"God has not forgotten the church in East Asia"
"What do you love about the gospel?"
This was one of the first questions Craig Dyer, our Training Director, asked at Christianity Explored Ministries (CEM) training sessions in East Asia earlier this month.
As people eventually turned to share their responses the volume and enthusiasm grew steadily in the room. It was a powerful reminder of the contagious joy which comes from speaking about the good news of Jesus!
This joy was also visible through the unity of Christians coming together with a desire to be better equipped to share the gospel with their communities. We were so encouraged that over 150 people from at least 55 different churches joined us at St. Mary’s Cathedral (Kuala Lumpur) and Zion Bishan Bible-Presbyterian Church (Singapore).
The host team at St.Mary’s Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur have been using the Christianity Explored series as part of their evangelism for the past 10 years. Cathedral Dean Andrew Cheah explained that recently the team has decided to offer Christianity Explored and Life Explored series back-to-back in order to give people extended opportunities to explore the gospel.
This same desire to provide regular opportunities for people to hear the gospel inspired Sue Yee Lee, CE Coordinator at St. Mary’s, to partner with the Mandarin, Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Iban congregations to translate the materials. It was an honour for us to join the team at St. Mary’s for the official launch of two of these translations.
Sue Yee reflects:
“For me, the highlight was when the pastors came forward to pray together during the conference, giving thanks to God for the completion of the translations and committing the resources to Him to be used for His glory.
"It was also a testimony to what God has been doing in the church in East Asia and Malaysia as a whole. Perhaps the time has really come to look East, and see what God intends for this part of the world for this season. On the ground level, each of us experienced one amazing encounter after another. It is truly a testimony of God's sovereignty.
"God has not forgotten the church in Malaysia and East Asia, and the many tribes and tongues that have yet to hear the gospel of salvation. So we pray that this work of the kingdom continues on, that it will grow and bear fruit, and the church will faithfully proclaim the good news of Jesus till He returns.”
It was also a joy to have Mei Ling Routley, a supporter and friend of CEM from London, join us on this trip. Mei Ling kindly coordinated many details of our time in her home country and rolled-up her sleeves during the training and networking events.
"I was born in Kuala Lumpur and lived there until 1983. Living in the UK for 35 years has not diminished my love for this city. It was therefore wonderful to be able to show Ian, Craig and Louanne around KL and later on, Singapore.
"More than that, I felt God’s calling to return to Malaysia with Christianity Explored Ministries in order to resource, train and equip our local Christian brothers and sisters.
"The highlight of this trip was meeting so many people who have such passion for the gospel, and sharing it not only in English but in other languages like Bahasa Iban and Nepali.
"Malaysian food is always important, let us not shy away from this subject. In between the meetings and training sessions we had many opportunities to sample local food, from nyonya kuih to banana leaf curry, noodles and dumplings to chicken rice."
During our time in Singapore, we met up with friends of CEM who, much like Mei Ling, have a deep love for their city and desire to share the gospel. Pastor Dev Menon opened the doors at Zion Bishan Bible-Presbyterian Church for a training and networking session. Dev introduced Christianity Explored to his congregation 10 years ago and it was great to meet his team and others in Singapore with a desire to reach people with the good news of Jesus.
Ian Roberts, CEO, reflecting on his first trip to Asia with CEM, is amazed once again that "Christianity Explored has spread far more than anything we can keep track of!”
Because it is rooted in Mark’s gospel "it has something to offer to every different culture, often all that is required is a bit of assistance in ensuring it's best applied - but many work it out for themselves!”
If you'd like to know more about our work in East Asia, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
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