SARAWAK-- Over 1,600 of the Chinese Methodist representatives and leaders from around the world participated in the 5th World Federation of Chinese Methodist Churches (WFCMC) Mission Conference in Sarawak, East Malaysia.
Participants came from 11 countries including Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and as far as Canada, United Kingdom and The United States.
From 21st thru 25th , the conference ran under the theme "Connect with one Another, United in Mission."
During the opening ceremony representatives raised their country's flags and marched together into the conference hall, before passing around candles to start the conference.
"Let us sacrifice our own interest and be united in Christ, becoming the watchman for this era," exhorted Rev. Khoo Cheng Hoot, chairman of the Chinese Annual Conference of the Methodist Church in Singapore, to the audience.
Rev. Khoo further explained the importance of being united together by using the Bible verses from Ezekiel 22: 30-31. He said that in that Bible verses, "someone" actually means "a group of people gathering together and becoming one".
"The human body is made up of over 210 kinds of cells and become ‘one body.' If cells fight with one another, a tumor will be resulted," said the chairman. "Therefore, God is calling all Christians to be united in one body.
He added that the common sino-proverb "Chinese always scatter like sand" is often used to criticize the weakness of Chinese.
The reverend likened the worldwide spiritual revival of Chinese Christians to Ezekiel's metaphoric vision of Israel's rebirth, in which bones and skeletons rise up after the Lord's spirit blows on them.
"Sometimes, we think that we are doing on our own. However, at the mission field, we [can] meet Methodist missionaries from America, Europe and Korea. Even though we may focus on different ministries, we have gathered together anyway," Rev. Khoo said, in testimony of the WFCMC’s spirit when it pioneered evangelism in Cambodia.
Finally, Rev. Khoo announced the establishment of the Cambodia Methodist Conference. The opening ceremony was concluded with Communion.
World Federation of Chinese Methodist Churches (WFCMC) was founded in 1990 with the aim to unite all Methodist Chinese churches and organizations around the world. Its ministries include those involving media, missions and evangelism, religious education, worship and theology. Every five year, WFCMC representatives from all over the world hold a mission conference.
[Editor’s note: Claudia Cheng from San Francisco translated the article, which was originally posted on the Malaysia-edition of The Gospel Herald]