Global Missions

Break My Heart for What Breaks Yours: Reflection from GCG

By Esther Chengo

Global Cohort Gathering (GCG) 

Every year, cohort members from different countries gather for a global leadership retreat, where they participate in trainings and also get to be mentored and network amongst each other. The 2019 GCG was held in Los Angeles, and the theme was ‘Catalyst for Gospel Action’. Cohort members looked through the lens of Christian leaders and professionals who are implementing the hope and truth of the Gospel in some of the massive and well-known areas of their cities. 


Reflections 

Participating in the 2019 GCG was quite a wholesome learning experience for me. Listening to speakers such as Bethany Hoang talking about God’s passion for justice and for the vulnerable, and His invitation to join Him in the same space as He brings wholeness and restoration. 

As part of the program, we got to visit a mission in Skid Row, Downtown LA and do a prayer walk in the district. This was my first time to interact with homeless people living in tents on paved streets.

As part of the program, we got to visit a mission in Skid Row, Downtown LA and do a prayer walk in the district. This was my first time to interact with homeless people living in tents on paved streets. 

As we walked down the street from the Mission, we passed a set of tents, where in one tent, I heard a spirited shouting match between a lady and a man, with the lady pleading for the man to stop. 

While still taking this in, at the street corner, we walked straight into a birthday party! There was a young lady, turning 30, and she was dressed in a pink dress and a tiara, surrounded by her family, listening to music and dancing. When they saw our group, they asked us what we were doing, and we mentioned we were having a prayer walk in the area. So, they asked us to pray for them, and our team leader directly asked me to pray for the birthday girl. Incidentally, having turned 30 just weeks before, I felt that God couldn’t have mistakenly chosen me to be the one to pray. I thought about my realities, I thought about hers. Being 30 and probably wondering what the decade ahead would bring. And I prayed for her. 

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We continued with our prayer walk. Most of the people I saw in or around the tents were senior citizens. No young children were in sight that day. Some were sleeping in their tents, others were seated on mats outside their tents, others were listening to music, others were having a meal, others were deep in conversation, while others sat and stared into oblivion. The prayers continued. 

After a couple of blocks, we got to a street corner, and I saw my first ever soup kitchen. There was a church that was distributing food, and I took note of this particular elderly lady. She wore a tea-length dress that had seemingly seen better days. She was pushing a hand cart with one hand and with the other, she held onto her jacket potato meal. The hand cart probably held all her possessions, as she seemed to have a tight grip and sharp eye. 

She walked slowly toward our group, and stopped right next to us. And she asked if she could sing us a song! I looked her in the face, and immediately faltered. Half of her face, from her eyes to her shin, had been scalded. Yet, the beauty of her smile caused the rest to fade away. And she sang a song about how Jesus loves her. Could have been the renown “Oh, how I love Jesus, because He first loved me…” but I was moved. How could she sing about God’s love, yet her only assured meal was the one in her hand? How could she sing about God’s love, yet she has probably been judged by those she met even before she opened her mouth to speak? How could she sing of God’s love, yet her tomorrow was so unsure? How could she sing of God’s love, yet her family had probably deserted her? Where did her confidence come from? How could she sing the Lord’s song in a Strange Land?

As I asked myself these questions, before I knew what was happening, this lady opened up her arms and drew me in for a hug! It was so spontaneous, it could only have come from the heart! She then hugged two other people in the team, and turned and continued pushing her hand cart, as she walked away limping. I could only think about when her last hug had been, and when her next would be. And the prayers continued.

I see no better way to end this reflection, than to quote from one of the GCG theme songs that Sharon Ma led us in: 

“Heal my heart and make it clean, Open up my eyes to the things unseen,
Show me how to love like You have loved me;
Break my heart for what breaks Yours, Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause;
As I walk from earth into eternity.”
— Hosanna, Hillsong

Esther Chengo is our Nairobi Project Coordinator and works at HESABIKA.

Durian and the Gospel: Stinky Stench or Appealing Aroma?

By Sarah R.

Have you ever visited Asia and seen the “No Durian” signs in hotels and airports? Or have you had the chance to taste this “King of Fruits”, as it’s belovedly called here in Malaysia? It seems for those of us living in lands where this spiky fruit grows high up on trees, and falls to the ground only between 12midnight - 4am, one either clearly has an aversion to the smell and taste, or an addiction, never getting enough. In our own family of 7, we have 3 hard core durian “LOVERS”, and 4 that would prefer the fruit to be kept outside of the house when it’s consumed. One could go as far as to say that the aroma of durian is either an aroma that brings life, or an aroma that brings death.   

When we first left our hometown for a predominantly Muslim, metropolitan city in Asia 15 years ago, a friend prayed that we would “spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him” among those we befriended and did business with. Our friend was referring to Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 2:14-16, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.  For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ amongst those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?”

As we assist Resource Global this year in exploring what God may have for the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, we are praying that future cohort members would carry the aroma of Christ amongst the leaders and influencers of this diverse and strategically poised land.  Recently in a conversation with a top Malaysian marketplace leader here who has worked high up in one of the most prestigious and powerful companies of this country, he made the comment that too often “faith and work initiatives in Malaysia can use the lingo of conquering the marketplace for Christ.” He went on to share how he feels this perspective could be a mistake.  Instead of aiming for conquest, should we instead ask for God to make us an aroma?

In this very religious country, what is needed is not necessarily simply preaching of the gospel but living out the gospel in our daily lives, before our co-workers, neighbors and friends.  It means showing with our actions, more than with our words, the love of One whose love never fails. It means having the aroma spread out in unexpected ways, pointing to an integrity, a sense of character, small choices that speak loudly.  To some the gospel will always be a stench, perhaps like durian is to those who don’t like durian.  But to others, the gospel shown and “smelt” through devoted lives, will be the aroma of life.

Sarah and Jesse R. are our City Directors in Malaysia to see if we can start a Resource Global Cohort in 2020 or 2021.

Meet our Singapore City Director - Poh Yu Khing

By Yu Khing

Born and bred in Singapore, I’ve grown-up and lived here all my life. I love this country. Singapore is nothing short of an economic miracle, and God’s blessing has been on this nation.

Having worked for 19 years in government and private sectors, in 2017, I took 3 months off work to attend the School of Leadership programme at Tung Ling Bible School Singapore. This turned out to be a spiritual milestone and a life-changing event for me.  

During the course, I found myself asking God: “How do we win Singapore for Christ?”, and “What role do you want me to play?” Later in April 2018, I left my corporate job with these two prayers still on my heart, seeking God for what’s next. 

Today, 13 months after that faithful (actually fearful) step of leaving my job, God has confirmed and brought to fruition prophecies that I received over the last 2 years. He has opened the doors for me to be involved in an exciting portfolio of marketplace work – seemingly random, but fully integrated. A freelancer, but fully employed by God. 

The first area is marketplace consulting work – helping to bring Kingdom into the marketplace by working with small business owners on their vision, strategy and organisational development. On the flip side, I also seek to help bring the best of marketplace practices into Kingdom organisations, to help them do God’s work with a level of excellence and efficiency.

The second area is marketplace outreach. I’m the coordinator for the Alpha Everywhere campaign 2019 in Singapore - a nation-wide effort in the Year of Evangelism to provide more opportunities for non-Christians and new-Christians to learn about the Christian faith through Alpha. I also serve as the Workplace Coordinator for Alpha Singapore, helping to seed Alpha Workplace runs.

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The third area is in marketplace education and mentoring. This year, I’ve started teaching an elective module at Tung Ling Bible School on Our Calling as Marketplace Christians. And recently, I started my appointment as Singapore City Director for Resource Global, which I am extremely excited about.

Work is such a dominant part of Singaporeans lives. People are our country’s only resource and we work long and hard. It’s our people who have made Singapore into a thriving city and first world nation. Singapore is a global player and regional hub for many spheres of economic and societal development. I truly believe that if we can bring Kingdom into the marketplace starting in Singapore, we can see God’s global mission of discipling nations being spread through the marketplace from Singapore to regional cities.

My personal mission now is to inspire & equip marketplace Christians to actively live out their spiritual calling as Disciples of Christ - bringing Kingdom into marketplace and community to impact lives, transform businesses, and bless society. The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few. There is much work to be done.

 

Poh Yu Khing is our Singapore City Director and he (along with our team) is hoping to launch a Resource Global cohort in Singapore in 2020.