Asia Serve Beyond

Partner Visit - Victory Church in HK

2024_02_26 Victory 15
Victory Church, an EFC of China Hong Kong church, reaches the members, friends, and families of the infamous Triad gang. Their major annual event is an evangelistic banquet attended by hundreds of former gang members and their families, many of whom have been transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. We attended that lively banquet for the first time in February, seeing how the director and his wife are so loved by those they serve.

Partner Visit - Medicare Resources in HK

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Medicare Resources in Hong Kong is a ServeBeyond partner ministry. They share God’s love with the poor through providing medical care, educational resources, poverty relief, community development, and disaster relief. In February we finally had the opportunity to meet with the leader of this ministry and visit the office. What an important ministry happening out of a small office!…and with such smiling staff.

Church Visit - Hong Kong

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Like Tokyo Multicultural Church, the Evangelical Free Church of China (HK) International Church in Hong Kong serves both nationals and expatriates. Trying to learn from and connect with like-minded churches, we visited the EFCC Int’l Church while in Hong Kong in February. On one Sunday we enjoyed both the English worship service and the lunch that followed. God is scattering people from all over the world to the major cities of Asia, and some of the EFC denominations in Asia are rising to the challenge of including all peoples in their vision of sharing the gospel of Jesus.

Feb-Mar in Asia

From Feb 24 - Mar 5 we traveled on from Tokyo (Narita) to Hong Kong, Macau, and Chiang Mai for visits with ServeBeyond global workers and partners. In HONG KONG we were guests at the annual evangelistic banquet at Victory Church (EFC China) for Triad gang members and their families, attended Sunday worship at the Hong Kong International Free Church, met with the leaders of “Medicare Resources” at their office, and had a lunch with the Overseas Missions Board of the EFC of China. In MACAU we visited with Kevin in his home country (TMC’s part-time associate pastor for Chinese ministries). And in CHIANG MAI, THAILAND we met with ServeBeyond personnel (pic), going over their annual reviews and discussing possibilities for ServeBeyond’s second Asia retreat, this time in Krabi THAILAND (near Phuket) in Oct.

Lord willing, we travel next to Asia in June, this time maybe only to Japan.

Sep-Oct in Japan and Asia

Our first trip to Japan in 2023 was in Feb, the second in Jun, and the third from Sep 23 - Oct 21. For the first 10 days of our fall trip we visited Chiang Mai and Singapore as part of our Asia Regional Coordinator role with ServeBeyond. The rest of the time we focused on guiding Tokyo Multicultural Church through leadership transition, Dale meeting one-on-one with pastors and Ann with some of the ladies.

2023_10_17-2 Cheng
The highlight was meeting David & Lina Cheng in-person for the first time. They had arrived with their two children via Hong Kong just a few weeks earlier in order to begin serving as TMC’s full-time Chinese ministries couple. We met with them for orientation to both Tokyo and TMC, as well as to ServeBeyond because they are seconded from SIM Singapore, their sending mission agency. For the next few months we will continue providing them with orientation over zoom a couple times a month. Then after that we will meet with them every 4-6 weeks as we do with most of our ServeBeyond global workers in Asia.

While in Tokyo Dale also preached, led a TMC Members’ Meeting, and finished teaching the last half of his Contemporary Theology modular class this year at Japan Bible Seminary. In addition, TMC held its first children’s blessing event (not to be confused with baby dedication).


Partner Visit - Singapore

2023_10 SIM - 1b
David & Lina, Tokyo Multicultural Church’s new Chinese Ministries full-time pastoral couple are being sent from their home country to Japan through the Singapore branch of the SIM mission agency. In early Oct, Dale & Ann visited the SIM offices in Singapore to meet the folks helping to develop the Memorandum of Understanding between SIM and ServeBeyond for the placement of David & Lina at TMC. In-person talking, laughing, eating, and praying is the best way to get an MOU off the ground!

Global Worker Visit - Chiang Mai, Thailand

In early Oct Dale & Ann visited ServeBeyond global workers in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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The recently launched Beautiful Feet Ministries supports the growth of a local church through teaching Bible in the church and sponsoring girls in a nearby student hostel. The gospel is shared while discipleship, outreach, and compassion ministries take place.

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In addition, a bilingual former “missionary kid,” now with ServeBeyond, teaches at a local school where she can be the aroma of Christ.

Connecting with God and One Another

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We finally held our first-ever ServeBeyond retreat in Asia!

After postponing for two years due to covid, we were able to gather Oct. 10-14 in Pattaya Thailand at the Pinnacle Grand Jomtien Resort for networking, encouragement, and relaxation. The majority of the eleven missionaries and mission leaders from Canada, Japan and Thailand who were able to attend (about half our number) had rarely if ever met in-person.

We connected with God by learning about Jesus’ post-resurrection Great Commission teachings. We also shared with one another about our lives and ministries, and prayed for each other. Read More…

Transitions and Finances

Looking toward our future retirement, we plan to transition from in-person church planting leadership at Tokyo Multicultural Church to “coaching from a distance” at the end of 2022. This means moving our primary residence from our apartment in Tokyo to our house in Cape Elizabeth, Maine US (Ann’s hometown), while retaining a secondary residence at our vacation house in northern Japan.

We will continue full-time ministry with ServeBeyond (EFC of Canada) for 2-4 years by (1) overseeing TMC; (2) coordinating ServeBeyond projects in Asia; and (3) continuing to teach theology in Tokyo (Dale). We will also visit our supporting churches in Canada and the US. So we will continue to carry a full-time missionary budget.

However, the way we do these ministries will change. Lord willing, we plan to take 2-3 annual trips of 1-2 months each to Japan and Asia. This will make it possible for us to be at TMC 6-8 Sundays a year and for Dale to teach modular seminary classes twice a year. By keeping a secondary residence in Japan we will be able to reduce our flight costs within Asia for visiting ServeBeyond projects and personnel because our itineraries can originate in Tokyo rather than the US. Read More…

Asia ServeBeyond Retreat

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October 2022 in Pattaya Thailand
Pinnacle Grand Jomtien Resort

A time of networking, encouragement, and refreshment for ServeBeyond Asia personnel.

For more information, contact Dale, Asia region coordinator for ServeBeyond, or login here at servebeyond.asia.

From "EFCCM" to "ServeBeyond"

ServeBeyond logo

The EFCCM (Evangelical Free Church of Canada Mission) has rebranded as ServeBeyond. The Evangelical Free Church of Canada denominational name remains the same and its url is efcc.ca. So ServeBeyond is now the international mission arm of the EFCC. And the national mission arm of the EFCC has been rebranded as ServeCanada.

Therefore Dale & Ann are now missionaries with ServeBeyond. And the url for the Asia region of ServeBeyond, which Dale & Ann coordinate, is now servebeyond.asia.


(Updated May 11, 2022 )

Dale & Ann had been planning to transition from their in-person TMC leadership role in mid-2022 and make Cape Elizabeth, Maine (Ann’s hometown) their home base from where they would continue remote/virtual leadership. But for two reasons they have postponed this transition until late 2022. (1) Covid has negatively affected TMC achieving financial stability, with offerings taking a hit in 2020 and 2021. And (2) TMC needs more pastors/missionaries on staff. In addition to Dale & Ann’s planned transition, two other senior missionary households are retiring or stepping down from most leadership roles at TMC in 2022. Although TMC has a Japanese ministries pastor, it needs pastors/missionaries for both English and Chinese ministries because those two ministries are currently led by part-time personnel.

But after they do make this transition they will continue full-time ministry with ServeBeyond (EFCC) for a few years and so continue to carry a full-time missionary budget. Read More…

New EFCCM International Mission Director

From a Dec 2021 announcement by EFCC Executive Director Bill Taylor:

We are happy to report that after interviewing our top candidate, we are unanimous in our decision to hire Ike Agawin as our new EFCCM Director. Ike has accepted the position and will start as EFCCM Director on January 1st, 2022. Read More…

Asia Profile

The structure and a good portion of the content that follows is reworked from the Preface by Bong Rin Ro in Asian Christian Theology (2019). This post is also at efccm.asia.

Asia has a population of 4.6 billion or 60% of the world’s 7.9 billion people (Oct 2021). There is debate about whether to divide Asia into five or six regions and what to name the regions. For this profile I will consider Asia to have five regions, with the understanding that if Asian Russia (northern and eastern Russia, sometimes called Siberia or North Asia) were to be included the number would be six: East Asia (sometimes Northeast Asia), Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, and West Asia (or Middle East). The EFCCM is currently engaged in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and West Asia.
map asia regions 2
Asia is characterized by diversity of racial, cultural, historical, and religious backgrounds. Percentages of adherents vary according to sources consulted, with about 22% of Asians identifying as “unaffiliated,” but all contemporary religions are present in Asia and all were birthed in Asia: Hinduism (25%), Islam (24%), Buddhism (12%), Christianity (7%), Jainism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Judaism, Confucianism, and Taoism (World Atlas, 2018). Confucianism and Taoism are often not considered religions. Other than the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) Asian religions tend to be animistic. Read More…

Normal Japanese Animistic Religiosity

Here is a May 10, 2021, news item that made its rounds throughout Japan. It illustrates the normality of animistic practices that vary from town to town and lie at the heart of both Japanese Shinto and Buddhism. Read More…

Laying Plans for Passing the Baton at TMC

We have decided it is time to pass the TMC baton.

So TMC’s leadership team has given Dale the green light to recruit someone to lead English language ministries alongside TMC’s Japanese language ministries pastor. We are looking for a missionary or pastor with some ability in the Japanese language and who has a heart for reaching people in Tokyo for Christ, both Japanese and expatriates. Oh yes, and they will need to be financially supported! TMC has only a small stipend for them.

When the Lord leads us to such a person or couple (hopefully by spring 2022 or earlier) we plan to move our primary residence from our apartment in Tokyo to our house in Maine USA. From there we would continue some level of remote/virtual ministry at TMC such as administration and children/ladies ministry—if that is what the church desires.

In addition…
Read More…

COVID-19 Prayer Points

Our Heavenly Father, please protect us from COVID-19—if it be your will. We pray this because we confess that you are both powerful and loving.

“Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.” (Psalm. 91:3-7)

“Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.” (Psalm 57:1)

We pray for… Read More…

From Asia Director to Asia Ministry Facilitators

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The term “Area Director” was replaced with “Regional Ministry Facilitator” during EFCCM’s 2019 restructuring. This new emphasis on collaborative leadership aligns well with the five priorities of our EFCCM Asia leadership ministry: communicate, care, network, equip, and recruit. Read More…

Visit to Chiang Mai as Asia Director

Our first trip was to Chiang Mai, Thailand for six days in late Jan. What a privilege to connect with missionaries engaged in Christ-centered ministry in another Buddhist country! We hope we were able to encourage them.

For the first half of this year we will likely be traveling to various countries on a monthly basis as Dale walks through his learning curve.

Dale becomes EFCCM Asia Director

In January 2019 Dale became the part time Asia Director of the Evangelical Free Church of Canada Mission. Read More…

EFCCM Japan Retreat

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We are thankful for the encouraging first ever retreat for Japan personnel of our agency, the Evangelical Free Church of Canada Mission, Sep. 19–23. We hosted the 13 people at our vacation house in northeastern Japan.

It was a time of refreshment and connection, providing a glimpse of the EFCCM’s desire to care for its personnel. We were especially grateful that our Tokyo Multicultural Church colleagues from ReachGlobal and the EFC Macau Mission could join us. And we are thankful that our Ministry Fund was healthy enough to cover the housing costs of the retreat.

Church Planting and the Heavenly City

The opening pages of the Bible depict a rural context and the closing pages a city. This means we are on a journey toward a heavenly city.

Now, when we think of cities, we imagine masses of people—and that might not thrill us. But this future city will be very different than our cities. For example, one central feature of the heavenly city is its river, which flows down the main street. On both of its banks is planted the single tree of life (Rev. 22:1-2). So this city built by God seems much like a garden. It is qualitatively different from any city we have seen. Read More…