Written by Dorrie Manu
“This will change everything. Before tonight, I had heard about Jesus… But now, I’m ready. I’m ready for the change that he can bring into my life.” – Dora
It was the summer of 1997 and the final night of our first-ever mission trip to East Asia.
After sipping tea and saying some heart-felt goodbyes to dear friends, several of whom had become sisters in Christ, I returned to my dorm on campus. Sitting on my roommate’s bed, I found Dora, a student I had met in-country, looking perplexed and wearing a heavy expression on her face.
Dora had come to say goodbye, but had discovered that both my roommate and I were not at home. Betty, one of the staff on the trip, had begun to chat with her, realizing that something was weighing heavy on her heart. Dora had been impacted by the difference that Christ made in my life, but felt torn. As both the student president and head of the local government chapter on her campus, she was supposed to be a committed atheist.
As she sat silently on the bed, tears began to roll down her face and her hands trembled as she held the Knowing God Personally booklet. She looked up and said, “This will change everything. Before tonight, I had heard about Jesus from several foreigners. But now, I’m ready. I’m ready for the change that he can bring into my life.”
This beautiful moment of surrender was a powerful close to a mission trip that I will never forget.
However, this would be just the beginning of my story in East Asia.
How God asked me to return to East Asia
Just the day before this experience with Dora, I had sat in my dimly lit dorm room, Bible in hand, reflecting on my mission trip experience in East Asia. I had been struck by how often I met students who had never heard about Jesus and had only vague notions of God. It was so powerful to see that from a complete vacancy of knowledge, the Holy Spirit was calling people to himself. It was greatly encouraging to see several of my friends grow to both understand who Jesus is and place their faith in him throughout the trip.
As I held my Bible, I opened to Romans, where I had been reading. As I neared the end of the book, I read Romans 15:20, where Paul says, “It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation.” As soon as I read that verse, I knew that the Lord was speaking to me and inviting me to come back to Asia on a year-long internship (STINT). With so many people eager to hear and receive the gospel, but with so few labourers to tell them, this verse solidified in my heart the invitation to return to East Asia.
“… often I met students who had never heard about Jesus and had only vague notions of God. It was so powerful to see that from a complete vacancy of knowledge, the Holy Spirit was calling people to himself.” – Dorrie Manu
Watching the prayers of millions of intercessors answered
The following two years as a full-time campus intern in East Asia were amazing!
Before my eyes, the prayers of millions of intercessors who had so faithfully prayed generation after generation for the opening and transformation of East Asia were now being answered! In just two years, we saw over 1000 people hear the gospel message and over 180 people respond to Jesus! Of those 180 people, 140 of them continued with our ministry in follow-up and subsequent Bible studies. Many of these studies were being led by other new believers who had led their friends and dorm-mates to the Lord. Three East Asian nationals from our region joined us as interns and our very first national staff member from our region joined our team.
20 years of ministry in East Asia: Incredible
It has been 20 years since Canada first began its partnership in East Asia. Looking back to that first mission trip, when the country was just on the cusp of an explosive awakening to the gospel, the years following have been incredibly exciting. Over the last two decades, we have sent over 1000 students on mission trips to East Asia and more than 150 short-term international interns (STINT). Our ministry has grown to multiple cities and expanded to various domains of society. We have seen over 45 Canadians serve as international campus staff for terms of three years or more. We have seen thousands reached with the gospel, national staff raised-up and national students and staff mobilized into mission in their own country and into Central Asia.
We have seen God launch brand new churches, raise up local believers to lead these churches, and establish a student ministry on campus. We have witnessed graduating students continue to walk in faith, step into full-time ministry roles, and even go as missionaries to other nations in some of the least reached areas of our world! Praise Jesus for allowing us as Canadians to be a part of such incredible ministry. We are so thankful for the privilege it has been.
“Over the last two decades, we have sent over 1000 students on mission trips to East Asia and more than 150 short-term international interns (STINT). Our ministry has grown to multiple cities and expanded to various domains of society. We have seen over 45 Canadians serve for as international campus staff for terms of three years or more.” – Dorrie Manu
We will keep pressing forward into new unreached areas
A lot has changed since 1997. The rich fertile spiritual soil in East Asia that I experienced in the late 90’s has changed. Today it is being eroded by the drive for power, success and wealth. While the harvest may have slowed a little, there is still tons to do! Because of those early years, we today have the joy of finding believers on campus, some of whom are third or fourth generation Christians.
As we look ahead to the next two decades of ministry that God might have for us in East Asia, we are excited to begin writing a new chapter of our partnership as we shift to a new region in the country. In this area we aim to specifically give lift to initiatives that seek to engage unreached minority groups. An unreached people group can be defined as a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group without outside assistance. This area of the world is home to hundreds of unreached people groups, and God is opening up doors for us to pioneer ministries amongst those who have never had the opportunity to hear about Jesus! Wow!
Who will go? Whom shall I send?
It is our prayer that God would raise up a new generation of Canadian graduates to go for a year or more to write this new chapter in East Asian history. And we are so thankful that we already have a team on the ground in our new region starting this work! Would you please pray for them as they pioneer, build new relationships, and dig in the spiritual soil for hungry hearts?
Building a ministry to the students of this region and mobilizing them to take the gospel to their neighbours and to even more unreached people groups will require a multi-year investment. Would you consider joining us in this new adventure? Would you ask the Lord of the Harvest to raise up labourers?
What questions do you have?
Wondering what the life of someone on STINT looks like? There are a lot of former STINT participants in our community. Leave us a question here or in the comments below this post on Facebook with a shout-out to former STINT’ers. We welcome your emails as well at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tag your friends & tell your EA story!
Are you a former EA mission trip or STINT participant? Let’s celebrate all God has done by sharing our stories. Leave a comment with one story or memory from your time in EA. Tag a friend or two who also have participated and get them to share their stories.
By Dorrie Manu
Dorrie has served with Power to Change – Students for 18 years. During her time on staff, she has helped pioneer our East Asia partnership, served on campuses in Ontario, helped re-launched our Montréal ministry and now serves on the Global Missions team. She is an academic at heart, possessing a Master of Divinity in Spiritual Formation and a Doctorate of Ministry in Urban Transformation. Dorrie is married to Nana, an African tribal chief in Ghana, and they have a son, named Kweku, who is one and a half years old.
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