To download the original copy, please follow this link: News Update – August 2016
From this issue of News Update:
This past July, I had the privilege of leading a team of 7 (including Rev. Kenny Wong, CIM BOD member and his wife Helen), from South Calgary Chinese Evangelical Free Church to Ghana on a STM. We visited the village schools in the Kpandai area, including the Mbowura ECG school, which SCCEFC help finance. We also paid a visit to Wa at the end of Ramadan. Wa is a predominantly Muslim area and we saw firsthand the spiritual warfare that is taking place there.
It was an exciting trip, but what made this trip different than any of my other trips is that over half of the team was over 60 years old and Cantonese was the first language of the entire team except for me. Whereas I am used to leading English speaking teams in their 20’s, I really did not know what to expect for this team. Add to the fact that half the team had never been to Africa before and I knew it would be one in which I would see God work in ways I have not witnessed before.
True to form, God is faithful and our team not only bonded well, but He used us and our unique gifts to help spread the gospel. I know that many of the team members were stretched, but I am so proud of them, as I saw them grow in their faith and share the gospel courageously. For those who could only speak Cantonese, when they shared, it was translated into English, before being translated again to the local African dialect.
In this month’s News Update, I have included excerpts of some of the team member’s reflection papers. Through their sharing, one can see how God led them to go to Ghana, and how the STM has impacted their life.
Pastor Shirley Wu
I’m grateful to the Lord for guiding me to Ghana. Indeed, I was excited that I could be part of His kingdom plan. God opened my eyes. The mission trip greatly impacted the rest of my life. My heart has already tied to the people and the land of Ghana. The moments of meeting with the people, knowing the culture and lifestyles will be unforgettable memories. Indeed, God wanted me to see the people with my inner heart. I didn’t know how to love the others; I loved because He first loved me. (1 John 4:19) … I am thankful, humbled and honored to meet with God’s humble servants during the mission trip. The pastors and missionaries are faithful and hard working in doing God’s work. They are humble servants. The opportunities of meeting with these people made me feel that the challenges we are facing are comparatively different. They are facing mountains of troubles. They may not see the results now, but I believe that God bless their work. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15b) I felt that we need to remember them in our prayers and show them encouragement so that they won’t feel lonely and ignored. Their lives impacted my life and let me reconsider my purpose of living and serving. (Philippians 1:27-30)
Originally I have not much understanding about mission; I thought mission trips are only for missionaries. There is a Chinese hymn line that reminded me that life is really short when you look back your best friend is gone. Therefore, when you are still alive, put yourself in front of God and keep running. This hymn touched me and led me to think about how much time I have left in life. What can I do for God? Can I help in short term mission? Before when I think of Africa and Ghana, I will think about safari, but this time I am going to Ghana to experience God and to experience short term mission …
From this Ghana STM trip, it led me to experience God in lots of different ways. I experienced God’s protection, and God used a big sheet of cloud to protect the heat and sun from us. He gives me power and strength to serve Him. He reminded me that I only need to believe in Him, not to be afraid and God will be with us. God is the one who makes the impossible to possible.
The outcomes of this STM were unpredictable and beyond my expectation. My first lesson learned is to rely and to trust in the work of the Holy Spirit.
This is something in particular that God allowed me to experience, “The harvest is plentiful.” The Ghanaian children are simple, pure and adorable, they are easy to satisfy and are always filled with happiness …
Another thing that touched me is the diligence of God’s servants. We met foreign and local missionaries, pastors and district overseers. All of their lives reflect the love for God and for the Ghanaians. The sacrifices they made and the cross they bear helps me to look down upon the challenges ahead.
One of the pastors requested to pray for his seventeen year old daughter, she has been sick since she was a baby. Even though she’s facing different challenges and in spite of all the difficulties, Pastor and his wife still serve the Lord with diligence, they even prepared a meal for our team. Their hospitality, humility and the act of kindness enriched my life …
Last but not least is the praying power that I experienced: in hospitals while praying for patients, in village schools, in the open space in front of the Kpandai guest house, in the Dambai Ferry area, the supplications for one another etc. It’s the God given power to be courageous to share the gospel, the strength to love and to care, the bravery to face the challenges and to adjust in the environment, it’s God who empowered me to accomplish His work!
God uses people of all ages from all cultures to do His work and even though I was a little out of my comfort zone on this particular trip, I can see how He can bond a team and use all of us for His glory.
If you are interested in any of our ministries or joining one of our STM teams, please visit our website at www.cimcanada.org
May God bless you all.
Rev. Isaac Quan
Financial Highlights for the month of July 2016
(please click on the table to enlarge)