Joy Pachuau on her book, Being Mizo: Identity and Belonging in Northeast India

Joy Pachuau has been a part of the OMSC community throughout the 2016–2017 academic year while working at Yale, in the Program in Agrarian Studies at the Macmillan Center, on a Fulbright-Nehru Academic Excellence Fellowship. She is a professor at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and was recently interviewed on the MacMillan Report about her latest book: Being Mizo: Identity and Belonging in Northeast India.

Gala Raises Over $10,000 for Artist-in-Residence Program

On April 29, art lovers and friends of OMSC gathered for a Gala and Silent Art Auction. Guests had the opportunity to meet our current artist, Ronnie Farmer, Jr., who unveiled his latest painting, a meditation on the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1–8) entitled Agony: A Cry for Justice. All proceeds from the event will be used in support of OMSC's continuing artist-in-residence program.

Two OMSC Residents, Director Speak at Underwood Symposium

On April 1, the Horace G. Underwood Center for Global Christianity at New Brunswick Theological Seminary presented the Underwood Lecture & Symposium: Missiological Challenges in a Globalized Context.

The keynote speaker was the Rev. Dr. Loida I. Martell, Palmer Theological Seminary. Panelists for the Symposium were two OMSC residents: Rev. Dr. Ravi David and Rev. Kola Michael Kehinde, as well as OMSC's Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Thomas J. Hastings.

See the event flyer or brochure for details.

Did you miss the event? NBTS has made a video recording available on their Facebook page.

Experience of the China Church in the 21st Century—The 27th U.S. Catholic China Bureau National Conference

St. John’s University, Jamaica, Queens, New York City.
August 11-13, 2017

Scheduled Keynote Speakers: Father Joseph Jiang, S.J., Boston College
Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti Archbishop Eugene Nugent: From 2001 until 2010 he directed the Holy See Study Mission in Hong Kong.

Saturday August 12 sessions: Father Zhang, Biblical Studies Professor, China;
Father Tommy Murphy, S.S.C., Former Columbans Superior General; Sister Rita Hongyan Ge, Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Hope, MA Candidate in Spirituality, Loyola University of Chicago; Joann Pittman, China Source; Father Michael Li, China; Dr. Joseph Lee, Professor of History and Executive Director, Confucius Institute, Pace University, NYC; various representatives and laity from U.S. Chinese Catholic communities and associations.

Saturday afternoon Chinese Catholic liturgy, Chinese banquet, and cultural evening presentation

Sunday morning August 13 Plenary Session: Interdisciplinary Scholarly Exchange on Christianity in China and modern topics of Catholic religion. Scholars, graduate students and others may submit proposals and will remain open until all panels are filled.

General public, students and scholars are welcome to attend. Register at www.uscatholicchina.org.
Early bird registration till July 21, 2017
Questions: Contact Executive Director Father Rob Carbonneau, C.P., Ph.D.
director@uscatholicchina.org
 

OMSC Trustee Presents Book to Pope Francis

OMSC Trustee Lamin Sanneh presented his latest book, Beyond Jihad, to Pope Francis at the February 9 meeting of the Pontifical Commission on Religious Relations with Muslims. Dr. Sanneh is the D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity, Professor of History, and Professor of International and Area Studies at Yale University.

God of All Nations

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. —Ecclesiastes 3:1

I want to share a story about the beauty of this unique community of missionaries, church leaders, and research scholars from around the world who, since 1922, have gathered annually for sustained spiritual, physical, and intellectual renewal. Those of you who have firsthand experience of the OMSC community surely could contribute your own inspiring stories, and we invite you to do so (contact us).

Group photo 20160908-a.jpg

On Monday, November 7, the day before our national election, the residents prepared a delicious lunch for the OMSC staff. They carefully planned this event because they wanted to express their sincere appreciation for our staff and pray with and for us before the imminent election. Before the meal, we sang “America the Beautiful” together with our sisters and brothers from Africa, East Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and India. Kola Kehinde, a Nigerian serving with his wife, Funmi, in the UK, led us in a prayer that was probing, heartfelt, and eloquent. The prayer began with a paraphrase of Psalm 47:8—“God who is king over all nations; God who sits on your holy throne.” After the final votes were counted and Americans responded with delight, depression, or indifference, I called to mind our Nigerian brother’s
prayer and found comfort and challenge in his words. As Christians, we know the God of Israel—“the king of all nations”—through Jesus Christ, a most unexpected and countercultural king who went from town to town preaching, teaching, healing, and loving, then through a cross and empty tomb, opened a new way to the kingdom of forgiveness, love, and grace.

In uncertain times like this, I am reminded of the words of Kagawa Toyohiko (1888–1960), the great Japanese evangelist and social reformer, who reflected back on his own introduction to Jesus through his friendship with the Logans and the Meyers, U.S. Presbyterian families serving in Tokushima on the island of Shikoku. Kagawa wrote, “I read in a book that a man called Christ went about doing good. It is very disconcerting to me that I am so easily satisfied with just going about.”

As OMSC prepares for its second century (starting in 2022), we want to partner with you and your congregation for the sake of God’s ongoing mission in the world today. We believe that
mission, according to the pattern of the ministry of Jesus, is the engine that drives and renews Christian faith and theological reflection, sustaining the church in humility and hope. There is
much preaching, teaching, healing, and loving yet to be done, so let us continue to engage in mission together with the worldwide Christian movement.

We hope you enjoy these stories from OMSC and invite you to explore our new web site. We look forward to hearing from you and pray God’s richest blessings on you and yours during Advent and Christmas.

Thomas John Hastings, Executive Director

Lamin Sanneh: A Quiet and Influential Scholar

Lamin Sanneh’s new book, the dedicated work of a decade from a mission scholar who writes every day, has been called by reviewers “a grand narrative of the pacifist practice of inter-generational peaceful conversion and assimilation of Islam in West Africa” and a “much-needed alternative to much of the current alarmist discourse about religious extremism and violence in West African Islam.”

In Beyond Jihad: The Pacifist Tradition in West African Islam (Oxford University Press, September 2016), Lamin examines the origin and evolution of Muslim African pacifist tradition,
focuses on the ways in which Islam spread and took hold apart from jihad, and argues that Islam was successful in Africa not because of military might, but because it was adapted by Africans themselves.

He told his story of conversion from Islam to Christianity in Summoned from the Margin: Homecoming of an African (Eerdmans, 2012), an overview of a life that started in the Gambia, West Africa, and included study at the University of Birmingham (England) and the University of London. As a review in The Hillhurst Review put it, “Dr. Sanneh has made the transition from Islam to Christianity, from Methodist to Catholic, over the space of half a century. His book is the exploration of a conversion from unlikely places to unimagined ones: summoned by the Savior to a religion about which he had little knowledge, and a marginal one in a society where the everyday came into tangible contact with, and was largely dictated by, Islamic thought. Along the way, Dr. Sanneh explores how Christianity dialogues with Islam, and why the two religions often clash in dialogue, coming as they do from two paradigms that often speak past
each other.”

Lamin’s classic text is Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture (Orbis Books, 1989). A Roman Catholic, he was appointed by Pope John Paul II to the Pontifical Commission of the Historical Sciences, and by Pope Benedict XVI to the Pontifical Commission on Religious
Relations with Muslims.

He has received an award as the John W. Kluge Chair in the Cultures and Societies of the South by the Library of Congress. For his academic work, he was made Commandeur de l’Ordre National du Lion, Senegal’s highest national honor, and is a recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh.

Lamin developed a deep and abiding curiosity and a lifelong interest in matters of the intellect at an early age. “I grew up reading the classics of Islam, with religious and historical accounts steeped in the vindication of the things of God. As a child I remember stumbling on Helen Keller’s The Story of My Life, which had a profound influence on me. It made me resolved to pursue the world of learning and scholarship. I became a voracious reader,” he told Christianity Today in an October 2003 interview with Jonathan J. Bonk, then the OMSC executive director. “Later on at school I read the works of the Western masters, such as Shakespeare, Chaucer, Milton, Keats, Longfellow, Flaubert, Goethe, and so on. All that unlocked the teeming world of the imagination to me, just as Helen Keller intimated.”

An OMSC Board of Trustees member and a contributing editor to the Center’s International Bulletin of Mission Research, Lamin is known as a quiet and influential participant in many OMSC gatherings—and as a dedicated consumer of afternoon tea. He is the D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity, Professor of History, and Professor of International and Area Studies at Yale University.

Daniel J. Nicholas

Trauma Healing Seminar Held, Healing Group Planned

The emotional and spiritual hurts and habits that come with living in a fallen world and the deep wounds that some people carry with them each day were the focus of attention October
17–20 when Harriet Hill, director of the Trauma Healing Institute of the American Bible Society,
led a seminar on “Healing the Wounds of Trauma: Help for Ourselves and Others.”

Dr. Hill and team members Karen Mahan of The Rivendell Institute, New Haven; and Mona Hennein of Life Focus Communications, Chicago; offered participants insights about how to use Scripture and basic mental health principles to find healing of emotional pain and equip them to help others.

Funmi Kehinde (left) receives a certificate from seminar leader Harriet Hill.

Funmi Kehinde (left) receives a certificate from seminar leader Harriet Hill.

Black Rock Church, Fairfield, CT; Christian Reformed World Missions; and St. John’s Episcopal Church, New Haven, cosponsored the OMSC seminar.

Michael (Kola) and Adeola (Funmi) Kehinde, residents from Nigeria who serve in Europe with Calvary Ministries (CAPRO USA), are organizing an OMSC Healing Group on two Saturdays in March to apply what they learned during the seminar.

Central Asians Minister Faithfully Despite Threats

When Renat and Anya arrived at OMSC in August, they left behind their busy lives in Central Asia and the accompanying ministry stresses to spend a few months in New Haven. The couple and their three daughters have already become important members of the Center’s residential community.

In 2008, Renat and Anya led small groups in a Central Asian church

In 2008, Renat and Anya led small groups in a Central Asian church

A native of Central Asia, Renat became a Christian in 1997 after the Soviet Union collapsed. In 2004 he attended a Bible college where he met Anya and they married in August 2005. The following month he was ordained as a pastor and took responsibility for leading a church. But the pastorate proved to be a difficult experience. After several problems with government officials, Renat resigned the pastorate in 2013, and started working for an international ministry that serves Central Asian Christians when they face persecution.

Church small group

Church small group

Anya, who was born in Ukraine and grew up in Central Asia, says life in New Haven is refreshing because “when I came here I could say ‘Jesus’ without looking to see who is behind me.” She also committed her life to Jesus Christ after the Soviet Union collapsed. Her conversion followed friendship with local Campus Crusade for Christ representatives. In 2002 Anya finished Bible college studies and continued working at the college as an assistant teacher. After marrying Renat, she joined a preschool program and later became the director. Anya also loves to read, and she enjoys swimming.

The couple’s oldest daughter, Grace, born in 2006, is a fourth grader in a New Haven school. She loves to study, read, and travel. Born in 2009, Mary attends first grade in New Haven. Her mother says she “loves everything about princesses,” as well as dancing, jumping, and singing. Both of the girls enjoy swimming. The couple’s youngest child, Rose, born in 2014, loves to walk, climb, run, jump, and watch movies.

The family has chosen alternate names and withheld their family name for security reasons.

Daniel J. Nicholas

Senior Mission Scholars—Past and Present—Show Their OMSC Spirit

Allison Howell of the Akrofi-Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission, and Culture in Ghana, who was a Fall 2009 resident senior mission scholar, proudly wore her OMSC T-shirt this fall when she was in New South Wales, Australia. “I am grateful to God for my time at OMSC and for the opportunities it gave me to develop new insights for ministry, not only in Ghana, but which have a broader application in mission” she said. If alumni/ae still have an OMSC-branded T-shirt, hat, or little bear, we would love to receive a photo of you wearing your OMSC spirit wear for publication in a future newsletter or as a Facebook post (contact us).

Pastor Luncheon Ravi-Mercy - web.jpg

Ravi and Mercy David (at the podium), the 2016–2017 senior mission scholars, were among the speakers on October 26 for OMSC’s mission luncheon and seminar for pastors and church mission leaders. They talked of their ministries that “equip and encourage” missionaries and church leaders in Bangalore, India, and around the world. A Central Asian couple also spoke about their vital ministry and former Board of Trustees member Larry Fullerton of Black Rock Church challenged attendees to support OMSC. Executive Director Thomas J. Hastings (seated at left) was the speaker on “Partnering for God’s Mission in the Context of World Christianity.”

Georgian Artist Mixes Colorful Painting & Evangelism

After publicly acknowledging God’s call on his life in 2002, Ronnie Farmer, Jr., the 2016–2017 OMSC artist, moved from Augusta, Georgia, to Kentucky and enrolled in Berea College, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Religion with an emphasis in Biblical Studies. “While at Berea College I became very involved with campus ministry through InterVarsity and developed a great zeal for cross-cultural missions and discipleship ministry,” says Ronnie.

His desire to be fully prepared for ministry led him to enroll at Asbury Theological Seminary, where he began to explore the intersection of theology and art, a concept that soon became a passion of his life.

The artist painting and interpreting This is My Beloved Son (click for video). “The acrylic on wood image,” he observes, “highlights the nature of God in the context of a father.”

Drawing inspiration from Psalm 27:4, Ronnie states that “people are naturally drawn to beauty. As an artist, I believe I can direct people to God’s beauty by creating art that is aesthetically engaging.” He describes himself these days as “an aesthetic evangelist” and challenges “communities of color to participate in discipleship ministry, both locally and globally.”

While completing a Clinical Pastoral Education course, Ronnie served as a chaplain at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Later, he became associate pastor of Bezalel Church, a congregation being started in urban Atlanta where he explored the ways in which art could be used in pastoral care and discipleship ministry.

One of Ronnie Farmer’s most recent creative projects is the design of a new logo for OMSC.

One of Ronnie Farmer’s most recent creative projects is the design of a new logo for OMSC.

Following those experiences, Ronnie invested three-and-a-half years (2013–2016) with TEAM, The Evangelical Alliance Mission, as a missions coach and as the founding director of The Art and Justice League, a collaboration of five artists who created “artistic expressions focused on the death and resurrection of Jesus, with the expressed intent of mobilizing young adults to unreached and unengaged countries.”

He and his wife, Sarah, are the parents of two young boys. They moved to the New Haven area so she could become a research scholar at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture.

Reaching Generations in Ghana

It is an early August morning in Ghana, where the daily temperatures will average a warm 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Although students are on summer break, today they are walking to the local public school to attend Vacation Bible School. The children, most of whom range in age from 10–12 years old, arrive early to help clean the classrooms and compound.

By 9:00 a.m. the classes have started and the cheerful sounds of the children’s voices can be heard as they participate in the songs, games, crafts, and Bible stories that will make up this week. Some have brought friends with them, others come on their own, but all 300 students attending will make new friends before the week is over. Over the course of the next three weeks, 130 volunteer teachers will interact with 3,022 children at nine different locations throughout Ghana.

While the large number of students and the various locations might seem like a logistical
nightmare to us, the leader of the VBS, Dr. Ohene Kumi, takes it in stride. An OMSC resident during the 2010–2011 academic year, Ohene has been working with children for more than 20 years. Although his wife, Jane, and children, Ama and Kwesi, were not able to accompany him to OMSC during his sabbatical, he counts himself blessed to have made many friends while in the United States.

In addition to participating in seminars with fellow Christian missionaries from Myanmar, Nigeria, Kenya, Philippines, Canada, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States, he also had time to work on a book to help further his ministry. Not only does he keep in touch with many of his fellow OMSC alums, some have even visited him in Ghana, lending financial and moral support to his ministry.

Of his time at OMSC, Ohene says, “Meeting with different missionaries and mission scholars at OMSC and listening to their stories of how God’s work is being carried on in their countries inspired me to continue training others for the children’s ministry.”

In fact, the summer VBS program is only one facet of Ohene’s ministry to children, which also includes a public school discipleship program held in 262 schools across the country. “When we started the public school’s discipleship program many years ago, it was very difficult. We did not have trained chaplains and some school principals did not welcome us,” Ohene says. “However, over the years we have witnessed students’ lives changing and some students moved on to become teachers and principals. They are the people who are now recommending our program to other schools across the country, and into countries like Togo and Liberia.” Ohene himself travels to two schools every week to lead the 45-minute discipleship training
sessions.

His wife, Jane, is also involved with Christian ministry and recently organized an overnight event called the “Virtuous Women’s Leader Retreat.” Studying the fruit of the Spirit were thirty women who, although they all represented local churches, did not know each other before the event. After studying together and sharing in the food prepared by the retreat center staff, the women felt renewed and inspired to share what they learned at their local church women’s group meetings.

Both Ohene and Jane are humble, unassuming people, so it is easy to underestimate how many lives they have impacted during the course of their ministry. But for the thousands of children who have attended VBS and the thousands more who learn of Christ in the public schools, the impact is very real.

—Pamela Sola

Bible Society Leads in Trauma Healing

The promise that God “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3) came into sharp focus in November and May at OMSC when Dr. Harriet Hill, director of the Trauma Healing Institute of the American Bible Society, shown standing with seminar participants in May, led a two-part seminar that helped participants use Scripture and basic mental health principles to find healing of emotional pain and to become equipped to help others.

“The emotional and spiritual wounds caused by trauma often separate people from God, others, and themselves. By combining biblical and mental health principles in a participatory, experiential program, participants process their own wounds and are equipped to help others do the same, through small healing groups held in churches and communities,” said Dr. Hill.

In October she will lead another session of the “Healing the Wounds of Trauma: Help for Ourselves and Others” seminar.   

OMSC Welcomes New Trustees

The OMSC Board of Trustees gatheredfor a photo on May 4 following their two-day meeting with incoming executive director Dr. Thomas John Hastings, Mrs. Carol Hastings, and interim executive director Dr. Darrell Whiteman.

The OMSC Board of Trustees gatheredfor a photo on May 4 following their two-day meeting with incoming executive director Dr. Thomas John Hastings, Mrs. Carol Hastings, and interim executive director Dr. Darrell Whiteman.

At their May 3–4 meeting the OMSC Board of Trustees elected three new board members:

Dr. Joel Carpenter, director of the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI;

Dr. Joseph Delahunt, pastor of First Baptist Church, New Haven, CT;

Dr. Susan Billington Harper of Villanova, PA, a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

They also elected a new board secretary, Dr. Tite Tiénou, who holds the Tite Tiénou chair of mission and global theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, IL.

The board expressed their appreciation for departing board members Keun Sam Chung, M.D.; Dr. Casely B. Essamuah; Fr. Luke N. Veronis; and Dr. Darrell Whiteman, the board secretary who serves until June 30 as the interim executive director.

Hastings Named Executive Director

Tom and Carol Hastings

Tom and Carol Hastings

Intercultural pastoral educator Rev. Dr. Thomas John Hastings of Princeton, NJ, has been named executive director of OMSC, beginning August 1.

Board of Trustees president Dr. Edith L. Blumhofer, professor of history at Wheaton College, made the announcement on May 4.

Dr. Hastings was senior research fellow at the Japan International Christian University Foundation in New York City and associate director at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton.

While serving with his wife, Carol, as Presbyterian Church (USA) mission co-workers in Japan (1988–2008), he was professor of practical theology at Tokyo Union Theological Seminary.

In addition to many publications in Japanese and English, he is author of Seeing All Things Whole: The Scientific Mysticism and Art of Kagawa Toyohiko 1888–1960 (Pickwick, 2015) and Practical Theology and the One Body of Christ: Toward a Missional-Ecumenical Model (Eerdmans, 2007).

He received a BA from Boston College, an MA from Wheaton College Graduate School, and a PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary. Dr. Hastings is an ordained teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). 

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Hastings as the new executive director of the Overseas Ministries Study Center,” said Dr. Blumhofer. “He brings to OMSC a rich mix of experience, vision, and purpose that will invigorate OMSC’s mission as it approaches its centennial. His experience in mission, education, administration, and scholarship—along with his pastor’s heart—make him the right choice for OMSC,” she added.

Dr. Hastings will also be the editor of OMSC’s journal, the International Bulletin of Mission Research.

He succeeds interim Executive Director and Editor Dr. Darrell Whiteman, of Norcross, GA, who completes his term of service as a board member and as the interim executive director on June 30.

“We are grateful for Dr. Whiteman’s years of service to OMSC. In his year as interim director, he worked effectively to promote OMSC’s programs and prospects,” said Dr. Blumhofer.

Joyful Sounds at Love Africa Concert

Yale Gospel Choir

Yale Gospel Choir

Sounds of praise echoed from Yale University’s Battell Chapel on a sunny Sunday spring afternoon, as friends of OMSC and students enjoyed a concert featuring the joyful singing of the Yale Gospel Choir, an undergraduate choir, and Shades of Yale, which delivered African Diaspora music with a diverse repertoire. The April 24 “Love AFRICA” concert, which OMSC art curator and former board member Diane Komp organized, will help OMSC develop a fund to invite future artists from Africa. Previous resident artists have been from Asia.

Senior Scholar Couple to Serve New Residents

Dr. Ravi and Mrs. Mercy David will serve OMSC as senior mission scholars in residence for the 2016–2017 year.

Dr. David is adjunct professor of pastoral theology, counselling, spiritual formation, management, and leadership on the master’s and doctoral levels at the South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies, Bangalore, India, and at a seminary in Indonesia. He and his wife, Mercy, a teacher and mentor of women, equip and encourage mission leaders primarily in India and the Asia-Pacific region.

Dr. David’s ministry includes seminary teaching, preaching, mentoring, counselling and facilitating member care for mission leaders through church and mission networks that include the India Missions Association, the World Evangelical Alliance’s Global Member Care Network, and The Mission Society. His PhD dissertation (2009) for the University of Auckland, New Zealand discussed “Critical Issues Affecting Indian Christian Mission Leaders and Their Implications for Pastoral Care” and was published as Mission Possible: Challenges for Indian Christian Mission Leaders in the Twenty-First Century (2014).

Mrs. David, who received a Master of Education in Educational Administration (2007) from Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand, was a teacher and later school headmistress (1983–2004) in Bangalore. She was involved with leading the prayer ministry of Operation Mobilization in the state of Karnataka and ministered to students and graduates through the Union of Evangelical Students of India, serving as the association’s Karnataka president and as a member of the national board.

Dr. David also worked as South Asia regional secretary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (2001–2009) and SGM Lifewords (1998–2005). He was auxiliary secretary (1992–1995) of the Bible Society of India, in the state of Karnataka.

After nine years in New Zealand, the Bangalore natives and their children moved, in December 2012, to Atlanta, Georgia. They have four children and a granddaughter.

Korean Family Will Move to Kazakhstan

Before they arrived in New Haven in August, “Arman” and his wife, “Sholpan,” active participants in OMSC’s community life with their children, were living and working in China with Kazakh people along The Silk Road.

When they depart in June they will continue their ministry from a new home, in Kazakhstan.

By government decree, the family (who do not use their actual names in print for security reasons) were required to live in a Chinese city, while the people they served live in rural areas.

With several colleagues, the Korean couple ministered among unreached people, writing books, conducting training sessions, and helping start churches.

Educated as a sociologist and a pastor, Arman has a vision to see mission agencies understand a sociological perspective more deeply than they do. To accomplish this, he has been spending a considerable amount of time at the Yale Divinity Library researching mission methods and theology.

He also read as widely as time allowed in preparation to teach a three-day seminar in March at OMSC on “Korean Church, Korean Mission: A Sociological Analysis,” which showed “how characteristics of churches in Korea have shaped Korean missions and, by extension, how to understand similar church-mission dynamics that occur worldwide.” 

  When in China, Sholpan, who trained as a pharmacist, stayed busy homeschooling their children, participating as a leader of ministries with women, and managing the pharmaceutical needs of their missionary community. While in the university, she joined the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, the international umbrella for the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

Reflecting on their OMSC residency, Arman says he and Sholpan benefited most by being exposed to a wide diversity of perspectives about Christianity from many different cultures, by new ideas they encountered about mission strategy that will be of value when they move to Kazakhstan, and by the time that the sabbatical provided for research.

 Two daughters, ages fourteen and five, and a twelve-year-old son, accompanied their parents to New Haven. The older children were students at Worthington Hooker School in New Haven, which they particularly enjoyed because they will attend an English-language school in Kazakhstan.

Although their parents are partial to Korean food, the children have developed a distinct taste for the cuisine of their host region.

OMSC resident “Arman”challenged church leaders in China with a lecture about the importance of mission to the Muslims.

OMSC resident “Arman”challenged church leaders in China with a lecture about the importance of mission to the Muslims.

Mission Administrators and Academics Consider Globalization Issues

Miriam Adeney spoke about “Why Culture Matters.”

Miriam Adeney spoke about “Why Culture Matters.”

Sixty mission administrators and academics gathered April 22–24 for OMSC’s Mission Leadership Forum (MLF). They explored the implications of urbanization and globalization for missionaries, mission agencies, and churches. Lively discussion ensued, said Dr. Darrell Whiteman, OMSC’s interim executive director who organized the invitation-only conference. “The ethnic boundaries that distinguish one people group from another are becoming more fuzzy and porous, and yet much of our missiological thinking is in terms of mission among a particular people group, hence the slogan ‘adopt a people group’ for your church’s mission outreach,” he noted.

Darrell Jackson, senior lecturer in missiology at Morling College, Australia, was the MLF Bible study speaker. A complete list of presenters and topics, as well as a web link to audio recordings, may be found at www.omsc.org/mlf-april-2016.shtml.

The next MLF will be December 2–4 on the topic “Mission and Refugees: Crisis and Opportunity.”

Chinese Theologian Leads Online School

OMSC board member Timothy Chiu and his wife, May, are NYPD auxiliary officers

OMSC board member Timothy Chiu and his wife, May, are NYPD auxiliary officers

Rev. Dr. Timothy Chiu, a native of Hong Kong who joined the OMSC Board of Trustees in June 2014, enjoys leading an innovative Chinese online theology school, writing “everyday insights in relation with God,” and serving his community as an auxiliary officer of the New York Police Department. 

Even though Rev. Chiu was raised in a family whose patriarch was a Christian minister, he calls himself a former “black sheep of the family” because he frequently was in trouble with school authorities. While in college, however, he had a “wonderful rebirth experience” when he turned back to Christ: “I resolved to serve him as Lord for life.”            

Following that spiritual commitment, Rev. Chiu devoted his life for some years to studying. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Concordia University, a Lutheran school in Portland, Oregon; a Master of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary; and Doctor of Ministry from New York Theological Seminary. In May 1989, he was ordained by the Christian and Missionary Alliance.    

Rev. Chiu is president and a professor of the New York Theological Education Center Chinese Online School of Theology (NYTEC), the ministries of which “are very challenging, yet very meaningful. I am thankful that I can be part of it.” 

The ministry, which was started in 1996 in China as a correspondence school, takes Paul’s challenge young Timothy to “entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Tim. 2:2) as its inspiration. A nondenominational institute, the center provides theological education to Christian learners with different backgrounds and equips them with tools to spread the Gospel and increase church growth.

In recent years, Rev. Chiu says NYTEC professors and pastors have started giving seminars and conferences in churches and seminaries in China. NYTEC trains faculty, pastors, and volunteers of theological organizations and serves as a support base for churches and seminaries in China by offering religious education and training.

Rev. Chiu, his wife, May, and son, Amos, live in College Point, Queens, New York. He leads the multifaceted ministry, enjoys God’s word, and publishes insights he receives. His publications include “Contemplation on High” (1993) and “A Thorn in the Flesh” (1996).  Recently, he has been writing “Spiritual Insights” for Christian newspapers and web sites.

Full of vigor and eager to help others, Rev. Chiu also has been involved in the planning committee for New York’s Lunar New Year celebration (February 8); Quality Life Forum, Inc.; Community Service Square; and groups that serve children and the elderly.

He has been volunteering since 1993 with the Auxiliary Police Force of New York City and is a past president (1997) of the New York State Chinese Auxiliary Police Association. Rev. Chiu also helps the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau with typesetting and translation.      

His hobbies and interests beyond ministry and community service are varied. Rev. Chiu is proficient in tae kwon do. An accomplished violinist, he was a member of the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra and the Hong Kong Youth Orchestra.