Thursday, January 17, 2013

From “Everywhere to Anywhere”- Where there is love are the sheep ” 有 愛 有 羊“

The 4th Global Chinese Coordination Centre of World Evangelism Mission Consultation 2013, Jan. 14.-17th in Taipei
by Rev. Alain Haudenschild, D.Min (cand.)
The more than 130 participants from countries like Canada, Panama, New Zealand, China, Hongkong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, U.K. (Scotland) and Switzerland met at the Youth Activity Centre in Chientan, Taipei. The organizers were the office of CCCOWE outside of Taiwan, and Taiwan United Mission of Taiwan which handled the in-country management.
Purpose: The intention was to work on the implementation of a cross-cultural focused view at mission within the Chinese world in Asia and North America as discussed at the Lausanne III conference in Cape Town in 2011. The conviction had grown it is time to move from partisanship in mission to partnership in cross-cultural mission by doing the ministry together.

A Summary of the key thoughts discussed:
In the opening session Rev. Hsia (夏忠堅) emphasized the need in terms of a helpful understanding about mission to teach and live in mission focused discipleship to Jesus. The life of a disciple is not in the church, but in a neighbourhood and in a society that needs to hear and see his testimony. Rev. Chou(周神助)used 1.King 18:21,30-39 to encourage our Chinese churches not to believe unity is just fellowship and a smart organizational agreement but a way to live and caretaking for inner health and emphasized the proper approach for challenges. In his mission historical overview Dr. Feng (馮浩鎏醫生) showed how much work it took to find to same level working relationships and how the Lausanne Spirit with its absence of “evangelical triumphalism” fits well the imperative to use love as the major driving motive within cross-cultural cooperation and mission efforts. While South America and Africa today numerically count as centres of Christianity, the demographic growth and the high number of unreached nations and languages in Asia is clearly the largest challenge in global mission work. He noted that according to his research returning Chinese students from Europe who were Christians when going back in 75-80% over a few years give up Christian faith, because there is no follow up. At the same time major elements of new personnel in provincial governments consists of people with training from outside of China.
   Rev. Du Min-da (杜明達) introduced the idea to better link up with the churches on the whole island, according to the model they are suing in Central Taiwan. “Mission without a strong support from healthy churches behind the missionary is not responsible mission work”, is his conviction.
   Dr. Mo Chen Yung-en (莫陳詠恩) our attention to the financial part of mission and the fact that the missionary abroad is going to change in an another culture. To accompany him and go with his changes is an often overseen challenge. 
   Elder Gordon Wang(王寓文長老) of the CCCMA reminded the assembly to create a management for mission development in Chinese churches that allows not only the missionary to do well in his ministry but also the church to progress and develop its next generation of missionaries. Part of the challenge of is the communication (prayer letters, calls, etc.). Old Newsletter don’t belong to the church board. The missionary must prior to his service abroad be able to look for himself and guard himself in light of his calling. Whether a missionary is sent out quickly after his call or has to wait between 5-7 years is up to the churches and the ministry of the missionary, he shared, “but as CCCMA we don’t send a missionary without church experience into a mission field.”
   Pastor Shen Cheng 沈正(Taipei China Presbyterian Friendship Church) spoke about mobilizing churches for mission. His experience with 2-3 minutes mission information in every service is good. When first introduced members felt such a thing is unnecessary and a waste of time. But over the year’s church members got used to it and if absent they miss it.
   Rev. Chen Chien-guang (陳劍光) talked about “The Gospel moving out of the Chinese world ” ”sharing some unknown stories about how God within Chinese churches called Chinese Christians to serve unreached non-Chinese people groups in China. (This was not meant to become public). 
   Rev. David Lin (林大偉) reminded enthusiast people what China is still lacking and what is still desperately needed like a caring system, mission prayer, cross-cultural training, double profession mindset (雙職事奉的心志), the ability to really cooperate and an understanding of the indigenous (tribal and nations) needs. He said presently the divorce rate in China is 60%. Life and mission must come together, bible-reading, principles, promises, family, finances, the social network and God kingdom need to be understood in their relation to each other.
   Principal Hsu of the Saba Theological Seminary introduced the cross-cultural teaching concept they use in East Malaysia as a model and also as a project where they are constantly looking for new places to train their students in cross-cultural challenges. The Taiwan Expatriate Caring Committee (TECC) and the Taiwan Missionary Fellowships (TMF) various mission needs were introduced to help.
   Rev. Chen She-chin陳世欽 Joshua Ting, who since 2011 is the new Secretary General of CCCOWE summarized the contribution for all in the words. ” “ (Where there is love there will be sheep). Without love as the central piece of our message as Christians and as his messengers nothing will ever really work. As an assembly of more than 130 participants we felt both blessed and challenged to embrace the great challenge of helping our Chinese churches to enter into a next period with more emphasis on the still neglected parts of the Great Commission (Mt 28:18-20) which is all tribes, all languages, and all nations, not just the Chinese in their new. The challenge is huge, the workers relatively few, but the will to face it together is, from “Everywhere to Anywhere.”

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