Bishop Ward explains the growth of The United Methodist Church in Southeast Asia, particularly in Vietnam, using Acts 20:20 as the theme verse.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ, the light of the world.
Christ’s light shines brightly in our world. Last week, I had the joy and privilege of sharing with United Methodist Christians in Vietnam, as their presiding Bishop. The United Methodist Mission Initiative in Vietnam, for 15 years now, has taken root and grown in amazing ways. Churches are being birthed. Churches are meeting in homes, as in the Book of Acts. We have beautiful facilities in Vietnam for churches to gather. We also are engaged in caring for children in orphanages and in schools, and extending health care to people who are in need. In all of these ways, we continue to engage in the mission to which Christ has called us in the world.
The Vietnam Mission Initiative claims as their theme verse, Acts 20:20; “I did not withhold anything helpful to you,” Paul writes, “and I have preached publicly the gospel, and visited from house to house.” These words are Paul’s reflection in the Book of Acts in Miletus as he is bidding farewell to the beloved people that he has gathered and known in that place.
Legislation has been submitted to the General Conference to create a central conference in Asia; a new configuration of ministry for our growing mission initiatives in Mongolia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. As we create, together, this central conference, we will create a structure into which our mission may grow and flourish from strength to strength.
Thank you for your prayers as United Methodist movement in Asia continues to grow. Christ is indeed the light of the world, here in eastern North Carolina and around the world.