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Dr. Lloyd Kim Nominated as MTW Coordinator

Lawrenceville, Georgia, July 23, 2014 - The Committee on Mission to the World (CMTW) is pleased to announce the nomination today of Dr. Lloyd Kim of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to serve as the next coordinator of Mission to the World (MTW), pending election by the 2015 General Assembly. Dr. Kim has served as a missionary with MTW since 2004 in the Philippines and then in Cambodia, and is currently MTW's international director of Asia-Pacific.

Mark Bates, chair of CMTW and senior pastor of Village Seven Presbyterian Church, said, "Dr. Kim is a proven missionary leader. He displays a rare blend of godliness, humility, academic rigor, and leadership acumen. Not only is Dr. Kim thoroughly committed to the Reformed faith, but he also understands the challenges of taking the gospel to other cultures."   Read more...
 
 

Dr. Paul Kooistra Has Accepted the Position of President of Erskine

Dr. Paul Kooistra, coordinator of Mission to the World (MTW) since 1994, has accepted a position as president of Erskine College and Theological Seminary. Dr. Kooistra informed our governing body, Committee on Mission to the World (CMTW), of his intent to transition out of his role here last fall.

Mission to the World is pleased that the Lord has led Dr. Kooistra to a challenging and kingdom-building ministry at Erskine, especially one that harkens to his past experience as president of Covenant Seminary. He has led MTW with grace, clarity, and a godly vision for the future and has prepared us well for the next phase of our history. We are thankful to the Lord for Dr. Kooistra’s service to the kingdom through his work at MTW.

Dr. Kooistra will continue to work with MTW until his successor is named.
 

"We'll Take the Baby"
by Amy Robinson
After years of ministry outside the urban sprawl of Cusco, Peru, MTW missionary Ruth Powlison was leading a women’s group and overheard conversation about an unwanted pregnancy. It became clear that this baby would have no second chances.

To the Quechua culture, adoption is understood as the acquisition of either a burden or an asset. Why would you bring an extra mouth into your home unless it could be useful? Why would you rob your own children?
 Read more...
 

More than Medical
by Susan Fikse
Recognizing the danger of his mother’s Jehovah’s Witness religion, Cesar doubted whether faith in Christ offered him anything different. A medical student in Cusco, Peru, Cesar visited a Bible study mostly to be with his girlfriend, and for the free food.

But even after the two broke up, Cesar continued to attend, and started studying the book of John with Nathan Wilson, a member of the MTW team composed of health care professionals.
 Read more...
 

Christ’s College Graduate Makes a Difference in Taiwan
by Romana White

Making a difference——it’s part of Christ’s College’s DNA. It’s a story repeated again and again through CC alumni around the world. For ’79 graduate Bai Guang-sheng the story began with the Bunan aborigines on the banks of the Luming River in southeast Taiwan. As a young man, Bai longed to help his people. But he was a self-described “nobody.” Crippled since childhood by polio, he sought to become a school teacher. After eight weeks in college, Bai was dismissed. “Why is a handicapped person allowed this training?” the dean asked. Society shows little sympathy for those who are different, he learned. Heartbroken, he returned home.
 Read more...
 

This Is Our 9/11
by: Susan Fikse

The riot police, dressed in black bulletproof vests, hard hats, and gas masks, gripped their batons and steel shields, poised to descend on protesters at the slightest misstep. Independence Square, which the world came to know as “Maidan,” in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, brimmed with the tension of power struggle and the anger of unmet demands. Into this chaos walked the young women of Big City Church.
 Read more...
 

Medical Missions in the Philippines
A few months ago, an MTW medical team traveled to Manila, Philippines to host medical clinics. Watch this slide show video to see some of the beautiful faces we encountered. Many of the children pictured are from our children's homes and are a part of MTW's ONEChild sponsorship program.
 View the video

Learn more about MTW Medical + Health projects or about ONEChild sponsorships.
 
Nepal Water

The house was half-finished: Steel rods reached for the empty sky, wind whipped through empty window frames, and a gaping stairwell lacked its banister. The church did what they could with what money they had.

Read more...

Yet while sparse, the house echoed with laughter and kids and smiles and life. A couple from the church in Kathmandu just moved in with their own children and took in 12 others. Twelve kids who otherwise might not have a decent roof over their heads, a meal to enjoy, or an opportunity to go to school.

When asked their biggest challenge, the housemother replied, "The children get sick due to unfiltered water, plus they haven't had all of the shots that they need," MTW was able to provide funds for simple water filters as well as much-needed immunizations.

These children are now getting well. They are drinking clean water and learning, every day, about the source of living water—someone named Jesus who loves them very much. We are pleased to announce that ONEChild sponsorships will now be providing ongoing support to these children in our partnership church in Nepal.

Thank you so much for being a part of changing lives like these. We couldn't do it without you.

 
 Women's Day: A Gift for the Daughters

by Carrie Jussely

Anticipation in the sewing room
The whirring of the sewing machines halted as the Cambodian manager in the sewing room called everyone to gather in. Girls in the front of the room set down their sewing needles and scissors and fabric. The jewelry team in the back put down their coconut buttons and thread as they all came to the middle of the room where I stood with their manager.

Read more...

0ver 100 people came close and leaned in to hear what was happening. I suddenly felt very in the spotlight … becoming very aware of my sweating face and aching muscles. It was hot that day, and I had spent most the morning heaving tons of bags down the stairs from my apartment into a tuk-tuk (it took two tuk-tuks, actually). I was not looking my most presentable. Suddenly, I heard the manager say (in Khmer, the Cambodian language) "Bong Carrie has something to tell you." Eyes welled with hope

Panic hit. I hadn't prepared a speech. Why hadn't I thought about this? I had been so busy getting the gifts ready to present that I had completely forgotten about the actual PRESENTATION. But there I was, with 120-something sets of eyes, fixed on me, waiting. I thought for a moment all that those eyes had seen-the pain of their past, the brokenness of the world, the struggles with poverty and corruption. And yet these eyes, the ones looking at me, held something else in their stories: hope. These eyes have seen that there is life after what feels like the death of your soul. They looked away from the darkness to light. They know restoration and healing. And in an instant the panic was gone and emotion took over. My eyes welled up with tears. I was surrounded by women who are stronger and more courageous than I will ever be, and whose lives are a grand summary of the hope and healing and right-ness of gospel and the story of a God who saves even the least of these.

I fought the tears, hoping they would play off as sweat (crying in public is especially awkward in this culture, so sweat is the more acceptable option), said a quick prayer and, in Khmer, said, "Hello, friends. My name is Carrie. Those people over there are my parents who are here for a visit from America. I work with Daughters [of Cambodia, a ministry to victims of sex trafficking] at the White Linen Hotel. Today we have a gift for each of you. These gifts are from my Khmer Christian Church because they want each of you to know how proud they are of you, how they are praying for you, and how they love you. They want you to know the Lord Jesus and his Church loves you. Thank you. God bless you."

Squeals of delight

There were squeals and claps as the girls looked beyond me to the doorway where my parents were standing beside to a huge mountain of colorful purses. As my speech finished Dad launched into action and started grabbing purses to help pass them out. As the girls opened their bags in there were more squeals of excitement. Each bag contained 21 gifts: a shirt, some toiletries, hair and makeup items, a water bottle, some earrings, a notebook for English study, and a few other fun things. They started trading shirt colors and asking Dad if they could have a purse in their favorite color. If you can imagine my Dad holding 15 colorful purses in the middle of a room full of squealing women, you are smiling right now. Mom helped too, but there was a moment after the speech and before all the squealing when she and I made eye contact. Mom was frozen with both a beaming smile and tears streaming down her face at the same time. These women, these Daughters, who she has heard so much about and prayed for, were right before her. And they were acting like kids on Christmas morning. And it was beautiful.

Like Santa on a tuk-tuk

We tuk-tuk'd across town to all the Daughters locations and to a Khmer-run ministry called Precious Women to make the deliveries, feeling a little bit like Santa with a sleigh. At each location we presented the bags and I made the small speech in Khmer. Every time I did, I was shocked all over at how I'd gotten the whole speech out in Khmer. It was a pleasant surprise I could string so much together on the spot, but there was so much more I wish I could have told the women.

I wanted to tell them how much these gifts were symbolic of a huge step from the Church and a huge answer to my prayers. My heart and my calling to Cambodia all along have been for the Cambodian church to better understand and display God's love for the broken, for them to care for and love these women (and the thousands like them in this country) with the love of Jesus Christ. I wanted to tell them how slow a process it has been as teammates and I have attempted to learn as much as we can about the issue of trafficking and how we have asked questions about how to engage the church in a conversation about a problem which is culturally a rare discussion (especially from a pulpit or at church!).

The generosity of my Khmer church

I wanted to tell them how GCF, my Khmer church, let me make three announcements up front in our service to invite them to participate in the project. I wanted to tell them about how over 40 people stayed after church one Sunday, forming an assembly line to make over 220 gift bags for the clients and staff of these organizations. I want to tell them that when the bags were done, the group gathered in a circle around the them, praying for each of the women who would receive a bag to feel loved and cared for by our Lord and by His People.

I wanted to tell them of my sweet friends from home who gave a very generous financial gift to fund the Women's Day Project this year. I wanted to tell them that the same Khmer church (who we struggled to even suggest prayer in the pulpit for these women a year ago) had come together and offered a HUGE financial gift to contribute to the bags.

I wanted them to know all the Cambodian hands their gifts had come through to make it to them that day. The hands of women who shopped and haggled and bargained in markets as we purchased 220 of everything we needed. The hands of the people of God in the assembly line that Sunday, aged of 2 to 62, who put it all together and then those hands were joined as they prayed for the women. The hands of a woman from the church and her co-workers at a printing house who translated and designed our cards for the bags. The hands of church members, dropping donations into the offering at their church.

A celebration of women, for women

I wanted them to know that this day was a celebration. It was a celebration for women's rights on their cultural level. It was a celebration for these women whose lives tell a story of walking from darkness into the light. It was a celebration of the staff members at these organizations who choose this as their job because they love these women and they believe, against their culture's belief, that broken women don't have to stay broken forever. It was a celebration of the Christian Church in Cambodia growing to look more like their God as they continue to engage this issue more deeply and love a people whom Jesus loves dearly.

I wanted them to know of all I have been witness to in these 17 months here. I wanted to tell them how God is on the move in this place. In the darkest corners of an alley to the brightest daylight of a church service He is pushing back the darkness. He is calling people to come to Him, inviting them to know Him, and growing them to be more like Him.

I wanted them to know that this was BETTER than Christmas morning for me. It was victory.

Carrie Jussely is an MTW missionary serving in Cambodia. Help support the Cambodia Freedom Project, an MTW ministry project that equips the local church to help fight sex trafficking in Cambodia. Click here to make an online donation.
 
 

The Mexican Pipeline
RTS-Charlotte alumni and MTW missionaries Andres Garza and Michael Lee feed a network of church planters south of the border. Read their story in this feature article from RTS' Ministry & Leadership magazine. Read more...
 
What is Southeast Asia Partnership?
 
Southeast Asia Partnership is a missional community of people who have a heart to serve and are asking the question: How can I get involved? How can I give? How can I serve the kingdom? God is at work through missionaries and national partners across Southeast Asia including Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. » View the video
Learn more about what we’re doing and how you can be involved at southeastasiapartnership.com/.
 

“Funraising” for Missions
Short-Term Mission Yields Hometown Impact

After a busy week of preparation, an early Saturday morning kickoff, and a busy day of sales, we closed the doors at 2:00 p.m. with more than $3,000 raised for missions work in Honduras.

It was yard sale day. The Lord blessed the effort, not only allowing us to raise money, but also to make connections in the local community and raise awareness of the work that God is doing internationally.
  Read more...
 

Five Loaves & Two Fish
Most children in Costa de Pajaros, Costa Rica, go to school hungry. The community has been oppressed by hopelessness. The Church has seemed irrelevant. But that’s all beginning to change.   Read more...
 
 Churchfreo
{Grace In The Margins}

When Phil Graham became a leader at churchfreo, a small church plant in Fremantle, Australia, he never imagined that his role would include cleaning up human waste from the floor, breaking up fights, or putting out fires. Actual fires. But those are just some of the quirks that make churchfreo both an endearing community of diverse people, and a challenge for leaders and members alike.    Read more...

 
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Events

Disaster Response Training
October 21-26, 2014 Chattanooga TN 
                         Details »

Vision Trip: Native Americans and First Nations. September 15-19, 2014 Seattle Washington
                         Details »

 
 


Good Reads

Short-Term Missions: Blessing or Bother?

In 2002, my wife Carol and I wrote an article about the blessings and challenges of short-term missionaries working with us here in Japan. I just reread the article with 11 more years experience here in Japan...

Justifications for Avoiding Missions

It is well documented that pastors and missionaries are super-Christians handpicked by God to administer His will and make other Christians feel guilty about their service to the kingdom. In my experience the casual utterance of the phrase “I am a missionary” has cosmic properties....

Book Review – Dangerous Calling

“There are times when you do your ministry work with the attitude of a king rather than as one called to represent the King. You do not always love God above all else. You do not always love your neighbor as yourself. You are not always kind and compassionate. You are not always patient and forgiving...."

Publications

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around the world
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