2014.07.09-Christian World

Please click above image for Christian World article which is written in Korean.

English Translation of Christian World Article

A Multicultural Society, as Experienced in Tim Horton’s.

Dropping in at Tim Horton’s, as Korean immigrants habitually do, we can see that people from every part of the world is gathered here. Each table is host to a customer of a different look and skin color, and so varied are the languages that sometimes it is difficult to hear what tongue a given customer is speaking. What you thought was Portuguese might turn out to be Persian—which is just one of the many ways in which we can feel the multicultural society around us.


An age of Mosaic Missions

‘Visible Minority’—this is the official term for minorities who put down their roots in Canada, the land of immigration. But the two hundred-plus people groups(including Koreans) in the country are no longer the minority, strictly speaking. They are growing to become the majority voice in Canadian society. And naturally, the respective faiths of the multi-ethnic communities are just as present as the cultures they have brought.

Canada’s Muslim population has ballooned from approximately 580,000 in 2001 to approximately 1,050,000 in 2011(2011 census). Almost doubling over the course of ten years, we can see in places Islam beginning to displace Christian values. Countless missionaries and mission teams head overseas to Islamic countries, but the conversion rates continue to be middling—yet in North American society, which is rooted deeply in Christianity, Islam has begun to gain influence.

As Islam, Buddhism, Hindu, and nonreligious ideals begin to threaten the existing Christian values, the problem of maintaining our beliefs while reaching out to others has become the prominent issue in North American Christian life.


CMCA (Canada Mosaic Christian Alliance)

The CMCA was founded by Reverend John Chung as a non-profit missions organization that reaches out in practical and specific ways to the many cultures in Canada. During his time serving at Young nak Korean Presbyterian Church, Reverend Chung spent nine years helping to start Vietnamese, Myanma, Thai and Laotian congregations in Young nak. Currently, he has expanded his target and is working toward the goal of all minority groups in all parts of the country starting their own Christian communities in their cultures, worshipping in their native languages and going on to evangelize to their countries of birth that they can glorify the Kingdom of God. A ‘Mosaic Mission’.

The CMCA’s vision is to evangelize to diaspora, through diaspora, and beyond diaspora. Specifically, the goal is to support minority communities in Canada to build up Christian communities and stand independently, assist them to raise up suitable spiritual leaders in their communities, and ultimately allow these minority churches to reach out, not only to others of their own ethnicities, but to other peoples in Canada or otherwise.

the CMCA’s six core strategies are to stand by the alienated, understand them, befriend them, network with them, work alongside them, and assist them until their churches can stand independently. Like raising sprouts from a nursery until they grow into trees that withstand even storms, our aim is to create a basis for evangelism by reaching out to the varied cultures coexisting in Canada and help them build up their own churches by spiritual, emotional, and financial means.

If the goal of early missions was to evangelize to the ends of the earth, God must also want us to reach out to neighbours who have come from the ends of the earth. And not just through the Korean church—God must want all churches, mission groups, and believers to network together and evangelize to those who have come from the ends of the earth, that they may go out to those places and reach out to others.


The other Ninety-Nine Sheep

Jesus left the ninety-nine sheep that were safe in their pens and set out to find the one lost one. Even in these turbid times, Jesus’s love—which led him to give his life for each soul—continues to reach out to us. As the world continues to grow materialistic, with its distorted views on sexuality and humanism, there is now only one sheep in the pen—ninety-nine are lost in the wild, wandering amidst danger.

One person in particular that we Christians overlooked was Pol Pot of the Khmer Rouge, the mastermind behind the gruesome Killing Fields. Though a dictator who killed nearly two million innocent Cambodians, at one point he was simply a passionate young man studying in France. Perhaps if someone had reached out to him with the Gospel in that time, things would have turned out differently for Cambodia. Here we can find the reason why we Christians must convey the Gospel message to the wandering souls outside.


Gathering Expectations

The expectations upon the CMCA as it takes its first step into evangelizing to our neighbours from the ends of the earth are a burden—albeit, a holy one. Though its beginnings may be humble, the CMCA must accept that burden through encouragement and discipline in the hopes of a greater future.

Missionary Gyu-jun Lee of Wycliffe Canada(which, seeing the potential in the Korean diaspora churches, launched a Korean ministry and is supporting the CMCA), had this to say: “We, the Korean diaspora churches, have always stuck with our own people and only thought of overseas missions to parts undeveloped. But the CMCA will act as a way for us to serve other minorities who are already our neighbours. I have faith that the CMCA’s ministry will help each people group worship in their own languages in ways that fit their cultures; that it will spiritually encourage the other people groups through the dynamism of the Korean church’s prayerful, Gospel-abiding, and devoted revivals; and that it will lead Korean-Canadians to not only serve their own people and their own church to work hand-in-hand with other people groups”.

Erwin van Laar of Serving in Mission Canada also offered words of encouragement: “Brian Seim, who is in charge of our multicultural missions department, advised and consulted Reverent Chung thirteen years ago. The SIM and the CMCA are alike in that we both reach out to the alienated to give them the Gospel, and I hope for a friendly, long-term bond of cooperation between the organizations”.

Robert Cousins of Tyndale Intercultural Ministry(TIM) also offered some words emphasizing the importance of missions to our neighbours. “TIM and CMCA shares the vision of preaching the Good News of Christ to all peoples of the world. Global missions now must begin with our neighbours and continue to the ends of the earth”. He noted Young nak’s example of starting and raising five Southeast Asian congregations(Vietnamese, Myanma, Thai, Philipino, Laotian) and founding an orphanage in Cambodia, and emphasized the necessity of intercultural missions.

Reverends of Southeast Asian churches have especially high hopes for the CMCA. Paster Suchita of Canada’s first Thai church commented, “At first, planting a church among Thai immigrants seemed impossible—Thailand is a wasteland when it comes to Christianity, after all. But with Reverend Chung’s encouragement and prayer, we left things in God’s hands and started the first Thai church in the country”. Reverend Solomon of the Myanma church was also in a reminiscent state, recalling: “Before we had a place to worship, we used to take turns hosting services in our homes. But with Young nak’s help, we were able to settle at the church starting in late 2004. We’ve grown to the point that we’re the ones doing the planting—we’re supporting five new churches now.”

The Vietnamese congregation is the largest of the minority group churches that were nurtured at Young nak. “It moved me to see church leaders of many cultural backgrounds gathered together under a unified vision. The most important thing, I believe, is to transcend the boundaries of cultures that the church can work together as one body.” Reverend Tim Nguygen of the Vietnamese congregation emphasized.

Reverend Genaro Tondo of the Philippine church planted downtown remarked, “The CMCA must place emphasis on discipleship and leadership training”. He spoke of his hopes that the gaps between all cultures and nations, not just Southeast Asia, would be bridged.

Furthermore, elder Si-young Lee(former UN ambassador), who attended the Korean Diaspora Forum hosted at Young nak last May commented, “I am delighted to see God’s hand in action as the Korean diaspora churches in over 180 countries all over the world spearhead global missions. Intercultural missions broadens the boundaries of Korean diaspora missions, and is a new model for evangelism. I hope this ministry work not only in conjunction with Koreans all over the world, but with all diaspora churches”, expressing great interest in the CMCA.

Finally, Elder Young-min Chang of Young nak, a living testimony Young nak’s intercultural missions, remarked, “I’d always thought of missions as preaching the Gospel to people in a different country and of a different culture. Reaching out to minorities hadn’t occurred to me. But from 2005 onward, I served as leader of the intercultural missions ministry. In the beginning of our ministry, we took part in home gatherings with those Reverend Chung had spoken to earlier. We prayed with them, worshiped with them, and supported them so that they could raise up their own leaders. We strived to live out a life of missions that other members of the church could also participate in.

As this slowly took root as the new missions paradigm, other North American Korean diaspora churches and Canadian churches and their leaders began to hear about our ministry. They wanted to learn about what we were doing, or wanted to take part with us. Realizing that expanding the scope of the ministry was God’s will, Reverend Chung began the CMCA in early 2014 to reach beyond the Korean church and across the church as a whole. I pray that Young nak and other churches and groups that share the CMCA’s vision will be very fruitful in their ministry”.


To the Neighbours from the Ends of the Earth

The 10/40 window, where the Gospel message is most desperately needed, is an area where missions is made difficult by factors like politics, local faiths, or geography. And in his incredible providence, God sent the people of those regions to us as refugees, immigrants, jobseekers, students, and tourists, so that we could reach out to them as neighbours.

God has sent countless minorities to our side like this, but many still live without knowing God. Many Muslim students are studying with our own children in universities, yet they rarely have the chance to hear the Gospel message. And countless minority communities have no spiritual leaders or places of worship, yet are desperate to start a church. How are we to respond?

If we respond correctly to God’s will, we can get a taste of what it’s like to be a missionary in daily life by preaching the Gospel to the neighbours who have come to us. By obeying God’s calling, when the message is preached to the last corners of the earth and the Kingdom of God comes, we will be able to share in the joyous second coming of Jesus.

I believe that God has saved and blessed us so that we may pass on the gifts of his grace—salvation and blessing—to others.

The CMCA asks fellow believers for prayer that the churches, groups, and members with which it works will rise to the call, and that the many minority group churches in Toronto will unite to share the Gospel and develop as a community and share in the vision of expanding the Kingdom of God.