Well, this past week we had the huge privilege of joining 169 other people at the the South East Asia Missions Roundtable, Nov 11-14, 2014 in Singapore.
This occasional roundtable (last one 2008) is an opportunity for the Diocese of Singapore to gather the clergy (local and missionary) and lay people engaged in missions (people from 19 countries represented) in the 6 deaneries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam) and to rejoice in progress made, and pray and strategize for the development of God’s work in the years to come: “God’s work is to plant the seed of the gospel in the culture of the people. Missions defines the church – a church without missions is a club” (ABp Bolly Lapok in the opening statement).
We spent most of our time focused on learning about Cambodia – though we did get very excited about the work in Nepal and Laos in particular! We were struck by the initiative, evangelistic ideas and the deep prayer and longing for people to be reached. There are so many needs – especially for ESOL teachers they have seen significant numbers of people come to know the Lord through being taught English by Christians using Bible stories in a number of countries!
We also had the great pleasure of meeting Archbishop Foley Beach who attended, as well as people from the other two American churches interested in engagement in Cambodia.
As we learned specifically about Cambodia, we were amazed again as we thought that the Anglican church is so young here – a mere 20 years old. And yet there are already numerous small church plants in the rural areas, cared for largely by young, lay leaders. There is enormous potential for seeing these young leaders develop and grow as they care for these flocks.
And now we are in Phnom Penh! It’s been wonderful having time with the Blaines and dreaming about our future engagement in Cambodia. Church of Christ our Peace has some big ideas about what’s next – and it’s such fun to be here at the planning stage!
So looking forward to the rest of the team arriving tomorrow – and the next few days of learning, praying and experiencing the joy of life in Asia!
We’ll keep you posted ….
Liz and Hannah