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11 May 2023

Three stories of building godly leaders


One element of the CMS mission is to equip Christians as leaders in the church and the world. As a result, CMS missionaries around the world work long-term to build up godly leadership wherever they have opportunity. Here are three praise-inspiring stories of godly leaders supported by CMS missionaries in their locations. 

Jeri’s story 

As told by Jon in South East Asia 

Although he was from a Christian family, Jeri only truly believed in Jesus when he was a teenager. That was when he realised that only God—not his parents or anyone else—could deal with his stubbornness and sin.  

Then when he entered Bible college, he was determined to succeed and not revert to his previous sinful ways. He threw himself into his study and anything else he could get involved in on the residential campus. After a while he realised that even by trying harder, he was never going to meet God’s standards, because he would keep on sinning.  

A significant step forward was when he started to hold on to the teaching that he was now no longer a slave to sin, but was—and is still now—made righteous by the blood of Jesus. This new understanding helped Jeri become stronger in his faith. He realised that God keeps on forgiving us as we repent, and that we can continue confident of this forgiveness into the future, even though we’re not yet perfect. 

Jeri gives thanks to God for Jon’s ministry, saying, “[Jon] teaches enthusiastically with simple and practical material”. He admires Jon’s humility as someone from another country who remains committed to play a part in the formation and discipleship of the Bible college students. 

When he graduates, Jeri hopes to be involved in discipling youth as part of a church community. May God give Jeri the grace to teach the forgiveness of God to others, just as he himself has been taught. 

Luz’s story 

As told by Amy Stephens in Argentina 

Luz has now been serving in PNG for two years, working on translating the Bible into the Anuki language. She shares: 

“Greetings from Papua New Guinea. I am excited to tell you that my teammate and I recently got to spend two months in the Anuki community, which is located near Milne Bay. It was a good time in which God helped us to be intentional in learning the language, to focus on work and, once again, to survive the long walks and climbs as we visited different villages. When we return to the community in a couple of months, we plan to study the Bible orally with them so that we can become familiar with the biblical stories in a contextualised way.”  

Give thanks to God for his work in Luz, and for sending her to PNG. In Spanish, the word ‘luz’, means ‘light’. Would you join me in praying for God to use Luz to be his light in the Anuki community as they begin to hear the good news of Jesus in their own tongue. 

Seika’s story 

As told by Jen Lim in Japan  

We’ve been so encouraged by our pastor’s daughter, Seika, who is now in her early twenties. When our family, including my husband Matt, myself and our three children, first arrived in Japan she helped us out so muchbabysitting our boys, teaching us Japanese, and so on, whilst still at high school. At church she was very involved with youth ministry and music ministry.  

We tend to avoid conflicts, but they grow us up and make our relationship deeper and stronger. Conflicts are difficult to experience, but we can go through them with God’s love.

After graduating, Seika moved to the United States to study at Bible college full-time, and then moved to Portugal. At the time of writing, she has now finished her first year of her missionary service (a two-year program incorporating both practical ministry service and training) whilst simultaneously continuing to study at Bible college by distance education.  

I asked Seika what God has been teaching her lately and this was her response:  

“God has been teaching me to not be afraid of conflict with people. I have been working on building relationships with my roommates and teammates to work together for ministries. We tend to avoid conflicts, but they grow us up and make our relationship deeper and stronger. Conflicts are difficult to experience, but we can go through them with God’s love.” 

Following her two-year missionary service, Seika plans to return to Japan to work in full-time ministry, and we are so looking forward to working alongside her in the gospel. 

PRAY

Pray that God would work through CMS missionaries to build up believers in their locations, that they too would be mature and godly servant-leaders in gospel ministry.