News Update – September 2014

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From this issue of News Update:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NIV)

Missions is about being witnesses for Jesus Christ in whatever situation God has placed us in. This is a point that I stress wherever I share the gospel and one of the fundamentals that I teach all the STM team members that I bring to Ghana. We must first and foremost be a witness for our Lord in our families, in our workplace, at our schools, and in our churches. We must serve Him wherever we are. This is our Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. We must be able to do this before we go to the ends of the earth, or in our case, Ghana, Africa. If we can serve Him first back home, the trip overseas will be that much more fruitful.

This summer, I traveled with two teams to Ghana. It was a wonderful experience and not only did I learn from the Lord, but so did my fellow team members, all of whom serve in their local churches. Angela Chan is from Bethel Chinese MB Church in Vancouver, British Columbia. She traveled with me to Ghana in June with a team from her church. She has been a witness through serving in the children ministries of her church. This is what she writes:

Angela Chan

“One of the most unforgettable moments in this STM trip for me was being able to share the Gospel to the children’s Sunday school and village school of Bakotido. With God on our side, the Holy Spirit led me and our team in performing many skits such as the Good Samaritan; sang many songs such as “The Banana song”, and played games with the children. Never would I have ever thought God using me to share His Son’s full story of birth, death, and resurrection. He also allowed me to teach the Gospel using just my 5 fingers, and then leading the children in prayer to accept Jesus as their personal Savior. What a joy it was to see the hope and happiness in the children’s eyes as they came to know Christ. I have dreamt of visiting Africa since I was 4, and wanted to teach Children’s Sunday school when I became an adult. God truly answers prayers at the right time, which is His perfect time.”

Sonya Young attends Vancouver Chinese Evangelical Free Church. She traveled with me in July with a team comprised of members from Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto. She has been a witness through serving the worship ministry of her church. This is what she learned:

Sonya Young

“The village of Kpandai was a very special place for me as for many others on our team. The community was so precious as you saw both the young and old live life together and worship in unity to the one true God. The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” is still mind-blowing to me. In North America, we are constantly looking for community and longing for intimacy as we see how almost every church struggles to attain that. What is it that makes it possible for the people of Ghana?
I learned a lot about doing life together and how God calls us to serve in community. I saw how they cared and loved each other and what it really means to love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31) as opposed to the mentality of the Western culture to love yourself first and see whether there’s room for others later. Seeing how a “small small” of five years taking care of another child who stumbled on him inspires me to be the change in my own community. Although at times discouraging and even questioned whether my six day stay in Kpandai would make a difference, God made every interaction and conversation beautiful. Each day in Kpandai was so special as God kept pressing the verse, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” from Proverbs 22:6 on my heart.”

The fact of the matter is that these two had very fruitful trips because they were already witnesses for the Lord in their everyday lives. I encourage all of us to serve the Lord wholeheartedly in whatever circumstance that we are in and if you feel called to go to Ghana or want to know more about CIM’s mission in Ghana, please do not hesitate to email me at

Thank you for your continued support. Stay tuned for more sharing from team members in future newsletters. In the meantime, to give a taste of what a missions trip may look like, you may view this video that Sonya made:

Rev. Isaac Quan (Associate Executive Director)

News Update – August 2014

To download the original copy please follow this link: News Update – August 2014

From this issue of News Update:


Lately, I have been asked dozens of times how our ministry has been affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. I believe I need to provide some updates, so you will know how to pray for us and the people affected by the epidemic.

Firstly, it is a misconception that the entire West Africa is affected by the Ebola outbreak. Out of the 16 West African countries, only 4 (Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria) are currently infected. The 2 countries (Ghana and Togo) where we have been travelling to and sending STM teams remain intact.

Secondly, even though Ebola has a high fatality rate, the virus itself is quite fragile and difficult to contract. Only those who exhibit symptoms are contagious and one is only affected through direct physical contact. Consequently, health personnel working at the front line are the most vulnerable to the disease.

Thirdly, due to the illiteracy of the local communities and their distrust of the government, little or no precaution has taken place to curb the spread of the virus. Some people still deny the existence of such a virus and believe it is either the work of the evil spirit or a rumor from the government in order to get foreign aid into the country.

Fourthly, given this situation, many people see the damage of the Ebola disease going beyond the health crisis. People in the infected areas are living in fear and distrust, and they are isolating themselves from each other. This is totally against the African culture where people used to be knit closely together and live interdependently with each other. Since people are, in a way, forced to stop helping each other to protect their health, those who live from hand to mouth will have a very narrow margin to survive.

Despite the fact that Ghana and Togo are still free from the Ebola threat, CIM Canada has cancelled all our STM trips to those countries in August. We do not want to create too much a burden for the families and friends of the STM members if we persist to go amidst the torrential terrifying news and reports of the outbreak. We believe a postpone trip will be more meaningful and helpful to those who want to go and those supporting behind.

If you have read my last News Update, I have finished it with a question: Are Chinese still welcome by the African people? How does the current Ebola crisis relate to the above question?

About a week after I had sent the last News Update, I received a response from a leading local pastor in Ghana. He wrote:
I am still happy to see our Chinese brethren here in Ghana, bridging the Chinese Churches and those in Ghana.

In a later email, he further elaborated:
…… the best the Chinese Church can do with us as an African Church is to invest in each other the strength to accomplish God’s will for a dying world.

The message was clear: African people may not feel comfortable with the increasing presence of the Chinese who come to their continent with dubious motives. However, those who come to work closely with them and with the desire to contribute to the African nation will be much welcome.

In the current health and growing survival crisis in West Africa, while people are avoiding or seeking to leave the region, CIM Canada finds it more important to focus our resources on the suffering communities in those countries.

We believe there is no better time than now that our presence and contribution will be needed and appreciated in West Africa.

Rev. Philip Leung (Executive Director)