Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Wake Up & Have A Look

In this month’s “Lausanne World Pulse”, a missiologist wrote an article, which talked about how China is a newly emerged missionary force.

The author (nicknamed 'J. Simth'), belongs to the leadership group of international missionary organization, and has many years of mission experience in China. Simth talked about two main points in his article.

China is gradually becoming a sending country from a country who receives missionaries. In the past, thousands of western missionaries have sown gospel seeds to China. However, this trend has been changed these days. Many missionaries have been sent from China to Jordan, USSR, Afghanistan, and Pakistan etc.

Simth said that comparing China and America, China has more potential in mission. China’s economy has increased 10% in the last 6 years. Not only that, China’s tourist figure will reach 115 million in 2020; Apart from that, half of the population will live in the city. According to the speed of the economic development in China, the economy in China may be 75% more than America in 2050. Therefore, Simth guessed that in the next 30 years, comparing to America, China will continue to grow in the area of mission.

Simth shared that in early 2005, a team of Chinese missionaries came to Pakistan, which had been ruined by the earthquake in December 2004. They brought along blankets, tents, food, bible and Christian readings etc. The local citizens opened their heart to accept the gospel. Every time when the rescue team from China came to where they lived through the 4 wheel drive, they would shout happily, “Christians have arrived!” They would run towards the 4 wheel drive, and hope to get the help from the name of Jesus.

Simth said that Christians in China have become more passionate to go to East Asia and Middle East. In the missionary meeting in June, there were pastors from Chinese house churches, Korean, and American Korean. They have shared together their heart and burden for the missionary work through Chinese churches, and talked about the difficulties in the process, the latest development and future plans. They are convicted that although they are not sure of the direction ahead, God has already put them on this path, and will continue to guide them.

Dear Lord God, may You continue to bless the missionaries all over the world for Your Kingdom's sake!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Health And Poverty

Health is a major symptom and cause of poverty. According to the World Bank "2005 Human Development Indicators" report, a number of factors are important when considering health:

  1. Access to nutritious food and supplements
  2. Access to clean water
  3. Access to decent sanitation facilities
  4. Access to medical treatment

Resolving these problems is not difficult. The technologies exist. The problem is the inability of the poor to access them!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Responding To Poverty

Christians are called to respond to the poor with compassion and generosity.

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
This then is how we know that we belong." (1 John 3:16-18 NIV).

"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
1Ti 6:18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
1Ti 6:19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." (1 Timothy 6:17-19).

Poverty is one of the great evils of this day and age. It is the absence of the well-being God intends for humankind. The Bible provides an image of the world as God intends it to be - communities of people engaged in a loving, worshipful relationship with God, enjoyingthe fruits of an abundant earth and the deep bonds of love with one another. Poverty exists wherever this vision doesn't.

Therefore, I truly believe in a holistic approach to make poverty history (something I first learned through the subject Holistic Ministry, when I was at Bible College) - including relief (meet the immediate material and physical needs of the poor), development (address the underlying causes of poverty), emotional, mental, and spiritual growth etc.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Make Poverty History Concert

On Friday night, there were more than 15,000 people rocked to end global suffering at the Make Poverty History concert.

International superstars Bono and The Edge from U2 and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder had the crowd in raptures early as they teamed to play Neil Young's Rockin' in the Free World.

The concert was awesome, and the message of the importance of making poverty history was shared!
I believe the main message from this should be for the younger generation to step up and support this cause.

Tim Costello's passion and commitment to the cause was amazing. He said that his generation has had a go, but they have failed on the moral issue. They now pass the baton on to the younger generation to Make Poverty History.

All the young people out there, please be part of this, and get involved in contributing to make poverty history.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Vocational Mission

I have been thinking a lot about how to integrate mission and 'secular' work or business these last few months since I started this tent-making independent marketing business. And just today God directed me to
Luke 5: 1-11 which records Jesus' activities among the fishermen at Lake Gennesaret. In light of urban challenges, this passage can really be seen from the perspective of vocational mission.

I was thinking: "Does Jesus target the fishermen as a vocational group? Does his mission have a vocational focus?"

It is not difficult to find answers to these preliminary questions. Jesus calls his first four disciples from the fishing profession. His call to Peter is repeated three times, and each time the encounter occurs in Peter's workplace (aka business environment). The calls are meant for Peter to follow Jesus as a disciple, first of all in his workplace where he is to be a fisher of men and later to feed the Lord's sheep gathered in the fishing village where he grew up. If you read through the Gospel of Mark, Jesus was always in various towns on the shores of the Galilee Sea. It's clear that Jesus' ministry has a strong focus on the fishing occupation. With one third of the first twelve disciples being from the fishing profession, it shows Jesus' determination to reach this group (sub-culture) for His Kingdom.

I believe that the workplace, the market place and the business world are rather important mission fields in the cities. People in these mission fields don't come into the 4 walls of our church building. We need to go to them! Urban mission differs from rural mission in that cities are densely populated with many professions with business from various networks. Urban missionaries need to learn the art of knocking on and opening the doors of various professions. I believe that a ministry call does not negate the original vocational call. In fact, I would say that it may be better choice for 'full-time' ministry workers to be in the workplace or business (on people's turf), rather than leave their profession, in order to fulfill their calling. In so doing, they serve as models for church members in fulfilling God's bivocational calling upon their lives.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Health And Wellbeing

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I have been learning so much about health and wellbeing / wellness through the business I am in lately, and I am very grateful for that.

According to integrative medical practitioner Dr Doris Brownless, the guest presenter of the health and wellness meeting that I attended on Monday, optimal health might mean different things to different people. It might mean having a diet with more fruits and vegetables (we need 3 cups of vegies and 2 serves of fruits every day). Or you might be eating a healthy diet but need to incorporate daily exercise in your life. Clearly, a personalized health program is required – taking into account your specific health and wellness needs by choosing the best dietary, lifestyle, rest and relaxation habits for you – then, select supplementation products to support your healthy life. They are essential for wellness. In the past, people focused on having their illness cured, but now many have realised the important of keeping well. I have been really feeling the benefits of nutritional supplementation that I am currently taking, as it gives me so much more energy and vitality for my life and work.

I am also learning to be a weight management consultant as a tent-making part time project. I love my new life and I love the fact that I can share God's love through this, as many of my business associates and clients are people from various parts of the world. I am also happy that I can learn to have a healthy and balanced lifestyle, and to help people to lose weight and be healthy, while assisting them with their goals as I acheive my desire of making a difference in people's life.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

C.S. Lewis' Poem On Love

Love's as warm as tears, Love is tears:
Pressure within the brain,
Tension at the throat,
Deluge, weeks of rain,
Haystacks afloat,
Featureless seas between
Hedges, where once was green.

Love's as fierce as fire, Love is fire:
All sorts - infernal heat
Clinkered with greed and pride,
Lyric desire, sharp-sweet,
Laughing, even when desired,
And that empyreal flame
Whence all loves came.

Love's as fresh as spring, Love is spring:
Bird-song hung in the air,
Cool smells in a wood,
Whispering 'Dare! Dare!'
To sap, to blood,
Telling 'East, safety, rest,
Are good; not best.'

Love's as hard as nails,
Love is nails:
Blunt, thick, hammered through
The medical nerve of One
Who, having made us, knew
The thing He had done,
Seeing (with all that is)
Our cross, and His.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Health & Wellness

Have you noticed that most people in our society are constantly tired, gaining weight (despite the health industry's increasingly strident recommendation for low-fat diets) and are stressed beyond belief? Strangely most people seem to accept this state of affairs, and feel powerless to change their life and health for the better.

Lately I have been reading, learning and attending seminars about health and wellness, as I feel that health is extremely important. So how do we achieve balance in our health? And how can we feel "in control" of our future health and well being? How do we achieve optimal health, increased energy and live longer, how to have good diet, reach and stay on our ideal weight, and how to manage ongoing health and vitality? Farmers teach us that to achieve balance, diversity, protecting our forests, and organic agriculture are vital. Soil needs to be balanced, farms need to be organic, no infecticides.

I will write more after my next seminar.... in the meantime, please feel free to sharemwhat you think about health and wellness.