Steve K. Eom
This report contains a brief overview of the recent 12th AMA convention, as well as descriptions of future AMA ministries.
The Asia Missions Association held its 12th triennial convention at the Greenhills Christian Fellowship in Manila, Philippines on April 18-22, 2016. We welcomed almost 200 mission leaders from 26 countries, including 63 speakers. The theme we deeply investigated was on “globalization and mission”. As a result, we were able to accumulate a vast array of articles on the theme and are expecting a comprehensive book on “globalization and mission” in the perspectives of Asian churches including some Non-Asian brothers and sisters’ to be published soon.
The convention was organized as an agora, a central square for gathering and interacting with one another among church and mission leaders from all over Asia and the world. Every participant was encouraged and challenged by their fellow participants as no one was able to count how much we learned and benefited from one another. We tried to invite at least two influential leaders from each Asian country, whether or not they were deeply involved in missions. A few of them did not have much understanding of missions when they first came to the convention, but showed great interest in the missionary movement as the convention went on. We now expect more mission organizations and national missionary associations to be formed in countries such as Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal, and others in the coming years.
I would like to express my gratitude to all the speakers, national delegates, and participants from all over Asia. I also give my thanks to the representatives from world-wide or continental missions associations: MANI, COMIBAM, Missio Nexus, Lausanne, WEA, EEMA. They sacrificed their time and finances to attend the convention to show partnership with the AMA for the worldwide missionary movement. In addition, the Philippine Missions Association must be acknowledged and appreciated for hosting this historic event. Without their compassion and sacrifice, we would not have been able to have this amazing event. Finally, I would like to thank Dr. Timothy K. Park for his leadership as Head Chairman for the past 6 years. He has served faithfully and played a pivotal role in creating networks of leaders and churches around Asia.
During the convention, the new leadership team of the AMA were elected as follows:
- Head Chairman: Dr. Wati Longkumer (IMA)
- 2nd Chairman: Rev. Lalano Badoy (PMA)
- 3rd Chairman: Dr. Paul Han (KWMA)
- General Secretary: Dr. Steve Eom (EWCMRD)
- Treasurer: Dr. Yong Joong Cho (Global Hope)
- Recording Secretary: Ms. Helen Cho (EWCMRD)
Regional Associate Secretaries
- East Asia: Dr. K Y Cheung Teng (HKACM)
- South Asia: Rev. Edward Ayub (Bangladesh)
- South East Asia: Dr. Prawate Kidarn (Thailand)
- Missiologists: Dr. Chansamone Saiyasak
- Church and Mission: Rev. Yohannes Nahuway
- Asian Missionary Fellowship: Dr. Susanta Patra
- Information, Research & Communication: Dr. Hong Yang
Dr. Wati Longkumer was elected as the head chairperson.He is an ordained minister of the Nagaland Baptist Church. He came to IMA after serving as the Director of the Nagaland Missions Movement (NMM). Prior to the NMM assignment, he and his family were NMM missionaries in Cambodia for over eleven years. In Cambodia he served at the Phnom Penh Bible School (College) as the Academic Dean and the Vice Principal. Under his leadership, the AMA is expected to grow enormously in every aspect. The AMA next triennial convention in 2019 will be in India and to be hosted by the India Missions Association under his leadership.
Future AMA Ministries
From now on, the AMA will continue to focus on missionary movements in every Asian country. We will put all our efforts into encouraging every country in Asia to participate in missions and to have a national mission association as a result. For instance, I visited and invited Rev. Edward Ayub to the AMA Manila Convention. He is one of the new figures in the AMA. He is a pastor from Bangladesh and was elected as the Associate Secretary of the South Asia region. He has started praying and thinking seriously about establishing the Bangladesh Missions Association since the convention was held. He sent an email just after the convention, saying:
“Thank you for giving me great privilege to serve AMA. Since hearing about AMA, I have been praying and thinking seriously to establish Bangladesh Missions Association. There is no such thing yet. God has helped me to establish few organizations, association, and mission in my little involvement in mission work. I hope that the dream of Bangladesh Missions Association would also be fulfilled.”
There is no such organization in Bangladesh where Muslims are dominant. During the convention he developed a vision to start a missionary movement in Bangladesh. We pray his dream will be fulfilled in the near future. The AMA will do its best to help countries like Bangladesh join in the mission of God.
In addition, we will continue to publish the Asian Missions Advance, the bulletin of the AMA. The Asian Missions Advance was first published in 1978 and stopped in 1993. In August 2011, the bulletin resumed its publication with issue number 32, and now we are on to issue number 52. The Asian Missions Advance is being published quarterly under the East-West Center for Missions Research and Development(EWC/mrd), which has served the AMA as its official center for missions’ research and development. We are sending copies of these bulletins to individuals, seminaries and missional organizations worldwide. The bulletin has been and will be greatly served to introduce the thoughts of the Asian Church and mission leaders to the world.
In addition, we will aid Asian churches in training mission leaders through developing mission models, training mission leaders, and caring for Asian missionaries. The East West Center will play a major role to accomplish these tasks as the official center for missions’ research and development of the AMA. To start our full-scale missionary movement and mission leaders’ training for Asian missions, the EWC opened its office in Seoul, Korea in 2015, and will open a new office in Chiang Mai, Thailand this coming August. I will move to Chiang Mai in 2017 to help accelerate its ministries. The EWC-Chiang Mai will work as the headquarter of the AMA on mission research, publications, training church leaders and missionaries, and missionary member care in Asia. As we go on with missionary movements around countries in Asia, we will provide programs for church and mission leaders in each country. The EWC-Chiang Mai expects participation from church and mission communities in Asia and beyond.
We have entered the most creative and productive period in the history of the Christian missionary movement. In the past few decades, Christianity has experienced a significant growth in Asia while the churches in the West are stagnating. Asian churches are taking more and more responsibilities of the world mission. The Asia Missions Association has enormous opportunities and significant responsibilities to enable Asian churches to actively participate in God’s mission. Now is the time for the AMA to facilitate more partnerships and cooperation among Asian churches and provide mission resources and programs to them so that each and every Asian country may be able to participate actively in world mission.