EMI is a short name for Ekklesia Ministries International.
EMI is a volunteer Christian charity and social justice mission movement helping inner-city and Indigenous people of North America. We help individuals and communities restore the values God instilled, through holistic and multi-aspects of Christian ministries. EMI affirms the values of Christian beliefs and maintain a supportive relationships with churches and denominations. EMI operates regionally and has carried out its ministries in Canada, USA, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Cambodia, and the Philippines. EMI is fully operated by the supports from individuals, church, and Christian businesses.
EMI initially started as an urban mission movement by a group of student volunteers led by a couple of mission-minded pastors, David Han and Joe Elkerton, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, from around 1994. In the last few decades, EMI engaged in a milieu of social justice ministries for urban poor and AIDS population in downtown Toronto and has created and benchmarked urban programs like ‘Saturday Breakfast Club,’ ‘Sandwich Runs,’ and ‘Out of the Cold,’ which became the signature ministries of EMI in the early part of our mission. They, however, are still actively being implemented by churches and volunteer groups in the North American cities.
The local Canadian Korean churches and Korean Christian Fellowship (KCF) at Simon Fraser Univ. (SFU) and World Vision at Univ. of British Columbia (UBC), along with many young professionals from the city, participated our urban programs from 1996 to 2007 as volunteers or in giving financially.
In Toronto, urban programs are still very active and main part of our ministries, as of 2019, under the leadership of Rev. Joe Elkerton.
From 1998, EMI started growing a mission with Indigenous communities in British Columbia, west coast of Vancouver Island. It all started when a group of American multi-Asian Christians from Southern California visited, in 1996, Ahousaht, a remote island village of Nuu-chah-nulth tribe. We soon started collaborating with the Ahousaht Holistic Centre to co-host a summer youth camp at Kelthmath Island, BC from 1997 to 2007. During those years, many adults and college volunteers from all areas of Pacific Northwest joined with Indigenous and Asian (and others) youths for a week of the gospel festival and cultural friendship.
Rev. Joe Elkerton is an Ojibwe grew up in Toronto. He was one of the few Indigenous church planters in Toronto. He is an important voice for the care for the low-income population and for the ministry of the city’s Indigenous population.
SCHOOL OF DISCIPLESHIP (SOD)
From 1999, it started a mission school (SOD) to prepare missionaries to work with Indigenous communities in Canada and elsewhere. Students from Indigenous communities, South Korea, Japan, Canada, and US have attended the six months training. Contact the school for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EMI became a sending agency for Asian-American missionaries to:
• Hokkaido JAPAN – Abraham Lee (1993) • Ulaanbaatar MONGOLIA – Yun Chung (1995) • The Philippines – John and Hannah Kim (1996) • Seoul KOREA – Paul Kwang-sup Lee (1995) • Central Americas – Dave Choi (2002) • Jongho Cha – Vancouver, BC (2010) • Jim Ogle – Tacoma, WA (2003) • Simon Lee – Hanoi, Vietnam • John and Linda Hensz – Indigenous mission (2007) • Paul and Gloria Lee – Indigenous ministries (2005) • and more.
EMI continues its ministries in urban, Indigenous, multicultural, education and research.
CURRENT EDUCATION OFFERED
EMI offers a 5 days field-trip to the west coast for Perspective visit of Indigenous communities. The program includes:
- Visit to Indigenous community
- Cultural Sharing of local elders (Native Cultural Forum)
- Meeting local missionaries
- A day of hiking to ocean landscape on the west coast and ocean kayak (and possible camping in the wilderness)
- Participation of a local (traditional) cultural event
EMI also offers a Graduate Certificate Program for Indigenous Studies with Northwest Institute of Advanced Mission Studies (Seattle, USA).
Currently, the official directorship is carried by Rev. Dr. John Kim, who is based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He served the Philippines in educational mission for a long time and now engaged in ministering to the elderly people in Surrey, BC, and others.
NATURE OF OPERATION
EMI’s organization is operated under the Associate’s structure, and each Associate operates in his or her own geographical location with own focus, and EMI Associates work together to provide support.
EMI wants to continue to raise next generation missionaries from the American Asian Christian pool and create a safe and sound supportive network for them.
We welcome you to join us for working towards our common cause, and let us know!