08 Jan The Advent is God Entering into Our Stories
Dear Friend and Partner in God’s mission,
Choicest Christmas Greetings!
This season of the year is when many of us are most contemplative. Foremost, we are reminded of God’s manifold graces released to us through the birth of His Son. At the same time, many of us are looking forward to 2019 – the changes and the challenges that the new year will unfold.
On a personal note, 2018 has been an extremely eventful year for me. As the new executive director of AsiaCMS, it has been a year of many adjustments and meeting a lot of new people.
One of my priorities in 2018 was to meet our Co-Mission Partners and friends in the field – as many as possible. Visiting them in the situations where they serve and listening to their stories, I could not, but be inspired by their dedication, adaptability, skills, and the hard choices they often need to make – to do what they do.
Reflecting on John 1, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us… full of grace and truth” (1:14), I am reminded that the wonder of the Advent is God graciously entering into our human stories.
Each one of AsiaCMS’ Co-Mission Partners has a personal story, some more dramatic, but each unique in ways that only the creator of the universe can make it be. A few stories are of deep brokenness and sin, but all are stories of God meeting them where they are, touching and turning around their lives with His grace and truth.
All share unique stories of God calling them into ministry, to do what they are now doing, participating and labouring in God’s mission and heart for His world.
In this respect, each of our stories develops a broader significance when we choose to live it out within God’s larger story for His world.
Some of the poor and marginalized Mushar people in a remote part of Nepal are now open to the Gospel. Why? Because of the kindness of AsiaCMS’ Co-Mission Partners, who serve their communities with basic education and women empowerment.
In Pakistan and Nepal, our Co-Mission Partners facilitated collaborations in 2018 to extend the reach of theological education by extension programs – potentially adding thousands of Christian leaders who will receive much-needed training.
Young women in remote rural Southern Pakistan are empowered through education, and farming families in Cambodia receive moral support from the Christian community around them, as they go through trying times because of floods – the list goes on.
As you read this, take a moment to give thanks and pray for these inspirational mission partners who represent us, the Body of Christ, in touching lives. Through them, God is entering into the stories of individuals and communities.
Now, I am looking forward to 2019. Please pray with us and walk with us as AsiaCMS continues to walk ahead on the edges in God’s mission, alongside different individuals and organisations. By God’s grace, it will be a year of fresh initiatives in Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, as well as an added impetus in the countries of South Asia.
AsiaCMS and I thank you for your friendship, prayers and financial support. Merry Christmas and looking forward to a fruitful 2019…
Peace and Grace,
Chan Nam Chen