THE BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN EVANGELICAL OVERSEA MISSION (C.E.O.M.)
The Christian Evangelical Overseas Mission was established in April of 1995 by E.M.S.I. at the Mission Headquarters in Towaco, New Jersey. And, since then, it expanded to missions and church planting. Rev. Yang has been traveling to and from the U.S. to Europe many times in the past thirty years. He has been invited to lead evangelistic meetings and deeper life services. The Holy Spirit had worked mightily in the places he went to, not only causing many to respond by going to the churches, but also bringing spiritual revival among brothers and sisters. At the moment, the C.E.O.M. has expanded its ministry to four large continents - America, Europe, Asia and Africa. And different C.E.M. branches were set up to assist in the missions ministry among the C.E.C. churches.
Rev. Moses Yang was invited to speak in Holland in October of 1994. A sister who immigrated from Holland to Spain came to attend the meeting and made a Macedonian call to Rev. Yang about the needs of the Chinese churches in Spain. Then, E.M.S.I. commissioned Ev. Anne Li to explore Spain for two months in November 1994, while preparing to establish a C.E.M. in Spain. Rev. Yang went to Spain for a circuit preaching from December 25-31 for the first time. At the time, there was only one Chinese church in Barcelona and the rest were not official churches with a full-time evangelist. Ev. Anne Li came back from Spain to U.S. in January 1995 and she started raising funds for the mission fund in Spain from the east coast C.E.C. and Taiwan. The Mission Evangelical China Espanola was established in April of 1995 and was officially registered with the Spanish government.
Rev. Moses Yang came in contact with the mission work in Holland sometime around 1973. He had been traveling back and forth from the U.S. to Holland and he knew the needs of the Chinese churches in Holland. From 1973 to 1999, Rev. Yang had a close relationship with the Chinese Evangelical Mission in Europe. Rev. Yang led a short-term Western Europe mission team in June of 1999 to expand the Gospel ministry. The Gospel ministry in Breda and Bergen Op Zoom rapidly grew and it motivated many church members to participate actively in the mission work.
Ev. Yue Ping Chen from the C.E.C. in Valencia received an invitation from his sister Xiao Li Chen in July 1999 about the urgent Gospel need in Lisbon, Portugal. After prayers and discussion from the U.S. Mission headquarters, a short-term mission team from the U.S. to Spain also went to Portugal to visit the Christians there. After much observation and understanding, there was a need of establishing a C.E.C in Portugal. E.M.S.I. transferred Ev. Chen from Spain to Portugal in September to expand the Gospel ministry in Portugal . The C.E.C. in Lisbon was officially established on October 19, 1999.
A short-term Gospel team of 37 members went to Paris in March of 2000 for two nights of evangelical meetings. They presented musicals, inspiring Gospel skits, and evangelical messages which made a deep impression upon the local Chinese. The C.E.C. in Paris was then established in July 2000. Rev. Yang led another team of thirty members to Paris on October 10th, 2001. The team not only did mission work, but attended the Church Dedication of the C.E.C. in Paris. During those three days of services, twenty people were baptized. In a short 1 ½ years after the C.E.C. in Paris was established, it purchased a church building right in the commercial district. It became most special in the mission field and one that bought a church building in the shortest time.
E.M.S.I. sent a short-term Gospel team to Antwerpen in April of 2000. The team had two nights of evangelistic meetings, but because of the lack of manpower, there was no follow-up. Ev. Mix and Anny Chan had the burden for the Gospel need in Belgium around April 2003 and Rev. Hosea Chi went with them to visit Antwerpen, Brussels and Gent where they met with Rev. Hugo Chan for a discussion. They chose Antwerpen to be the base for the Gospel ministry after much prayer. This was also a response to the Gospel seed sown in the year 2000 in Antwerpen by the short-term Gospel team.
Ev. Chan and his family moved to Antwerpen in July of 2003, where they started a Gospel ministry in Belgium. A short Gospel team of twelve then went for visitation and evangelism. Through their efforts they officially expanded the Gospel ministry in Belgium.
There are more than hundred thousands of Chinese in Italy. The preliminary estimate of Chinese is around 30,000 who are from Northern China and many of them are not believers. Because of the Gospel need there, we have been earnestly praying for Gospel ministry in Italy. When Rev. Yang came back from Paris in October 2006, he had a vision of expanding the Gospel ministry in Milan. Rev. Yang, Rev. Chi and Rev. Ye went to visit Milan on March 25, 2007. In a short span of five days, they found the right direction in expanding the Gospel ministry there. In June of 2008 we will commission Ev. Grace Zhang to a church planting ministry in Milan.
Rev. Moses Yang went to South Africa by the year end of 1995 to visit a seminary student. There he came to realize that there were many Chinese in Cape Town, so then he flew there. Little did he know that the Chinese Christians had been praying for two years already for a church so Rev. Yang made a promise that he will send a missionary after meeting with them. The C.E.C. in Cape Town was officially established in February 1996 and it has expanded its Gospel ministry since then.
Following the constitution of CEMI (Christian Evangelical Mission International), we started a renewed mission, a new plan, and a new assignment to spread Gospel in Japan beginning in 2009.
The C.E.C. in Taipei was officially established on September 23, 2007. E.M.S.I. commissioned Rev. and Mrs. Chan from Holland to assist in pastoring the church for a short period of time, therefore the Gospel ministry in Taiwan was expanded.
Since the establishment of the Christian Evangelical Oversea Mission eighteen years ago, in each of the missionary work, we witnessed Jesus Christ provided different situations whereby we learned valuable lessons. These ministries not only brought people to the Lord, but they also deeply motivated us in our spiritual lives. May God use our C.E.C. churches to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
II. THE MINISTRY OF THE CHRISTIAN EVANGELICAL OVERSEAS MISSION
The main thrusts of the ministry of the Christian Evangelical Oversea Mission are to spread the Gospel of Christ Jesus and to establish churches that are based on God’s truth. Aside from coordinating all missionary work in America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, the CEOM oversees the establishment of mission churches. It also sends out and supervises missionaries in order to meet the needs of the mission fields.
When a mission church is self sufficient financially and can take care of its day to day operation and does not need assistance from other mission churches or missionary foundation; and when its operation is in unison with the Mission Headquarters, it becomes an integral part of the Mission Headquarters and yet it is independently established.
A mission church is like a new-born baby that needs extra care and nurture. It needs financial, manpower, and prayer support from brothers and sisters. So, in the mission field, the C.E.O.M. will fully support the pioneering mission field.
Ⅲ. Future Prospect of the Christian Evangelical Overseas Mission
There are more than 50 mission organizations around the world and most of them have the burden toward Mainland China. The reason is because there are billions of unconquered souls in China and this has become the main goal of many short-term mission teams. The C.E.O.M. has our own mission direction. Our goal is that, through the influence of the overseas Chinese, we can go into the whole world. The C.E.O.M. does not follow the crowd, but it follows God’s wisdom. We have our own strategy and plan in expanding the mission work. We do not waste financial resources and manpower, but we fulfill the Gospel ministry in these last days.
For the past eighteen years, through the Lord’s leading and the full support of the C.E.M. pastors and members, we were able to send out missionaries trained in our seminary to the mission’s field. We were also able to reach out to the overseas Chinese and expand the Gospel ministry. We will continue to train more full-time Christian workers in the days to come. We want to challenge all C.E.C. members to be directly involved in the mission’s work. In the past, every time we made a mission’s call, many faithful brothers and sisters gave generously, just like what Apostle Paul said: “as having nothing, and yet possessing all things” (II Corinthians 6:10). This is an exercise of our faith and a blessed commitment. But the greatest blessing goes to our brothers and sisters. God promises hundred fold now in this life, but eternal life in the world to come (Mark 10:30). Therefore, if we are willing to give our time, money, energy and lives to the Lord, He will always be faithful to us.