Article updated as of May 2011
Our theme for this Assembly, “Jesus Only: The same Yesterday, Today, and Forever” speaks of Jesus’ unchanging attributes, character, and purpose. He has been faithful to us as a denomination since the beginning. He sustains us always with His sufficient grace so much so that we are what we are today for His glory. His mission is always our mission – to unite all diverse ethnic peoples in the world in Christ Jesus through His Church to reveal His greatest glory. Indeed, God deserves all the glory, honor, worship and praise. Amen!
I. CAMACOP Vision Statement: “Transformed communities with mission-driven Christian congregations here and abroad for the Glory of God.”
As I understand, vision is a “mental image or picture of the future now.” It is likened to a plan of a building project that gives us a projected image of the building when it is finished. Vision comes from God. He reveals it to His people. It is what He wants to see happen. Our vision as a denomination shows us clearly what God wants CAMACOP to be – “transformed communities with mission-driven Christian congregations here and abroad”, and why – “for the Glory of God.” When each pastor and church leader passionately possess this vision, we can indeed work together toward the same direction and motive. Thus, we can confidently say, “we are indeed Christian and Missionary Alliance” for the Glory of God.
II. PRAISES AND THANKSGIVING
A. God’s sustaining grace upon all our international and national workers in the field, and to all our churches and other institutions that are faithfully promoting and supporting the work of missions.
B. God’s faithfulness in providing financial support for the ministry
C. Good health, protection, and fruitful ministries of both international and national workers
D. New IM workers approved and deployed in the field in the past two years.
E. Continued missions awareness and mobilization in our churches.
F. Rev. Benji de Jesus, new staff in the Division, serving as part-time Missions Director since January 1, 2010.
A. Changes in Terms Used in the Division of Missions
Certain terms previously used by the Division of Missions have been changed, as approved by the 2009 General Assembly in Cebu City effective January 1, 2010 to safeguard especially those ones serving in so-called “limited access countries”. The “Department of Foreign Missions” (DFM) is now called “Dept. of International Ministries (DIM)”; the “Department of Home Missions” (DHM) has been changed to “Dept. of National Ministries” (DNM); “missionaries abroad” are now called “International Workers” (IW); and “home missionaries” are now referred to as “national ethnic workers” (NEW).
B. International and National Workers and Various Ministries
1. Officially, we have 44 units (64 individuals) international workers serving in 16 countries, and five units (nine individuals) national ethnic workers serving among four Ms least-reached people groups in Mindanao.
2. Approved and deployed in the field from 2007-2011.
There are 11 units of International Workers approved by the NBOT that are now in their respective fields of assignment. They are the following: Rev. Ritchel & Melody Maraat and Family, Mongolia (July, 2009); Rev. James & Carol Sarenas & Family, Nepal (but focusing on the Tibetan peoples) (August, 2009); Rev. Rodrigo Ausan, Japan (2009); Diosdado & Kimberly Mercado, Kyrgyzstan (Jan.2010); Rev. Edmund & Laida Napila and Son, Poland (Jan, 2010); Pastor Roderick Hope Matab, Palau (Jan, 2010); Maricel Panaga, Cambodia (July, 2010); Ms. Loregen Pearl Invidiado, Palau (July,2010); Andres Camacho, Nepal (July, 2010); Pastor Jofrey & Marjorie Ornado and Cherry Nerona Caritan, Dubai (Nov.2010). We had also deployed Ms. Jane Porle to Laos as a vernacular media worker for a short-term mission in the latter part of 2009 until March, 2010. She is planning to go back there for a longer-term ministry. Our National Ethnic Ministries by the name Cross-cultural Ministry and Advocacy (CCMA) is focused especially on the Muslim least-reached people groups.
3. IW Home for Good
There are five (5) International workers who are home for good since 2009. They are : Bro. Nel Banaag from Vietnam, Ms. Adelaida Cabahug & Mrs. Zamira Lim, and Rev. & Mrs. Charlie Invidiado & family from Palau. And in 2010, Ms. Virginia Hernandez from Hong Kong. Rev. & Mrs. Fortunato Zamora and family moved to the mainland in the state of Texas due to a new job. They are no longer CAMACOP International Workers.
4. Field Ministries Target People Groups
As our participation in the completion of the Great Commission and as a mission-driven denomination, we desire to aggressively engage in reaching the least-reached people groups in the world with the Gospel to bring greater glory to our God. The major least-reached people blocs in the world today are the Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Tribals. And some of the IW and NEW are serving among these blocs (Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal, Tibet, Mongolia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Papua New Guinea, Palau, South Africa & Phils especially among the Muslims). The others are reaching out to the nominal Christians like the Roman Catholics, non-religious, and other religious blocs (Poland, Paraguay) and especially among the Filipino diasporas (Hong Kong, Japan, Palau, Australia, & Dubai). Pray that they will become more powerful witnesses for Christ in their respective fields of assignment to bring more true worshippers of the living God so that His name will be more glorified.
C. Missions Awareness and Mobilization
One of the greatest needs of our churches to become mission-driven congregations is a right and clear perspective/understanding of God’s overall purpose and plan in the world through His Church. The lack of this can lead to a wrong attitude to missions, wrong sets of ministry priorities, and misuse of God-given resources. This contributes to a weak missions awareness and mobilization. And below are the following approved programs in helping address this need:
1. Missions Emphasis Month (MEM). Praise God that MEM has helped in bringing more missions awareness into our churches which, I believe, has resulted in the increase of missions offering. Our MEM theme for this year is “The Glory of God: The Reason for Missions.” May God use this theme to bring us back to the right motive, which is “The Glory of God” in doing missions.
2. Missions Emphasis Sunday (MES). The NBOT, during their meeting in Cebu City on April 28-30,2010 “mandated that the last Sunday of every month shall be Missions Sunday, as endorsed by the NMMT (BT MSC 10-34).” Hence, let us designate this Sunday to promote missions awareness and mobilization among the members for the glory of God.
3. Kairos Course. This is a nine-session interactive missions course that deals about the biblical, historical, strategic, and contextual aspects of Missions. Its learning format is through worship, prayer of unreached people groups, introduction of each chapter, readings and worksheets, videos, and growth point groups. It has also a leadership and mentoring development process so that the graduates can also serve as facilitators. Praise God, from January, 2009 to April, 2011 we have 871 Kairos graduates including those conducted in Japan, Nepal, Hong Kong, and Palau , 380 finished Facilitators Training Course, and 31 trained Head facilitators who can facilitate the running of the said course. Praise God for the encouraging testimonies and feedbacks from those ones who finished and how this course had impacted their lives and ministries.
4. Revealing His Glory (RHG). It is a four-and-a-half hour interactive power point presentation/seminar based on the book “Cat and Dog Theology.” It challenges us to examine ourselves to determine “who is at the center of our life — Me or God?” It also gives an overview of the biblical perspective of Missions. Thus, it promotes missions awareness. This seminar had been done in some district gatherings and local churches, even in some churches abroad where we have International Workers. Praise God for the encouraging feedbacks and testimonies from those who have taken the seminar. Several of us, CAMACOP Pastors, were trained to present this seminar, and if you are interested to have it done in your church just let us know through the Missions office.
D. International Ministry Fields Visited
Praise God for the privilege of visiting some of our International Workers in their respective fields of assignment. The purpose of the visits was to see their life and ministry situations by interacting and listening to them, both as a team and as individuals, coaching and mentoring, doing some leadership development and missions awareness seminars, meeting with the church leaders, going with them in doing visitations of members and ministries, giving updates about CAMACOP ministries, and praying with them. The IM fields visited were the following: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, Japan, Hong Kong, Paranguay, and Palau. Bishop Reniel Nebab and his wife were able to visit Rev. & Mrs. Edmund Napila in Poland last year. We hope to visit other IM fields in the near future. I was also privileged to participate in the CMA Missions consultation in India in February 2010 to see how we could help CMA India Missions work, and also in the APAC conference in Bali, Indonesia in July, 2010. I also did a side trip to Vietnam from Cambodia to meet the CMA President, and we talked about missions partnership in Vietnam. Praise the Lord for these fruitful ministry visits.
IV. LOOKING FORWARD
A. Target and Prospect IM Fields. We continue to support the need to reach the major unreached people blocs in the world today with the Gospel such as the Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Tribals. Thus, let us continue to pray for the salvation of the these people blocs, and that we will be more a blessing to them by praying for them, sending workers to them, and helping mobilize national workers in reaching their own unreached or least-reached people groups such as India, Nepal, Myanmar, Laos, Central and East Asia, and other countries where God leads us to.
B. New IM strategy
1. IM Church Planting Mobilization and support. Sending IW into some countries, where most of the major unreached people blocs are, is considerably difficult because of risk, cost, and visa concerns. However, we believe that once God sends somebody into that particular nation/s He will always provide everything to accomplish His purpose and plan. God has been giving us wisdom or special means to help reach the said unreached and least-reached people groups by partnering with the national church in engaging in missions awareness and mobilization seminars, leadership and church planting trainings, and supporting national church planters. Thus, it can be less costly but more effective and productive.
2. Partnership with Field Missions Agencies and Organizations. We value the importance or significance of partnering with other mission agencies in reaching the least-reached people groups. Most of them serve as receiving agencies and oversee the work and welfare of our International Workers in the field. Pray that we can have more partners in the field in planting churches abroad.
3. International Filipino Alliance Ministries (IFAM) into Cross-cultural Ministries. IFAM is CAMACOP overseas ministries among the Filipino communities abroad. Since missions is a cross-cultural ministry, IFAM Workers are encouraged to engage in cross-cultural ministries by equipping and mobilizing the Filipino members in reaching their respective national employers with the Gospel. Pray for God’s wisdom on the IFAM Workers in coming up with a strategic plan and in the implementation of this cross-cultural program.
C. Missions Emphasis Month(MEM).
We have been observing the whole month of October as Missions Emphasis Month since 2005, and we praise God for the result of this that helped contribute to the increase of missions awareness and giving participation of our churches. Our MEM theme for this year is “The Glory of God: The Reason for Missions.” Let us pray for 100% participation of all our churches in observing this emphasis month this year, and that the missions theme for this year will become very meaningful to their church life and direction.
V. THE CHALLENGE
Our Vision Statement as a denomination speaks clearly of who we are and what God wants us to do and to be, and the ultimate reason and motive of our existence. Let us memorize it, possess it, and work on it. Our GA Theme, “Jesus Only: The same Yesterday, Today and Forever” also speaks of the unchanging Message of the CAMACOP to the whole world until He comes. Therefore, let us be passionate, strategic, intentional, and aggressive in doing Missions together globally for the Glory of God.
Rev. James E. Quisquirin
NEM-Division of Missions