EXCITING FESTIVAL OF JOYOUS CELEBRATION IN HEAVEN
Rev. Dr. Sang-Bok David Kim, AEA Chairman
During the month of September this year some 3,000 young athletes from the 45 nations competed against one another for three weeks at the Asian Games held in the city of Incheon, Korea. It was the exciting festival of celebration for the Asian young people, who trained themselves so hard with sweats, tears, blood, pains, disciplines, endurance, patience, self-control for the goal of winning medals for their countries and themselves. When they won a medal, the athletes and the citizens of their nations exploded into the joy of victory.
There is greater joy and celebration in heaven when one sinner is won to Christ (Lk 15:7, 10). Asia holds more than a half of the world population still living in darkness, not knowing how much God loves them and sent His Son to die on the cross for them to win the gold medal of eternal salvation for all. Now the losers become the winners.
The heaven' gate is swung open for all to enjoy the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. This simple gospel of good news resolves the problem of sin once for all and grants perfect peace with God. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life"(John 3:16). However, so many people are still trying so hard to win the favor of God that we often see them attempting many different things, sometimes even murdering their own people, committing suicidal bombings, physically punishing themselves until their backs bleed, fasting to their skin and bones, killing chickens and offering the bloods to the altars, and countless other unnecessary things. "God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"(Rom 5:8). God knows that we are sinners, and yet He loves us. This is simply amazing.
Unfortunately, the majority people in Asia have never heard of this Good News, do not know about the love of God and the gift of God and how God in His mercy and grace already provided the way of peace with Him. It is tragic that they have not yet heard the Good News since already more than two thousand years passed. It is the privilege of all the Christians in Asia who have faith in the redemption through Christ, to let our neighbors know of His eternal love why Jesus came at the joyous season of Christmas. When one sinner comes to God, there will be joyous celebration in heaven in the presence of all the angels. Glory to God in the highest; And on earth peace toward men! Joy to the world.
The Lord has come. Let us receive the King.
Dr. Lawrence H L Chia - EVANGELICAL FELLOWSHIP OF SINGAPORE
We in the Evangelical Fellowship of Singapore (EFOS) continue to thank and praise our Lord for the ministry of the Asia Evangelical Alliance (AEA) including its production of AEA NEWS. We are thrilled and thankful that through this we are able to both express and convey our PRAYERFUL GREETINGS, GOOD WISHES and GRATITUDE to the rest of our AEA Family especially for Christmas and the New Year.
Both AEA and AEA NEWS have enabled EFOS to be aware of and prayerful about the exciting things happening in our dynamic region. This is vital as it is all too easy for churches in our respective countries to be so wrapped up about their own immediate concerns that they become oblivious to what the Lord is doing elsewhere and the challenges and opportunities facing evangelical Christians in Asia. Being represented on the Executive Committee of AEA has been both an added challenge and blessing. This has been even more significant as the Chairman of EFOS has the privilege of serving on the International Council of WEA especially at a time when prayer and thought are needed for the choice of a successor for the outgoing Secretary General and CEO of WEA.
For EFOS, 2014 has also been challenging as Christians in Singapore prepare to join fellow citizens and friends to celebrate Singapore's JUBILEE in 2015. We are devoting our annual GLOBAL DAY OF PRAYER (GDOP) which we have been privileged to coordinate for the last 9 years, to a very special JUBILEE DAY OF PRAYER (JDOP) on JULY 5, 2015. We value prayer as we rally people, prayer and resources for this great gathering of PRAISE, PRAYER and THANKSGIVING for some 50,000 in our new National Stadium at our iconic Sports Hub.
Please pray also for the smooth hand over of both the ministry and the property of Project Livelihood in Pulau Nias to Yayasan Holianna. This is the joint project EFOS had with Singapore Red Cross after the Tsunami and Earthquake in late 2004 and early 2005.
As EFOS continues to pray and work towards an increasing unity for the churches and Christians in Singapore pray also for an article which EFOS Chairman and Hon General Secretary have jointly written for IMPACT, an influential and widely accepted and circulated Christian magazine in Singapore.
JESUS GIVES US LOVE AND HOPE
Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
Jesus Christ the prince of peace was born in times of conflict and violence, much like ours. The King Herod ordered the killing of all children below the age of two, when he heard that a new king is born in his kingdom. He felt threatened and insecure and thereby used his absolute power to kill and destroy, rather than for human flourishing and common good. Jesus came to reveal God's love and that show that power must be used sacrificially to empower others especially the poor and give them hope.
Jesus came to a world which had gone astray from the path of truth and love. That is why the Bible says, "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth. (John 1:14). Love is the reason God created this beautiful and awesome universe for us. His love for His creation is revealed in the life and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus' entry into this world demonstrates God's choice to love us irrespective of our merit. The Bible says, "For God so loved the world,"(John 3:16), and we are included in the mentioned world.
God's love is self-giving, as He loves the other for the other's sake and not to meet His own ends. God's love is sovereign and spontaneous; it has no ulterior motive, it is not driven by His need. God's love is value-free, implying that God does not seek value from the other but instead bestows an equal value on humans, the recipients of His love. In human terms, such love is categorised as egalitarian.
God Himself initiates this love. We, in faith, respond to His love, sharing it through fellowship with our 'neighbour'; while love ultimately seeks its end in God Himself; the initiator of love. We need love and God freely pours His love into our lives, if we ask Him to do so.
The coming of Jesus gives us hope, that God will make all things new (Revelation 21:5). One day all sorrows will cease and all injustices will end. God will wipe away all tears. There will be no more mourning, crying, or death. God will dwell among us and will make all things new. On this Christmas let us determine to live the message of Jesus in our personal lives and life of the Church and spread the message of love and hope in this world that is desperately seeking for hope. Jesus loves us and gives us hope even in the midst of conflict and violence. Let us as followers of Jesus Christ prince of peace become agents of reconciliation. Let us worship Jesus Christ the Saviour and Lord of all and spread his Gospel message to all.
Pray for - AEA Office Bearers and General Secretaries
1. Rev. Dr. Sang Bok Kim- Chairman
2. Dr. Bambang Budijanto- Indonesia Vice Chairman
3. Rev. Godfrey Yogarajah, Evangelical Alliance of Srilanka
4. Rev. Kenichi Shinagawa, Japan Evangelical Association
5. Dr. Chia H. L Lawrence, Evangelical Fellowship of Singapore
6. Rev. Dr. Wirachai Kowae, Evangelical Fellowship of Thailand
7. Bishop Ef Tendero, Philippians Council of Evangelical Churches
8. Rev. OK GI Lee - Korea Evangelical Fellowship
9. Bishop Philip Adhikary, Chairman, National Christian Fellowship of Bangladesh
10. Rev. Chan Theam Lai, National Evangelical Fellowship, Malaysia
11. Rev. Batbold Munkhzul- Mongolia Evangelical Alliance
12. Rev. Dr. Richard Howell, General Secretary, EFI and AEA
Pray for - AEA Office Bearers and General Secretaries
Missions - Dr. Bambang Budijanto
Youth - Rev. Efrain Tawalujan and Joseph Lee
Religious Liberty - Ms. Roshini Wickremesinhe
IT - Ms. Seri Lee
Inter Church Relations - Rev. Leor P Sarkar and Dr. Lawrence Chia
Children - Mr. Ricardo Toyditz Cosico Jr.
Women - Ms. Yoon He Kim
Theological Commission: Prof. Kim Yung Han-Korea
Leaders of National Evangelical Alliance: Members of AEA
1. Mr. Godfrey Yogarajah, Evangelical Alliance of Srilanka
2. Rev. Kenichi Shinagawa, Japan Evangelical Association
3. Dr. Chia H. L Lawrence, Chairman Evangelical Council of Singapore
4. Rev. Dr. Wirachai Kowae, Evangelical Fellowship of Thailand
5. Bishop Ef Tendero, Philippians Council of Evangelical Churches
6. Rev. OK GI Lee - Korea Evangelical Fellowship
7. Bishop Philip Adhikary, Chairman National Christian Fellowship of Bangladesh
8. Bro. Eugene Yapp, National Evangelical Fellowship, Malaysia
9. Rev. Batbayar Dashdorj, Mongolian Evangelical Alliance
10. Rev. Ronny Mandang, Indonesia Evangelical Fellowship
11. Rev. Heng Cheng, Evangelical Fellowship of Cambodia
12. Rev. Harkha Bahadur Khadka, National Churches Fellowship of Nepal
13 Rev. Ifrahim Mathew, Pakistan Evangelical Alliance
14. Dr. Timothy Dorge, Bhutan Evangelical Alliance
15. Rev. Dr. Morris Liana, Myanmar Evangelical Christian Fellowship
Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
Asia Evangelical Alliance
New Delhi, India