Isolated Christians in the military need fellowship and fellowship with those that understand the challenges and difficulties of military service. MMI’s July Newsletter told how Believers in the Israeli Defence Force face this difficulty and how military Christian fellowships (MCF) meet this need.
Each year MMI’s Korean partners, Mission Support Organisation (MSO), invite delegates from countries where no MCF exists, or where it is weak and struggling, to take part in a week of Military Evangelism Observation (MEO). Here delegates are envisioned or re-envisioned, encouraged, taught and trained in running effective MCFs. They see how the Korean MCF works and observe events like the Korean MCF National Salvation Convention where 15,000 Christians from Korea’s Army, Navy and Air Force meet to praise God, listen to His word and pray together. They join Chapel services on military bases where hundreds of new recruits are baptised at one time as the culmination of a programme of sharing the gospel in a joint programme run between Chaplains and the MCF. And all this in a predominantly Buddhist country with only 30% Christians. It is inspirational.
This year MMI and ACCTS, the third principle support organisation for the worldwide Association of Military Christian Fellowships (AMCF), assisted MSO in the MEO programme. They provided instructors on key MCF topics such as Prayer, Bible study and Pray and Plan and MMI’s Secretary, Mike Paterson joined the team to speak on the latter two as well as introduce delegates to MMI’s work. One delegate declared, “For the first time I know how to study my Bible!”
With delegates from 19 countries, most in the regions MMI works in, it was an opportunity to see what help MMI can provide to see God’s kingdom grow in these places. Most delegates from countries without MCFs went back committed to establishing fellowships. Mike Paterson said, “The Korean way is very direct, unlike our reserved, British style, but delegates embraced it and were inspired to rise to the challenge.” Commitment from delegates from the Middle East to go home and set up Fellowships was inspiring and challenging. MMI’s regional team leaders will be quick to follow up these new fellowships and offer on going support. In other countries MMI’s help was sought to provide support to MCF delegates. Delegates from Namibia and Zimbabwe were keen to send young Christian leaders to take part Table Mountain Top Interaction in Southern Africa.
The establishment and development of military Christian fellowships (MCF) is MMI’s primary objective as the way to help Christians in the military remain and grow in their faith. One hundred and twenty military MCFs have been established around the world as part of the Association of Military Christian Fellowships (AMCF). MEO is a superb programme inspiring the formation of more and more Fellowships.