A letter from Paul Friesen, Regional Liaison for Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam
Singapore has long been recognized for its strategic location and positional influence. As a member of the British Commonwealth and of ASEAN (the Association of South East Asian Nations established in 1967) Singapore has emerged as one of the most connected cities in the world. At the epicenter for 95 percent of the world's population, Singapore serves as the gateway to the world’s largest concentration of Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists. With an estimated 42 percent of Singapore’s population made up of foreigners, connections through business and family extend around the globe.
Aware of its multiracial, multilingual and multicultural context, the Presbyterian Church of Singapore (PCS) seeks to be at the forefront of mission and evangelism. This commitment is expressed in the fostering of an awareness of and appreciation for the worldwide nature of the Christian faith, the development of mutually enriching partnerships, and the sharing of human and material resources to advance God’s kingdom in the world. PCS’s Synod Mission Program has reflected these commitments in its mission strategies, which include: (1) building regional mission networks with mission consultations in Thailand and Cambodia, (2) exchanging human resources and missionaries at a denominational level, (3) undertaking shared mission projects, (4) developing church mission boards, and (5) reaching out to local migrant workers.
This year, in conjunction with her 130th anniversary celebration, PCS hosted a third Asian missions consultation with the goal of forming lasting partnerships in order to strengthen mission and evangelistic outreach in Asia. Overseas delegates from 10 Asian countries (Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Taiwan and Vietnam) gathered in Singapore for this two-day event. In keeping with the previous consultations, each country’s delegates had an opportunity to present their current evangelistic and mission activities and the ways in which they are reaching out to their non-Christian neighbors and friends. Delegates from Laos reported unprecedented growth, with more than 30 new house churches planted in the capital city of Vientiane.
The keynote speaker, missionary Dr. Violet Lee, encouraged church delegates to consider the strategic role of "kingdom professionals" who bear witness to their faith in Jesus Christ in the workplace. As the author of 21 Megatrends for the 21st Century Missional Church, she challenged leaders to seize every opportunity to proclaim the gospel by joining God in the sending of professionals into neighboring creative access countries.
Praise God for the strategic role our Asian brothers and sisters are playing in the spread of the gospel to places where there is little or no Christian witness.
Praise God for the Presbyterian Church of Singapore’s catalytic role in stimulating other Asian countries to partner in mission.
Pray for continued collaboration among the leaders of these 10 countries. Pray that as they share with each other their mission, vision and evangelistic strategies the gospel of Jesus Christ will spread throughout Asia.
Partners in the gospel,
The 2011 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 135
The 2012 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 187