As Doulos Hope launches in Southeast Asia, OM writer Sarah Atsu spoke to Adam*, area leader for OM in East Asia, about the possibilities for Kingdom growth through investing in local Jesus followers.
WHAT ARE THE NEEDS AND POSSIBILITIES YOU SEE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA AT THE MOMENT?
Southeast Asia is one of the most diverse areas in the world; in culture, language and mix of religions. Many people are Muslim or Buddhist. There are a lot of people in this part of the world who have never heard the gospel. We need to reach people with the love of God, however hard this may be – especially in countries where Jesus followers face persecution.
There have been very few local people from Southeast Asia leading the movement to make the gospel known to all people. We need to be intentional in changing this, starting with our national leadership development initiative.
I see great opportunity and possibility in raising up national leaders. From a missiological perspective, we want to have ministry sustainability and continuity. When there is a crisis, we need people here to understand, and to stay and be committed to continue the work they are doing. There is also great value in training leaders who can serve cross-culturally – first learning from others, and then supporting and equipping them to share the love of God in their own nation.
HOW WILL THE PRESENCE OF DOULOS HOPE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS THE DEVELOPMENT OF LOCAL LEADERS?
Doulos Hope is one of many ways in which we can work towards a vision of training leaders in Southeast Asia. To impact each local community, we need a variety of opportunities so that each segment of society is reached with God’s love. Doulos Hope is unique because she is neutral ground, bringing people together for the sake of the gospel.
Doulos Hope will provide great opportunity to train local leaders and expose them to practical ways of serving God and others. In his book Grace-Awakened Leadership, George Vewer explained that, “on-the-field mentoring, the method used by Jesus, has proved to be one of the very best ways to produce long-term church leaders...” Doulos Hope will be a place where young people can be coached, make mistakes and grow, all while in a cross-cultural environment.
IN WHAT OTHER WAYS WILL DOULOS HOPE ENCOURAGE KINGDOM GROWTH IN SOUTHEAST ASIA?
The ship is a platform and a channel through which we can cast visions to the local church and build a different level of partnership with them to see more churches planted. The presence of Doulos Hope also helps with pioneering new initiatives. If the ship goes somewhere where we don’t have work, it brings together the Church and other mission entities, and something can birth out of that. We have seen this happen in the past, in places where we don’t have significant connections.
DO YOU HAVE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH OM SHIPS?
I spent two years on board OM ship Doulos, from 1997-99. I had been working in an architecture company but felt God calling me to serve Him cross-culturally.
While on board, I learnt how to serve and how to trust God and depend on Him for all my needs, including my finances. I went short-term to the ship, but God showed me that this would be my long-term ministry. That was 26 years ago.
WHO SHOULD JOIN DOULOS HOPE?
People who have a passion to reach out to their own communities, and also to see God’s love reach people on a global level should join the ship. They need to have a heart for other nations and a desire to grow spiritually. A young person who is faithful, available and teachable, will do well on board Doulos Hope.
If you know such a person, you should tell them to consider it!
To find out more about OM Ships click here.