I want to attend this year 7th Asian Baptist Congress for two reasons. First, I was able to attend the last Congress five years ago which was held in the Philippines. Even, then I couldn't afford the fees, I found an ingenuous way to attend. I volunteered as staff of the security committee. Although I missed the seminars and workshops offered, I was able to attend the plenary sessions and I was blessed with the worship and testimonies of fellow baptists all over Asia.
Second, after five years the Congress will be held in Chiang Mai. Fortunately I'm now living in Thailand just five hours away bus ride from Chiang Mai. But then again, I still can't afford the registration fee and the hotel accommodation so I thought I may not make it this time. However, I received an email telling me that I am now assured of free registration and accommodation, but this time I was recruited to be part of the Communication Committee. I consider it a promotion from being a security guard to being a news reporter.
If any of you, my readers, are attending the 7th Asian Baptist Congress, drop me a note and let us have a little chat over a cup of coffee.
Here are tidbits of the information about the Asian Baptist Congress.
The first Baptist work in the Asia region was started in 1793 by William Carey and friends of the Baptist Mission Society, when they came to India. This was followed by many other Baptist missionaries from North America and Europe and even from our own region - from Australia and New Zealand. Today most countries in Asia have Baptist believers and churches.
The Asian Baptist Federation was formed in 1973 in Hong Kong. The ABF comprises Baptist conventions both in Asia proper as well as the Oceania – Pacific region. Today the ABF is composed of 55 Baptist conventions from 20 countries, worshipping in over 25,000 local churches from as far as Sri Lanka to South Korea, Nepal to New Zealand, India to Fiji. ABF member conventions/unions come from diverse economic and political backgrounds.
The ABF provides an important platform for Baptists of the Asia – Pacific region to relate to one another and work together in partnership in some key areas of ministry viz. missions, leadership development, pastoral training, theological education, aid and development etc. ABF also has auxiliary departments such as Women, Youth and Men.
One of the important events in the life of the ABF is the holding of the Asian Baptist Congress every five years.
- 1st Asian Baptist Congress : 1979 January 8 -14. Hyderabad, India
- 2nd Asian Baptist Congress : 1983 January 7 - 12. Hong Kong
- 3rd Asian Baptist Congress : 1988 January 9 -17. Sydney, Australia
- 4th Asian Baptist Congress : 1992 July 17 - 22. Singapore
- 5th Asian Baptist Congress : 1997 July 15 - 20. Taipei, Taiwan (ROC)
- 6th Asian Baptist Congress : 2002 April 19 - 23. Manila, Philippines
The Congress provides an opportunity for Baptists from our region to come together:
The Congress is open to all bonafide Baptists and believers. Delegates from other Christian denominations have also attended in the past.
- To celebrate and affirm what God is doing in our region.
- To hear and be encouraged by testimonies from one another
- To learn from one another in formal workshops as well as informal settings.
- To enable and encourage networks and partnerships to be established amongst Baptists as they meet, fellowship and pray together.
If you want to attend and register you can visit the website of the Asian Baptist Congress.