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Stronger Together

The Gospel Front in the Asia Pacific Baptist Region

During my Australia trip in August I was surprised to see Australia is becoming much more multi-cultural, multi-colored people. I didn’t feel I was in Australia. I actually felt very strange. I seemed to come across more Asians in the shopping malls than I had expected.

Is this the changing face of Asia Pacific for the gospel impact in the region of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation? I bet it is, and we are presented with the opportunity that ‘we’ the Asia Pacific Baptist with different ethnicities, background, multi-cultural people must come together with a common goal to serve the Lord in the extension of His Kingdom here on earth, especially in the Asia Pacific.

While Christianity have grown in South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and even Indonesia, at an approx. of 16%-21% at present, there are still countries like Mongolia, Bhutan, and Japan where Christianity is less than 1%. How can we strengthen the churches to be light and salt of the earth in regions where growth of Christianity has been minimal? It remains a task for the church to spread the gospel with urgency. 

We are also faced with the challenge of the explosive population growth into the urban cities bringing into the forefront issues of  hunger, abject poverty, and modern slavery. The gap between the rich and the poor is getting alarmingly wider. Will our churches ‘Wealthy Churches’ be willing to spend kingdom resources to step up and be the hands and feet of Christ to those in need of hope, advocate for the poor and speak for the minority?

Asia is witnessing the renaissance of religious and cultural fundamentalism restraining churches to freely express faith outside the walls of the church. Religious persecution has increased in some countries. How can we encourage the church to remain faithful, resilient and be a witness of love and understanding to those whose intention are to destroy?

Natural disasters like earthquake, tsunamis, extreme typhoons and landslides continues to barge into our doors bringing insurmountable suffering among the people that God’s church cannot ignore. As His people how shall we unite in prayer and seek to stretch one’s hands during the times of crisis?

Gospel Front Challenges We Are Called Into 

Jesus says in John 15:16-17, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.”

Jesus is calling us to love each other. That he has called us as Baptists to love our family of Baptists around the Asia Pacific. Jon Bloom says, “A church’s success is measured by the quality of its love.” How is this love shown? John 13:34-35 says, “Just as I have loved you, you also are to love oneanother. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

This is an opportune time for the Asia Pacific to love one another, join hands together to inspire and equip one another by collaborating, networking, training and serving to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.

Asia Pacific Baptist which had its beginnings in 1956 and formally formed in 1975 through the leadership of Rev. Alan Prior from Australia has seen monumental growth over the years. APBF is now a body of more than 33,000 churches, 62 conventions spread in 22 countries. Praise the Lord,APBF is still growing. What a privilege we have as APBF to strengthen one another to empower,equip and build capacity. With the help of God, we can do because we are “stronger when we work together!” It is what we shall be “Stronger Together."

May God be glorified through us and His kingdom be expanded by our efforts and commitment to His cause.

This is an opportune time for the Asia Pacific to love one another, join hands together to inspire and equip one another by collaborating, networking,  training and serving to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ.

by Vesekhoyi Tetseo (Vee), General Secretary, APBF