Pr. Kimmo Sarajärvi, our new CEO, shares
We were expecting pastors and evangelists to the training week in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), but a group of about 40 people, mostly young evangelists, were waiting there. Many of them seemed to be still searching for their calling. Thus, it was a suitable place where we were free to encourage the participants to reach out to the unreached people groups in their country.
The teaching team was made up of Pastors Arto Sädeaho (Finland), Dr. Paul Ng (Singapore), Shierley Siwi (Indonesia) and myself. This enabled versatile contributions to the training week. It was topped off with exciting field news from pioneer ministry work that Pr. Shierley leads from the Bible school.
Our host for the week in Vietnam was the IEM-movement (International Evangelical Mission). We heard of an outpouring of the Spirit that took place in the 1980’s has resulted in the birth of more than 200 congregations throughout the country and another 50 in Cambodia. IEM’s special emphasis has been to reach Vietnam’s 54 UPG’s, of which they have already begun work in 27 of them. They are currently in a phase of training young people to go into the remaining 27 people groups. They plan to build a training centre for this purpose.
It seems as though a new opportunity is opening up for us with the need to train and inspire people to reach the unreached.
Pr. Arto Sädeaho shares
After Vietnam, we arrived to Jakarta for the weekend where we strengthened relationships with old contacts. Pr. Aki Miettinen from Finland joined the team and Pr. Jonathan came from Australia for the remainder of the mission. Pr. Kimmo preached on Sunday morning at our friend Joni Bangun’s church. (In the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, Joni and I worked together to rebuild a village for 100 families in Banda Aceh. I launched that project on behalf of the Finns, with Nordic funding.)
On Monday, we began our training week at the Bible School. Last June, 37 graduates from the previous course were sent to pioneer in 24 new areas and 9 others went to work amongst 4 different tribes. This is currently the 39th year course with 96 young people. Aki’s standard topic for the 2nd level class was spiritual leadership, whilst Kimmo and Jonathan took care of teaching the 1st level class.
With a strong friendship formed 20 years ago in YWAM, they taught the lectures with excitement which inspired the students while I was fighting against the flu. On Thursday, these 2 friends were able to visit a pioneering ministry. Having already recovered, I took care of that day’s 6 lectures in Indonesian.