Asia Gateway 2018 began on June 4 and we hit the ground running… Here are a few snapshots of the weekend, orientation and Day 1 of classes.
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This year, AsiaCMS also welcomed Dr Qaiser Julius as our Co-Mission Partner. Dr Qaiser teaches at the Open Theological Seminary (OTS) in Lahore, Pakistan. He is currently the Director of OTS, provides leadership to the institution along with teaching and preaching roles, and represents OTS on different platforms nationally and internationally.
Dr Qaiser teaches Hermeneutics and New Testament Greek every Fridays to M.Div. and B.Th. students at the Gujranwala Theological Seminary (GTS). This can be challenging as he has to travel around 4 hours to and from GTS on the same day each week.
He also provides assistance at the Langham Expository Preaching program in Pakistan as a volunteer coordinator. This program helps the preachers in Pakistan to expose biblical text with faithfulness, clarity and relevance in their preaching. This quarter he led the Langham Expository Preaching Training Level-1 in Sahiwal.
In the first quarter of 2018, Dr Qaiser spent time training new staff members that were hired in the Youth Department and Communications Desk at the seminary. He also invested a significant amount of time fundraising for OTS, which comes under the direct purview of the Director.
Dr Qaiser received an encouraging testimony this quarter from one of the Pastors that he taught during the Langham Expository Preaching program. The Pastor admitted that prior to this program, he did not spend enough time preparing for his sermons and more often than not, merely recited what he knew instead of preaching. This program taught him the tools he needed to invest more time in preparing for his sermons. In essence, this program sowed the seeds he needed to preach the Word of God more effectively.
Please Pray: for Dr Qaiser’s safe travel as he journeys extensively throughout Pakistan for the ministry of OTS. Pray also for wisdom, clarity and good preparation as he leads sessions in various training programs.
If you’d like to know more about Dr Qaiser’s ministry at OTS and what he does as our Co-Mission Partner, visit his Profile at asiacms.net
God is always at work; He is always changing circumstances that may seem impossible to us and stirring hearts that may face the most challenging situations. Ashish and Karuna, our new Co-Mission Partners, are witnesses to God’s faithful hand in their ministry, as they teach various Diploma, Bachelor and Master theological courses at the Nepal Theological College (NTC), as well as other neighbouring bible colleges.
In the past few months, both Ashish and Karuna have been increasingly heartened to see God using their skills and ministry to mould others. They see a deep hunger to learn God’s Word in every place they teach.
Ashish recently had an encouraging encounter with one of his students, who was determined to complete his M.Div. course, despite the struggles in his family and finances. The student, who has to take care of his ailing father, had no choice but to start learning his father’s profession as a tailor to sustain and provide for the family.
Instead of setting aside his theological studies or taking a break to work and make ends meet for his family, the student chose to pursue both. Each day, he travels over one and half hours to attend his classes at NTC. God has been stirring his heart with a hunger to learn the Word, despite the challenges at home. The student’s enthusiasm is nothing short of inspiring.
Karuna has also been witnessing God move amongst her students. Aside from her teaching engagement at NTC, Karuna also teaches a counselling course at a training centre in Kathmandu and in March this year, she tutored a Diploma in Mental Health (DPHM) course, organised by the Elijah Counselling and Training Center, in Lalitpur and United Mission Hospital Tansen, Nepal. This is a counselling training for pastors, leaders and those involved in hospital ministry.
After the DPHM course she taught, Karuna received positive feedback from her students, who say that they are now able to use the skills they learnt when dealing with people at the hospital daily. In fact, many doctors have begun referring patients to these students for counselling! This in itself is a testament to God’s move, as counselling is rather new and not really embraced by society at large in Nepal. But God is changing circumstances and the field of counselling is slowly beginning to impact the churches and society in this nation.
Please Pray: For the ministry of Nepal Theological College. Plans are underway to start their own Master of Divinity programme beginning in July 2018. Pray that God would bring more people to study His word.
If you’d like to know more about Ashish and Karuna’s ministry at NTC and what they do as our Co-Mission Partners, click on their Profile at: asiacms.net
Kumar & Hoshea
Three years ago, Hoshea Felix began a new journey at the International Global School of Leadership (IGSL) in Manila, Philippines. He was only in his early 20s and the youngest student in his batch. In that same year, the Philippine Campus Crusade for Christ commissioned him as a missionary, which in itself was a testament of God’s call and faithfulness in Hoshea’s life.
Despite his young age, he passionately pursued God’s call for his life and relied on God’s grace every step of the way. During Hoshea’s time at IGSL, Kumar Aryal (Director, Life Mentoring) and Kats Aryal (Faculty, Leadership Studies), both who are AsiaCMS’ Co-Mission Partners, mentored and taught him, respectively.
Kumar and Kats watched Hoshea grow and mature, as he continually sought God to mould him. He once said, “The path to becoming a better servant never ends. God’s affirmation is overwhelming. His call is always sure.”
Throughout his time at IGSL, Hoshea remained steadfast in his pursuit of God and remained dedicated to his call. In the course, God has not only blessed his journey but also led him to his life partner to minister alongside with. Hoshea finished well and received the Great Commission Award for multiplying disciples that reached up to four generations.
Just last month, Hoshea graduated from IGSL and has now been invited together with his wife, Charis to join the faculty team of IGSL. He was also commissioned to become the Lead Pastor of his local church. Truly, when God calls, He enables and equips. In the end, serving and following the Lord is still a work of His grace and for His glory. As Hoshea’s earnest prayer goes, “Lord, let me be the pastor, Bible scholar and missionary that You want me to be. Make me a better servant, like Your Son Jesus Christ.”
If you’d like to know more about Kumar and Kats’ ministry at IGSL and what they do as our Co-Mission Partners, click on their profile at:
The South Asian Christian Youth Network (SACYN) is a network of young leaders from South Asia with a mission to build connections. AsiaCMS partners to inspire, prepare and strengthen young Christian adults to cross bridges to encounter and share their faith and lives with others, across boundaries and borders. Since 2002, SACYN has facilitated various training, conferences and exposure visits to equip its leaders and in October 2017, SACYN organised a Leadership Training and Core Group meeting in Negombo, Sri Lanka. The theme for this 14th SACYN gathering was ‘Tides that We Swim Against: Leadership in Difficult Times’ and it brought together 34 young adult leaders from nine countries within South Asia. These are two voices of SACYN leaders, sharing on the impact of the gathering…
“Bold. Brave. Brilliant” by Wanda Christy
Over my few days attending SACYN 2017, I met a few of the boldest and bravest women. I was very honoured to be friends with women who were a true testimony to what they believe in, not only through their work, such as doing prison ministry and as a mental health awareness activist, but also as role models to youths, especially women.
These women are living examples that age, culture and most importantly, gender are not barriers to doing ministry. As girls in Sri Lanka, we face a lot of sexism and gender-based discrimination, violence and abuse on a daily basis and sadly, in certain parts of the country, these are not addressed and are even completely covered up.
In places where awareness and prevention is preached, it is not practiced and unfortunately when women do speak up, we are either shushed, ignored or laughed at.
Meeting these wonderful women at SACYN, including our female resource people, hearing their stories, seeing how they are the absolute bosses of their lives and how they are sharing the Gospel through their work and lives, are truly inspiring for me as a young woman who is just stepping into the waters.
So, thank you for just being so bold, brave and badass. May God bless you all and your ministry!
“A Reflection on the Exposure Visits” by Prasansa Suba
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I can’t tell for sure if the Sri Lankan government in 1977 had good intentions but it definitely seemed a good initiative when it announced employment opportunities for 100,000 women to address the problem of unemployment that plagued many youths in the country.
Despite making a good step, the government failed to give the best to its citizens, as it failed to take its laborers’ welfare concerning health and safety, and other benefits into consideration. Later, when the laborers stood against this, the government silenced voices of the laborers, subjugated them, treated them inhumanely and made them work for their benefits.
As we look back at the country’s history, we can see the struggle of their laborers, which never made its way to victory. I actually appreciate the Sri Lankan government for coming up with this strategy to tackle the problem of unemployment but had it been more sensitive to its citizens and thought more thoroughly from the perspective of its workers, then its history would not have been tainted by violence and blood.
The exposure visit through this SACYN gathering made me realize the importance of preparation before making a step. Most of the times, we just step hastily and cause unforeseen damages to others, even when our intentions are good. If we follow the simple rule to just STOP and THINK, we can prevent a lot of problems.
Hebrews 11:1-2 “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.”
Many things start with small acts of faith and love. It was about twenty years ago that I was invited to preach in a remote coastal town on the northern tip of the Island of Borneo. The Sunday morning was routine but after the service, Pastor Simon (not his real name), a young man in his late 20s, casually asked me if I would like to share a short message in a small “house-meeting” that he recently started with a group of Sea Gypsies…
It is human nature to yearn for freedom, free from the shackles of one kind or another. Every year as we celebrate Pakistan’s Independence Day with a patriotic spirit, we are reminded of the value of freedom.
This year we conducted a programme to drive home the message that “despite seventy years as an independent nation, we are still in the cage of drugs.”
It was a challenging and hectic third quarter, but God is good. In the three months, I taught two modules to our Master of Divinity (MDiv) and Master of Theology (MTh) students and one module at the Kathmandu Institute of Theology. Teaching three modules was a fulfilling experience.
It is challenging to run programmes for the urban poor because the dole mindset has conditioned many to see themselves as mere recipients of donations and charitable activities with little hope of breaking out of the cycle of poverty.
Although the Episcopal Diocese of Central Philippines has conducted a series of values and faith formation initiatives with parents, it is difficult to break the prevailing outlook of the community.
Kumar had twenty-eight students from thirteen countries in his “Introduction to Community Transformation” class at the International Graduate School of Leadership (IGSL). One of the requirements for the students was to participate in the Vision Conference seminar, which was originally initiated by Disciple Nations Alliance (DNA). The students, divided into seven groups, partnered with local churches and NGOs to equip in holistically bringing the transforming work of the gospel in their communities.