OI’s MISSION STATEMENT: “Reaching Our Kinsmen, Touching All Nations”
If you understand GOI’s Mission Statement, you will better understand GOI. It explains who we are, why we exist, what we do, where we are headed, and why we do what we do.
Reaching Our Kinsman
Rev. Cyrus Lam was intimately acquainted with the Chinese Diaspora. This refers to “overseas Chinese” (huaren), people of Chinese descent residing outside of their homeland. Chinese migration had a very long history starting in the 14th century, but had accelerated in recent times. The Diaspora was his story, his life. He had lived and served God in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Mauritius/Reunion and the United States working with, among these far flung Chinese communities.
In 1984, while he was working on his doctorate in missiology, three influences came together. He had the opportunity to meditate deeply on his experiences as a Chinese of the Diaspora. His classes, and research for his thesis gave him new insights and methods. As he re-read the Bible, he saw in the missionary efforts of the Apostle Paul and the Jewish Diaspora a possible model for the Chinese Christian.
The research showed there were millions of Chinese scattered abroad in various communities. Almost every country in the world had Chinese living there. For some there were churches but most did not have a Chinese church nearby nor had they ever had the opportunity to hear the Gospel. He also was acutely aware of “elephant in the room”: the Homeland represented the largest mission field in the world.
As he delved deeper, his research revealed almost 5,000 Chinese churches scattered around the world, but only the smallest percentage had developed a vision for mission and evangelism. God gave him discernment to realize that if these churches could be mobilized for mission they could effectively reach their kinsman whether in the Diaspora or the Homeland.
Touching the World
But as Rev. Lam read the Bible, God opened his eyes to a bigger vision and a deeper appreciation for God’s Great Mission to redeem the entire world. Reaching the Diaspora, even the Homeland was of course of vital importance, but even these worthy goals did not fully capture God’s great heart of love for the entire world and God’s plan to save it.
Rev. Lam read with new eyes the missionary strategy of the Apostle Paul. Paul had a heart to reach his fellow Jews. As Paul traveled from city to city, his first efforts were to speak at the synagogue. Soon there were converts from the Jewish Diaspora. These Jews were bi-cultural and soon were reaching out to the Gentiles of the communities where they lived with great success. Rev. Lam realized the same model could work for the Chinese Diaspora.
God had already sent Chinese ahead to live in over 100 different countries around the world. Many of these were in the 10/40 Window, and in close proximity to those with different religions. If churches could be planted for these Chinese and as these churches matured and became fruitful, they would become bases of operations for outreach to the locals. These churches and these bi-cultural Chinese Christians together would constitute a bridge to the nations.
Rev. Lam was galvanized by this vision. Inspired, he wrote his doctoral thesis, a 150 page mission plan titled: “The Chinese Church: A Bridge to World Mission.” This vision started to become reality as God gathered a group of Chinese Christians who shared this vision. Together they started GOI in 1995. This mission organization has resulted in work in fourteen different fields. One third of these missions have progressed to the point of reaching out to their local community. For instance, in Mexico, evangelism efforts resulted in a mission church. The mission church through discipleship and leadership training has sought to expand the work to new neighborhoods. Some of the efforts are focused on Chinese, but the church is in process of establishing a Gospel Center to reach out to the local community and has hired a Mexican pastor to minister there.
There is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God the Father is the all-powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all righteous God, who is the creator and sustainer of all things.
The deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death through his shed blood, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His imminent personal return.
The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, co-existent with the Father and the Son. His present ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and to indwell, guide, teach, empower the believer, and to convict the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment.
The Scriptures, inerrant as originally given, were verbally inspired by God and were a complete revelation of His will for the Salvation of men. They constitute the divine and only rule of Christian faith and practice.
Man was created in the image and likeness of God, but fell into sin. The entire human race is, therefore, lost and only through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and regeneration of the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be obtained.
The church is one body, consisting of those regenerated by the Holy Spirit, of which Christ is the Head. He has commissioned the church to go into all the world as a witness, preaching the gospel to and making disciples of all nations.
There shall be a bodily resurrection of the just and of the unjust; for the just, a resurrection unto eternal life; for the unjust, a resurrection unto judgment.
Core values explain an organization’s identity. Core values are described by many different metaphors. They are like the DNA of an organism. They are the building blocks which shape an organization’s decisions and thinking. They are like a foundation of a building. A building can grow only as tall as the strength of the foundation. Similarly the organization can grow only as far as the core values can inspire and strengthen. Core values are like a GPS. They tell you where you are, and as they are lived out, they tell where you are headed and how you will get there. Here are ten of GOI’s most important core values.
GOI believes in and is deeply committed to partnership with the local church. GOI is not in competition, nor does it seek to duplicate the mission and efforts of the local churches. GOI sees itself as an extension of the local church; its missionary arm. GOI seeks to complement, work in close cooperation with the local church. The emphasis is on working together in harmony, with mutual respect and mutual benefit, and always building God’s Kingdom, for the Glory of God.
GOI’s focus is entirely on world missions. In particular, GOI has a specific, unique, narrowly defined mission: To mobilize the Chinese church to reach her kinsman whether in the Chinese Diaspora or the Homeland. We also seek to plant mission churches who can reach their local communities. PROFESSIONALISM-In implementing GOI’s mission, we seek to do so in a very professional manner. We will identify the necessary tasks that are required to accomplish our mission. GOI will recruit specialists, with proper training and experiences to achieve our mission.
GOI will organize globally, by establishing a world wide network of ministry partners. The Chinese Diaspora is not only our mission, but is also a vast reservoir of resources to accomplish the mission. GOI intentionally establishes Area Offices around the world and links them together to better utilize the manpower, expertise and financial capabilities of these Chinese Christian communities.
DISTINCT CHINESE CULTURAL IDENTITY
GOI is a Chinese mission organization, intentionally reflecting in various ways the best Chinese cultural values to accomplish our mission. These find expression in GOI’s choices in matters of official organizational language, a highly relational personnel management style, policies which allow missionaries to honor their parents, and GOI’s close relationship with Chinese churches. GOI is distinctly Chinese, setting itself intentionally apart from Western or Third World Mission organizations.
GOI’s mission is bold in scope, and will not be accomplished easily or soon. It will require diligent sustained effort possibly for a long period of time. So GOI is “built to last.” It is not dependent on one charismatic leader, but God has raised up at GOI, a unified organization of missionaries, trained support staff, all under the wise direction of committees and boards made up of wise, godly Christian leaders.
TEAM APPROACH TO MISSIONS
GOI accomplishes the mission by emphasizing team work at every level. In close partnership with churches we carefully select missionaries on the basis of spiritual maturity and fruitful ministry experience. These missionaries are carefully integrated into ministry teams on the mission field. GOI is committed to helping each missionary to serve faithfully and to continually grow by providing continuous training, support and care.
BALANCE LONG TERM AND SHORT TERM MISSION STRATEGIES
GOI recognizes the value and importance of Short Term Missions, by providing many opportunities for churches to partner with GOI by sending teams to GOI’s mission fields. GOI believes STM is valuable for mobilizing the church for missions, and in helping prospective missionaries work on their call from God. However, GOI’s pioneer work requires long term missionaries in order to properly develop the fields. STM will never replace the on going need for long term missionaries.
MOBILIZE NEXT GENERATION
GOI currently is mostly made up of people 40 years and older. GOI is committed to mobilizing the next generations, so that there is a continuous influx of new blood with new energy and ideas.
FLEXIBLE ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE
GOI understands each generation has a distinct culture. GOI will seek to create an organizational environment so that the next generations can feel comfortable, choose to join, serve together and make contributions.
FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
GOI is committed to operating from a foundation of financial accountability and responsibility. We are committed to the churches and Christians who faithfully and generously support the work of GOI to be wise, faithful stewards. As well, we seek to insure the mission work in every aspect lacks no resource necessary to accomplish the mission.
They prayed together for the mission work of Chinese churches. They recognized the desperate need for a Chinese mission organization focused on sending out missionaries. With the encouragement and support from the churches and their leaders, a board of directors was formed on 8 March. The organization name was determined on the following day. The process of registering with the government as a non- profit organization was begun.
The State Government of California granted approval for GOI’s status as a non-profit organization.
Temporary office was set up at the residence of Rev. Joseph Wong.
GOI started operating in rented office space at 906 Clement Street, New Chinatown of San Francisco.
Inauguration ceremony and commissioning of missionaries was held in ‘the 5th Home of Christ, Cupertino, CA.
Missionaries who agreed with the same vision and joined this new mission organization in the pioneer stage were: Rev. Bob Low (Argentina), Rev. Gideon and Mabel Wu. (Russia), Joseph and Winnie Sze.(Mexico), Rev. Abraham and May Hsueh (USA), followed by Derek and Ena Ng (Jamaica), Rev. Vincent and Carmen Chen (Argentina) and Caleb and Josephine Hua (pioneering district).