11 Feb THANKFUL, BUT ALSO ASKING FOR YOUR PRAYERS
Philippians 4:6 …in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God
We are looking forward to 2021 with renewed faith, confident in God’s leading and provision. In this first update for 2021, we at AsiaCMS wish to start with gratitude. Looking back at a very difficult season, we are thankful that:
We are talking and praying together more often as a missional community. This C-19 pandemic has one bright spot—all of us became a lot more at ease with zoom and video-conferencing. Prior to this, some of our co-mission partners across different countries barely knew each other. But now, we are meeting up a lot more often in regional and cross-regional meetings; for mutual support, prayer, networking, or simply to chat. In the past, these group meet-ups usually only occurred in actual on-site meetings. That is incidentally, quite expensive. Video chats are obviously never as good as an actual cup of coffee together, but this past year was God’s own way of forcing us to be more intentional in building communities and relationships.
We are collaborating and helping each other a lot more. AsiaCMS’ Covid-19 relief project in 2020 connected donors from across the globe with grassroots mission front-liners in 10 different countries. Our partners across different countries in South Asia linked up with each other to collaboratively develop and promote resources for ‘wholistic wellbeing’ in these stressful times. This is still ongoing because we realize that as good as we are, we can be even better when we work with each other (see https://www.facebook.com/Saantvana.Wholistic.Wellbeing).
Our co-mission partners are still serving grassroots, people are encountering Christ and growing in discipleship. We may not be able to travel internationally, but our co-mission partners continue to serve, some in extremely difficult circumstances. We have feedback of people receiving Christ because they are touched by the sacrificial efforts of Christians, and Christians delving deeper into prayer and God’s Word during the lockdowns. A few weeks ago, we also graduated our first batch of students in our cross-cultural training in the Mekong region. Some of them are involved in working with unreached people groups that have no prior exposure to the Gospel.
At the same time, we deeply covet your prayers for:
The needs and well-being of our Co-Mission Partners. It has been a challenging season for all. Many had to manage with reduced salaries/allowances, some of them quite drastically, as their ministries and organisations wrestle with reduced income. A few have lost loved ones to C-19 and struggled with personal health issues and emotional well-being. Besides the added pressures for the care of their own immediate families, they need to recalibrate as they lead their organisations and serve their communities.
Finances and human resources to better serve our co-mission partners. In its essence, AsiaCMS’ strategy is to develop strong regional hubs of missional communities (now in South Asia, Mekong, and SE Asia) that empower our co-mission partners and personnel to help each other grow what they are doing—in effect, a community of God’s people advancing together on the edge in God’s mission. We help each other across the boundaries with whatever it takes to get the work done—training, exposure, money, connections, and resources, etc. It involves leadership development and team-building. We also pray and plan for new hubs in other parts of Asia to mobilize and link the resources of God’s churches to reach the least-reached. All of this requires finances, but more needful, we need the right kind of missional leaders with the required skillsets and God’s heart for His world.
Coveting your prayers and support,
Rev. Chan NamChen (Ph.D.)