WHO WE ARE - BEGINNINGS
The Asia Pacific Baptist Federation (APBF) had its beginnings when young people from Asia met in Rio de Janeiro in 1953. This resulted in the coming together of the 1st Asia Baptist Youth Conference on 20th August of 1956 in Hong Kong.
The vision to establish APBF was realized during the 4th Asia Pacific Youth Conference. The following years through the leadership of Allan Prior from Australia, Asia Baptist Fellowship came into being in 1975.
In 1975, the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation (originally named Asia Baptist Fellowship) was established as regional fellowships of the Baptist World Alliance.
Today, APBF represent over 33,000 local churches and 61 Conventions in 22 Countries across the Asia Pacific region with the goal:
- To promote fellowship, cooperation and service amongst Baptists.
- To stimulate and coordinate evangelism.
- To assist in consultation and planning for various ministry programs.
- To function as a regional organisation of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA).
APBF Sunday has been set aside for member bodies to remember God’s faithfulness through out the years, and to commemorate August 3rd Sunday as a special day to pray for APBF.
We all value the celebration of birthdays because it reminds you of being a person with a name. It gives you history. It gives you identity. It gives you meaning.
No matter how old a person is birthdays are special. Birthdays past often brings sweet, nostalgic memories.
Likewise, we celebrate the third of August as APBF Sunday. Some would even call it APBF Foundation day.
It is good to remember what God has done for us through APBF. From the very first meeting of Baptists in 1956 to its formation as APBF in 1975, we have come this far as one body of Baptists living out the gospel.
Who are we? We are ‘You and Me’ from the remotest area of the planet earth that covers more than half of the world’s population. From the mountains of Nepal to the shores of the Pacific, we are one family.
APBF brought to each one of us the belongingness that we are people of ‘one hope, one faith, one baptism’. And as people of the book ‘The Bible’, we are a group of ‘Christ loving people’ who continues to proclaim the good news, share faith passionately, and live out the gospel in our homes and communities since the good news came to the Asia-Pacific some 300 years ago.
We have a reason to celebrate APBF Sunday.
- To spend a Sunday to remember what APBF does to minister in areas where a singular church cannot undertake ministry.
- To pray as APBF stands for those in need of shelter, clothing in times of tragedies, and natural disasters.
- To pray for APBF when they raise the voice of minority to represent communities whose voices have been shut, oppressed by those mightier than them.
- To pray for APBF as leaders are empowered through trainings and assuring believers to continue to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Only you can do that and it is appropriate that the third Sunday of August is set aside to pray for APBF, and to encourage believers to make a special commitment towards the ministries of APBF.
You are APBF. You are the reason we are APBF. Your prayers, participation, offerings are what keeps APBF a central organization of Baptists in the Asia Pacific. Together We Are Strong! God Bless APBF! God Bless You!
Rev. Dr. Vesekhoyi Tetseo (Vee) - General Secretary, APBF
APBF Sunday—the special Sunday in August we are instituting to have the whole Asia Pacific region celebrate God’s faithful love, our history, identity and the fruitful work He is doing in our midst!
We celebrate our past in how God led us by His faithful hands, and blessed us with churches, leaders and members and how He will continue to favor us as we move forward on the wings of His Spirit. Being the region with the largest land mass and the biggest populated nations, we are blessed to be in 22 countries, 61 conventions and have more than 33,000 churches. We have every good reason to praise God for His love for APBF.
APBF Sunday reminds us that we belong to a BIG Baptist family seeking to unite our communities spread out over 22 countries to have a sense of belonging in God’s work in Asia Pacific. As we join heads, hands and hearts to worship God on that day together, we also seek His grace and wisdom to transform lives in Christ across the region.
APBF Sunday gives us the chance to engage with each other however far or near we are and be united through fervent, faithful prayers as we worship God together on that glorious Sunday. “Together We Are Strong” and we shall remain strong to serve God together in the proclamation of the glorious Gospel across the Asia Pacific (Matt. 28:19-20). God richly bless you. A fellow pilgrim in this sacred journey.
Rev. Edwin Lam - President, APBF
When we read 2 Tim. 3:14-15, we see how Paul is encouraging Timothy to “continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings”. As a member of an older generation, Paul is a model for Timothy to follow.
APBF has come a long way from its inception as one of the regional body of the Baptist World Alliance. Our past leaders have given much of their life’s service to make APBF where we are.
As we celebrate August 19 as APBF Sunday, we must not forget as Paul reminds us “Join with me in suffering for the gospel” (2 Tim. 1:8), “Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me” (2 Tim. 1:13). No organization is a ‘piece of cake’. It requires fully committed prayer, constant determination and a clear guidance from God.
May we take this day ‘APBF Sunday’ to remind us of the commitment we must make as Baptists in the Asia Pacific, holding the blessings of our past leaders and moving forward to stronger together in the proclamation of the gospel here and to the ends of the earth.
Take encouragement and proudly celebrate what God has done for us! Let us continue to follow the footsteps of our leaders.
Blessings to all who call APBF its home.
Mr. Bijoy Sangma - Vice President, APBF
It gives me great joy and pleasure to greet all of you brothers and sisters in Christ! I bring greetings from the Baptist Family in the South Pacific and especially Fiji. In less then a month we will be celebrating the foundation day of APBF on August 19. While the Sunday has been designated for celebration it also calls for us an honest evaluation of our progress which would challenge us to an improvement in the use of our time and lives for the glory of God.
Romans 15:5-6: “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I believe that Paul is not asking us to be identical but rather to be unified (Rom 12:16; 2 Cor 13:11). This unity includes “having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose” (Phil 2:2), and “agree[ing] with each other in the Lord” (Phil 4:2)
How can I be a unifying presence in the ministry or fellowship that I am a part of? Pray that God will use you to unite the group in spirit and purpose.
May God continue to bless you all.
- Ratu Inoke Kubuabola, Vice President, APBF
Celebration: Why should we celebrate 'Togetherness' as Baptists.
“Imagine a movement across the Asia/Pacific Region of Baptists who loved each other with a radical kind of love. They shared their lives with one another. They laughed and cried, prayed and sang, and served together to build the kingdom of God as authentic Christ followers. Those who had more shared freely with those who had less. People related together in ways that bridged gender and racial chasms and celebrated generational and cultural differences. Imagine believers offering people a vision of life that was so beautiful it took their breath away. So bold, so creative, and so dynamic that they couldn’t resist it. We are better when we work together!”
- Rev. Mark Wilson, Vice President, APBF
1. To Praise the Lord for His Mighty Deeds.
Praise the LORD in song, for He has done excellent things; Let this be known throughout the earth. Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel
will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us
2. To Give Thanks to the Lord for using APBF as His instruments of peace.
Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts, And I will tell of Your greatness. They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness And will shout joyfully of Your righteousness. The LORD is gracious and merciful.
3. Pray for APBF, leaders, member conventions and the continual work APBF must do to serve Him faithfully.
2 Corinthians 8:4-7
They gave offerings of whatever they could—far more than they could afford!—pleading for the privilege of helping out in the relief of poor Christians. This was totally spontaneous, entirely their own idea, and caught us completely off guard. What explains it was that they had first given themselves unreservedly to God and to us. The other giving simply flowed out of the purposes of God working in their lives.
1 Timothy 6:17-19
Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.
4. Pray God’s Kingdom on earth is fulfilled as His gospel is preached to the ends of the earth.
For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. To him be the glory forever! Amen.