The flag holders marched in, running round the crowd and flying the flags of their own countries. It was a classic scene for STM as it carried a symbolic meaning of unity for the movement. About 216 participants from 68 congregations of 9 places were seated on the floor, waiting for the chance to put their missions in action. This year slogan, “Mission is a lifestyle”, focused more on the continuity than a one-time event. Among many STM teams, there was a team going to serve in Sri Lanka for the first time. Two parental STM teams to Kuala Lumpur and Southern Thailand were also the new designs.
It was quoted from 1 Corinthians 12:22, “those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable”. Participants were remined that it is what STM is all about in terms of serving the weak. “Don’t leave your STM teammates behind!” exclaimed Stefan from International Christian Life Centre, deeply felt for the frustration and loneliness as he was once abandoned to face the breakup of church alone.
Paul Ma, the Hong Kong Coordinator of CCMN stressed that “ONE BODY ONE CHURCH is not an atmosphere created to serve for a particular purpose, but it is the nature of life. It is Jesus’ lifestyle. It transcends races and nationalities. It puts love in actions.” It was remarked that STM is a self-discovery journey where one has to be humble himself and learn the importance of unity. With these in mind, one is able to see Jesus’ presence everywhere.
Hong Ling from Open Door Baptist Church gave a comment that, “If you put the idea of ONE BODY ONE CHURCH into practice, you will find an amazing result of extending the friendly relationships fostered among brothers and sisters in Christ of various denominations during the STM.” She has sustained a long-time friendship and co-working partnership with her first-time STM team leader from another church ever since then.
CCMN International Short Term Mission Movement is a network-based missions movement which emphasizes on the unity of the body of Christ.