The departure of 25 STM teams drew the Sending Ceremony of CCMN International STM Movement to a close on 21 July. The teams were strengthened by members, aged from 2 to 66, from Canada, US, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, to simply live out love during and after STM to resonate this year theme, “Mission is a Lifestyle” and the theme song, “Simply to Love”.
Kathy, International Smart Team Coordinator, inherited the missional fire from Ben, has been kindling the flame even bigger. She encouraged participants to bring their lessons learnt from STM, such as breakthroughs, personal growth, visions or inspirations, back to their daily life and put them into practice as a way for sustainability. After all, “a real personal growth must indicate a sort of sustainability; from an inspiration to an action, it generates the real power to change”.
Top-down Approach The leader of Team Bangladesh, Rev. Leo Kwan from ECF TST Canaan Church, revealed that his church is going to send a pastoral co-worker to be the long-termer in S. Thailand. The idea has been spread out to other affiliates under the same denomination. It would be gathering support through prayers, material resources and DIY visits while closely connecting the mission field, the church and the missionary under the same spirit. Rev Hok Yee Lee from ECF Kowloon Maan Shin Church, who has been actively involved in Aberdeen community work with other local churches in the same district, reflected that God eyes on His own Kingdom advancing rather than the church development. Missions is a must in church, no matter it is large or small. He has made himself a role model this year to lead another STM team to Bangladesh and has his own congregations to follow suit.
Bottom-up Approach CC, an ordinary church-goer from Shine Baptist Church, got inspired by STM years ago and started her 8-year journey of promoting missions in her church. Despite receiving rejection and failures at an early stage, she did not give up. Out of love to the church, she humbled herself and kept praying for a change in the church after graduating from SIS course at CCMN’s Ministry Training Centre. Now she sees the change. Standing by CC, Ken, Pastor from the same Church, remarked that he did appreciate CC’s persistence that prompted him to have a try. Last year, Ken went on his first-time CCMN STM. He commented, “the experience has enriched my whole concept about missions. It would not be done in many things by a single church only.” Ken goes on spreading his influence by joining STM to S. Thailand this year. “To make it simple, we enjoy the mutual impact among one another and follow God together.”
On the Sending Ceremony, Pastor Barnabas Wang, Coordinator of CCMN Taiwan, recognized the importance of pastors going on STM to have a better understanding on missionaries and their work in the fields as well as the value and meaning of holding STMs since it was not an event for brothers and sisters in Christ only. Team Promised City set out in the midst of the cheering and applauding during the ceremony due to a tight flight schedule.