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The Face of Mission

By Suzane Avadiar, Communications Manager of AsiaCMS

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” – John 13:35.

Peter was heartbroken; he had denied his Jesus and stood by as his Saviour was crucified. Peter was still consumed with guilt and disappointment in himself when he and a few other disciples spotted Jesus walking along the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

The moment Peter heard John say, “It is the Lord!” (John 21:7), Peter leaped out of the boat and rushed over to his beloved Jesus. He was in need of restoration. After cooking His disciples breakfast with their own catch and breaking bread with them, Jesus turned his attention to Peter with one fateful question three times (John 21:15-19)…

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On The Edge with God

Nevedita Jeevabalan serves as an ambassador of God’s love with Lanka Evangelical Alliance Development Services (LEADS) in Sri Lanka. She has dedicated her life to helping disadvantaged, voiceless and traumatised children in Sri Lanka, and to equip others to do the same. This report from Church Mission Society.

“For me, mission means breaking taboos and being there for the child who is hurting and the family, and supporting them through that painful period of time,” says Nevedita.

In Sri Lanka, the topic of sexual abuse, and abuse in general, is highly taboo, making it difficult to deal with the problem. Even so, things have come a long way since Nevedita started working with LEADS – the government now at least recognises that abuse is a reality. But often, families don’t want to report abuse, and even if something is reported, a court case can take up to 10 years.

Nevedita – whose very name means “dedicated to service” – makes a difference by working to improve the conditions and care given to children…

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Head of Church Mission Society to be next Bishop of Truro

It was announced on 30 August 2018 that HM the Queen has approved the nomination of Church Mission Society’s executive leader, Philip Mounstephen, as the next Bishop of Truro, tasked with overseeing the Diocese of Truro’s mission across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and two parishes in Devon.

Philip Mounstephen has led CMS since October 2012. During his time in post, CMS has invested more in mission in the UK context through the growth of its highly regarded Pioneer Mission Leadership Training programme and Partnership for Missional Church, while continuing to develop its historic global partnerships.

Speaking of his new appointment, Philip said, “I’m honoured and humbled to be asked to take on this role and am excited by the possibilities it offers.

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Discovering Holistic Mission…

In June this year, the Asia Gateway Residential Training, held at the Seminari Theologi Malaysia, brought together a colourful combination of cultures and personalities from seven nations across Asia.

Tirtsa Liefting has an untamed spirit of adventure and a fiery passion to understand cultures beyond her own – all wrapped beautifully inside a heart that yearns for God’s Mission…

If you looked past her light-coloured hair, classic European looks and accent, you’d easily assume that Tirtsa is either Asian or has lived extensively in this region. She is so immersed in the Asian culture that it is easy to forget she is actually from The Netherlands!

Tirtsa joined Asia Gateway because she wanted to learn more about (holistic) mission and what it means to work in the mission field. “I also wanted to know whether this would be something that I would like to be involved with in the future,” she said.

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Reaching the Unreached

Hidden away in the remote hills near the outskirts of Central and Eastern Nepal is the Mushar community; a people group who are considered ‘untouchable’ and thus, marginalized. Almost 80% of them do not own land but rather build small huts along the banks of a small river; they generally stay away from other communities.

According to Milan, alcoholism is high within the community.

“It is sad to see the men work hard as labourers and yet, waste their earnings by consuming alcohol,” Milan said.

The women usually stay at home; their literacy rate is just 1%.

It is for these people that Milan and Grace feel stirred in their hearts to reach out to. They have a burden to elevate the quality of life for these ‘untouchable’ that are shunned by society at large. And so, Milan and Grace have begun literacy classes in 3 different parts of the country…

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Missional Living is a Life of Service

Philippians 2:20-22 (ESV) – “For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel.”

Will we be willing to go back to our roots; serve our people and live alongside them at where they are? I first met Caleb and his wife, Esther (not their real names) in a region of Asia characterised by decades of ethnic unrest that at various times and places, escalated into armed conflict and pockets of insurgency. An attractive young couple, both are highly articulate and progressing well in their respective careers. Caleb has an advanced post-graduate degree in theology and Esther is a medical doctor…

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Going beyond boundaries

In June 2018, the Asia Gateway Residential Training program, held at the Seminari Theologi Malaysia, brought together a colourful combination of cultures and personalities from seven nations across Asia. 

Jamshed Gill arrived from Pakistan with high hopes to discover more about cross-cultural missions and in the course of his stay at Asia Gateway, he learned beyond that…

 

Jamshed is a pensive theologian; always looking deeper at the things before and around him, so that he can, in turn, do more. Reflecting on his childhood days, Jamshed remembers being “impressed by the services of the Church Mission Society (CMS) in Pakistan.”

He recalls hundreds of students from other villages, who studied at the high school in his own village – men and women who went on to become great witnesses of Christianity in the whole area…

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Discovering self through God and community

The recently concluded Asia Gateway Residential Training, held in the month of June 2018 at the Seminari Theologi Malaysia, brought together a colourful combination of cultures and personalities from seven nations across Asia. Prairie Vo, a freelance translator from Vietnam shares her experience…

At the first hello, it is easy to conclude one pertinent fact about Prairie; she is shy. One might even perceive her to be a tad timid and quite quiet. But after a month amidst strangers, who would go on to become her friends, Prairie emerged strong, brave, bold and rather chatty!

It seemed as if her month-long stay allowed her to discover more of who she really is and can become – through God and the comforting community of peers He had placed her in…

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Sowing Seeds…

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…

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