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Reflections on Singapore and Southeast Asia

Posted on August 4th, 2013

As with our time in New Zealand, we experienced a very full 7 days in Singapore, teaching 3 different seminars to over 500 pastors/leaders, and speaking to 1600 people at a plenary session. We had the privilege to interact and learn from leaders from China, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myunnmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei. How did God come to us? 1. The groundswell of the life of God in Asia is quite distinct from our 35 years of leadership in the United States. There is an aliveness, a power, a passion, a creativity, and a movement of the Holy Spirit that is impossible to miss. The sheer number of Christians in China (estimates put it at 100 million) dwarfs North America. The center of Christianity truly has moved away from North America and Europe to Asia (along with Latin America and Africa). 2. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality seems to meet a profound felt need of deep, beneath the surface spiritual formation in Asia. This was our third trip to Asia working with Eagle’s Communications as our partner (2009, 2012 and 2013). All EHS books and courses (including Emotionally Healthy Skills 2.0 and The Emotionally Healthy Woman) are being published and distributed in English throughout the region. As a result, we found many churches and leaders deeply engaged in EHS when we arrived. 3. There is a very strong desire on the part of many to bring EHS to their country. A team of people from East Malaysia sat through our seminars as they have been commissioned by an Anglican bishop to translate all the EHS Courses into Chinese and Malay/Indonesian. 4. Serving with a team with us increased our impact significantly. Kelly/Shirley Ng from New Life and Rick/Jiji Harner, who serve as NLF staff in Cebu, Philippines taught and coached pastors and leaders throughout the week. They carried the load with us and got to experience the global impact of EHS. 5. People work very long hours in Asia (one researcher argues it is around 80 hours a week). Emotionally healthy skills, slowing down, Sabbath-keeping, silence and solitude, the leader’s marriage are, for example, powerfully liberating truths in this part of the world. 6. We need to allow ourselves to be challenged by the church in Asia. One Thai marketplace leader, for example, told me about how he uses 1/3 of his time to run his company, another 1/3 to serve churches and para-church ministries, and another 1/3 to teach English in a primary school. Next up: Australia: Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane

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