SHARING THE GOOD NEWS
At CBM, we believe that evangelism is the task of using words and actions to explain the gospel and encourage decisions of faith. We live in a challenging and changing world where the message of God’s love and salvation is vitally important to restore hope in the midst of brokenness. In this issue of World at Your Door, we invite you to rediscover how you can share the good news of Jesus Christ with your neighbours – across the street and across the world.
News reports convey deadly attacks on ethnic groups in Myanmar, and travel advisories warn tourists of the ongoing danger in the country. But in a time when violence and civil unrest threatens to bring despair, a remote community living in the mountains of Myanmar is finding hope and restoration through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Conrad and Fiona Kwok, CBM Field Staff in Southeast Asia, are partnering with a local pastor who has a vision to bring the gospel to 100 unreached Lahu villages in the next 10 years. “These people are ignored and forgotten by other people,” says Fiona. “We would like to help these villages.”
Together, they are committed to meeting the spiritual and physical needs of this remote community of people. In the last three years, more than 200 people have expressed faith in Jesus Christ and have been baptized.
Lahu villages are located high up in the mountains, and it takes hours of dangerous trekking to reach them. They have no access to electricity, education or medical care. They also have limited water supply and poor sanitation. The Lahu people desperately need a communal space to meet these urgent needs.
“We asked them how we could best help,” says Fiona. “Surprisingly, they told us that they want us to help them build a church.”
With the support of local partners and donors, the Kwoks aim to build a church in each village that would function as a community centre and meeting place. Each building would serve as a church, school and medical clinic. The buildings would also be used to host training programs, communal activities and future community development projects.
“In these villages, they don’t have any public buildings,” says Conrad. “We can help them start from the church – everything starts from Jesus Christ.”
Hopeful Gifts for Change
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20 (NRSV)
The Great Commission. You’ve seen it on Sunday School colouring sheets, and you’ve heard it preached from the pulpit. While you may find it difficult to travel across the globe, you can still partner with Christian leaders in countries like India and Rwanda to share the good news of the gospel.
This CBM Hopeful Gifts for Change catalogue is a great resource for living out the Great Commission. Visit hopefulgifts.ca to find gifts that will travel from your heart to those who need it most.
Provide a lay leader with biblical training to bring hope and reconciliation where there is civil unrest. Empower the next generation of church leaders with theological training to reach out to a broken world. Help leaders in developing countries to engage in local language Bible translation.
This Christmas, give a gift that reflects your faith and brings hope and healing to a broken world.
CBM Field Staff Aaron and Erica Kenny enjoy Christmas traditions with their family that reflect their faith.
3 Ways to be a Loving Witness
Want to be a Christian witness but don’t know how? Here are some creative ways to make it happen – in word and deed.
1. Share a meaningful meal. Set aside one day a week (or month) to share a meal with a shut-in in your community. Whether you visit an 80-year-old nursing home resident or an 18-year-old cancer patient, your presence and support will be greatly appreciated. Say a prayer together and encourage them with God’s love.
2. Show a newcomer that you care. Purchase an item from the Hopeful Gifts catalogue that will support those in need from their country. This year, you can help a Syrian refugee child return to school or provide peace training and counselling to people who have fled their homes in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Write an encouraging note to your newcomer friend to let them know you care and that you purchased a gift on their behalf. Your thoughtful gesture will pave the way for future conversations about faith and hope.
3. Spark curiosity. “Every year, we tie a frayed ribbon [or burlap] on our tree to remind us of the poverty of Jesus at Christmas,” says CBM Field Staff Aaron Kenny. “He was born into a family that didn’t have a lot of means.” Your guests will be intrigued by this unusual ornament – it’s sure to spark meaningful conversations.
“Evangelism happens alongside youth, as God knits our everyday lives together. It is not a big event, an altar call, or a few conversations. God may use these things at some point in a young person’s journey, but they cannot be our evangelism plan for today’s youth. Evangelism is an ongoing investment in each other’s lives, as God reveals himself and his in-breaking Kingdom to this younger generation.”
– Renée Embree is the Director of Youth and Family Ministries for the Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada and Director of the Youth & Young Adult Ministry Program at Acadia Divinity College.
Renée shared her reflections in the Fall 2017 issue of Mosaic magazine, which focused on evangelism. As part of her role, Renée also contributed to Imaginative Hope, a report from the 2016 Canadian Baptist Youth & Family Forum.
The report reveals seven major obstacles to reaching the next generation with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Check out imaginativehope.ca to follow a blog series that provides reflections on each obstacle. Together, we can better engage Canadian youth and learn how to minister to their specific needs.