In 2013 it was in Incheon, S. Korea. In 2016, it was in Manila, Philippines and this year 2019, it happened in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The 13th Triennial Convention of the Asia Missions Association was held in Thailand last November 11-15, 2019 with the theme MIGRATION AND MISSION taken from Acts 8:4.
Chiang Mai City, a Buddhist city with a population of 1 million hosted the AMA Convention for this year under the First District of the Church of Christ in Thailand.
Delegates from Asian countries of Nepal, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, S. Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Myanmar, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Laos and Cambodia came to participate and present what is happening in missions and migration in their respective countries. Participants from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Brazil, Nigeria, and Ethiopia joined to share their experiences and knowledge on migration and mission to their Asian brothers. Many delegates have met again after three years in Manila, others, have joined because they have important things to share, while some converged in Chiang Mai to learn and be inspired. The opening of the convention was like a big fellowship of people of different languages and cultures worshipping the Lord in music and feasting on His Words!
This year’s convention presented and discussed how God uses His people for His mission in the midst of migration in its plenary sessions. The participants also discussed through various workshops about effective partnerships and cooperation among churches in Asia and across the world that can be formed in the age of migration.
The Asia Missions Association consists of national missions associations in Asian countries. The AMA has hosted triennial conventions in different Asian countries since 1973. Each convention ending with resolutions and action plans have contributed in uniting the Asian churches and mission agencies for the advancement of the Gospel.
For the 13th triennial convention, the Convention committee chose Migration and Mission as its theme because one of the characteristics of today’s changing world is globalization and the frequent migration of the people. A variety of causes including business opportunities, better education, overseas employment, and wars lead people to migrate or relocate. These people maybe referred to as migrants, immigrants, asylum seekers, foreign students or diaspora. They are currently the most receptive targets of mission and potential missionary forces to the host countries and to their own people in their home countries.
The objectives of the Convention are the following:
- To develop new mission strategies
- To Connect and cooperate among Asian churches for mission
- To promote missionary movement among Asian churches
- To encourage mission leaders to develop missiological thinking and writing
And to introduce the missionary views of Asian leaders to the world.
The Convention Committee invited delegates and guests according to the following:
- Delegates: 1- 2 individuals from each member associations and member mission organizations
- Fraternal Delegates: Recognized missiologists and non-western Missions partners outside of Asia
- National church Delegates: 1- 2 persons from each Asian country
- Distiguished guests: Mission Executives of European, latin American and North American missions associations nad agencies
- General Participants: leaders of missions organizations, church missions commissions and field missionaries from Asia
From November 11-15, delegates and participants presented and discussed their papers containing their experiences, opinions, and thoughts about Migration. Many were delighted because of the new missions strategy the Lord provided to reach the migrants, immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers and foreign students and workers within the comforts of their home countries. Others were inspired to go home tucked with new ways to reach the lost, those who were misplaced and fleeing for safety in other lands and maybe found in the homelands or mission fields of missionaries and Christian believers.
After five days of presentations, discussions, fellowships and worship, we believed that AMA 13th Triennial Convention accomplished its goals! We look forward that those who participated will find their ways to share God’s Holistic plan for those who are parts of migration and diaspora.
In the morning of the 15th of November with over 100 delegates and participants, together we pledged to the AMA Declaration. And with that, the 13th Triennial Convention of AMA came to a close. A new set of AMA officers have been appointed to serve for the next three years and prepare the 14th Triennial Convention which will happen in Jakarta, Indonesia thru a co-hosting partnership with Mawar Saron Church headed by Dr. Jacob Nahuway, AMA Honorary Chairman. All the delegates prayed and hoped that we will see each other again in 2022!
DECLARATION OF THE 13TH TRIENNIAL CONVENTION
We know that God created and reigns over the heavens and the earth and everything in it. He has a special plan to redeem humanity and all creation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He gave us His Great Commission, so we as His co-workers should propagate the Gospel of His Kingdom to all peoples in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Today the global contexts are rapidly changing. Migration is one of the phenomena of the 21st century. Kingdom workers need to take this development seriously to communicate the Gospel effectively.
We hereby declare the following convictions:
- God is a missionary God. He actively works to destroy the works of Satan, saves His people from their sins and restores His rule over the whole world (Ex. 3; 7-10).
- God calls us to fellowship with Him and work with Him to restores His rule and fulfill His will on earth as it is in heaven (1 John 1;3; Mt. 6:10).
- God also calls us to unity and partnership in kingdom ministry with fellow mission workers (1 Cor 4:5-9; Eph 4:11-16).
- God guides us and empowers us by His Holy Spirit to carry out His mission (Acts 1:8).
- God uses our weaknesses and suffering for the sake of His glory (1 cor 1;26-29; 1 Pet 2;21; phil 1;29).
- Through migration, God provides opportunities for us to carry out His mission to “through,” “by and beyond,” and ‘with” the diaspora (Acts 8:4; 11;19-21).
- God uses lowly and ordinary people as witnesses to others – “from everywhere to everywhere” through migration (1 Cor.1:26-29; 1 peter 2:9-10).
We also make the following observations and commitments:
- Immigrants: people on the move are often not bound by their old restrictions and are freer to experiment with new lifestyles, ideologies and faiths. Diaspora churches are among the fastest growing today. We want to find effective ways to share the gospel with these new neighbors on the move.
- Refugees: God has compassion for refugees who flee due to fear, persecution, conflict, violence or other circumstances. We want to serve them holistically as God commands us: “love your neighbors as yourself.” (Mt 22:39)
- Overseas workers: God is sending migrant workers to live out their faith wherever they live and work. We want to equip them to work with integrity and excellence, as well as to do intentional disciple-making!
- Foreign Students: God is causing a surge of international students in recent years. We want to see them become lifelong followers of Jesus Christ, discipling them to reach their own people.
- Business People: God is brining about His rule through the integration of business and mission. We want to equip businessmen and women to fulfill their vocation in the world.
- Relocated People: God is orchestrating a massive internal migration in many countries, which creates near cultural bridges between peoples. We want to reach out to them with proper contextualization.
In response to today’s phenomenon of migration, we call on all Christians, including all kinds of migrants to be faithful witnesses of Christ from everywhere to everywhere!