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Messages from the Regional Office, 2008

 

From the Regional Secretary

Necta Montes RocasThe external condition in the region in 2008 was characterised by major natural disasters and disasters brought about by human greed and frailty. Two major natural disasters hit the region in the first quarter of the year, Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and the Earthquake in Sichuan Province China. In the later part of the year, the Communal violence in Orissa, India happened, and subsequent violent attacks happened in Mumbai. The civil unrest in Thailand turned to worst when protesters halted the operations of the Bangkok International Airport in the same period. Globally, we experienced the worst oil and food crises in years, and even before these were resolved, the global economic meltdown happened, triggered by the collapse of the US Economy. The year ended with massive lay-off of daily-wage earners those that were already living in the margins of our societies. These were the social challenges in which the SCMs and WSCF were called to respond in the year 2008.

In 2008, we lived-out ‘diakonia’ in the spirit of fellowship and global solidarity when in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, the WSCF and SCM community overwhelmingly responded to our appeal for support and solidarity for the people affected by the deadly Cyclone. Our ‘SCM Spirit’ were strengthened by the work of our students in SCM Myanmar, who despite the limitation of their condition and resources, taught us valuable lesson of solidarity and action in times of great need.

We continue to challenge traditional divides of denominalism and secularism by insisting that grassroots ecumenism thru the Asian Student and Youth Gathering (ASYG), truly works among young people of different religion, denominational background and that the way to ‘Just Peace’ is by coming together and working together in the grassroots. The SCMs continue to be the driving force in building the National Ecumenical Teams (NETs) in many countries in the region by taking leadership and by embodying the ecumenical spirit themselves.

We committed ourselves in pursuing the issue of ‘Migrant Rights as Human Rights’ by bringing greater awareness on Migration issues among the SCMs and building stronger links with Migrant communities and groups, culminating in our participation in the International Migrants Refugees Assembly.

We gathered and celebrated the 34th General Assembly of the Federation in Canada, where we challenged each other, embraced our diversity, and found ways to move forward as a global community of youth and students with renewed spirit and hope.

Thru the various programs in 2008, WSCF AP provided the space from which students can articulate their experiences and context and form analysis that are important in their witness. We saw this happening in the SET, ASYG, HR and Women’s Programs.

These would have not been possible without the efforts and contribution of various people and groups. We thank the out-going members of AP Standing and Women’s Committee for their valuable contribution and commitment to WSCF; to Paddy Noble, our volunteer Human Rights Coordinator; to the SCMs who have become our partners in organizing the programs and activities; and lastly, our Church partners and supporters, who have encouraged and entrusted to us the valuable resources that has enabled WSCF AP to continue its service and ministry to God’s people.

In Grace and Peace,

Necta Montes Rocas
Regional Secretary

 

From the Chairperson

Yin Yin MawDear WSCF AP Friends,

Greetings and wishing you peace and the love of Jesus Christ!

As we all know WSCF AP is actively engaged in God’s ministry in the different contexts in this region. It carries out its ministry by responding to the needs of human beings and all of God’s creation. At present, we are all effected by the Global Economic difficulties while we continue to confront the many challenges of poverty and injustices in our own countries.

When you look at the Creation Story in the Book of Genesis 1:27, God created human being according to His own image. Although we are of different races and colours, we are all God’s children. We are called to follow the Word of God and His will for all of creation. Without love or empathy to others we are unable do anything for those who need our help. As SCMers we need to consider what we have to do for God’s Ministry.

When I was an SCM student, I remember one of my senior friend telling me that “As an SCMer, you must carry the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other hand.” These words have inspired me to be active in the work of the SCM in our society and strengthen my faith in God. This has not been easy but I tried my best to find the meaning of God’s Words from my daily experiences and struggles.

The annual report of 2008 WSCF AP will show us the life of WSCF and its efforts to do God’s Ministry in today’s world. I hope that all the movements will get more ideas and inspiration from the report. I hope that The Standing Committee and Women’s Committee for 2008-2010 will carry out the mission of WSCF AP with outstanding activities for students and youth. I believe that God will guide us and lead us on our activities of WSCF AP throughout the year 2009and 2010.

I would like to conclude with the Book of Joshua Chapter 1:9 to be strong, pray, and depend on God so that the way of WSCF AP is more powerful and understanding.

I wish all the best for all the SCMs in A-P region. In Christ,

Yin Yin Maw
Chairperson
2008-2010