[Photo courtesy of SSD Communication Department]

Southern Asia-Pacific

Adventist Mission Encourages South Asia-Pacific Leaders to Amplify Missionary Efforts in Cities

By 2050, an estimated 6.7 billion people will be living in cities worldwide, emphasizing the critical need for mission work in cities.

Ufilipino | Edward Rodriguez

Pastor Bledi Leno, of the Adventist Mission Office, offered a key message on the need for urban mission work at the Southern Asia-Pacific Division Leadership Summit. Leno discussed his experience with street outreach in New York City, USA, and emphasized the critical need to reach communities all over the globe with the gospel of redemption through Jesus.

The number of people living in cities rises in tandem with the world's population. This proportion is expected to rise to 68 percent by 2050, suggesting that 6.7 billion people would live in cities worldwide, emphasizing the critical need for mission work in cities.

"Jesus loved the people in cities, not the infrastructure, and this is why Christians should love and serve in cities as well," Leno remarked. "The Bible encourages us to show compassion for the people who live in cities, just like Jesus did."

The problems urban people confront are varied and complicated. Urban inhabitants encounter a variety of difficulties on a daily basis, including high population density, poverty, crime, and social isolation. These difficulties might make it difficult for individuals to hear and embrace the gospel of salvation, necessitating a new approach to mission activity.

Leno emphasized the need of adjusting to the unique demands and surroundings of metropolitan regions. He urged that missionaries concentrate on developing connections with people in the neighborhood, addressing their practical needs, and displaying Christ's love in concrete ways.

"Not only is this technique beneficial in metropolitan settings, but it also follows Jesus' example. During his mission, Jesus visited people wherever they were, whether in the marketplace, on the beach, or in their own homes,” according to Leno. "By His deeds, Jesus demonstrated God's love by healing the ill, feeding the hungry, and comforting the lonely."

Another stream of emphasis from the summit was that Adventists are expected to follow Jesus' example and spread the message of salvation to people all around. There has never been a greater need for mission work in urban areas, and the church must be ready to modify its tactics and plans to meet the specific obstacles these communities confront.

Leno underlined the critical necessity for mission work in cities, arguing that cities are places of opportunity where people from many origins and cultures may come together. He also said the great majority of today's young people are growing up in cities, making it important for the church to participate in urban mission work.

Leno's message is especially pertinent to Adventist Church leaders, who have long stressed the necessity of mission work. The church has a long history of missionary effort, with missionaries journeying to far-flung corners of the globe to spread the gospel. However, as the world's population concentrates in cities, it is evident that the church's emphasis must adapt to reach people where they live.

Leno said Adventist Christians must not only care for the poor and needy but also reach out to the city's upper echelons. "Justice ministries include building a presence and routes in communities, as well as being engaged in people's lives beyond merely addressing their needs," he stated.

The original version of this story was posted on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division website.