As part of its 25th Anniversary celebration, the Methodist Missions Society (MMS) hosted a Missions Conference at Trinity Theological College on Saturday, 20 Aug 2016. The conference focused on how to effectively share the gospel in urban areas, taking into consideration the unique social, economic and psychological challenges faced by city dwellers.
The Rev Dr Gordon Wong (right), President of Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC), opened the morning session with a talk on ‘Holistic Missions’. Reading from Psalm 107, the Rev Dr Wong reminded us that God gathers exiles from many lands and redeems those who suffer from afflictions and oppression. As witnesses to the love of Christ we can all be missionaries, whether at home or abroad, by ministering in the marketplace and reaching out to the hungry, homeless, sick, and imprisoned.
Mr Joseph Chean (below), Director of Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Singapore, proclaimed that God loves cities because cities are full of people: children, migrants, elderly, people with dreams, and people who are lonely and isolated. Separation from loved ones, language and cultural differences, lack of access to basic services, unemployment; all these factors and more put great stress on individuals and families.
Just as God spoke to exiles through the psalmist, He also spoke through the prophet Jeremiah telling the people to build homes, put down roots, and work for the peace and prosperity of the city where they had been exiled. The city can release humankind’s greatest potential, bringing together diverse groups of people with different skills and gifts. Missionaries can help unleash this potential by providing encouragement and access to education, training, and healthcare.
During the afternoon session, conference participants chose two out of four workshops to attend. Visiting national pastors from Methodist churches in Nepal and Cambodia were especially encouraged by the Rev Lam Kuo Yung, Senior Pastor of Katong Presbyterian Church, who shared about the importance of churches in building community within cities. The Rev Malcolm Tan, Pastor-in-Charge of Covenant Community Methodist Church, provided inspiring and practical suggestions to plant churches and grow congregations based on his experiences at home as well as in mission fields abroad.
MMS missionaries and local workers from six countries joined in the lively dialogue and exchange of ideas throughout the conference.
For the first time ever, a concurrent Mission Programme entitled ‘Heart to Change the World’ was offered to children aged six to 11. Organised by David and Cynthia Leong, with support from volunteers and the TRAC Board of Children’s Ministry, this programme aimed to increase awareness of other religions and teach children how to support missions through prayer.
A mother from Charis Methodist Church was delighted to observe her child having fun and learning ways to give God glory by “Knowing Him, Loving Him, Worshipping Him, Serving Him and Telling the World about Him!”
A parent from Pasir Panjang Brethren Church praised the programme because “it helps children to be aware of their role in the Great Commission and they are equipped with skills to share the Good News!”
MMS would like to extend its sincere appreciation to all speakers and volunteers who contributed to this event. It was a time of joyful learning and “proclaiming His Wondrous Works”. May God continue to strengthen and guide us throughout the next 25 years of service in building His Kingdom!
The Rev Teresa Wilborn –
is a missionary from Aldersgate Methodist Church and Area Director in the Methodist Missions Society.
Photos courtesy of the Methodist Missions Society