Asia-CMS celebrates 10th anniversary
Sister organisation marks decade of connecting, collaborating and catalysing mission in Asia.
Church Mission Society’s sister organisation, Asia-CMS, has this week marked its 10th anniversary with a pledge to serve countries across Asia despite many challenges.
Those challenges include rising fundamentalism, religious extremism, urbanisation and hostility from some within Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, the region’s other major religions.
Established in 2012 by CMS as a mission movement based in Asia, led by Asians to reach Asia, Asia-CMS initially focused on establishing missionary education hubs. By 2022 Asia-CMS had grown to a team of 28 mission partners across South-East and South Asia, carrying out a range of ministries including church planting, pioneering mission to unreached people groups, theological education, and cross-cultural and leadership training.
Speaking ahead of a celebratory dinner attended by staff, mission partners and church leaders to mark the 10th anniversary, Rev Dr Chan Nam Chen, executive director of Asia-CMS, announced: “Christianity now constitutes nine per cent of the population in Asia and is growing at twice the speed of population growth in Asia. With the exception of the Philippines, Christianity is a minority faith in all Asian countries, and subject to rising fundamentalism and religious extremism. In this context inter-faith and inter-communal dialogues are not seen as optional, but a necessary means to bridge the chasms.”
Based on the key principles of ‘connecting’, ‘collaborating’ and ‘catalysing’, Asia-CMS is committed to engaging the world’s least-reached people groups – many of which are found in Asia – with the Christian message in ways that are culturally relevant and contextually appropriate.
In Cambodia, Poline Yean works with local churches to prepare missionaries for ministry among unreached people groups. Inspired by a vision to see Cambodia come to Christ, many churches have been planted in rural Cambodia among communities that have never heard the gospel.
In Thailand, Helen Avadiar-Nimbalker partners with local organisations to share God’s love and inner healing with survivors of human-trafficking, as well as supporting women who have chosen to leave the sex industry.
Helen says: “Asia-CMS’s vision matches my passion and heart for Asia and for the lost. It is a privilege to be a part of an organisation that aims to fulfil the commission to make disciples, spread the good news of Jesus, and more importantly, to walk alongside those who have a heart for God’s mission – even those on the edge!”
Nam Chen continued: “No single group can claim credit for what has unfolded before us – the growth of Christianity and the gospel’s inspiring impact, across and from, Asia. God has empowered a diverse spectrum of Christian individuals, agencies and denominations to incarnate the truths of the gospel through words and deeds into a vast breadth of human needs and existence.
“Nonetheless, to move ahead in the coming years, the vastness of God’s mission and the changed global realities demand the cooperative efforts of all of God’s people, in all of its breadth with all of its diverse strengths and resources.”
Asia-CMS is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is part of the international CMS mission network including CMS-Africa, NZCMS, CMS Australia, CMS Ireland and SAMS-USA.