What a privilege it was for Alpha Asia Pacific to host Alpha Katalyst 2019 (AK19) just a few weeks ago! This event was held from the 24 – 27 January 2019 and was graciously co-sponsored by Mr Philip Ng, CEO of Singapore’s largest private property developer, Far East Organisation.
AK19 is purposed to identify, inspire and activate Christian emerging leaders who are passionate about Alpha. The name “Katalyst” is a play on the word “Catalyst”, obtaining the alphabet “K” from the English transliteration of the Greek word “καταλύτης” (katalýtis).
This year, 45 delegates from 14 nations gathered in Changi Cove, Singapore for this much anticipated conference. Delegates were namely from Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. These are emerging leaders, nominated and handpicked from around the world; each carrying the potential to become influential change agents through fulfilling their God-given calling and assignments in the marketplace, communities, families and full-time ministries.
Alpha Katalyst has been running for several consecutive years and we’ve witnessed many leaders propelled from this place to do greater works for the kingdom of God.
Let us have a look at what took place at AK19!
1. Miles Toulmin
Miles Toulmin, the Executive Director of Alpha Asia Pacific began the first session with a message entitled The Table. By visually illustrating Psalm 23 with a candlelit table lavished with an array of food such as ‘nasi lemak’, fruits and vegetables, Miles encouraged the delegates that the Lord whom is our Good Shepherd feeds and nourishes us in the presence of our of enemies. Those who are in a season where the storms seem to rage can know there is indeed blessing and abundance in the midst of the battle. In another session, Miles imparted to these emerging leaders key leadership values drawn from David’s mighty men.
2. Miriam Swaffield
Miriam is the Global Student Leader for Fusion, a movement that helps local churches connect with university students. In her message on the Great Invitation, she lays out God’s invitation to us for a divine reset; going back to God’s original plan for mankind. From the beginning of time, God had meant for man to live in communion with Him first and then communion with one another. Only together as a body can we reflect Jesus accurately to the world. Miriam also spoke a session on More is Possible with Jesus. She encouraged delegates not to despise a barren ground for there are treasures being unearthed from nothingness.
3. Joseph Chean
Joseph Chean, the National Director of Youth with A Mission Singapore inspired us to hear the heart of the Lord for the nations. He spoke from Habakkuk 2:14 where the glory of God that is to cover the earth is the character of God displayed for all to see. He encouraged delegates that the primary focus of missions is not ‘how’ but ‘who’ we walk out as we ought to carry the character of God wherever we go.
4. Philip Ng
With his wealth in experience, Philip Ng, CEO of Singapore’s largest private property developer, Far East Organisation shared his knowledge in building a God-fearing business. His encouragement to us is to put our whole trust in God alone. Money, earthly possessions and success can never be a firm foundation on which we can stand.
1. Daniel & Angeline Lee
Daniel and Angeline are co-founders of FirstJoy, a corporate training and consulting firm established in Malaysia since 2005. They have spent the last 7 years volunteering as Regional Coordinators of Alpha in the Workplace for Klang Valley. On the One Alpha, Many Contexts panel session, Daniel and Angeline inspired delegates to be instruments of God in the workplace to share the Gospel and proclaim Christ.
2. Amos Pang
Amos has years of experience doing youth and young adult ministry in church and on campus. As a teacher in Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road), Amos shared his experience running Alpha several times in school, with 800 students attending these sessions and salvations coming from each run!
3. Cynthia Ko
Cynthia is currently the Chairperson for the Witness and Evangelism Ministry at Wesley Methodist Church, overseeing ministries like Marketplace, Alpha, Hospitality, Sports & Wellness and Creative Expressions. She shared that her passion for evangelism has led to her to train and coach teams in Singapore and overseas to start running Alpha in their own churches.
One of the group activities was the Treasure Hunt, however, not in the conventional sense. These “treasures” were in fact people that the delegates had to hunt down around Singapore, guided only by the clues given to them by the Holy Spirit through prayer.
Once these “treasures” were found, delegates had to approach them and offer to pray for them. It was a great faith and evangelism exercise.
“It was great to pray together as a team while on the hunt and be united in one spirit as we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us”.– Romi Hongsha, India
“It was a good practice for the prophetic gifting!”– Kampee Sumamankul, Thailand
In the Alpha Workshop segment, delegates were separated into teams and given a case study about Alpha. Their task was to brainstorm and prepare a group presentation to address three main issues:
COMMUNICATIONS – What would be our strategy to engage with Alpha’s target generation?
STRATEGY – What are some strategies & plans we can put in place to achieve our goal in doubling the number of churches running Alpha across the world?
PEOPLE – What can we do as a Christian NGO to attract young talents to serve?
“It was insightful to have a bunch of people from the same nation discussing together.”– Sari Anggraeni, Indonesia
“Awesome experience all round!”– Chrishen Gomez, Malaysia
The delegates were also treated to a Katalyst specialty, the Encounter Room – a space set apart and constructed to allow delegates to soak in the presence and have a personal encounter with God through the different stations set up in the room. There were 5 stations in all, each symbolic of something in the bible.
The Door – Blessings are spoken over the guests as they enter the room. Anyone who wants prayer can go to the door to receive prayers.
Foot-washing – Guests wash one another’s feet while being ministered to through prayer and the declaration of identity over them.
Communion – A space to reflect. A station prepared with communion elements for guests to take communion.
Creative Arts – A station equipped with canvasses and painting materials for guests to express their creativity, paint and draw.
Pool of Bethesda – Symbolic of healing. A cosy space with plenty of pillows, beanbags, and sheets for guests to lie down, wait upon God and soak to calming soaking music in the background.
“This room has allowed the flexibility for me to spend time with God at different times of the day.”– Anthony Ka Wai Lau, Hong Kong
“It was a comfortable space to just dwell in the Lord’s presence. I liked the prayer cards! They were very encouraging!“– Natasha Goh, Singapore
WHAT THEY SAID
“The sessions were very good. I had doubts in my mind and heart but God made them clear.”– Davaasuren Chinbat, Mongolia
“I enjoyed the break times! I was able to communicate with various people. It also made me very happy to see many worshippers!”– Chanyeong Jeong, South Korea
“I was able to understand and see things from various perspectives, especially about the richness of our faith. Katalyst was a safe space to engage, learn and dialogue”.– Reuben Chen, Malaysia
“By hearing the speakers share with power and delight, I’ve begun to see that God is working in many possibilities and I’m empowered to do the same. Katalyst has allowed me to reflect on my life and His calling for me”.– Ekawit Lekviriyakul, Thailand
“What hit my heart most is when Joseph Chean posed the question ‘How passionate are you to see your nation change?’. I’ve always been afraid of many things but God spoke to me “to be brave for my nation”.– Myat Su Nandar Win, Myanmar
“My highlight was connecting with other leaders around the world, hearing God-stories and the different struggles faced around the world.”– Jennifer Hartono, Indonesia
“Every single minute I’ve spent in Singapore for this conference was the most memorable time I’ve had my whole life. All the activities and word I’ve received is something to remember”.– Soyami Zimik, India
“Praying for our countries in our native languages!”– Nicola Gibbs, Australia
“The ministry time on the last night and final morning was very memorable for me. God spoke to me through all the speakers and I’ve built divine friendships and kingdom connections.”– Peter Gramaje, Philippines
“The meaningful conversations, the stories we shared and the encouragement we’ve received.”– Arun Kumar Ramasamy, Malaysia
“I really enjoyed working with the team and learning from each of the speakers.”– Binh Le, Vietnam
“Don’t send the people away, you feed them!” To me personally, this is an answer from God that I’ve been asking for. Thank you, Lord!”– Alte Bester, Myanmar
“Taking the holy communion together with fellow delegates was powerful. I felt strengthened by being with them and sharing the same vision and passion.”– Shou Yu, Taiwan
“I have renewed focus on what is most important. Church shouldn’t have a missions department. Church is mission.”– Kyne Wood, Australia
“God’s heart is to share the Gospel to every nation.”– Ricky Susanto, Indonesia
“I’ve learnt to practice hearing God’s voice and I’ve received so much from the encouragement of other delegates, speakers and seeing how Alpha has touched many unbelievers.”– Ong Thien An, Vietnam
“I have come to discover the role I play in the Great Commission and how God is definitely moving on a big scale in the nations”.– Maresol Arago, Philippines
“Have faith in God. Leave your comfort zone to bring God’s love to the people in need.”– Chia Chun Tu, Taiwan
“Motivated to stand up for God and try doing more for Hong Kong and my company. I’ve learnt to lay down myself and to walk with God.”– Lim Mei Sze, Hong Kong