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Venturing into Malaysia

Monday 15th October, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

by Andrew & Kate Kennedy | tags: , ,

Andrew & Kate Kennedy, CMS mission partners in training, explain their plans for mission in Kuala Lumpur

As one door shuts...

As most of you will be aware, the door to us going to serve God in Pakistan appears to have been firmly closed. It has been a turbulent few weeks, during which we have been through a whole range of emotions. Despite this, we have clearly seen God’s hand at work in our lives as he continues to provide for us and bless us time and time again.

Following the news, we decided to take some time out and pray about what we should do next. We had the privilege of spending some time on a conference at the beautiful Lee Abbey Christian centre in North Devon. The subject of the conference was ‘Hungry for God’ and we came away being reminded that it is God’s presence we should be seeking first and foremost and that He will take care of the rest. We have increasingly felt at peace about the future and believe our priority is to rest and trust in God as He will reveal the next steps of our journey. Alongside this, we have been trying to let go of Pakistan and the type of role and location we thought God was calling us to.

... another one opens

Throughout, we have been in close contact with CMS, who have since found us a new role in Malaysia with AsiaCMS.

CMS UK, as part of their long-term strategy, are increasing regional leadership and autonomy. As part of this process AsiaCMS was birthed and has three regional offices operating in Pakistan, India and South Korea.

These offices (run by one person in most cases) are involved in mobilising mission and equipping, training and networking in their respective regions, as well as supporting national mission partners. The current AsiaCMS director is planning to set-up a co-ordinating office in Malaysia and has asked that we support with that work. The role will be in Kuala Lumpur and will involve being a part of the set-up, including helping to run finances and day to day operations until a team is recruited and local staff are able to take on more responsibility. It will also be helping to support, train and raise the profile of the work that is going on across Asia and send out more Asian mission partners.

Despite our reservations that we will not be involved in ministry directly with the poor as we had initially felt called, we have become increasingly excited about this opportunity. It will be a real privilege to be a part of what God is doing across Asia and at this stage we have no idea where the role will lead… an exciting prospect. We also take comfort that Pakistan is a part of the wider network of AsiaCMS and so we will still have some contact with the work that is going on there.

Despite Malaysia being a majority Muslim country, there will be many differences compared with Pakistan, particularly for family life. Malaysia is a much less conservative society and Kate will have many more freedoms than she would have had. The country is also more developed and health care, schooling and recreation options are readily available.

The role does not start until the beginning of next year, so we would hope to go out to Malaysia towards the end of this year, providing once again that we are successful with visas!

In the interim...

Andrew will be spending some time in Oxford with CMS building relationships and doing some work in advance of moving to Malaysia. Andrew’s previous employer has also been in touch offering some part time work, which is an amazing provision. While we have the opportunity, we have enrolled to do correspondence Biblical study, just one module for now. We will continue to live in Devon as Kate’s parents have generously allowed us to stay and we are beginning to get involved in local church life. Kate has also been able to fulfil a lifelong ambition as she volunteers one shift a week at the local Christian coffee shop!

When we look back God has moved incredibly quickly in the last four weeks. Not only have we learnt a lot, we now have a new role within CMS that has lots of momentum behind it and an established timeline. Andrew has some paid work with old colleagues and hopefully the opportunity to share some of our story. We are amazed by God’s provision and very humbled by the love and prayers we have received from supporters, friends and family. Andrew & Kate Kennedy, CMS mission partners in training, explain their plans for mission in Kuala Lumpur. We know that as supporters you committed to partner us in our intended work and ministry in Pakistan. Therefore we understand that you may want to review your future support, but we hope that you can get excited for us about this new role and ministry God has opened up in Malaysia and continue to support us.

Please pray for:

Our visa application for Malaysia – should be more straightforward; however prayers would be very much appreciated!

Relationships in CMS – that Andrew meets the right people and gets a clearer understanding of what the role involves and builds a support network that will be invaluable when we go to Malaysia.

Life in Devon – that as we set-up home in Devon and get involved in local life, that we would feel settled as a family and in particular Kate would make good friends locally. Though Devon is a lovely place to live we often feel we are a long way from friends.

Andrew’s work – that he would have the boldness to share some of our story and God’s provision at his old workplace.

Pakistan – please continue to pray for Pakistan. God has given us a heart for this country and we hope and pray that through our journey that you would remember to pray for the minority church there and the country as a whole.

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