21 Jan Meeting God Through MORPH
FES conducts a missions education and engagement programme, known as MORPH, for university students from our CFs every academic year. 11 students enrolled in the programme for the 2018/2019 academic year. We asked two of them to share with us why they signed up for MORPH and what it has been like for them so far.
I was attracted by the curriculum of this programme which aims to support the holistic understanding of mission. Prior to MORPH, I had a limited perspective of mission work as I only went on some short-term mission trips lasting about a couple of weeks. I wanted to learn about the relationship of the Christian self to others in a cross-cultural context and apply skills for engaging in holistic witness during a longer mission trip, which is part of MORPH.
We have had two combined training sessions so far.
In the first session, which was also the programme launch, Mr Lisman Komaladi introduced us to the mission of God (missio Dei) and we studied an excerpt of ‘Whole Gospel, Whole Church, Whole World’ by Christopher Wright. I learnt that the mission of God is for every member of the church, clerical or lay, to bring the gospel to every part of the world, geographically, in the realm of thoughts, and all the other aspects of life.
In the second session, Mrs Kim Hong Hazra spoke to us about ‘God, Self and Others’. We also read reflections on ‘Gospel and Culture’ by Dr Winston Chin. I learnt how to recognise cultural dissonance and approach others as a cross-cultural missionary of God, both locally and overseas.
Apart from the lecture sessions, I gained many insights from the supplementary and optional readings that accompanied this programme. One main takeaway from these readings is the need for cultural sensitivity because there seems to have been more damage than help done by most typical short-term mission trips among the local people groups.
I look forward to growing deeper in my encounter and experience of God through the rest of this programme and hence be transformed by the renewing of my mind (Rom. 12:2).
Written by Glen Abraham Liang Yuxuan
SUSS, Translation and Interpretation, Year 1
Every year, I’d listen during the MORPH publicity sessions and conclude that the trips were probably meaningful, but just “not for me”. This year, with God’s prompting, I became painfully aware of my privilege and the immensity of suffering, injustice and inequality in this broken world. The more I saw God’s love for me, the more I realised how heartbreaking it must be when He sees people living in darkness and despair. I started to think that my privilege should not be an end in itself, but a means for me to gather resources and be part of His work whenever and wherever He calls me. Hence, I joined MORPH to be moulded by God into a useful vessel for His purpose, and the journey thus far has been eye-opening. During training sessions, we were given the space to reconsider what missions and culture entail. One quote that particularly struck me was this: “It’s not that God has a mission for his church in the world, but that God has a church for his mission in the world.”
Apart from a deeper exploration of concepts about God’s mission across cultures, the recent training session about personalities also tied in with the planning phase of the trip, especially as my team approaches practical matters such as budgeting and fundraising. Meeting missionaries in the country I will be visiting also helped me see the reality of spiritual battles in places facing religious persecution. While I am saddened by the state of affairs, I am heartened by the faith these missionaries hold in our almighty God. Indeed, it is a reminder that this trip is not for me or my team, but for Him to demonstrate His greatness – I simply pray and wait to see what He has in store.
Written by Chua Si Ai
NUS, Communications and New Media, Year 4