To download the original copy, please follow this link: News Update – May 2018
From this issue of News Update:
One of the pillars for CIM Canada is in sending “short term missions” teams to Western Africa and now Ukraine to serve the Lord cross-culturally. Personally, I do not like the term “short term missions” because it is an oxymoron. If we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Personal Saviour, then there is nothing “short-term” as we carry out the mission of God. We are all full-time missionaries declaring the truth of the gospel in every situation that we have been put in.
The terminology “short-term missions” has been coined over the last generation to mean, depending on the sending organization, any missions activity less than 2 years in length. “Over the last generation, a massive shift has occurred in the way Christians take the Word into the world. For hundreds of years, it has been left to ordained career missionaries to leave their homeland for distant shores, determined to take Christianity to the masses. During the past generation, a movement has gained momentum to aid long-term mission enterprises with short-term mission projects, using Christian workers whose skills, while not available year after year, can supplement the spiritual and natural gifts of career missionaries. These short-term missionaries have become an effective army for Christ.” (David C. Forward “The Essential Guide to the Short Term Mission Trip”)
Jesus says in the Great Commission found in Matthew 28, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” At CIM Canada, our “short-term” trips are based on and follow the instructions of the Bible. We go and share the gospel of Jesus Christ while training and discipling natives in partnership with local organizations and churches. As a result, many have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and numerous churches and preaching sites have been established.
In my travels to promote the work of CIM Canada, I am asked many questions. In this month’s newsletter, I will answer some of the more common questions. In future issues, I will answer more.
I did not know that there are many Chinese in Africa. Are they hard to find? Wouldn’t it be easier to travel to China to share the gospel with them?
There is a common misconception that Chinese International Missions Canada reaches out to the Chinese. The fact of the matter is that the focus of CIM Canada is cross-cultural. We know that there are many mission organizations and churches that minister to the Chinese throughout the world. We, on the other hand, travel to the remote and rural villages to share the story of Jesus Christ to the locals in keeping with the mandate of the Great Commission (to make disciples of ALL nations). This does not mean we will not minister to the Chinese. If we come across someone of Chinese descent who needed to hear about Jesus, we would definitely share it with them.
Our name Chinese International Missions Canada may even be misleading to some because our focus is not on the Chinese and over the last few years, a number of the teams that went can not even speak Chinese, but we keep our name to reflect our history and our association with the greater CIM family around the world. Many of our STM team members, though not all, are also from Chinese churches in the western world.
Are STM teams effective? They come and then they go. Aren’t they more of a burden to the local pastors and churches since the team needs to be taken care of? It is expensive to send a STM. Wouldn’t it be more effective just to send money over to train local pastors?
This is a very good question. In fact, I even used to ask this question, but over the course of the last decade or so, I have been convinced on the effectiveness of STM if it is done correctly, meaning STM members need to be trained and go through orientation with CIM. It is true that teams come and go and that the local leadership needs to spend time with them during the stay, but on every visit, I ask the local pastors the same question. Are we a burden to them? Should we keep coming? Every single time, they answer the same way. You may send money for various projects. You may pray for us. Prayer is always effective, but please continue to send your teams. They are a huge benefit to us.
There are many reasons why STMers are effective. We go to remote areas where very few foreigners have been to. The locals often ask: Why did you come? This is not a holiday destination. You have no relatives here. You spent a lot of money. Why did you come? It is a perfect invitation for us to share the reason why we are there: to share the greatest news there ever was. Because we are foreigners, the villagers also tend to listen to us. Also when the villagers see us walking around town with the pastor, it gives him instant credibility and the villagers will start listening to him as he follows up the work the STMers do.
CIM Canada also goes back to the same villages over and over again to build relationships and show that we care. We don’t come and leave. It may be different teams coming but we go back to the same places. The work that one team begins; another may see the fruit so it teaches us about teamwork; that we are all on the same team for the Lord.
I have also seen tremendous growth in the STMers I go with. The trip transforms their lives. They see the almighty God in a whole new perspective; that He really is a God of this world and He is mighty and powerful. Many have a desire to go back, are less materialistic, and have more of a passion to share about Jesus back home. A number have gone on to be pastors and missionaries and some are even now on the board of directors for CIM Canada. It gives me great joy to see people growing in their walk with the Lord and in part the STM experience had something to do with it.
There are many more questions that I can answer, but I will save that for future editions of this newsletter. But STMs do make a difference. If the Lord is leading you to such an experience with CIM Canada, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com
In closing, I would like to share some praise and prayer items.
1. Congratulations to our ministry worker Lera in Ukraine who got married earlier this month. Praise God for her love for the Roma people group.
2. Praise God for the borehole projects in both Ghana and Togo that have been completed earlier this year. People in nearby villages now do not have to go too far to get drinking water.
3. Praise God that an anesthesia machine is now operational at the Evangelical Church of Ghana’s hospital in Kpandai, Ghana. When the need was presented, people donated enough money to cover not only the machine but also a generator in roughly three months.
4. Pray for our STM teams travelling to Ukraine and Africa this summer. Currently we have a team going to Ukraine in June, a team going to Ghana and Togo in July, and a team going to Ghana in August.
5. Pray for the transition of leadership at Evangelical Church of Ghana (who CIM partners with). Rev. Daniel Gbande’s term as general overseer is up and will be stepping down in September to be replaced by Rev. KK Maxwell. Pray that the transition goes smoothly and that the relationship with CIM Canada remains strong.
Let’s continue to serve the Lord together.
Rev. Isaac Quan
Financial Highlights for the month of April 2018
(please click on the table to enlarge)
1. General Fund – for general and administrative such as staff salaries
2. Designated Fund – for specific ministries in different field locations as designated (cannot be transferred between funds)
– All financial figures are in Canadian dollar and rounded to the nearest dollar.
Registered Canadian Charity Registration Number of Chinese International Missions (Canada): 896216207RR0001