Through God’s grace we aim to see an indigenous, biblical church planting movement in each people group of East Asia, evangelising their own people and reaching out in mission to other peoples.
From The Editor ‘I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.’ James Hudson Taylor
We expect them, we try to move them, we wonder if they will ever come down. Dealing with barriers has always been a part of taking God’s message of salvation to the nations. Whether it’s spiritual opposition in Laos, religious tension in Malaysia, or the challenges of serving with your children, there are many things that could make the work seem impossible. In this issue, we look at a few challenges facing cross-cultural ministry and see how God has been at work overcoming them, bringing his forgiveness, peace, hope and security to each situation. Tony Waghorn, Editor - email@example.com
UK NATIONAL OFFICE OMF International (UK) Station Approach, Borough Green Kent TN15 8BG 01732 887299 firstname.lastname@example.org www.omf.org.uk DIRECTORS National: Peter & Christine Rowan Finance: Darren Wall Mobilisation: Nick Cole Candidates: Louise Barker Member Care: Beverlea Parkhill AREA MOBILISERS London Guido & Linda Braschi 0208 9426 297 email@example.com Colchester Mark Sinclair 07583 551 610 firstname.lastname@example.org Cambridge Tim Jenkins 07557 237 039 email@example.com Hampshire Andy & Jenni Stevens 01865 600 024 firstname.lastname@example.org Bristol & Wales Charles & Liz Chalmers 0117 946 6211 email@example.com Glasgow Phil & Cathy Steed 0141 959 4180 firstname.lastname@example.org Belfast Nathaniel & Donna Jennings 028 9073 1266 email@example.com DIASPORA MINISTRIES Mark 0161 442 3743 firstname.lastname@example.org Registered Charity England and Wales: 1123973 Scotland: SC039645 Company limited by guarantee England and Wales: 6541911 International Headquarters, 2 Cluny Road , Singapore 259570
News Departures Arrivals
4 6 8
What Was Stopping You? Barriers to leaving
Cross Cultural Kids 12 Members of the mission family Will God Forgive? A Khmer soldier's journey
A New Life Freedom in Laos
Bridging The Gap 18 Searching for truth in Vietnam
The Mission Chain Ever yone's involved
Drip Feeding Mission Preacher's notes
Directions Financial Report Events
24 25 26
News God is at work in the lives of East Asians; here's how OMFers are joining in.
Growing Godly Adults Sing to the Lord
A small team of development workers have built good relationships with the local community in a remote mountain area of China. One warm and sunny Sunday afternoon, a member of the team was listening to a Christian Praise CD when a neighbour knocked on the door. She explained that her eightyear-old son often enjoyed listening to the songs that he could hear through the open windows. He had learned the tunes and sang them enthusiastically but wanted to know more about the English words and what they meant. Would their neighbour teach him? So began a regular English singing class on Sunday afternoons which soon attracted as many as 25 children to enjoy games, Bible stories and songs.
In Taiwan Linda McFerran has watched many vulnerable young people leave the protective environment of Bethany Children’s Home and launch out into the adult world. There are many obstacles in their way and though many have thrived, some have struggled. Linda now has the opportunity to devote her time to supporting these young adults. There is a new ‘half-way house’ on the Bethany site and Linda provides a ready welcome for those who come for a chat, a meal, a bed for the night, someone to talk to or who just want to come ‘home’. Linda’s prayer is, ‘That as I live and minister to these young folks they would see Christ in me and be drawn to him.’
Serving Students Since the fall of the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia has faced many challenges in re-establishing a high quality university system for its citizens. Graduate students are now coming through the system, gaining post-graduate qualifications overseas and then bringing their expertise back to Cambodia. Alastair and Juliette Curry, Paul Robinson and others, are able to play a part in this process: teaching, mentoring, encouraging and producing manuals and text books to resource their faculties. Alongside academic work, they support the Christian witness on campus and have seen several students become Christians this year.
Mission’s Medical Man What do you do if you are a missionary in a remote area and your child suddenly becomes very sick or suffers a serious accident? In circumstances like these, missionaries are very grateful for the advice and support of OMF’s Regional Medical Advisors serving across East Asia. OMF now have a new International Medical Advisor who has taken over from Dr Stroma Beattie. Dr George Khoo and his wife Mabel joined OMF in July 2012. George is from Singapore, an ex-Navy doctor and trained in occupational health and general practice. He has worked as Medical Director for a large medical evacuation company, so brings a wealth of experience in crisis management.
Gospel Fuelled Bus A long bus ride to Bangkok might have been tedious for Bob Trelogan had it not been for the five interesting conversations he had with fellow passengers on the journey. He chatted to a retired teacher, a motorbike taxi driver, a minibus driver, an airconditioning technician and a man who remembered foreigners teaching the Bible at his primary school. All had met Christians in the past who had made a favourable impression so Bob was able to share the Gospel, give them literature, his phone number, advice about nearest churches and the wavelength of his radio programme.
Manorom Moves On As Thai medical services improved to serve the needs of the area, Manorom Christian Hospital was closed. The Manorom site has been reborn as the Manorom Christian Centre. Now run by local people, the centre is the base for four main ministries: a conference centre, a medical clinic, a ministry to disabled children and a language school. Busakorn Rungvachira is one of the leaders of the language school using English teaching to reach out into the community. She gives thanks for students who have become Christians, have been baptised and are growing in their faith. She says, ‘Praise the Lord for all he has done in Manorom. It is time to change but even though the ministries have changed our vision is the same. We would like to glorify God and expand his kingdom.’
Departures Stu and Abi Destination: Ministry: Departed:
Tilly East Asia Serving the urban poor February 2012
We can see clearly how God has used our life experiences to shape us and call us to serve him. Abi was born in East Asia where her parents worked for 25 years. She went to boarding school in Malaysia and then India. Stuart grew up in Hong Kong, where his Dad worked for an airline. We naturally developed a love for Asia: the food, the languages, the people, and always hoped we’d be back. We met in 2001 while studying at university and began to explore together what serving God looked like for us. We then worked for six years to improve our skills and experience, working towards a move to East Asia. At our church, we learnt lots about what it means to love God and love people in practice. As we prepared to move to Asia we were blessed by the generosity of many people. We were still at 43% of our target support figure only three weeks before our deadline but we prayed and trusted God and were amazed to see the way God provided, as in the end we had 92% of our first year’s support pledged in time. God is faithful. We feel passionate about the tragic reality faced by the poor in the megacity we will be working in, and long to see lives transformed practically and spiritually. Stuart will work as an education consultant for a local partner charity, and Abi hopes to be able to work on projects around housing and community development. We are particularly interested in encouraging sustainable livelihoods; helping people to help themselves.
East Asia Discipleship and mentoring with local churches February 2012
I was born in East Asia and brought up in a home of mixed faiths. I grew up knowing about God through Sunday school but it was in my teens that I gave my life to God. My family left our home in East Asia as refugees when I was ten. We moved from our home, but found that the place we moved to was not safe either. The rebels & army constantly attacked our village; because of the fear this caused, we left to seek refuge again. We came to live in the UK. I did not speak English when we arrived but by God’s grace I finished school and attended University, completing my Masters degree. God then brought me to work in the U.S. He led me to a church and gave me the opportunity to study at a Bible college. During my time there I volunteered with a relief organisation for refugees from my home country; helping with translation and settling them into life in America. In church my passion is for discipling and seeing people fully mature in Christ. Through a short term mission trip to Nigeria in 2005, God opened my heart for mission. God has been preparing me over the years and it has become clear God is leading me back to my home country in East Asia. I never anticipated that I would be doing mission, especially as my goal was to climb the career ladder. That was my plan, but His plan for me was different. Counting the cost, I die to my plans, realising that the task of mission is urgent.
Serve Asia Teams Destination: Ministry: Names:
Phnom Penh, Cambodia Architecture Hope International School Departed: August 2011 Sending Church: St Paul’s, Beckenham
Thailand Schools work Sarah, Gabi, Sarah, Julian, Anna and Emily
Destination: Ministry: Names:
China Teaching English Victoria
I have always felt that God wants to use my architectural training for his glory, but never considered that I could use it in oversees mission. I grew up knowing Jesus as my saviour and God has been revealing himself to me slowly but surely. In August 2008, I signed an agreement with an architectural firm to work for them for two years after university. After finishing the degree the company had to break the contract with me as a result of the recession. Two weeks later, I led a short-term team to support Paul and Grace in Cambodia. During the trip, everything fell into place. Paul was looking for a Christian to work on the architecture for the new Hope International Christian School. It had become a move from Credit Crunch victim to ... Missionary. It was perfect for me. I couldn’t think of a reason not to go! God had uprooted me from all my commitments and ties to particular places. In the time I have been here I have grown a heart for Cambodia, enjoying the culture and learning the language. I’m looking forward to continuing the Khmer and OMF relationships I have begun. God has confirmed that he wants me to use my Architectural skills in mission; using building as a missional activity and modeling fair practice where no legislation for it exists.
Destination: Ministry: Names:
Thailand OMF conference youth programme Michael, Evie, Rachel and Margret
Destination: Ministry: Names:
Japan Working with students Levi, Cheriel, Sandra and Rosslyn
Destination: Ministry: Names:
Thailand Working with students Josh, Flick, Claire, Dave and Alice
Destination: Ministry: Names:
Japan Kids Outreach Team Marcus, Pippa, Katie, Megan, Alison and Jane
Naomi Rowland Destination: Ministry:
Destination: Ministry: Team:
China Mission exposure 5 people
Cambodia Ruth, Duncan
Destination: Ministry: Team:
Vietnam Prayer and student work 8 students
Arrivals Here are some of the OMF team who are back in the UK right now. Keep an eye on OMF events in your area to hear more from them, or get in contact with your Area Mobiliser to book them to speak.
Pray that they would use this time wisely and strategically knowing what to do and when to do it.
Eunice Burden From: Ministry: Arrived:
Singburi, Thailand Mentoring and Discipleship July 2012
Eunice has been based in Singburi, Central Thailand for the last twenty years, and with OMF since 1999. Through running Bible studies in local churches and supporting emerging church leaders, Eunice hopes to see the gospel work in central Thailand multiply. Eunice has recently returned to the UK and will be in England for six months before heading back to Thailand. She hopes her time in England will be a productive time of mobilising people to pray, or even to join her in Thailand! Please keep on praying for Thailand. Pray that God would raise up gifted leaders who can give themselves for the sake of his kingdom. Thank God that the Thai visa issues have been resolved and pray that this door may remain open.
Paul, Grace, Sally & Isobel Robinson From: Ministry: Arrived:
Phnom Penh, Cambodia Language Study June 2012
Paul and Grace Robinson serve with OMF in the city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. For the past four years they have been attending a local Khmer church whilst learning the language and culture. Paul has been teaching Urban Design to fifth year students at the Royal University of Fine Arts while Grace has been running kids' clubs, Bible studies and teaching English to Civil Servants. On Home Assignment they hope to settle back into their local church and community smoothly. Home Assignment for the Robinsons will be spent getting involved with mobilisation for overseas mission through visiting churches and prayer groups throughout their region. They would welcome prayer that they would use this time wisely and strategically - knowing what to do and when to do it. Over all, pray that they are able to excite and mobilise people for world mission.
Mike, Rachel, Eleanor, Abigail & James Hill From: Ministry: Arrived:
Cambodia Education & Development June 2012
Mike and Rachel Hill have been serving God in Cambodia since 2001. Both are involved in para-church ministries such as training Childrenâ€™s workers and publishing Christian materials. Their last extended stay in the UK was in 2006; helping to mobilise the Church into mission. This time around Mike and Rachel will be catching up with their individual supporters and churches while continuing to equip more churches for mission. Please pray for their children to make friends in their new school and as they try to adapt to the cultural changes. Pray that the family are able to reconnect with supporters and churches and that they can find ways to serve in their home church and local community.
1 Take Off Coat
2 Empty Pockets
3 Remove Shoes
4 Undo Belt
What was stopping you? We asked a few OMFers about challenges they faced before heading to East Asia. Here is what they said... Joao Pedro, Japan
Charles Chalmers, Phillipines (now UK)
On my journey to becoming a missionary in Japan, the biggest barrier I faced was losing my comfort. In my 7 years in the UK, I had developed a successful and meaningful ministry. I was also on my way to receiving British citizenship, so my life was very comfortable and stable. Eventually, the Lord spoke clearly to me in Hebrews 11:8 to take a step in faith and give it all up to be part of his amazing work here in Japan.
Not having a wife! But God provided for me in the Philippines, a beautiful Welsh lady, with the same calling to the same work and organisation!
Darren Wall, Cambodia (now UK) I was in the RAF at a point where serving for a further four years seemed to be financially beneficial for supporting our young family. At the same time we felt the Lord prompt us to start enquiring about serving God in mission overseas. Working through the application it became clear we should take the next step; joining OMF. After this it was beyond doubt that, regardless of the financial implications, leaving the RAF was right.
Nathaniel Jennings, Ireland My passion was for Asia and to serve the Lord there. The Lord gave me peace that this was the direction I should travel to honour him. However, other idols came close to distracting me and derailing me from the wonderful adventure the Lord had for me. I shudder when I look back and consider that I was tempted to trade Godâ€™s best for me for ultimately empty worldly pursuits.
Helena Dykes, Thailand My neighbour and my son said they did not think I would be any good at what I was going out to do! Looking back they were probably right, but God asked me and I knew he would take care of me and my family; the responsibility lay with him. I met wonderful people, loved church there, learned to speak some Thai, kept well, finished well.
Caroline Steer, Thailand Me? A missionary? That was my staggered response to a challenge raised during a Serve Asia trip to Thailand. I didnâ€™t think that my life would be spent away from all I knew in the UK. When I suggested to my parents that perhaps I should return to Thailand long term, there was a stunned silence. Would they understand and accept this call for their only unmarried daughter? My parents met with some of the OMF Thailand team and in trust, released me to serve the gospel here.
Julia Birkett, Thailand My feelings about the career path that family members would expect me to take, after getting a good education, could have stopped me getting to the mission field. Fortunately, God gave me the courage to trust him and to communicate with those dearest to me about my passion to serve God overseas.
Challenges for Cross-Cultural Kids
Children of OMF workers face huge challenges as they grow up in multi-cultural environments while their parents share the gospel. Third Culture Kids (TCK's) are valued members of the mission family and need our prayers too.
Prayer Guide Global Nomads, Multi Cultural Kids, Third Culture Kids (TCKs), children of missionaries. They may be called different things, but they have experienced multiple transitions, and count people from other countries among their closest friends. 30 Days of Prayer for Third Culture Kids will help you understand what challenges they face each day. £2 + P&P – Buy online: http://ukshop.omf.org Phone: 01732 887299
To the Ends of the Earth For families with young children one of the biggest barriers to going on mission is risking the health and safety of their children. Trusting in God’s protection becomes second nature to parents. ‘It took three days of driving on bumpy roads over high mountain passes to reach the places God has put on our hearts. We spent four nights sleeping in a tent and I wondered how 14-monthold Sara would cope. Thankfully, she was the one who slept best, even when all our bedding was soaked by heavy rainfall! We visited a dear friend who has tuberculosis, and his uncle with leprosy. Their simple home was filthy, and everyone wanted to hold and kiss Sara. Thoughts about what illness and grime I was exposing my daughter to crossed my mind, but, as I witnessed the joy and love she was giving these needy people, I was reminded of who my daughter belongs to first. Praise God that she was completely healthy throughout our travels! As I think about living here, I must bring all my fears and concerns about the health and safety of my children to the feet of Jesus. God did such a good job of looking after me as a young Third Culture Kid (TCK), I know without a doubt that I can trust him with my own kids even with the challenges of life in the mountains.’ Missionary mother who is also an adult TCK
Cross Culture? ‘Mum, why do they say nasty words to me?’ my son asked. ‘They’re not saying nasty words. They are speaking Japanese,’ I replied. I greeted a friend. She turned her attention to my three-year old James. ‘Ohayo Daigo-kun.’ He tried to hit her and she laughed. ‘Jamie, she’s just saying hello. Gomen nasai (Sorry),’ I apologised to my friend. ‘He doesn’t understand yet.’ This was a common scenario back in Japan after home assignment. Our son’s world tipped upside down. The only constant was family, and even that changed with a new little brother and Dad now teaching full time. Nothing was the same, so James lashed out. We endured hours of tantrums. Would it ever end? Was there something wrong with my child? Thankfully, I discovered better and more effective ways of managing the tantrums and they eased gradually. I learned to persist in my parenting, and learned to appreciate the positives in his character. Mother of three TCKs
Prayer • For God’s wisdom in assessing the risks involved in ministry locations for families. • For God’s peace to garrison the hearts of parents and TCKs. • Each TCK to find his or her identity and belonging in the family of God. • TCKs to experience God’s transformation of events in their lives so they reach their potential.
By Nathan Martin
From 1975-1979, an estimated 2 million people were killed in Cambodia under Pol Potâ€™s Khmer Rouge regime. The scars from that time remain in the country today.
Will God forgive?
Profile: Nathan, Brianna & Caleb Martin OMF Cambodia are focusing on the unreached up-country areas
OMF Cambodia workers: 80
One of our team’s current priorities is to disciple members of the small worship group that meets in the nearby village of Snuol Leitch. At times, it feels like the group is hanging by a thread, but we know behind the scenes it continues by the grace of God. Daniel and I meet weekly with Sann, the man who leads the group, to reflect together on a Bible passage in preparation for Sunday. Recently, we read in Matthew 5 from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount where Jesus says not only those who kill, but also those who are angry and say evil things about others, are in danger of judgement. In the first read through, Sann fell asleep while reading out loud. ‘It’s going to be a long afternoon,’ I thought to myself. We read it again and Sann asked me to explain, saying ‘I don’t understand any of it.’ I did some basic teaching on Jesus not just looking at our outward actions, but also at our heart when it comes to judging sin. We talked more about sin and our need for forgiveness through Jesus. After reading the passage again, Sann asked, ‘Does Christ’s forgiveness cover sins you don’t know are sins?’ Good question. We talked more, affirming that, yes, Christ paid it all on the cross. Then Sann asked, ‘What about soldiers who shoot and kill people? Will Christ forgive them?’ I had
OMF Workers in Snoul: 2
no idea where Sann was going with this. ‘Yes, Christ will forgive if they believe.’ Sann continued, ‘What if during Pol Pot somebody shot and killed several people…’ Daniel got it before I did. Sann wasn’t talking hypothetically; he was talking about himself. Sann then told us the story in detail, of him running, of him crying later, of being afraid to talk to God about what he did, even though he has been a believer for several years. Reading the Bible with Sann the past couple of weeks has been a struggle, but it was an amazing blessing to see the Holy Spirit go far beyond anything I had planned. God used this text to cut Sann to the heart and bring healing where there was doubt and pain. Our time together ended with Sann offering up this pain and doubt in his heart to Christ in prayer, then clapping his hands in joy at this new, deeper understanding of the radical goodness of his saviour.
Bangkok Phnom Penh 15
Prayer • Please join with us in praying for the four members of the Snuol Leitch worship group. • Pray for Sann to continue to grow in his knowledge of the love of God for us in Christ Jesus. • Pray for God to give Sann a shepherd’s heart for his family and the little flock that meets in his home. • Pray for his neighbours to see an ongoing transformation in Sann that would be a light to them as well. • Lastly, pray for ongoing faith, despite the regular insults that come for being labeled a Christian in this area.
Bangkok Phnom Penh
A New Life More than 130,000 So people live in Laos. Their Buddhist beliefs are mixed with traditional animism. Remote from believers and far away spiritually, the barriers to one man finding faith might seem too great.
Population: Major Religions:
People Groups: Unreached Groups: Christian:
Tongsin is a man who lives in a cluster of So villages surrounded by beautiful mountains in Laos. Tongsin lost his three-year-old daughter to a disease several years ago and as a folk Buddhist, associated the disease with spirits. Not only had the spirits taken away his daughter, but they then began to torment him to the point where he was no longer in control of his mind or body. He began to live as an outcast in the surrounding jungle near the cemetery. At night he would sneak into the village and steal food. His situation became so dire that, for everyone’s safety, the villagers built a cage out of wood and bamboo to put him in. The spirit doctors tried their best mantras and enchantments, but it was all in vain. No-one could help Tongsin. A friend in a nearby village had heard a bit about Jesus. He wasn’t a follower, but decided to ‘beg to Jesus’ for Tongsin. This worked! Tongsin came to his right mind and began telling the villagers what had happened. Thinking he was still crazy, they caged him for a second time and for good measure they also bound his hands and feet. Yet Tongsin prayed to Jesus and the bonds on his hands immediately fell off. No-one could deny any longer that this was a changed man. Tongsin wanted to learn much more about this Jesus. He sought out a very old Christian leader in a nearby town. They told him to rid himself of every idol, charm, trinket and belief that had to do with the demons and the old way, and to trust, follow and pray to Jesus with his whole heart. Since that day, Tongsin has been released from his afflictions and the sound of praise can be heard from his little thatched house every Sunday morning. He and his entire household believe. In the last two years, Tongsin and his family have led over 35-40 So people to the Lord. His faith is so contagious that many are coming to him for prayer, healing, and freedom from demons in the name of Jesus.
Prayer • Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the few known So Christians. • Pray that the So believers will have opportunities to share the Gospel with their own people. • Ask God to call Christian medical teams and development workers to go to Laos and live among the So. • Pray for completion of Bible translation in the So language.
Bangkok Phnom Penh
Population: Christian: Video:
89 Million 2% go.omf.org/vnprayercast
Nối một nhịp cầu
Bridging the Gap Vietnam on Ong Troi
Vietnamese people grow up with a mixture of traditional ancestor worship and folk Buddhism, in addition to the more recent communist atheistic teaching. Within their understanding, Ong Troi, or the god of the heavens, is believed to be the one who created the heavens and the earth and continues to influence daily life, rewarding the good and punishing the bad. Though Buddha may be worshipped and other deities and spirits are believed to exist, Ong Troi is considered to be the highest-ranking and most fundamental power.
Lan was searching for a more personal spiritual power in her life. Ong Troi seemed too distant a god. She had searched earnestly for something more personal - she became devout in attendance at the Buddhist temple with her mother, however there she found only religious practices that failed to meet this longing. ‘I was searching for a god whom I could know personally’. One day Lan was invited by a friend to go to a meeting at the local church and she was struck by one man’s testimony. This man described coming to know Duc Chua Troi, the Lord of the heavens, who had not only created the heavens and earth but had also expressed His personal love for us through the sacrifice of His only son. This was what Lan had be thirsting for and she happily accepted Christ into her life.
Thuy grew up in a communist family in which all mention of religion was pushed to one side. However, Thuy had also heard of Ong Troi and understood him to be the creator of the world, so when she faced problems in life she would pray for his help. As a result, when Thuy heard of Jesus’ sacrificial love for her she understood what it meant to have a personal relationship with God, who was much more than just someone to turn to in difficult times.
Like Lan and Thuy’s experiences, the concept of Ong Troi is a recurring link in the stories of Vietnamese people coming to know the true living God. Christians are able to use this existing understanding as a bridge to share the full truth about the Lord God of Heaven.
Prayer • Pray for foreign workers in Vietnam to have deep insights into the culture to enable them to bring the message of salvation to those they meet. • Praise that Vietnamese churches would know how to use these links to reach people. • Pray that Vietnamese people will cross the bridge from Ong Troi to Duc Chua Troi. • Pray that a recent booklet, Vietnamese People and Ong Troi would be an effective tool in reaching many in this land.
The Mission Chain Aim: Show the vital teamwork with many different roles needed to equip and support a missionary to share the gospel with someone in another culture. Where do you fit in the chain? For Whom, When And How Long? A 5-10 minute activity for a mission slot in a worship service, prayer meeting or youth group. Could also be a children’s talk but not limited to that. 20
Resources • A range of props to represent the different roles and activities in the chain • At least seven volunteers willing to make the chain at the front of the meeting.
Introduction As the presenter, invite two people to stand as far apart as possible across the platform (or at the front of the meeting area) to represent the physical and cultural distance between someone who wants to be a missionary and an unreached people group in East Asia.
Ask The Audience What will it take to bridge the gap? What activities or people are needed to equip Missionary Joe to share the gospel with Li Cheng in China? Experience has shown that if Joe just hops on a plane to
Asia and starts talking to Li, it won’t be very effective. There’s much more to it than meets the eye. Ask people to call out specific roles and invite them to stand (with the appropriate prop) at an appropriate point in the line between Joe and Li; i.e. roles in Asia nearer Li, UK roles nearer Joe. Prompt the group from the list below as required or wave the props as clues to the role. Be creative; the props listed are just suggestions. Do come up with better ones! You can reduce or add roles depending on the time available and depth of explanation that’s appropriate (e.g. member care specialists in Asia are not mentioned below).
Links In The Mission Chain Would-be Missionary Joe: holding a Bible – ideally a foreign language one. Sending church leader or mission committee person: with a box of
matches to discern, kindle and commission Joe’s calling into mission, like in Acts 13:1-3. Mission agency mobiliser: with coffee mug and/or whistle to show their role in mentoring and coaching Joe in his journey into mission. Mission agency interviewer: with a clipboard or folder of papers to represent the screening and application process. Medical Adviser: with stethoscope, or syringe, white coat etc. GPs and mission agency medics check Joe and his family’s health to survive and thrive in other climates, often with more basic living conditions. Finance person: with calculator or a few foreign bank notes to show the administration needed to supply Joe and his family with their personal and ministry needs. Language helper: with foreign language dictionary or flash cards. Joe will need to spend one to two years
learning to speak another language. Most languages in Asia are difficult for Westerners to grasp so language teachers are vital in encouraging missionaries to persevere. Teachers for Joe’s children: with text book and teddy bear. Missionary children may attend international schools or be home-schooled. Boarding home parents and assistants care for children attending school away from their parents serving in remote locations without adequate schools. Other missionaries: also with foreign language Bible. OMF missionaries live and serve in teams facilitated by experienced leaders to share gifting, fellowship and be more effective in ministry together. These will be a range of nationalities; these days more and more Koreans and Brazilians. Local Christians: with ethnic hat, scarf, shirt, chopsticks. Apart from pioneer contexts, Joe will serve alongside and disciple believers among the local people equipping them to reach out to their friends and neighbours.
Li Cheng: also with ethnic hat, scarf, shirt, chopsticks. Representing the hundreds of unreached people groups of East Asia that OMF is partnering with the East Asian believers to reach with the gospel.
The Missing Link Challenge your listeners that there’s one further role that’s absolutely vital to complete the chain. It’s all of them – as those who will pray for and support Joe and his family. Prayer is not an optional sideline; it’s frontline work that has direct consequences for the effectiveness of Joe’s and other’s work in reaching Li Cheng and his people. [If someone suggests the prayer role earlier in the presentation, say ‘That’s great but we’ll come back to that later.’]
Breaking The Chain If there’s time, ask what happens if one role in the chain is missing, e.g. if there’s no medical adviser to pick up that Joe has asthma and shouldn’t serve in a dusty place like Mongolia. What if a language helper is taken ill, how would
this affect Joe’s ability to meet with Li Cheng? What if the church members don’t pray for and encourage Joe?
Key Learning Points ‘There should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.’ 1 Corinthians 12: 25 For those who are not directly involved in cross-cultural mission, it may be difficult to recognise how many people are involved in helping a missionary reach a non-believer. God created his church as a body, each part having a different role. Mission works in the same way. We may only see the missionary who is at the forefront of the work, but in reality there are many others who dedicate their time to supporting and resourcing the missionary. Each of these people is equally important, including you. Missions are ministry of the mutually committed. Some committed believers stay home and some committed believers go but we are all committed to reaching the world with the gospel of Christ.
Drip Feeding the Call to Mission ‘Whatever your subject, my missionary vision is enlarged when you speak.’ said a Christian student worker.
I believe that the whole of Scripture is the story of God's missionary burden and of his willingness to work through people like us. Consequently, I agree to preach on any subject I am given, certain that it will not be difficult to find the missionary dimension there. The goal in preaching anywhere is to persuade people to agree with God’s truth, to understand how it works, to do what God wants and so to be blessed. After the groundwork of exegesis, I ask missionary questions to help me interact and apply vividly and relevantly • Where in the world is this easier to understand? • Where in the world have I seen this work? • Where in the world is this difficult to accept? • Why in the world was this written down for us here and them there? Missionary material thus becomes part of everyday preaching, a normal part of life, a good way to learn. And the missionary call slips in almost unnoticed! I used to find most of my answers from widespread international ministry. As an older, less mobile person, I learn much that illustrates God’s truth from internationals in Britain, from missionaries, from the television news, books and the internet. Our missionary experience should not be used to manipulate people to bless us. Such selfish goals make deputation a thankless chore. Our stories and wider experiences are God-given to help us bring blessing and understanding to people. That is how we should use them. It is fulfilling – and often, to my delight and surprise, results in people being mobilised for mission. Dick Dowsett
Preacher’s notes ‘If I did have a tip for preachers it would be – not to forget the Old Testament when it comes to preaching on mission. After all, that’s what Paul and the early church had, and that was the text (a rather large text) that Jesus used to unpack “repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” to the disciples in Luke 24: 45-49.’ Peter Rowan OMF UK National Director ‘I've preached more than once on why the apostles didn't appeal to the great commission when they preached on mission: mission pervades the OT, and they appealed to various OT passages instead. In Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13), Paul chooses Isaiah 49:6 for his authority, rather than the Great Commission or his own personal commissioning by Christ – because the plan, God’s plan, always was to bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’ Mark Sinclair OMF UK Mobiliser ‘I believe that the way mission should be tackled is in its proper context of the preaching ministry of the church. I believe that Missions can be preached from almost every book of the Bible. There are two reasons for this. First we have a God who is concerned for the salvation of all people from every culture and nation. Secondly, in different ways, in every book of the Bible we are dealing with a cross-cultural situation, either within the book or in our own interaction with it.’ Ray Porter Director of World Mission Studies, Oak Hill College
The Mission of God
Chris Wright IVP, 2006 ÂŁ24 â€“ Buy online: www.10ofthose.com The Mission of God by Chris Wright is a big book in every sense of the word. At nearly 600 pages, it isn't for the fainthearted. All the same, it should be required reading for every minister and preacher seeking to expound scripture. Chris Wright, International Director of the Langham Partnership and formerly Principal of All Nations, shows how the whole Bible needs to be understood through missional eyes, as the record of God's passionate, loving concern for his world and his repeated initiatives so that men, women and children of all nations might be reconciled with him. That concern embraces life in every dimension, and the whole of creation, and God's people are called to be missionary people because God is a missionary God. Wright unpacks many passages of scripture to make his case, in readable and winsome text. Reading it will warm your heart, inform your worship, instruct your mind, and transform your understanding of mission and indeed of scripture itself. Rose Dowsett
By Peter Rowan
Directions An abridged extract from Peter’s forthcoming book, Proclaiming the Peacemaker. Among the many aspects which constitute the church's missional calling is the call to be a peacemaker. In a divided society where there are racial tensions, peacemaking is a crucial ministry to engage in.
As Philip Jenkins observes in The Next Christendom, ‘the ethnic-religious equation potentially places religion at the heart of future conflict in nations like Malaysia...’ But is the decision not to share the gospel a way of building peace? Although peacemaking was a key characteristic of the Early Church, peace at any cost can not be squared with the worldview of New Testament Christianity. This is because ‘shalom’ is not an independent entity but is intimately bound up with reconciliation, truth and justice. So what did peacemaking actually consist of for the Early Church? Rodney Stark's work, The Rise of Christianity very helpfully demonstrates how the combined strengths of love of neighbour and the formation of a new kind of community helped to shape the early church in terms of its peacemaking influence. He quotes Tertullian:
‘It is our care of the helpless, our practice of loving kindness that brands us in the eyes of many of our opponents. “Only look,” they say, “look how they love one another!”’ ‘When the New Testament was new,’ says Stark, ‘these were the norms of the Christian communities.’ But perhaps the most fundamental element contributing to the peacemaking influence of the early church was the way in which the gospel ‘brought a new conception of humanity to a world saturated with capricious cruelty and the vicarious love of death.’ The gospel transformed the way people viewed each other and the world around them. The prevailing pagan worldview, so often characterised by casual cruelty, was transformed so that Christian converts acted with a compassion modelled on that which characterised Jesus himself. What we do not find in the early church is a refusal to evangelise because of the risk of ethnic strife or persecution. Stark points out that the early Christian communities became remarkably resilient and were able to grow even in the face of persecution. It is worth hearing Stark’s assessment that Christianity did not grow primarily
because of miracles, or because of Constantine’s conversion but because ordinary Christians simply kept on sharing the gospel wherever they went: ‘It grew because Christians constituted an intense community, able to generate the "invincible obstinacy" that so offended the younger Pliny but yielded immense religious rewards. And the primary means of its growth was through the united and motivated efforts of the growing numbers of Christian believers, who invited their friends, relatives, and neighbours to share the "good news".' In the context of modern day Malaysia where the church exists as a minority with other faiths in a Muslim majority country, gospel proclamation and the ministry of peacemaking are often held in tension. Let’s remember to pray for the church in Malaysia and for Christians in other parts of the world, that they would be characterised by a wise boldness in proclaiming the Peacemaker in word, deed and character in tense and sometimes violent circumstances.
By Darren Wall
Financial Report Proclaiming the Peacemaker: The Malaysian Church as an Agent of Reconciliation in a Multicultural Society Peter Rowan Oxford: Regnum, 2012.
With a combination of theological, historical and sociological perspectives, Rowan sets out to demonstrate that being an agent of reconciliation is linked to our effectiveness in bearing witness to an identity given by Christ. ‘This book may not be too welcomed by Malaysian Christians, not because it is wrong-headed, but because it so right and prophetic!’ Bishop Hwa Yung Methodist Church in Malaysia
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Proclaiming the Peacemaker
Proclaiming the Peacemaker The Malaysian ChurCh as an agenT Of reCOnCiliaTiOn in a MulTiCulTural sOCieTy
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As a mission we are grateful and blessed for the way that God leads people to give so that his purposes can be carried out.
I’ve been taking a look through our archives and have found an account of one of the many experiences of this wonderful provision. A century ago in 1912, the China Inland Mission was facing financial challenges having gone through a year of reduced income. As a result, the following quote from George Müller was printed in the February 1913 edition of CIM’s magazine, Millions: ‘The natural appearance now is that the work cannot be carried on. But I believe that the Lord will help, and that we shall not be confounded; also that the work shall not need to be given up. I am fully expecting help and have written this to the glory of God, that it may be recorded hereafter for the encouragement of His children. The result will be seen.’ In the June 1913 edition of Millions, it was reported that: ‘for ere January had closed, a generous gift of £10,000 brought the help which had been so long looked and waited for, a gift which nearly equalled the total of last year’s decrease.’ As the accompanying figures show, the Lord has blessed us with very good income during the early part of this year for which we praise him. The experience of 1912-13 led to ‘filled hearts with joyful thanksgiving, and renewed reliance in God as our Jehovah Jireh’. Almost one hundred years on, we can testify that the Lord has continued to help and the work can go on. May we all continue to ‘seek first his kingdom’, knowing that all we need to serve him will be provided, but not necessarily in the way or timing we might expect. www.omf.org.uk/giving
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Actual income Jan- May 2012 £2662K Target income Jan – May 2012 £2627K
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If you wish to order a copy, contact the OMF office.
Support Gifts (66%) £1755K Donations/other income (9%) £236K Legacies (25%) £671K
Events England 11 September
174 Redland Road, Bristol BS6 6YG 10.30am for tea / coffee 11am Start 1–2pm Lunch 3pm Finish
174 Redland Road, Bristol BS6 6YG 10:30am for tea / coffee 11am Start 1–2pm Lunch 3pm Finish
Bristol Day Of Prayer
Christian China Focus 26
Regent’s College, Inner Circle, Regent's Park, London NW1 4NS 11am Start Founded by Leslie Lyall in the 1970s, the group meets 2-3 times a year for expert insight, updates and to pray for China. Contact: David Newbery Email : email@example.com Phone: 07733 423 929 15 September
Heart for Asia
Bethany Chapel, Prenton CH43 0TY 11am-3pm with different seminars happening throughout the day. Sandwich lunch provided. Speakers expected; Eunice Burden (Thailand) and Chris Pain (Japan) Contact: Brenda Holton or Keith Wood Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 0151 670 1771 or 0161 285 6862
Bristol Day Of Prayer
“In, but not of...” Bournemouth OMF Event Lansdowne Baptist Church
11am-5.30pm Living incarnationally is risky. Culture shapes and changes us more than we might think. At this event we will study various contextualisation issues, particularly Islam and Diaspora work Contact: Jenni Stevens Email: email@example.com 18 November
St Andrew the Great Mission Cambridge CB2 3AX The event starts at 10am and Tim will be there all day. www.stag.org/events/sunday-services Contact: Tim Jenkins Email: Tim.Jenkins@omfmail.com Phone: 07557 237 039 Advanced Dates 15 – 17 March 2013
Next Generation Conference Venue: COCM, Milton Keynes
Journeying Together in World Mission Mission Cells are bringing people together who share a passion for mission and a heart for the world. They meet regularly for fellowship, food, prayer and equipping. We have Mission Cells up and running in London, Cambridge and Cardiff. If you’re interested in attending one of these Mission Cells please contact nearest Area Mobiliser (see inside cover for details). If you’re interested in setting up a Mission Cell near you please contact: Derrick Burns: firstname.lastname@example.org 22 September
Bedford Mission Cell - Launch 10am Moggerhanger Park, Bedfordshire MK44 3RW www.moggerhangerpark.com Contact: Tim Jenkins Email: Tim.Jenkins@omfmail.com Phone: 07557 237 039 September 22
Southampton Mission Cell Next meeting. Contact: Andy Stevens Email: email@example.com Web:
Contact : Phil and Cath Steed Emial: Scotland@omf.org.uk Phone: 0141 959 4180 27 October
Glasgow Morning Conference ‘Heart for Asia’
10am – 1pm (lunch provided) Sandyford Henderson Memorial Church Speakers from Thailand, Cambodia, UK Diaspora Team, Creative Access Nations Bookstall ~ Resources~ Kids Programme. 10 November
Edinburgh Morning Conference ‘Heart for Asia’
10am – 1pm (lunch provided) Abbeyhill Baptist Church Speakers from Thailand, Cambodia, UK Diaspora Team, Creative Access Nations Bookstall ~ Resources ~ Kids Programme.
5 – 7 October
By Faith & Failure OMF Irish Conference
Glenada Holiday & Conference Centre, Newcastle, Co. Down We would love you to join us for a weekend of teaching, testimonies, prayer for the nations, worship, fellowship and reflection. There will be childcare and a children’s programme on Saturday and Sunday morning. Come for the weekend or just for the Saturday. Contact: Nathanial Jennings Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 028 9073 1266
Event Review OMF Weekend in Wales Event Pure sunshine accentuated the ‘Loving God, Loving Asia', Wales conference in Newtown last May! We couldn’t have asked for better weather which was the cherry on the top of a great weekend programme. Meirion Thomas led us passionately through the them: ‘We love because he first loved us’ feeding and challenging us in the Word of God and on points from ‘The Cape Town Commitment’. Our missionary speakers gave excellent presentations about their work and ministry across five East Asian countries! The feedback forms echoed the comment, ‘We should make this an annual event!’
‘By Faith’ – Annual Scottish Conference 2012 It was a sunny May Bank Holiday weekend, and where better to be than Arbroath, near Dundee for the OMF Scottish Conference! 120 folk of all ages gathered together for times of Bible teaching from David Harley (former General Director), prayer, reports from returning missionaries and those working amongst Asians in the UK, meeting new workers heading to Asia, fellowship and fun. Why not plan to be with us in 2013? Put the date in the diary now for the Bank Holiday weekend 3-5 May!
Go2012 mission festival Over 2000 people attended the Go2012 mission festival, held from 4-7 May in the beautiful grounds of WEC, near Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire. Main speaker Krish Kandiah, commented ‘For many UK churches global mission has dropped off the radar. We live in impoverished isolation from what God is doing on his world stage. GO2012 has provided a fantastic opportunity to reboot our understanding of the power of the gospel to transform our universe.' GO2013 will take place from 3-6 May – the theme is ‘healing in a broken world’. Mainstage speakers will include Jackie Pullinger, author of Chasing the Dragon, and Elliott Tepper (Betel). More information is available on the website go2013.org.uk
Postcards from Asia
Book online at www.omf.org.uk/postcards2013
2013 OMF National Conference
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OMF National Conference 1-3 March 2013
Postcards from Asia They may not the kind of people you’d write books about - maybe a few lines on the back of a postcard - but there are many ordinary people involved in extraordinary ministries.
Come and hear a few notes from: • Regular people, volunteering their skills in the UK to support ministry in East Asia. • UK business people supporting and running entrepreneurial initiatives in Asia. • Partners in strategic gospel work with unreached peoples.
Youth and Children’s Programme The will be a full programme for children. Find out what God is doing in the world, make cool things and join in with games. We’ll also have a staffed crèche for daytime sessions and a relaxed programme for teenagers.
About the conference • Peter Rowan, OMF UK National Director will be leading the Bible readings • Find out about partnering with OMF through the Bridge Asia programme • Our Missional Business team will share some of the exciting ways that you could use your business skills to help open doors East Asia. • Our team from Asia will bring updates and news about ministries and projects • We’ll have prayer times reflecting a breadth of opportunities in East Asia • Opportunities to share and equip each other in promoting world mission. The conference opens with an evening meal at 6.45pm on Friday and closes after lunch on Sunday. Book online at www.omf.org.uk/postcards2013
new word alive Alive in Christ – a holiday to refocus 2–7 April & 7–12 April 2013 Booking now open www.newwordalive.org
In this issue: Will God Forgive - A Khmer soldier's journey | What was stopping you? | The Mission Chain - Everyone's involved