Convergence of Creativity, Creation and Kingdom Growth
By Eric, Asia Area Director
Superintendent Daniel Sar of our Cambodian Free Methodist Church has a dynamic vision to plant a church in the thousands of villages in Cambodia where there is no gospel witness. It is a big vision that requires creativity, but Daniel trusts that as they plant seeds, our Father will bring the kingdom growth.
Sometimes creativity, creation and kingdom growth all converge. In Cambodia recently, 31 members of the Free Methodist Church, including Superintendent Sar, participated in an interfaith dialogue and tree planting event at “Monks Community Forest,” a large stretch of evergreen forest in northwest Cambodia. It is the country’s largest community-managed conservation site established to protect forest, conserve biodiversity and prevent deforestation through illegal logging.
The interfaith event attended by 1,500 people was organized to cooperate in planting trees in villages and communities to restore areas that have been deforested. Around 260 Buddhist monks, six Muslims, many indigenous people and about 75 Christians (about half Free Methodist) participated. A total of 6,500 trees were planted, and Superintendent Sar was among those who addressed the group. He shared from the Scriptures about creation care and how his own motivation to care for creation is centered on his love for the Creator. A Buddhist monk invited Daniel to come and build a Christian chapel in the park and to make a Bible available. We are proud of Daniel’s courage and determination to share Jesus wherever there is an open door!
Come and See!
By Eric, Asia Area Director
Imagine seeing children drink and play in filthy water — water you wouldn’t even step in because you know it contains water from toilets, sinks, pastures and all manner of runoff. Imagine living in a place where the closest thing you get to clean water is the rainwater you can catch — rain that comes in torrents from the sky during the monsoon season, causing flooding and muddy, unsanitary conditions. Or imagine waiting for the rain that may NOT come for long periods of time because of the intense heat and climate.
One of our key leaders brought a man to a rural village in Creative Access Asia-PK. This man had recently begun to follow Jesus. This village of about 1,000 people had no well. The man was brokenhearted by what he saw, so moved that he sold his motorbike and one of his cows to raise the $700 necessary to dig a well. Now imagine the joy this village experienced when the well was complete. People worshiped! Everyone lined up to taste the clean water from the well. And our Free Methodist pastors helped people make the connection between this new clean water and the Living Water that is Christ Jesus. Remember that story?
“If you knew who it was that was asking you for a drink,” Jesus said, “you would ask him for living water … and when you drink this water, you will never get thirsty again” (John 4:10).
The woman had come to the well, but little did she know she had actually come to see Jesus.
Can you see Jesus in the face of this little boy? Imagine his invitation to other children in the village to come and taste the clean water. That invitation parallels our own as we invite others to taste the living water. As Christians, we believe everyone is created in the image of God to bear and reflect the image of their Creator. Every person is worthy of the respect and dignity that honors God’s image, even if that image is marred by a person’s sin and brokenness. Even in the least of these, we can come and see Jesus.
Partner with our developing work in Creative Access Asia-PN: fmchr.ch/FMWM-PN
Kingdom Principles From the Lotus Plant
By Eric, Asia Area Director
The lotus flower is a beautiful aquatic perennial grown in many parts of Asia. It is often used for medicinal purposes or used in cooking, baking and adding flavor.
At the annual conference in Creative Access Asia-VN, Superintendent Hien told a story of his fishpond where he now grows lotus plants. He shared this story to encourage, inspire and motivate our pastors in mission.
Small lotus plants or seedlings are purchased and planted in muddy water. As the plants grow, the seeds can be gathered and sold as a source of income, and the process repeats automatically with very little effort. One member of the church, a brother named Phuc, also had a pond. He noticed that Pastor Hien was growing lotus plants, and decided he too wanted to develop a small business growing lotus plants in his pond. Phuc asked Hien if he would give him some seedlings. Hien happily agreed to share and invited Phuc to go to his pond and gather some seedlings to plant.
A year passed, a second year passed, and in the third year Phuc was still talking about growing lotus in his pond, still talking about picking the lotus in Hien’s pond to transfer into his own. Finally Hien told Phuc:
Brother, you’ve been talking about growing lotus in your own pond for three years, but you have not done it. It would only take 30 minutes for you to gather seedlings and another 30 minutes to plant them in your own pond. If you do this, just invest one hour, a few months later you will have a full pond covered in lotus. You have the pond, you have the plan, you have the focus of attention, and you have the free seedlings from me. You just need to invest one hour. Three years of talking but doing nothing. Go today and pick the seedlings and put it in your pond, or will you talk for three more years with no lotus?
Phuc finally responded, and a few months later when Hein visited him, his pond was full, and seeds were already being sold for a small income.
The Father showed Hien that this is a beautiful illustration of the Kingdom. Father has already given us the seed, the field is there, we have good focus of attention, but if we don’t carry out the plan and just keep talking about it, there will be NO harvest. Furthermore, the lotus is a beautiful flower with a fragrant smell — like faith in Christ and the church, it may need to grow in the mud, but as we work together, we spread the beautiful aroma of Jesus all over the world.
Partner with Creative Access Asia-VN: fmchr.ch/FMWM-VN
World Missions Prayer Calendar: October
Pray for the Wunders pilot project in Kenya. Wunders is an initiative to provide menstrual supplies created by community-based sewing centers and distributed by local leaders. These supplies give girls dignity, help keep them in school and prevent trafficking.
02 Sunday |Northern Europe:
Pray for the inauguration of youth and young adult ministries throughout the northern Europe region. There is a great need for youth workers and relationship-based programs to provide young people safe places to seek truth.
03 Monday |360 Mission District:
Pray for fruitfulness as the mission district implements the Roots curriculum for children and initiates an after-school ministry to children.
04 Tuesday | Creative Access Europe-P:
Pray for two families transitioning in ministry due to the war in Eastern Europe. Ask the Father to guide them in their next steps.
05 Wednesday | Middle East:
Pray the words of Isaiah 41:10 for leaders in this region. Pray they will not be afraid or dismayed but know God is with them. Ask God to strengthen and help them and uphold them with His righteous right hand.
06 Thursday |Sierra Leone:
Pray for Superintendent Rufus Kahn of Liberia as he gives oversight and helps provide further training for pastors and church planters.
07 Friday |Spain:
Pray for the encouragement of our pastors and leaders. Ask God to give them a new vision and help them find creative ways to share Jesus with Spaniards.
08 Saturday |Bolivia:
Pray for protection against false religious beliefs that create obstacles to gospel teaching.
09 Sunday |Asia Missionary Care:
Thank the Lord for Mark and Judi Morrison, the missionary care couple for Asia. Pray for sensitivity to the Holy Spirit as they connect with and care for our Asia missionary team.
Birthday: Mark Morrison
10 Monday |Iraq:
In recent months, political tensions have increased in this nation. Pray the peace and hope of the gospel will rule in people’s hearts.
11 Tuesday |Southeast Asia:
Pray the words of Psalms 84:2 for Tammy: May her soul yearn and faint for the courts of the Lord, may her heart and flesh cry out for the living God — as she walks in relationship with Bryan, as she parents her children, and as together they minister to all those around them.
12 Wednesday |Mozambique:
Pray for outreach efforts in a refugee camp near the city of Nampula. Most are refugees from the DRC who are fleeing war.
13 Thursday |Ukraine:
Though the nation has great devastation and loss, pray the Lord will bring comfort, peace and restoration.
14 Friday |Guinea Bissau:
Praise the Lord for the ordination of Pastor Rito Mande in July. Pray for him as he leads the FM work in Guinea Bissau.
As missionary Andrea Tinsley celebrates another year of life, pray that her posture and attitude would be “All for Him!” Ask the Father to help her have eyes to see Jesus as He truly is, see herself as He sees her, and see others as His beloved sons and daughters. Birthday: Andrea Tinsley
16 Sunday |Asia Creative Access:
Pray those working in creative access areas will have wisdom and discernment, and protection from spiritual attack.
17 Monday |FMWM Leadership:
The five area directors and the director of global engagement will gather in Costa Rica October 17-24. Pray God will renew and empower them by the Holy Spirit to move forward with grace in fulfilling the Great Commission.
18 Tuesday |ICCM:
ICCM ministry in Kenya began in July 1996. Today ICCM has several schools serving more than 1,000 children. Pray for the ICCM students in Kenya.
19 Wednesday |Middle East:
In the Middle Eastern culture, family is a top priority. The culture is more collective than individualistic. Pray Christian families will be beautiful witnesses to the joy of connectedness to Christ and His church.
20 Thursday |Taiwan:
In April 2023, the Taiwan FMC will celebrate its 70th anniversary. Pray for wisdom and creativity as various teams make preparations. Also, pray the ongoing issues related to the pandemic may be resolved, allowing many guests to join the celebration.
21 Friday |Southeast Asia:
Pray Roger and Ellen Haskins will have increased insight and understanding into the various cultures they serve.
Birthday: Ellen Haskins
22 Saturday |Creative Access Asia-CA:
Pray Randy and Jessica will give effective witness through their teaching and relationships.
23 Sunday |Argentina:
Pray for the Holy Spirit’s presence awakening during a Community Church Panting Summit at the end of this month.
24 Monday |Set Free Movement:
Vulnerable people are everywhere, and human trafficking is prevalent in Southeast Asia. Ask God to call and provide for a Set Free leader on the mainland of Southeast Asia.
25 Tuesday |Portugal:
Pray for one couple — Hugo and Carla— as they seek God’s direction about planting a new church. Ask God to give wisdom and clarity.
26 Wednesday |Malawi:
Pray for excellence in educating and training pastors at the Great Commission Bible School.
Praise the Lord! Plans are coming together for a much-needed parsonage in Durazno. Pray this project will be completed soon.
28 Friday |Thailand:
God has opened doors for Sherry Cahill to build relationships with some Japanese women living in their apartment building. Pray these women will be receptive to learning more about Jesus.
Birthday: Sherry Cahill
29 Saturday |Belgium:
Pray for the FMC church in Belgium as it works to better serve and grow its ministry in the Oostende area. Ask God to provide a local leader who can help discern strategic ways to expand kingdom work. Birthday: Eric Casteel (Affiliate Missionary)
30 Sunday |Democratic Republic of Congo:
Protests, violence and threats of war continue to plague different regions of the DRC. People need Jesus. Please continue praying for God’s mercy and peace to come to the nation.
31 Monday |Asia:
Pray for the encouragement and spiritual protection of our Asia missionary team.
Birthday: Judi Morrison