A Note from Our Executive Director
Alpha had one of its best years ever in Asia-Pacific in 2021. As churches continued to navigate the pandemic, many used Alpha as a tool for evangelism, with lots of them trying Alpha online for the first time.
A staggering 5,833 churches, organisations and individuals ran Alpha in Asia-Pacific last year (+27% growth on the previous year). 42% of Alpha courses were courses reaching youth and young adults, and 65% of Alpha courses were online. We also saw +56% growth in the number of Marriage and Parenting courses.
As the church emerges from the pandemic, this is a moment to help it reach out with the good news and to build strong foundations. One of our key priorities for 2022 is the launch of the contextualised Alpha Film Series in Asia. This is an exciting opportunity that will accelerate the growth of the Kingdom of God in the region.
None of this can be realised without your amazing support and partnership.
Thank you for your love and the difference you are making as Alpha continues to equip and empower the church in Asia for such a time as this.
“One of our best years ever.”
Executive Director of Alpha Asia Pacific
2021 in Numbers
The year 2021 was not without challenge and as different parts of the region began to slowly emerge from the pandemic, we advanced into a season of hope and rebuilding! Across Asia where many countries are amongst the world’s top 50 most persecuted, by God’s grace, the teams supported an amazing strong growth across the region.
I thought it would be interesting to try Alpha online with the Sri Lankan community and it was amazing. It was nice connecting with other Sri Lankans while abroad and still have interesting chats; [we] talked about our faith…[the] Bible and God…it is amazing to have the Alpha online platform, to watch the videos and have a good discussion and to meet people and make new friends.
Thank God for bringing me to Alpha. I had a very meaningful summer. I know that I have a loving Father who is with me all the time, listens to my prayers. After Alpha, the way I see the world and the way I face challenges have changed. In the morning when I pray, I feel peace inside.
I really felt the presence of the Holy Spirit in me. And after trying Alpha my life just got better.
The Asia Pacific Mission Field
5 Key Roles of the Alpha Asia Pacific Hub in Kuala Lumpur
The regional hub serves by:
- Providing strategic direction and leadership for regional ministry.
- Providing shared services from a centre of excellence.
- Creating contextualised product and resources for local churches.
- Financing, hosting and empowering regional initiatives.
- Overseeing governance to enable and support regional ministry development.
In the region, Alpha courses are run in 34 languages. In 2021, we completed 23 Asian translation projects covering the Alpha Film Series, Alpha Youth Series, The Marriage Course and The Pre-Marriage Course for use in more than 10 countries.
We continue to resource churches with new course formats, digital tools and marketing & communications assets to help them reach as many people as possible with the gospel.
Asian Alpha Film Series
Gospel in the heart language
Filming was completed for a fully contextualised Mandarin series and partially contextualised Tamil, Hindi and Bahasa Indonesia versions. We are excited for the launch of these products in July 2022!
Alpha Film Series (with Discussion Breaks)
Same Alpha, New Format
The new format was released in English last March as an additional resource. It’s the same loved content in a new interactive format which intersperses discussion breaks within each episode of AFS. New interviews were added for a fresh take on the discussion topics, to fuel deeper conversations in Alpha groups.
AlphaNow is Alpha’s new video conferencing platform, tailor-made for running Alphas online. Available on web and mobile app for iOS and Android, AlphaNow was soft launched last September. We trained 95 Alpha Staff and 105 church representatives across the region to prepare them for the global launch in 2022.
In 2021, the Bible in One Year app was updated to offer three editions: Classic (25 mins), Express (10 mins) and Youth (for 13–18 year olds), to make bible reading easy and accessible for non-church goers and new believers.
Versions like the Simplified Chinese, Bahasa Indonesia and Hindi have been widely used by native speakers. Now, BIOY is also available in Thai in the Classic edition and in an updated version for Hindi.
Social Media Assets
We released a collection of social media assets, “Monthly Top Tips: Level Up Your Alpha” where leaders and Alpha practitioners give practical tips so churches can run their best Alpha for their guests.
Watch the Top Tips Episodes here.
A Season of Emergence
Regather | Raise | Reach | Rely
As the church prepares and readies itself for a season of emergence, Alpha serves the local church in these four ways:
- Regather – members of the congregation
- Raise – labourers for the harvest
- Reach – new people who need the gospel
- Rely – on the Holy Spirit
In all of this, Alpha is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of the church and those searching for answers, especially during this season. Over the years, Alpha has proven effective in reaching the lost and building community. People need a safe space to have conversations, make friends and process grief and changes. If the church is to emerge well from this pandemic, we need to be ready to run straight into the needs of a hurting world.
Read the full article here.
“One of the wonderful things about Alpha is that it’s an easy way to share faith and is very accessible. It’s a great way to do leadership development besides its main purpose of sharing the gospel.”
Rev. Sherman ChauIsland ECC Hong Kong
At the height of the pandemic, countries like India really struggled. Whilst the churches remained shut, pastors continued to risk their lives to serve their people. Our teams fundraised and partnered with donors, churches, mission organisations and vendors to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and grocery kits for pastors and their families.
Project India was the largest initiative covering 3 key cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, in the towns in the North East of India, and in areas so remote that the team had to wire money to local vendors to send groceries directly. To offer further support, the team set up Weekly Prayer Rooms in April that are still running today to pray and provide pastoral care to pastors in their native languages.
It was my first experience where I could freely share my struggles during Covid-19, there was no one that I could turn to and I felt my burden being lifted up after being prayed over.
Thank you so much for sending this PPE kit. This is the much important stuff that we require in this day when the whole world is facing the pandemic. Thank you so much for your big concern for the Pastors of Mumbai.
We ran out of supplies in the house so my wife and I were praying for the Lord’s providence and the next day we received the grocery kit. Glory be to God.
In these difficult times, it is heartening to see that you have understood well the need of pastors like us from the villages and reached out to us with the groceries. We are very thankful for that.
Regional Friends of Alpha Gathering
The idea behind “Friends of Alpha” is to gather partners who love Alpha and to encourage them with stories of hope from around the region. It is a gathering of friends, current donors and potential contributors to the vision with a view of building a long term friendship and community. Over 300 guests from the region and beyond the gathered for an evening of thanksgiving and stories of transformed lives.
Through Friends of Alpha, staff and volunteers from the regional and national offices were inspired to invite their friends and family to join in the vision and support our cause.
Global Alpha Collective
The Global Alpha Collective was an online global event in February that was led by Nicky Gumbel and senior church leaders to envision, inspire and equip strategic churches within the Alpha network about becoming Hub Churches. Hub Churches are strategic churches that extend their influence to other churches within their networks to introduce to Alpha and support them to run Alpha effectively.
More than 130 leaders from 15 countries across Asia Pacific attended the global event to learn about church ministry and evangelism in a post-pandemic world.
Explore Alpha Online Conference
This Alpha online conference is open to all churches and have a special focus on new churches that have yet to explore or experience Alpha. The event supported 660 delegates from 19 regional countries in 12 languages, and featured leaders and Alpha practitioners that envisioned and inspired pastors to explore using the Alpha Film Series as an effective and engaging evangelism tool.
“I think Alpha is a great tool to use to share the gospel. It allows people to share their opinions. It is an intentional tool to use to bring people to Christ and into the local church, into the family of Christ.”
Pastor Etienne MoralesPhilippines
Alpha Workplace Conference (AWC)
AWC has empowered and equipped thousands of workplace delegates from Malaysia and Asia Pacific ever since its launch in 2011. In its 8th year running, the conference was organised entirely online for the very first time. Whilst more than 740 people from 206 churches registered for the event, up to 900 unique attendees showed up in the first session and over 700 in the second.
“It is not only about ministering to people, but it is about ministering to people you work with every day, and who you probably spend more time with than your family. I’m truly humbled by how God can empower ordinary people to be His light in the workplace.” Read Patricia’s story here.
Transforming Parishes (TP)
The is a Catholic-specific conference aimed at engaging participants in hope that they actively consider Alpha as a tool for Mission & Evangelisation in their respective parishes and organisations. TP2021 was organised in partnership with the Office for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation of the Archdiocese of Manila in Philippines. Cardinal Tagle gave his keynote address live from Rome where he heads The Congregation For Evangelisation Of Peoples. 992 participants from 597 churches in 21 countries attended this key event. In 2021, the number of actively engaged churches grew by +35% to 334 parishes running Alpha.
“We walk humbly with God, meaning, when God walks, God walks humbly. That is the character of God’s walk. Humility. And if we walk with God, our walk should be patterned after God’s walk. When God walks, it is a humble walk.”
H.E. Luis Antonio Cardinal TagleItaly
The Marriage Course Experience (TMCE)
TMCE 2021 was the largest-ever Marriage Course run in the region and was hosted by founders Nicky and Sila Lee for 500 couples representing Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and India. Multiple translations were being utilised with the aim to bless and strengthen the marriages of church leaders in Asia, who then went on to run the courses in their own churches. In countries where there are sensitivities around evangelism, The Marriage Course has been an effective primer for introducing Alpha at a later stage.
A Restored Marriage
Suman and Annie had already been separated for four years after twelve years of marriage but somehow, they were both willing to try The Marriage Course. The barriers fell away over the sessions as they learned to resolve conflict with better communication. They were reunited even before the completion of the course.
Suman and AnnieIndia
How your giving helps Alpha Asia Pacific serve the region
We believe that the Church deserves our best and we believe in giving it all away for free so that everyone can have the opportunity to explore a personal relationship with Jesus, regardless of their background or where they live.
Asia is the biggest continent on the planet and has the most unreached people in the world. Thanks to your partnership, God is on the move in remarkable ways through the initiatives that we invested in.
Because of you, we continue to play our part in Alpha’s global vision in seeing:
- The nations evangelised
- The Church revitalised
- Society transformed
The Evangelisation of the Nations
Jayson trained up 53 young leaders, they ran 66 Alphas reaching over 1,500 youth in the rural mountains of the Philippines.
Catch Part 2 here.
“…The moment of realisation that Alpha can be brought (into) everywhere, even in Prisons. I believe the Holy Spirit is present in every Alpha session… Its all about obedience, its all about saying Yes to God.”
Watch the full interview from the Telling Others series here.
Kah Jun’s Story
“Christianity was for Western people. But since I attended Alpha, my perspective has changed completely. “
Kah Jun never really understood Christianity. He thought that God was someone who could solve problems. When he was invited to try Alpha at his girlfriend’s church, he realised there was so much more to it than expected.
“The best thing is when you’re working all day with your colleagues, you spend a lot of time with them so you can ask them to pray for work-related matters.”
As a director of a women’s hospital in South Korea, Lee Seung-Cheol began wondering what could be done in the day to day life within the hospital to bring the Gospel to non-believers. He also had concerns about running Alpha as he realised he wasn’t the perfect fit so he asked his friend for help.
The Revitalisation of the Church
Revitalisation and Unity
The Church in Mongolia is being revitalised as church leaders embrace that Alpha is a new way to do evangelisation. This has also opened the door for the churches to raise new leaders for the future of the Church.
In 2021, Alpha Mongolia launched their Life Shared campaign with an aim of engaging church leaders to help them explore running Alpha for the first time or revisit running Alpha again.
The Alpha Mongolia team hosted Alpha Online Together where 22 churches experienced Alpha online, 10 of which were new to Alpha.
Transforming Church Culture
What sets Alpha apart from other tools is that it changes church culture radically – God shows up in miraculous ways to empower church members to play their part in seeing people come to Christ through Alpha. We see churches being revitalised when the congregation puts their faith into action. Churches experiences growth when Alpha is integrated into the life of the church.
Because of the “Alpha Life Shared” meeting, we were united to start Alpha Online. This was a key point because we were able to get to know each other better even though we are from different churches. For the first time, I experienced that we could discuss and learn together more effectively as One Church.
I was so inspired and encouraged during the first meeting with fellow churches. I realised how important it is to give focus to our ministry digitally and to raise up our younger generation. We started our very first Alpha Online after that meeting.
I realised there are many people within a church who are exactly like me, who are in need of a spiritual renewal. Alpha is the most SUPER course that I have ever joined in all of my 20 years as a Christian.
“Visitors and new believers feel welcomed and accepted because of the profound hospitality they receive. Church becomes lively and there is a renewed dependence on the Holy Spirit.”
Read Nattavee’s story about how Alpha transformed her church culture here.
Alpha’s content is wonderfully developed to help people know Jesus in a personal way. We started running the Alpha course in our church in 2021 and I have seen young people who had been reluctant to come to church and hear the Word, not only did they start coming to Alpha each week but also asked serious questions about their lives. Many of them gave their lives to Christ and are now active members of our church.
The Transformation of Society
From Addict to Alpha Staff
Isaiah 61:3 “….to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”
Drug abuse is a serious problem in the state of Manipur in North East India, the area has the dubious reputation of being the drug route into India from a neighbouring country.
Jhonstone had struggled with substance addiction but through rehab he found both physical healing and Jesus. Now an Alpha staff, Jhonstone is using Alpha to introduce God’s healing love to the marginalised and the outcast.
Watch the full story here.
Modelling God’s Love
Tzun and Nique are parents of 3 children aged 8 to 13 and are facilitators for The Parenting Courses.
The couple’s first experience with The Parenting Courses happened when they realised amidst their growing family, that they were not ready to parent older children. Through the course, Tzun and Nique came to understand that, “As parents, we model God’s love to our children. The Parenting Courses reveals God’s love for us as His Children first.”
Previously, Nique had wanted to invite her neighbour to Alpha but found it hard to bring up topics about the meaning of life and faith out of nowhere. She believes The Parenting Courses are the perfect tool to reach out with, and now hopes to run the courses for other mothers in her neighbourhood.
Tzun and Nique, Singapore
Two church leaders Pastor Saikhnaa and Revd Dr Yopie, together with their wives share their testimonies for how The Marriage Course has positively impacted their marriages.
“Here, it doesn’t matter how many years we are into marriage, as long as you join this course, your love relationship and all other things will be renewed and wonderful things can happen in your married life.”
– Pastor Saikhnaa and Khishigjargal’s story, Mongolia
“We have concealed a lot of problems inside. As Asians and our family background, we find it shameful to express our feelings until in TMC, we learn to understand our family habits and patterns. Our marriage has a big influence on our children and grandchildren, and our church and community. That is why we keep on doing TMC to bless other couples until now.”
– Revd Dr Yopie and Ibu Hertina’s story, Indonesia
Realising the Asian Opportunity
Alpha Asia Pacific’s three-year goal is to equip and support double the number of local Churches running Alpha across the region.
Watch this short video from Miles Toulmin, Executive Director for Alpha Asia Pacific, sharing 2022’s regional priorities covering the most impactful products for the widest possible distribution.
The Alpha Regional Gathering 2022 (ARG)
AAFS Global Launch
We understand just how important it is for God’s word to best reach us in our heart language so we embarked on remaking the Alpha Film Series to strengthen the experience of Asian guests in their native languages.
The Asian Alpha Film Series (AAFS) is an entirely new approach for Alpha and expresses the key messages of Alpha to native speakers in a culturally relevant and engaging way.
Available in four Asian languages that are among the world’s most widely spoken languages
- Bahasa Indonesia
We believe it is the first evangelical resource of its kind to be contextualised in this way. Local churches now have access to exciting new possibilities for the gospel.
AlphaNow was built to accelerate the Church’s adoption of running Alpha online by better facilitating the digital needs of churches and their online guests.
The platform is already available for free to churches thanks to the generosity of supporters like you. It aims to give the best guest experience with high definition video, a safe space with new e-safety features and also the option for flexible data consumption. The AlphaNow platform is available in English, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Mongolian.
Find out more about AlphaNow.
2022 Budget for Alpha Asia Pacific
These initiatives contribute directly to creating awareness via local church networks so that church leaders can digitally access translated and contextualised Alpha talks and resources, equipping teams that carry the vision, and at no cost to the guest.
When this happens the church is empowered in this season of emergence to provide even more opportunities for people to encounter Jesus.
Become Part of the Story
Thank you for the part you play in this. Your partnership makes this possible, we could not do this without you!
- For the churches running Alpha to create a safe space for guests
- For the guests coming on to Alpha to experience the love of Christ
- For the team to continue to be led by the Holy Spirit with a passion for the work of Alpha
- For governments and decision-makers to lead with wisdom and for the peace of nations
- For the new Asian Alpha Film Series, to be widely used in Asia and around the world
Get involved in Alpha by volunteering at an Alpha course near you or join the Asia Pacific team.