[Hong Kong, 19 July, 2017] The flag-bearers and cross-bearers paraded to the stage in a row while the music stroke up and the audience applauded. It signified a new generation of mission short-termer who willingly put up with hardship and reached out to the world. All seats in the stadium were occupied by congregations of different churches or supporters who clapped hands and worshipped as if it were one body and had one voice. While “send, send, send” was shouted out from the audience at the back, STM teams in the front rows echoed with “go, go, go”. It generated a real picture of what the worship lyric conveyed – “Live out Christ’s love in sacrifice; respond to this shaken world”.
The Sending Ceremony of 2017 CCMN International STM Movement took place on 16 July. There were 254 participants from 80 churches of 9 places to make up 25 teams reaching out the world. They would bring the everlasting love and hope to the unreached like the body of Christ.
In the ceremony, the North Africa missionary, who departed 4 years ago, shared his secret to conquer fear. “Political unrest brings hopelessness to people, but it is a good time to rebuild hope when everything is shattered.” The missionary and his co-workers often faced life-threatening things in the field. However, he learnt a way to survive. “If we embrace the value of Kingdom and walk with fellow workers, nothing is too fearful.”
Melody from New Songs Christian Church, North America has been walking with CCMN for 10 years. By the time she went on her first STM in 2010, she introduced new people to join STM every year. She learnt that “resources or size of a church can be too small to pass along mission passion. But if churches are connected, it generates more power to do so.” Now she has connected 3 churches in Canada and a team of 9 Canadians who are going to 6 places for STM this year.
The Coordinator of HKCCN, Paul Ma, quoted Ephesians 1:23 to encourage the STM teams. He said that Jesus called us to be the church, to be His body. Jesus’ body indeed was sent and given to the world. We should follow His example to leave our comfort zones and go to places with suffering. To act for His body, we bring prayers, blessings and services there. We bring hope in the time of turmoil. CCMN International Short-term Mission (STM) Movement is held in every Summer. Participants, from local and overseas, receive pre-STM training sessions respectively while the International Party joins both groups of participants together. It prepares a training camp for every participant before departure. A sending ceremony is held to send teams out in the presence of their sending churches with prayers and blessings.