Experiencing Alpha 2016

Experiencing Alpha 2016

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

We were so honoured to host delegates from all over the region to be trained and equipped.
— Miles Toulmin - Executive Director, Alpha Asia Pacific

Experiencing Alpha is an annual opportunity for National Alpha Offices and churches to come and see how Alpha works and find out more about the resources and courses available.

This year Experiencing Alpha took place on the 10 - 14 April 2016 at the Alpha Asia Pacific Hub in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We were so honoured to be hosting the pioneer of Alpha, Nicky Gumbel and his wife Pippa for a week of events introducing church leaders to Alpha and outlining some of the exciting new materials and marketing planned in our region.

We hosted the Annual Fundraising Dinner at the Majestic Hotel with 1,200 guests to showcase the vision for our work across the 21 countries in our region. It was a beautiful evening of worship, live painting, an auction, a sneak peek of the up coming Global Alpha Campaign and the Alpha Film Series trailer. Nicky and Pippa interviewed several young adults who have had their lives turned around by God since doing Alpha and Datin Kathleen Chew made the fund raising appeal.

Then the week was concluded by us kicking off the official global launch of our brand new Alpha Film Series featuring Nicky Gumbel and presented by Toby Flint and Gemma Hunt in nine locations around the world. The audience was laughing, crying and fixated on the screen as they watched. A standing ovation followed in thanks to God and the team who worked so hard to make this new resource. 

We are hoping that this event will inspire a new way of presenting the gospel in a modern and relevant way. 

 

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Sheela's Story

Sheela's Story

The idea of running Alpha in the workplace honestly stemmed from a practical reason – late working hours were a barrier to my colleagues being able to attend Alpha at church. It made sense to bring Alpha to the workplace for those who were interested to give it a go.

I remember feeling quite nervous and unsure the first time we ran it back in 2014. I didn’t know what to expect or if anyone would even turn up! ‘Ye of little faith’ I remember a friend saying to me when we ended up with a solid group of about 20 in that first round. Since then, we’ve run Alpha four times - sometimes with larger groups, sometimes with smaller groups - but each experience has never failed to be just as amazing.

The most interesting aspect for me about running Alpha in our workplace was the immediate connection that people made from having something fundamental in common – where they work. There was little need for breaking the ice and discussions took off from day 1 with guests feeling comfortable sharing their thoughts and perspectives.

Alpha in the workplace complements what the church is doing by reaching out to a community that might not have been able to be reached. So many of us know that being out there in the corporate world trying to make it in the great rat race can get tiring and it’s only a matter of time before one begins to ask “Is there more to life that this?” – which is a question that was on the minds of our guests when they came. Alpha provided that safe space for conversations that might not have taken place otherwise.

The most memorable account from a guest for me comes from a guy who had attended our first ever run of Alpha. Post-Alpha, he told us that while was hesitant initially about the whole idea, eventually the weekly sessions became a place of refuge for him in the busyness of work. He said that it was a truly unexpected experience - “Work is what I had associated with stress and a lack of peace but through Alpha, work became a place I found hope, peace and faith.”

It’s not smooth sailing all the time but it is stories like this and many more of that nature that remind me that even if it’s for one person each round, it’s still worth it. And I’d just love to encourage anyone who’s thinking about it to just give it a go! The training and material make the process really simple to get started. Your adventure of a lifetime in running Alpha is just around the corner… trust me, it’s worth it!

Work is what I had associated with stress and a lack of peace but through Alpha, work became a place I found hope, peace and faith.
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