Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Reflections on Mission as Transformation

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Bible School. Irene Mparutsa teaches health outreach to pastors. (Photo by Richard Lord)
By Kennedy O. Cruz

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10

The Lord’s Prayer about the coming of God’s Kingdom to earth I believe is the most compelling message that we followers of Christ can share with others. Yet it seems that it is the least understood truth in church mission and evangelism work in Cambodia. If properly understood, I believe this holds the key to the Church’s role in transforming Cambodian society plagued by endemic corruption, poverty, materialism, inequality, hopelessness, social injustices, and environmental degradation.

Still in its growing stages, the Methodist Church in Cambodia is humbly rediscovering the true meaning of preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God through our holistic approach to mission and evangelism. Our journey in recovering the “kingdom mentality” is not without growing pains, bumps, and potholes. But our journey is worth taking. The majority of 160 local Methodist congregations are now actively involved in addressing various social issues with their respective communities.

We have also witnessed so many signs of God’s unfolding Kingdom through our various works in church-based relief and development. Through health programs, sick people have been healed and communities now have increased access to clean water. Our agriculture programs are increasing local food supplies, while our income-generation activities continue to diversify and expand income sources for families. Similarly, our transformational leadership development training significantly improved the collective capacity of churches and communities in addressing social concerns and promoting local initiatives for change.

Our influence extends from the villages all the way up to decision-makers at provincial government agencies. Our network of partners who help us carry out holistic ministries with the poor and the needy come from diverse backgrounds, churches, and nationalities, thus giving everyone a chance to share or use their God-given gifts and talents. Through acts of mercy, kindness, and justice, many Methodist congregations in Cambodia are proclaiming the Kingdom of God that is here and now—not in a distant place or time.

Bearing witness to God’s Kingdom unfolding reminds us that as we seek His Kingdom and His righteousness, we can expect God to multiply the impact of our efforts even in our failures!

Read more about our work at Support our work with a donation through The Advance at your local church or Program Support Code: 14916A

Kennedy O. Cruz, Advance #3019583.

Mailing Address:
Kennedy O. Cruz
General Board of Global Ministries
P.O. Box 2493
Phnom Penh 3
Kingdom of Cambodia

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