“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Cor. 5:18-19)
People try to avenge the sins of others against themselves, but the Lord tells us to love our neighbors, even our enemies (James 2: 8; Matthew 5:44). Our mission does not end simply by loving our neighbors. We are commissioned to participate in the ministry of reconciliation. Kingdom workers are peacemakers. I prefer to call Kingdom workers “peace-makers” rather than calling them “missionaries.” Because God has given us the ministry of reconciliation.
The article-contributors to the 66th issue of Asian Missions Advance clearly wrote on different topics. But all deal with reconciliation issues. Dr. K. Y. Cheung Teng wrote about “An Overview of Refugees, Migrants, Ethnic Minorities and Missions in Hong Kong and Prayer Needs.” She deals with the issue of loving and caring for the dislocated people and minorities whose freedom and security are at risk. Dr. Nam Jun Cha wrote about the “missionary career transition.” Career transition she means is for the achievement of self-development of retiring missionaries and for their most effective service in Kingdom ministry. Dr. David Bogosian wrote about “The Bridge of God: Almost Exploring the Strategic Importance of Cultural Missions.” He emphasizes that God uses it as a bridge to reach the unreached people. Dr. Steven S. H. Chang deals with the conflict between the left and the right, and the old and new generation, and that of the two Koreas. Churches and Christians are agents for reconciliation of divided people. Dr. Robert Oh discusses the unhealthy relationship between missionaries and the natives in his article “Patron-Client Relationship (Gap & Eul) and the Impact of the Church Growth Movement in Cambodia”. He warns that missionary work from the position of strength will eventually create unhealthy relationships between missionaries and local people and harm their missionary work.
We are reconciled to God through Christ and are commissioned to reconcile the world to God in Christ, as the apostle Paul reminds us. It is necessary to pray and work for endangered people. We need to be flexible in career transition to make our ministry more effective. We must remember that we are God’s bridges to reach the unreached peoples. We must participate in the ministry of reconciliation. May God speak to us when we read the articles written by the authors.
—Timothy K. Park, Editor