News Update – November 2014

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From this issue of News Update:

AGM 2014 Directors and Staff
AGM 2014 Directors
AGM 2014 Staff

We have just finished our Annual General Meeting (AGM) weeks ago. I am delighted to share with you some of the outcomes of the two days meeting, which was filled with great encouragement and blessing.

The meeting had the greatest number of attendance since we came into existence in 2002. We had nine of our board members, 7 staff plus a spouse putting our heads together (African saying) to delve into the past, present and the future of CIM’s ministry. I was amazed to realize the diverse composition of our group. For example, age wise, we were from early thirties to late sixties; and language wise, where many were multilingual, only 3 of us attribute English as one’s mother tongue. The countries of our origin include China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Canada and Togo.

Amidst such diversity, the Lord has called us together to execute the following events, which came through the deliberation and decision of our AGM:

Liberia
Liberia-location

We have heard so much about the devastation of the Ebola outbreak to this West African country. Up till now even as I am writing this Update, more than 7,000 Liberians have been infected by the virus and over 2,600 of them have died. This epidemic was also preceded by two successive civil wars in the 80’s, which had killed more than a quarter of the nation’s population of 2 million.

Presently, I have two native contacts in Liberia whom I know well personally. Both of them on separate occasions have passionately appealed to me that CIM should consider expanding our ministry to this country. The needs in this nation are tremendous after years tramped by human and natural disasters. Furthermore, the opportunity to meet these needs through Christian services and outreach is there.

After much deliberation, the board has now authorized the staff to start planning what we can do to alleviate the pain and toils in this part of the world. We will announce our plan momentarily and welcome your prayer and financial support if you would like to join us in this meaningful project.

Saving and Loan
It has always been a challenge on how we should respond to the financial needs in the missions fields. Fundraising for these needs has been an option for years for most of the missions organizations. However, the issue of dependency which ultimately hinders the spiritual growth of the local communities has always lurked behind and around our well-intended efforts to help.

‘Saving and Loan’ has been established and operating for the last twenty plus years mostly in Africa and in some Latin American countries. It is different from the more popular microfinance practice, which offers micro loans to the recipients. Rather, with ‘Saving and Loan’, it is about helping those living in poverty to develop group savings and loaning it back among themselves. Interestingly, this was also a familiar financial practice for those who are of senior age when they were living in Hong Kong and South East Asia in the 60’s and 70’s.

CIM Canada has been in contact with several church leaders in West Africa and has received favourable responses from them in implementing the ‘Saving and Loan’ project in rural areas where their churches are located. We anticipate that the success of the practice will help improve the livelihood of the local communities as well as a healthier church growth.

The board has approved favourably for the project in the AGM subject to further review by the end of 2015.

New Board
New board members for the year 2015 are as following:

Rev. Kar Park Chan (Chairman)
Frank Au-Yeung (Vice Chairman)
Dominic Leung (Treasurer)
Rev. Kenny Wong (Secretary)
Rev. Morgan Wong
Benjamin Li
Raymond Lau
Tim Tsui

The board has also approved to invite three more new board members. Their names, upon their favourable responses, will be disclosed in the next News Update.

Thanks once again for supporting us all along.

Sincerely,
Rev. Philip Leung (Executive Director)