Subscribe now

All articles in category South Eastern Asia

Missionary Spotlight – Encouraging God’s servants in Cambodia
May 2008
Cambodia

Missionary Spotlight – Encouraging God’s servants in Cambodia

Encouraging God’s servants in Cambodia   Cambodia is a member of ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and a growing nation in Indochina. Khmer is its main language and Buddhism its religion. Its population is 14.8 million, comprised largely of the Khmer, as well as Vietnamese and Chinese minorities. Its capital city is Phnom Penh.   Cambodia is infamous for the Marxist Khmer Rouge regime, led by ruthless dictator Pol Pot, that took power in 1975, changing the country’s name to Democratic Kampuchea. The Khmer Rouge evacuated cities and sent populations on forced marches to rural work projects. Systematic genocide was practised and the...

Read more
Missionary Spotlight – William Carey School of Theology Philippines
July 2007
Philippines

Missionary Spotlight – William Carey School of Theology Philippines

William Carey School of TheologyPhilippines  It was a dull morning but the sea was calm as I emerged on deck. This was the most relaxing part of my journey. I had flown from Durham to London Heathrow, and on to Hong Kong, finally arriving in Manila on the morning of Friday 13 October 2006. I then headed straight for the port and booked an overnight sailing to Iloilo on the Philippine island of Panay. Now here I was sitting on the deck of St Joseph the Worker on Saturday morning alternately reading and watching, as the islands went by in the tropical heat. Teaching The...

Read more
The road to Mandalay
May 2007
Burma

The road to Mandalay

The invitation came out of the blue. Addressed to the church website, it spoke of a recently formed group of churches founded on the doctrines of grace. ‘We feel we are still so young in the Reformed faith. We need more training. Please come and teach us’. Such are the wonders of modern communications that a group of rural Burmese pastors could contact a small church in West Yorkshire! And so it was that in January I found myself on a 12 hour flight to Bangkok en route to Mandalay. Diversity Burma is far from a homogeneous country. One needs to appreciate this to understand...

Read more
Missionary Spotlight – Philippines; the William Carey School of Theology – Janet Billson
August 2006
Philippines

Missionary Spotlight – Philippines; the William Carey School of Theology – Janet Billson

The WCST has its first graduates! These are the first-fruits of a work begun in October 2001 when four men travelled to the Philippines to launch this project for the Lord. Born out of prayer, the school was created to train spiritual leaders – men who would shape churches and influence nations.   Responding to an invitation from Warlito Monsalud, president of the Conservative Bible Believer Ministers’ Fellowship, Dr Bob Penhearow and his team of lecturers began to prepare students in the Philippines for their Diploma in Theology. The first twelve graduated in May 2006 after five years of diligent study. There was a sense...

Read more
December 2005
Cambodia

Missionary Spotlight-Spectacular growth in Cambodia

Dr Stephen Griffiths of OMF International writes:   I went to buy a school van. ‘By the way,’ said Mr Lak, the salesman, ‘are you a Christian?’ Waiting for the paperwork, we sat on plastic chairs, traffic thundering past just feet away. Waves of dust, heat and diesel fumes gently choked me while Mr Lak, completely at ease, sat back and told me his story of his journey to faith in Jesus through a tiny group of just ten believers in the south of Cambodia – but this exciting story of rapid church growth is a pattern we see repeated over and over again. Anna...

Read more
The little man of Mindoro
November 2005
Philippines

The little man of Mindoro

Margaret and I began our ministry in the Philippines in 1970 on the small island of Mindoro. As new missionaries, we were discouraged. With no savings, and no income for three months, we struggled to learn a new language and a new culture. Early one morning during a typhoon, Margaret shook me awake, groaning in pain. Flipping through our medical book, I suspected acute appendicitis. But how could I find a doctor at this time of night? Perhaps the neighbours could help. I woke them at 2.00am and they told me of a Christian Filipino doctor who had a small mission clinic about 15 kilometres...

Read more
Missionary Spotlight – House churches in Vietnam
September 2005
Vietnam

Missionary Spotlight – House churches in Vietnam

The evangelical house churches of Vietnam operate independently of the officially recognised Evangelical Church of Vietnam. The latter church represents 20% of Vietnam’s Protestants. Under the communist government, churches must register and comply with strict regulations governing their activities and teachings, the training and appointment of ministers, and contact with Christians from other countries. Vietnam’s house churches have opted not to register because of these conditions. As a result, they are forced to worship in private homes rather than church buildings. Police frequently disturb their meetings and slander them, forbidding them to carry out normal church activities. Many Vietnamese Christians must meet secretly in the...

Read more
Missionary Spotlight – Rejoicing in tribulation
September 2005
Vietnam

Missionary Spotlight – Rejoicing in tribulation

The evangelical church in Vietnam, numbering some 1.2 million Christians, has experienced a six-fold growth in the last ten years. Many churches have weekly days of corporate prayer and fasting, and run programmes of reading and memorising Scripture. They also have a commitment to preaching the gospel – and not just in their own country. In one house-church denomination the pastors go through an eleven-year training programme before being ordained. While progressing through the earlier stages, a leader needs to have read through the Bible two or three times, started a home group of perhaps 8-12 people, and then planted a church of at least...

Read more
September 2005
Vietnam

Missionary Spotlight

Christianity in Vietnam Missionaries of the Christian and Missionary Alliance began work in Vietnam in 1911. By 1929 their work resulted in the establishment of an independent Evangelical Church of Vietnam. Over the years other missionary societies joined in the work of church-planting and by the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 there were 154,000 Evangelical Christians. Many of these belonged to underground churches, which had sprung up alongside the ‘open’ Evangelical Church of Vietnam. The government of the now-unified communist Vietnam ordered all the missionaries to leave, and for the next 10 years few foreigners were able to enter the country – until...

Read more
Encouraging believers in Vietnam
September 2005
Vietnam

Encouraging believers in Vietnam

  Over the past two years I have taken six trips into countries near Cambodia that do not have religious freedom and whose governments actively persecute the church of Christ. On a few occasions I have been able to join groups of people smuggling Bibles into Vietnam.   What a joy to be able to bring them God’s Word! Although by the letter of its law Vietnam has religious freedom, in practical terms this is not the case. Even in the capital city I heard many stories from Christians about how they have been persecuted. One pastor’s wife shared how she had grown to trust...

Read more
September 2005
Vietnam

Missionary Spotlight – Socialist Republic of Vietnam

Area:128,000 square miles   Neighbours: Cambodia, Laos and China.   Environment: Vietnam has a tropical climate. There are northern mountains, central highlands, and flat river delta areas in the north and south (Mekong river).   Population: 83.5 million (plus 2 million diaspora).   Infant mortality: 26 deaths per 1,000 births.   Life expectancy: Males 68 years; females 74 years.   Ethnic groups: Vietnamese 86% — predominantly coastal dwellers with large cultural differences between the north and south; many other ethnic groups.   Languages: Vietnamese (official); English; French; Chinese; many indigenous languages.   Literacy: 90%.   Capital: Hanoi (3.5 million).   Major cities: Ho Chi Minh...

Read more
July 2005
Laos

Missionary Spotlight

  Area:91,429 square miles.   Neighbours: Thailand, Burma, China, Vietnam and Cambodia.   Environment: Laos has a tropical monsoon climate. Much of its terrain consists of rugged mountains (Phou Bia 2,871 metres) with plains and plateaus. The Mekong River runs through the southwest of the country and most people live along its delta. There are floods in the rainy season. Laos is landlocked.   Population: 6 million.   Infant mortality: 89 deaths per 1,000 live births.   Life expectancy: 54 years.   Ethnic groups: A complex mix of 138 ethnic groups. Lao-Tai 59%; Mon-Khmer 31%; Hmong-Mien 7%; Sino-Tibetan 2.5%; others, including Chinese 0.5%.   Languages:...

Read more