Do you have a heart for communities to be transformed by God’s love? Take a dive into missions by going for a short-term stint and find out what the missionary’s life is all about.
What does it mean to be a missionary? If you grew up in church, you’d probably have heard of legendary missionaries such as the Apostle Paul, Jim Elliot, Amy Carmichael and Hudson Taylor. These people gave up their culture, the family they loved and the home they’d known all their lives in pursuit of the Great Commission — to go and make disciples of all nations.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.Matthew 28:19-20 NIV
But first, what is the missional life and can we all be missionaries?
The missional lifestyle can be lived out every day. It simply means making the most of every opportunity to share God’s love and gospel with those that God brings into our path. We are all called to live a missional life, but not all are called to be full-time missionaries.
Taking the love of God to unreached or lesser reached communities is a calling not many can embrace for a lifetime, but there are short-term mission opportunities that provide an eye-opening experience. In fact, many people who have experienced short-term mission trips have a deeper understanding of Jesus’ love for people and their purpose in life.
So, if you desire a greater faith-filled experience and want to witness the life-transforming power of Jesus Christ in lives and difficult situations – prayerfully consider a short-term mission stint. Here are 5 missions opportunities by Malaysia’s churches and missions organisations that you may want to explore!
5 short-term missions opportunities in Malaysia to explore
>> Operation Mobilisation (OM) Malaysia
Born out of an American housewife’s prayers in the 1950s, Operation Mobilisation (OM) is an international outreach and equipping ministry with a presence in over 100 countries and onboard its ship, Logos Hope.
“We are on a mission to bring the gospel to the farthest corners of the world, fulfilling the Great Commission in this generation. There is no place too far, no task too difficult, and no human we won’t try to reach.”Lawrence Tong, OM International Director
OM Malaysia has been around for more than 30 years, and today focuses on mobilising and equipping Malaysia’s believers for missions. The team is also building for the future by mentoring the next generation in discipleship and evangelism. There are three mission-oriented programmes currently offered by OM Malaysia:
- Out of the Comfort Zone Asia: perfect if you’re on a summer break or waiting to start college, OCZ offers a 5-day conference followed by around two weeks of missions to one of 12 outreach countries in Asia.
- Sabah short-term exposure programme: If your heart is for your homeland, head over to Sabah and serve alongside an international team supporting local churches in reaching indigenous communities in Sabah’s interior. There’s also the opportunity for youth work and practical discipleship!
- TeenStreet Malaysia: Build up the next generation (or if you’re a Gen Z, it’s your generation!) by supporting churches in their youth ministry work. Be part of TeenStreet, a programme that aims to help youths develop an authentic relationship with Jesus and live out their faith meaningfully.
To enquire about any of these mission opportunities, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
>> Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Malaysia
YWAM’s goal is to know God and make Him known. It was birthed by Loren Cunningham in 1960, a young man with a heart to provide youth with an opportunity to be sent forth as missionaries. Today, YWAM reaches more than 180 countries and has a threefold purpose: evangelism, training and mercy ministry.
“Put your dreams on the altar. They will be resurrected into something even grander.”Loren Cunningham, Is That Really You, God?
In Malaysia, YWAM set up its first base in Penang in 1986. Since then, the missions organisation has set up bases in Ipoh, Petaling Jaya, Damansara, Johor, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. YWAM offers a host of programmes you can explore, but its flagship programme, the Discipleship Training School, is a great starting point.
Discipleship Training School (DTS) is a 5-6 month programme (lectures and outreach) that will help you grow in faith, and discover your talents and purposes in God’s kingdom. DTS has a blended approach of classroom learning, practical faith and community living.
There are currently five YWAM bases in Malaysia offering DTS. Learn more here.
>> Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) Malaysia
Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) was first birthed as the China Inland Mission (CIM) by Hudson Taylor, a well-known English missionary who had a burden for China. Today, OMF is a global fellowship of Christians with a heart for East Asia’s communities and diaspora.
There are more than 2,500 OMF workers from 40 countries today. In Malaysia, OMF continues to support the establishment of ‘indigenous, biblical church-planting movements in each people group’ and offers both long-term and short-term missions opportunities.
Serve Asia is OMF’s short-term missions programme and is suitable if you’re interested in serving as a missionary for up to one year. From children’s work to teaching English, sports ministry and providing medical services, you can use your talents and interests to be a blessing and share the good news of the Gospel.
For more information on Serve Asia and how to get started, click here.
>> Every Nation Malaysia
Every Nation is an international network of churches united by a common purpose to ‘establish church-planting churches, reach the next generation on the campus and preach the gospel to every nation. There are currently nine Every Nation churches in Malaysia.
Every Nation Malaysia’s missions arm offers the Ten Days programme, a short-term missions trip that lasts, yes, ten days. These trips are organised regularly, so if two weeks is all you can spare, consider joining the next one!
Get in touch with Pr Balan Solomon at email@example.com to find out more.
>> Missions: CrossFields by DUMC
Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) offers short-term mission trips (usually around 7-10 days) to Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and West and East Malaysia. These trips are open to all Christians who have attended a two-day training organised by DUMC, the Missions Candidates’ Preparation Programme 1 (MCPP1).
The MCPP1 course (held over a weekend) will introduce you to the biblical foundations for missions, what personal evangelism looks like, and the call to missions and people groups, among other topics. You’ll also learn practical aspects such as conducting water baptism and communion.
You can learn more and sign up for MCPP1 or CrossFields’ short-term mission trips here.
Let’s carry the torch of the gospel from generation to generation
You may have heard of Hudson Taylor, but did you know that his parents-in-law, Samuel and Maria Dyer, were missionaries to Malaysia? Samuel Dyer was part of the London Missionary Society (LMS) and in 1827 arrived on the shores of Penang1. Although he had originally planned to serve elsewhere, he found that many LMS missionaries in Malaysia had succumbed to death or disease. So, he decided to stay.
Dyer eventually became fluent in Hokkien, Malay and other Chinese dialects. Together with his wife, Maria, he set up schools for Chinese boys and girls teaching English, the Bible and other subjects. His passion to make the Word of God accessible led him to develop a cutting-edge font of movable metal types to print Chinese characters.
“I am happy, oh, very happy, in this blessed work, although the least and meanest [most unimportant] of all the labourers in the vineyard.” “I am happy…to bear, in my humble way, the name of Jesus in this Gentile land. Happy to tell with stammering lips that Jesus died for the chief of sinners. Happy to bear the burden and heat of the day. Happy to carry from house to house the bread of life. – Oh, I am very very happy!”Samuel Dyer1
Ultimately, all of us are called to the missional life
As you consider a short-term mission trip whether in Malaysia or elsewhere, may you be encouraged and challenged by the fervour and zeal of missionaries like the Dyers, who gave up everything centuries ago to bring the gospel to Malaysian soil.
Each of us is called to a life of missions, to bring the gospel wherever we go and share the love of God with those around us. We carry the Holy Spirit, who empowers us by giving us the words to speak and the wisdom to act. Let us live the one life we have here on earth with a purpose, and rejoice with the angels when even one lost sheep is found.
“In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”Luke 15:10 NLT