East Asia is a dynamic region with political systems from democracy to communism, economically developed countries and vibrantly developing countries, and a wide variety of histories, cultures and languages. Every country has large numbers of young people who are the driving force in the transformation of society. Christians in East Asia are struggling both to find their identity based on a personal relationship with God, and to be salt and light as God’s people in fast-changing societies.
One of the most exciting things to happen in East Asia has been the pioneering ministry in Cambodia and Mongolia. These were initiated through partnerships among IFES movements in East Asia, and have been established through collaboration of student leaders from different movements.
The greatest strength of East Asia is their student leaders: they take responsibility for communicating the gospel with non-believers and leading groups in each campus.
The main challenges that students face are materialism and uncertainty about the future. Students sometimes focus on themselves rather than seeing the big picture of what God is doing and can do through them.
View from the inside
Ung-Seop Shin, Regional Secretary for East Asia, writes: ‘I realised the importance of student ministry because I personally came to know Christ through student ministry as a freshman in college. I am excited to see that students’ lives are touched and transformed by the Word of God.
I am inspired by Ephesians 4:11-13 as I seek to build up students around the region, so that they might become “mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” I’m encouraged as I look back and see how movements have helped one another. For example, in the mid-1980s, a group of graduates who migrated to another country mobilized to support the struggling local movement so that it could continue to work and to pass on leadership to next generations.’
- for students can be transformed by the Word of God;
- for students to get a vision for God’s kingdom and to contribute to nation-building with love and compassion.