|PIC1|From Kathmandu, Nepal in the North to Surabaya, Indonesia in the South, AEF workers reported that orphanages, schools and vacation Bible groups were thriving. Grace Academy in Nepal hopes to grow its school of 300 students to 650 by 2010, while AEF Myanmar has plans to build a training centre for disadvantaged youth affected by Cyclone Nargis. "Computer courses, English, leadership training and Gospel programmes will be conducted in our three-storey centre" said Khine, the Yangon based director.
The strategy to minister to the Karen Burmese near the Myanmar (Burma) border and in Australia is a new focus of AEF, in conjunction with the newly formed Karen Baptist Churches of Australia (KBCA). Another interesting development is AEF's strategy to launch creative ministries to Diaspora Asians in Australia through its new arm -- Global Neighbourhood Network (GNN). Alfred Yau, the director of GNN said "...we provide family care and support to recently arrived Chinese and Indian migrantsâ¦we touch our community to touch the world."
Transformation through Media
The conference also celebrated the launch of AEF's new media armÃ¢â¬"Destiny Communications, in Hyderabad, which will coordinate the weekly AEF Radio programme through HCJB and also introduce a new evangelistic newspaper Destiny in partnership with Challenge Literature Fellowship. The quarterly paper will feature testimonies and stories of Indians who have had an encounter with Jesus Christ. The paper will be circulated at train stations, shopping malls, offices and urban centres in the key Indian cities. Samuel Sheldon has been appointed Director of Destiny Communications.
Indigenous Training Centre
On 3rd October the delegates attended a ground breaking ceremony, 50 kilometres from Hyderabad at the site of the G D James Centre for Indigenous Evangelism. Davidson James, Chairman of the G D James Foundation announced that this centre would train leaders to reach 70% of India who would not normally respond to 'Western' evangelism techniques. The conference gave ample time for delegates to explore the whole concept of indigenous evangelism, which involves developing relationships with a focussed group with the proper modes of communication and delivering the message in small doses over a period of time until people come to a point of understanding and conviction.
Back to Basics
All the new initiatives were in keeping with Jonathan James' call for AEF to enlarge its missionary tent by "strengthening its stakes". While new strategies were obviously in place, the theme of the conference was a sobering reminder for the mission to build on the basics with fruit that lasts. For the 100 delegates at the conference this once in three year opportunity for fellowship and refreshment was indeed a highpoint in their spiritual lives and ministries. Felipe Castro the Cambodian delegate summed up the mood of his fellow workers when he said "I have been so blessed in every way â¦I intend to return to Phnom Penh and extend AEF's vision to the lost, the least and the last in Cambodia."