Mission Trip Opportunities 2018

We're excited to be able to announce an outstanding opportunity for you to join us for a hands on, come and see missions trip to Hanoi, Vietnam Jan 8-15th, 2018, and Cambodia & Phnom Penh Jan 15-23rd 2018.

 

North Vietnam is one of the most unreached regions in the world. You'll get to meet key leaders of churches, missions Outreach to children and rural people and see the missions work in action.

 

Flowing on from Hanoi, we'll then go to Stung Treng, North East Cambodia & Phnom Penh January 15 - 23rd 2018, meeting key workers who are living out the gospel in practical and demonstrative ways. You'll see sustainable community development and church planting in action.

Cost for the entire 15 day trip covering airfares, accommodation, meals in country is $2500 AUD. This includes a small levy which will enable AOA to continue its great work partnering with workers in these two nations.

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Come and join us by filling in the form below:

MISSIONS IN ACTION….

I am reminded of another experience working with Asian Outreach in this nation - the excitement of working in one of the most unreached people groups in the world.  We have seen churches being planted through story-telling in rural and tribal regions.  In addition, people are coming to know Jesus through English-speaking classes.  Others are simply given more life & employment choice opportunities through training, development work and micro-enterprises that creates employment. These directly assists families significantly with children being provided for including provision for education and care.

It is so good to see that by working with locals, who know the situation around them, and through intertwining development work with the Gospel proclamation, genuine sustainable holistic transformation happens in communities & nations.

What a privilege to be involved!

You can be involved too by praying for the work of Asian Outreach throughout the many nations we are involved in or by joining us for an exposure trip to see the work of Asian Outreach.  Potentially, one trip is being earmarked for January 2018 to Cambodia (plus one other nation).  

You can also financially support the work of Asian Outreach by clicking https://donations.asianoutreach.org.au/.

Your financial support, prayers and physical involvement really do make a difference.

Thanks for your support and graciousness to read this and pray for us.

 

Brian

Dr Brian Birkett

For Asian Outreach Australia team.

 

The Role of Pastors & Business Leaders in Missions

As I further reflect upon the most effective way to be involved with Global Missions, I am reminded of some of the experiences working with Asian Outreach in one particular Asian nation (names withheld for security reasons).

The local workers there really had an appreciation for what could contribute helpfully to their work from our end in Australia.  One initiative was to facilitate a two-day conference for Pastors and Business Leaders (50 representatives each). The local leaders mentioned that in this particularly large Asian city, this was the first of its kind. (Innovation is always fun!) The attendance was outstanding and the involvement top class. AOA’s goal is to always work with locals wherever we go. So two of us - facilitators on church ministry & the other on business - were invited as speakers, along with the local leaders. This turned out to be providential. We had government permission to run the event. However, on the second day of the conference, and perhaps because the government officials became nervous that a local leader overseeing 500 churches was with us, the officials tried to shut the Conference down.  They also threatened the locals with imprisonment and us, as Westerners, to be banned from returning to the country.  Our local people, guided by us & local leaders, simply said: “We are seeking to do good for the community.” “That is all.”

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After filming the conference for 3 hours with various presentations of how local businesses set up by our pastors and business leaders have helped the local communities, we were told that all restrictions were dropped! The officials recognised that “We were seeking to do good for the community” and in fact continued by saying that “We want your Conference next time to be 10 times larger and we will protect you from any who would oppose you.” This was God’s favour.

What we have discovered is that the role of pastors and business leaders are COMPLEMENTARY for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.  Both roles have an “apostolic” edge into the community and we should be working hand-in-hand.

What a privilege to be involved!

You can be involved too by praying for the work of Asian Outreach throughout the many nations we are involved in or by joining us for an exposure trip to see the work of Asian Outreach.  Potentially, one trip is being earmarked for January 2018 to Cambodia (plus one other nation).  

You can also financially support the work of Asian Outreach by clicking https://donations.asianoutreach.org.au/.

Your financial support, prayers and physical involvement really do make a difference.

Thanks for your support and graciousness to read this and pray for us.

 

Brian

Dr Brian Birkett

For Asian Outreach Australia team.

 

 

The Global Missions Dilemma III

As we've been wrestling with the best way to express Global Missions in the 21st Century, it's been great to see and hear people’s thoughts.

It's clear that sustainable holistic community development with church planting and discipleship formation is paramount.

In reflecting upon this I thought it'd be helpful to point you to some expressions of us living this for the past 25 or more years as Asian Outreach, myself for the past 17 years in Global Mission.

In sharing these experiences, the desire is once again to prompt your reflections and thoughts. So, by all means let us know what you think. Encouragement is always welcome😊 And any feedback or input from your experience and research, ministry or study would also be welcome.

To begin with, I would like to reflect upon the work of Asian Outreach Cambodia. They’ve been living this model of sustainable holistic community development with church planting for more than 25 years. As a result they've carefully kept records throughout that time and have seen more than 100,000 people come to know Jesus, becoming disciples through communities of hope. And they've seen more than 500,000 people assisted from poverty to have healthier opportunities. Each life matters. Each person is important. No one is just a number. So, partnering with people like this supporting their National Director and providing specialist guidance and funds is such a privilege. Thousands of families with tens of thousands of children have been given healthy opportunities.

I remember visiting Cambodia. I've been there 4 times for about two weeks at a time.

I've seen families given antiretrovirals to combat AIDS & provide a healthy lifestyle, even with HIV.

I've seen children delighted to learn about Jesus.

I've seen women equipped, healed, delivered and provided for through us and through those we partner with in Cambodia.

I've seen children given the opportunity of education where they would have otherwise no chance and perhaps little hope to climb out of poverty.

I've seen healthy programs teaching children & youth how to handle efforts by ‘sex-tourists’ to entrap them and for these children & youth how to live healthy lives.

I've seen agricultural projects spearheaded and resourced and other micro-enterprises birthed and grown.

I've seen fresh water provided through bio-sand filters for thousands of households along with toilets built which have changed the health outcomes for tens of thousands of people.

And I've seen village churches where people meet, grow as disciples and love one another and their communities.

I've met with Village Development Chiefs and Councils and talked with orphans and their carers & teachers. I hope to be back in Cambodia this October!

This model really works! You can read more through our social media posts and further on our Asian Outreach Australia blogs. If you'd like to, you can even donate to support the magnificent work these people and others throughout Asia are doing. And please be praying for us as we partner with them.

I look forward to sharing other nations where Asian Outreach Australia has had influence in future blogs.

 

 

Brian

For Asian Outreach Australia

 

Dr Brian Birkett

 

An Executive Director & Partner Relationship Manager

Asian Outreach Australia

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The Global Missions Dilemma II

Since writing the first blog there's been some good dialogue beginning about the Global Missions Dilemma. And I've been doing some more thinking and research about how community development and church planting interrelate in a Global Mission sense, especially in Asia.

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I've begun reading “Walking with the Poor - Principles and Practices of Transformational Development” by Bryant L. Myers, a highly recommended text exploring this area. Myers fully endorses this model as crucial for healthy Global mission and Walking with the Poor. He gives excellent theological, sociological and anthropological foundations for the conclusions he comes to along with the practices he recommends. In short, he would very much agree with the model we are espousing & living.

And when I attended World Vision Australia (WVA) Staff Devotions as a guest and friend of World Vision this week, Claire Rogers, new WVA CEO emphasised the intrinsic and foundational value of the Christian faith to the outstanding community development work of World Vision.

We need not be apologetic in expressing our faith as we carry out community development work. Yet it's with grace, respect, kindness and giving people hearing us complete freedom as they consider what we're saying. And even firstly, us hearing what's important to them.

Over 90% of community development work globally is done by ‘faith-based’ organisations. So, being authentic and genuine about who we are and what we believe is simply sharing our lives with others.

The challenge comes if we overstep the mark and indicate our beliefs are superior or even required for support. This is not Christ-like nor is it even ethical. We must show genuine respect for others.

Just like I have befriended my Muslim and Hindu neighbours inviting them each into my home on various occasions and visiting their’s, respecting their beliefs, but also sharing mine when relevant and helpful, so it is with community development work and Christian witness.

For ten years, Asian Outreach served in impoverished rural regions providing medical and dental care, without saying why or what their beliefs were. They simply served and gave, showing Christ’s love. The rural people are quoted as saying: “Why are you helping us, when our own have forgotten us leaving us to die?” Yet, those serving simply gave Christ’s love unconditionally.

After 10 years they began to speak about why and about the transformative nature of the One True and Living God. Whole villages came to know Jesus. Now, entire regions have become Christians and are living as passionate followers of Jesus.

More next time. We're interested in your thoughts so by all means let us know what you think.

 

Brian

For the Asian Outreach Team

Executive Director & Partner Relationship Manager

Asian Outreach Australia

Solar Powered Bibles for Pastor Sun

Thanks to generous donations from AO need, but there are always more villages Supporters, we’ve just shipped off 70 more solar powered MegaVoice audio bible players to rural Cambodia. These little devices are like precious treasures in the hands of church leaders wanting to share the good news with fellow villagers. Pastor Sun Art for example, cannot read well himself. So imagine the challenge it would be to share the word of God with his mainly illiterate home-church if he didn’t have the MegaVoice bible! 

A few years ago, Pastor Sun and his family were, as far as they knew, the only believers in his mainly Buddhist village. God answered his prayers and connected him with other Christians when a team from Asian Outreach Cambodia (AOC) provided a water-well in the area where he lived. “I used to cry because I felt hopeless but now I cry because I have found new hope” he says. “AOC sta have provided me with resources like bibles, books and MegaVoice audio bibles and now my home church has more than 20 members and we work together to tell the good news to other people!”

Pastor Sun Art and his family listen to their MegaVoice bible before they go to sleep and before they get up in the morning. One hour in the sunlight will power the device for four hours of listening time. “But there are not enough to go around” says Pastor Sun. “We need a lot more MegaVoice players to share to other people who want to know about Jesus Christ.”

Thankfully a portion of the players recently sent will help ful ll Pastor Sun’s need, but there are always more villages and villagers who are yet to hear the good news. If you'd like to donate towards providing more MegaVoice bibles (each player costs $50), then please visit https://donations.asianoutreach.org.au

The Global Missions Dilemma

"Exploring a balanced approach to Global Mission: Holistic Sustainable Community Development alongside Church Planting".

Which aspect of the Global Mission should we focus on? ? What's the best approach in reaching our goals? In business terms, what's the best ROI (Return on Investment) by conducting global mission as a church or Christian organisation?

The issue of how best to approach global mission work in the 21st Century has been the most important topic of conversation with missionaries and leaders of organisations around the world. This is certainly true particularly in Asia. The discussion has been circulating around whether to focus on community development (empowering the poor) or planting churches (seeing people won to Christ and creating disciples). A debate such as this would be a highly charged, contentious and therefore a crucial issue to tackle.

I'm told that in North America, 90% of the mission dollars donated  are allocated towards helping the poor. There's no doubt that helping the poor is vital. And creative ways of not providing handouts, but rather teaching people to create support systems  who help not only themselves, but also one another  has proven to be the most effective way of helping the less fortunate..

But what about the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20? Where does that fit in? What should we be focussing upon? Isn't it Jesus’ priority to see disciples formed who will go out and make more disciples?

My answer and the answer from Asian Outreach Australia is: both, not either/or. What do I mean by this? I believe that to genuinely empower people and see authentic transformation we need to see people being healthy in every aspect of their lives. This includes their physical, financial, mental, social, emotional and spiritual areas. To do so we can't simply apply ‘band aid’ approaches to Global Mission; we need to approach our commission from the Lord holistically, sustainably and transformatively.

So, we must focus on doing good for people as well as seeing the message of the Gospel of the Kingdom. If we keep this focus when partnering with local people for global missions across the world, and especially in Asia, we will see genuine transformational conversion and effective discipleship.

These new disciples then share the Gospel of the Kingdom with family, friends, fellow villagers, colleagues or neighbours. We believe this provides a fulfilment to both Jesus Christ’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and the Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:34-40). It also confirms that

“preaching to the poor”, spoken in Luke 4:18 & 19, means more than simply winning souls for eternity. It means seeing the Kingdom of God becoming a living reality in individuals, families, communities and nations.

What do you think about focussing on both rather than one or the other? Share your thoughts with us.

 

Rev Dr Brian Birkett

 

Executive Director and Partner Relationship Manager

Asian Outreach Australia

www.asianoutreach.org.au

A request from one of our partners...

Come and visit one of China's mega cities – make a difference and see lives changed.

HONG KONG, A city of over 7 million, one can feel isolated, lost and alone. For many students there is the enormous pressure of performance among their families, peers and education. There is a deep sense of hopelessness and failure if students cannot perform, resulting in an increasing rate of depression and suicide among them. Hong Kong is a competitive society and a vast difference between the rich and low income workers.

Are you available this summer - 30 JULY to 14 AUGUST 2016

Bringing hope and love to a nation!
Lend a helping hand to reach out, touch and heal. Be His hands and feet!
Experience and engage with students in an Asian mega city!
Sow seeds of love through English teaching, sports, art ‘n craft, songs and other interactive games to bring joy, laughter and hope; 
See how YOU can be used to touch and impact lives!


Together we can make a difference and BLESS others!

If you are interested or may know of others that are: please email – adminaonz@clear.net.nz (Asian Outreach New Zealand - www.asianoutreach.org.nz)

Coming Up.....
CHINA :  Village School/High School and Intercession - September/October 2016 - 2 weeks

Celebrating 50 years of Asian Outreach Network

  • There was much joy for the blessings and faithfulness of God on the work of Asian Outreach (www.asianoutreach.org) over the past 50 years.
  • Approximately 600 people attended the Celebration Dinner on 31st March 2016.  There was a time of worship, praise & prayer for the work of Asian Outreach Hong Kong (AOHK), including AOHK’s ministry with the Indonesian & Japanese communities, the elderly, and the work with a minority people group.
  • Prior to the celebrations, an international team of AO supporters (including supporters from Japan, Malaysia and Australia) held a short prayer time and walk at the top of “The Peak”.
  • The work with the minority people group started 4 years ago.  It is slow, as the main focus is in the building of strong relationships with the locals. The present vision is to extend the work with this people group living in other neighbouring villages, and to challenge the local believers to jointly carry this burden.
  • One novel project that was discussed was the opportunity of hosting Japanese students who want to improve their English in Hong Kong (Australia and New Zealand) for a short period of time. This was seen by AO Japan as an effective way of reaching out to the Japanese people.

!! NEWSFLASH !! - Launch of Asian Outreach Network website - see www.asianoutreach.org