A pastor on a mission

Rev Dr William Chang has been a pastor and teacher for more than 30 years in Asia. Now he is serving as Lutheran World Federation’s Area Secretary for Asia and the Middle East, Palestine and the Pacific in the Department for Mission and Development. He gets to see the Holy Spirit working in many lives, he told Synod delegates.

Evangelism, mission and teaching are central in Dr Chang’s life. When he was a pastor in Singapore, one of his largest mission fields was with the parents of new Christians. Many had spent most of their lives in Hong Kong and spoke Cantonese or Hokkien. They had little or no English.

This ministry led to the establishment of an Elder Care Centre in Singapore, which looked after people who were recovering after experiencing a stroke.

‘You could see that love comes alive in them, see the love of God grow as they come to know him’, Dr Chang said.

After 30 years in Singapore, he turned his attention to the needs of people in Cambodia, establishing Lutheran World Mission (LWM) under the auspices of the Lutheran Church in Singapore.

Beginning by establishing mission churches – one in a rural village and one in Phnom Penh where LWM runs a hostel for students from rural areas – LWM has reached out into a country where love has been lacking for a long time.

‘It is a very interesting place, still scarred by genocide’, Dr Chang said. ‘But it is also very exciting. People are searching for meaning in life, searching for God.

‘In the hostel they experience the love of a family, and they experience God’s love too. When they hear the gospel, these young Christians take the love of Jesus to other people.

‘When there are floods (September and October 2011) the students went out to minister to others’, he said.

Dr Chang said the churches within the area covered by his LWF secretariat are very diverse. Some operate at a very basic level and their missions are targeted at meeting the most basic needs of the people they serve. Others are highly developed and share a common mission with Western-based churches of addressing all the modern ‘-sims’ affecting society.

‘It is important that these developed churches partner with those in need in order to help them to grow’, Dr Chang said. ‘The Lutheran Church of Australia has been a faithful, strong supporter of our churches in mission.

Reprinted with kind permission of The Lutheran. Visit the website to find out more about The Lutheran or to subscribe.

Many of our partner churches are working in new territory for the kingdom of God; therefore, spiritual attack is their everyday reality. As a member of a congregation, school, or family, or a couple or individual, you are invited to commit to praying for our partners in mission. For regular prayer point updates, go to www.lca.org.au/international-mission/act-now/pray

Read more stories about our partner church in Singapore at http://www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/international-partners/singapore/

Read more stories about our partner church in Cambodia at www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/international-partners/cambodia/