Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cruz Journal - Summer 2012 Missionary Newsetter from Ken Cruz

Reflections on Missions as Transformation
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” Matthew 6:9-10
The Lord’s Prayer about the coming of God’s Kingdom to earth I believe is the most compelling message that we followers of Christ can share with others. Yet, it seems that it is the least understood truth in church mission and evangelism work in Cambodia. If properly understood I believe this holds the key to the Church’s role in transforming Cambodian society plagued by endemic corruption, poverty, materialism, inequality, hopelessness, social injustices, and environmental degradation.

Still in its growing stages, the Methodist Church in Cambodia is humbly rediscovering the true meaning of preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God through our holistic approach to mission and evangelism. Our journey in recovering the “kingdom mentality” is not without growing pains, bumps and pot holes. But our journey is worth taking. Majority of 160 local Methodist congregations are now actively involved in addressing various social concerns issues with their respective communities.

We have also witnessed so many signs of God’s unfolding Kingdom through our various works in church-based relief and development. Through health programs sick people have been healed and communities now have increased access to clean water. Our agriculture programs are increasing local food supplies while our income generation activities continue to diversity and expand income sources for families. Similarly, our transformational leadership development training significantly improved the collective capacity of churches and communities in addressing social concerns issues and promoting local initiatives for change.

Our influence extends from the villages all the way up to decision-makers at provincial government agencies. Our network of partners who help us carry out holistic ministries with the poor and the needy come from diverse backgrounds, churches and nationalities. Thus, giving everyone a chance to share or use their God-given gifts and talents. Through acts of mercy, kindness and justice, many Methodist congregations in Cambodia are proclaiming the Kingdom of God that is here and now—not in a distant place or time like many of us tend to believe.

Bearing witness of God’s Kingdom unfolding reminds us that as we seek His Kingdom and his righteousness we can expect God to multiply the impact of our efforts even in our failures!

Changha Village Rice Seed Bank Group posing with bags of rice seeds from UMCOR.
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him...” I Peter 2:9
Celebrations & Prayer Requests
  • Praise God for the growing interest of many local churches in addressing social concerns issues.
  • Praise the Lord for new covenant relationships.
  • Praise the Lord for the opportunity to teach leadership and transformation- al development at the Cambodian Methodist Bible School.
  • Praise God for the growing number of people and communities the CHAD program serves.
  • Pray for our CHAD team as we are facing some growing pains with our work- ing relationship with the Social Concerns Committee.
  • Pray continually for my wife Jomil’s health. 
  • Pray also for my safety as I frequently travel for out of town project visits. 
  • Pray also for God’s wisdom as I prepare for my half yearly work plan. 
  • Finally, I want to praise God for your faithfulness and commitment to this partnership in mission.
Personal note from the fieldTo see the hands of God working through our partnership in bringing the Good News of His Kingdom to the hopeless is humbling. We consider this a great privilege. As your missionaries, we are constantly reminded how gracious is our God is to entrust to someone as frail and as weak like us the restoration of His fallen creation.

As long as we allow God to mold and shape our being into His likeness, we will remain a mighty tool in His hands capable of doing things we would otherwise be unable to do. We believe God calls each of one us to proclaim His Kingdom wherever we are and whatever we do in life. And we hope you will also experience the incredible joy of seeing God’s Kingdom transforming you and the people around you.

We all love you with the love of the Lord!
Your grateful partners in Christ,
Ken, Jomil, Kim and Kyle Cruz

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