Unchanging God Changing Asia: OMF Scottish Conference 2016

Last weekend Jennifer and I were able to gather with others for the OMF Scottish conference through in Arbroath. Typically for Scotland the rain was on hand making an appearance and I’m glad it did. It allowed me to see a wonderful scene; over the north sea there was a rainbow, its colours cascading out of the clouds into the sea, reminding me of the God who does not change. It is good to be reminded of this because the world around us exists in a constant state of transition and change mainly due to the forces of globalization.

And there is no denying that Asia has changed. It is not the same place it was 40 years ago let alone 150 years ago at the inception of OMF’s mission to reach the unreached. However the same good news of Jesus is still the power of God at work changing the hearts, minds and lives of people in East Asia.

It was a great privilege to hear from those who have been serving cross culturally in many different contexts. There were people who had been working with the millions of unreached Muslim people in Asia and those who have been serving in Cambodia providing much needed health care. One thing that came through from every person was the great faithfulness of God in fulfilling his commission to the nations.

Steve Griffiths, OMF assistant general director, lead us through the book of Colossians keeping at the forefront the supremacy of Jesus. It was helpful to be reminded of this because so often we can become side tracked,forgetting that the gospel of Jesus is progressing unrelentingly in the world. Another key aspect that he drew attention to was to remember that we were not under Caesar in Colosse; we are in Christ where he has placed us. Our identity is not what we once were, it is now Christ (Col 3:1-4).

Further to this there was also a question and answer session from some people (we got to be part of the some people) who had gone to Asia on a short term basis through OMF’s Serve Asia programme. It was great to see the diversity of projects which people could get involved in and also the spectrum of ages as well. Places included Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines & Taiwan. Perhaps it is something that you could do? A few weeks? 6 Months? A year?

All in all it was a very encouraging, yet challenging time. It forces me to remember that I have the great privilege of being able to hear the good news of Jesus whenever I want to and there are some who do not even know that he existed. If we are Christians we would all do well to remember this.

 

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