To download the original copy, please follow this link: News Update – July 2015
From this issue of News Update:
Well it is that time of year again. Summer has arrived and what that means to us at CIM is that STM season has arrived. Even though, we bring STM teams to Ghana and Togo year round, we have found that the summer months are often the busiest. Part of the reason could be that more people take their vacation time in the summer and also students are not in school and therefore can afford to take some time off to do some cross cultural ministries.
In May of this year, Rev. Xavier Law led a team from Pacific Grace MB Church to share the gospel message in rural Ghana and by the time you read this News Update, I will most likely be in Ghana with another STM team. In the March issue of our News Update, I shared the benefits of STM ministry not only in Africa but also for the sending churches and the people that go on the STMs. I have led many teams over the years and one thing that encourages me is to see team members grow in their relationship with the Lord and their attitude in serving God. I love talking to them after and reading about what they have learnt on the trip.
Last summer, Kathy Le, from Vancouver, Canada, went on her first STM trip to Ghana. This is what she had to say about it:
When I first arrived in Ghana, I was scared to death. I was scared that I would freeze up and say nothing at all, or even worse, say the wrong thing and lead people astray. I used to keep my faith to myself and was afraid to share it with others; I did not know where to start or how to go about it, and even if I had something to say, how to say it without facing rejection.
Now I am back home in Canada, braver than ever. I used to be afraid of confrontation or sharing about myself, but now I am more open.
In Ghana I learned to stop relying on myself and to fully trust in God. I learned that it was complete forgoing of the self and total reliance on the Holy Spirit that led to confidence and passion for sharing the Gospel; if I relied on myself then I was bound to fail, but to rely on the Holy Spirit would always be success. I learned that rejection was not to be unexpected when it came to evangelism, that it was not up to us to change someone, but Jesus.
I learned how great and important the power of prayer is. Whether it be communal prayer or individual silent prayer, I wish people back home in Canada were less passive and more active and passionate when it came to prayer. It was eye-opening to see how Ghanaians had a passion for prayer and Jesus, when Bibles were limited and unconventional places were used as church buildings.
I hear stories like this all the time. STM transforms lives. A number of people who have been part of our STM teams over the last few years are now pastors, training to be pastors, seeking direction from the Lord to see if full time missions is in their future, have joined the mission committees of their own churches and so on.
In his book, “Effective Engagement in Short Term Missions”, Robert Priest shares about the large shift over the last few decades from traditional life time missionaries to short term missions. Done right, it can have tremendous impact for the Lord’s kingdom.
At CIM, we bring STM teams to Ghana and Togo. I have been blessed to work alongside many STMers. The relationships I have built have been wonderful. Please prayerfully consider if the Lord is calling you on a STM to Ghana or to Togo. If you would like more information about how to join one of our teams, or what our teams do on a STM, please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Isaac Quan
Associate Executive Director
In the May issue of the CIM News Update, I had written that the late Rev. Clarence Pi had started CIM mainly to outreach to migrant Chinese workers in South Africa in 1992. In fact, Rev. Pi, not only reached out to migrant Chinese workers but to people from all walks of life. He also established ministries in Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, and Germany. CIM Canada acknowledges the hard work and leadership of Rev. Pi during the early years of CIM.