Says Norman Wong, the new MMS Executive Director
AT THE time of writing this article, I have barely been one month on the job – but already my head is spinning.
Everyday, when I come in to work, I discover something new that the Methodist Missions Society (with YOUR help!) is trying to do. I feel like a little child entering a gigantic theme park, like Disneyland – I am awestruck by the countless number of rides and shows that are going on all around me. I want to experience everything – all at once, but I can’t – I must patiently enjoy them one by one.
First, let me sketch for you the “Big picture”.
The Methodist Missions Society (MMS) was established to harness some of the energy and resources of all 43 Methodist Churches (not counting several more preaching points) and then channel them into missions.
“Missions” is broadly defined as taking the good news of the kingdom of God to a different country and culture. We do this BOTH by good “old-fashioned” preaching of the Word of God and by practical expressions of love which address genuine social needs.
Together, we now have ministry in five countries – Cambodia, China, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam. We are now exploring two more countries – Laos and Timor Leste.
Next, let me share with you one very interesting programme that our newest MMS missionaries have developed. On the last Sunday in January – the first day of the Lunar New Year – our Bishop Dr Robert Solomon commissioned Francis and Angela from Cairnhill Methodist Church as MMS missionaries to China. But, you may object, China does not allow foreign missionaries to enter the country.
You are correct – which is why Francis (a pastor by training) equipped himself with agricultural skills developed in the Philippines. He is now able, after a week of interactive dialogue, discussion and training with Chinese farmers, to transform a very small plot of land into a fruitful garden:
• 100 sqm – that’s very small! – 10 m by 10 m – just take 12 steps and imagine a small square with one side of that length;
• with three hours a day working on it;
• it will provide food (balanced, nutritious diet) for a family of four to six persons throughout the year!
The technique uses natural fertilizers, practises rotation crops and includes hygienic methods in animal husbandry (some meat is needed for a balanced diet!). The project is called FAITH Garden – FAITH stands for “Food Always In The Home”. Imagine the impact this programme can have on poor farming communities in the region.
His first training session conducted in January has already been received with much appreciation. Isn’t that exciting?
And that was only one of the many very interesting projects MMS (with your help) is doing – no wonder my head is spinning.
I wonder how the Rev Dr Clarence Lim (my able predecessor who just retired) could cope with so many things going on. Thank you, Clarence and Pearlie, for your fine example of leadership in missions.
The Rev Dr Norman Wong is the new Executive Director of the Methodist Missions Society.
For more information, please contact the MMS Office at 6478-4818.