- Note: Our students full name and photo have been removed to protect his identity as he continues to serve in various areas of SEA
Hello! My name is R and I will be doing ISM in September 2015
I recently graduated from a bachelor’s program called Knowledge Integration at the University of Waterloo, Canada. As I have been learning about integration in the academic world, God has been teaching me that there is not one part of life that the gospel does not profoundly impact and no matter where I am at, there is always a bigger dream that God has for me.
At a conference last year, I was inspired by keynote Viv Grigg, social entrepreneur, and prolific missiologist. He spoke about his experience in choosing to live among the urban poor in the slums of the world’s megacities. At the same conference, I was challenged by these words from Nigel Paul, founder/director of MoveIn: “There are many who are willing to go but planning to stay… and not enough who are planning to go yet willing to stay.” I said to myself, How can I possibly go to the slums? I wouldn’t know how, or where, or what to do… but, on the other hand, how could I not go? If indeed this is God’s call, how can I say to him, “Sorry God, I want plan B instead because it sounds easier.”? No, there is nothing in this world that I want more than Jesus himself, and if Jesus is going to the slums, then I will follow him there. “For God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power and love and self-discipline.” (2 Tim 1:7) I am planning to go and willing to stay.
My plan is to spend the month of September in Bangkok, Thailand doing four weeks of cross-cultural ministry training with Impact School of Missions. At ISM I will learn the necessary tools and knowledge for surviving and thriving throughout the next eleven months or so in Manila, Philippines. I will live in a squatter community experiencing the culture, practicing slum-life, and knowing the joys and sorrows of the slum-dwellers. And I am so excited to see how God’s spirit is active in such communities. I will also continue to work for the MoveIn Vision Team. MoveIn is a movement of ordinary Christians (not paid missionaries) forming teams to prayerfully move in among the unreached urban poor to build relationships with their neighbours, pray for them, and ultimately make reproducing disciples. I am a pioneer helping to start the MoveIn movement in the Philippines, mobilizing Filipinos to move in among the unreached urban poor, the slum dwellers, of Southeast Asia. I am so excited to think about hundreds of rich and poor Filipinos forming teams and moving into the worst of conditions just to pray for and love their poor neighbours who have never heard the gospel.