AGT 2017 trainees hopeful of impacting local communities

KUALA LUMPUR: Asia Gateway has successfully conducted yet another annual residential training, this time hosting the largest single group of trainees who came from eight countries.

Praise God for gathering 20 of his workers and leaders at STM in Seremban from June 3 to 30, 2017 to train and equip them for cross-cultural mission.

This year’s Asia Gateway Training (AGT) attracted 13 full-time residential and seven modular students from Malaysia, Nepal, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, India, Britain (Korean) and Bhutan.

The programme offered courses which were built around the four major themes of Crucial Issues in Asian Mission and Leadership; Mission of God in the Bible; Gospel, Culture and Integral Mission; and  Asian Religions and Interfaith Engagements.

AGT coordinator Loun Ling said the participants represented a wide spectrum of leadership roles comprising ordained clergy, professionals in leadership, trainers, educators, executive leaders, counsellors, project officers, and new missionaries.

To ensure students received the best of academic training and exposure in a multi-faith and multi-cultural environment, they were taken on visits to a Hindu temple, a Buddhist temple, Pusat Berdikari Seremban, and Orang Asli ministries in Ladang Care, Perak. Worship and preaching engagements were arranged for the students on Sundays.

Other than lectures and classroom group works, there were sessions for Personal Development when participants got to meet their assigned mentors on a one-to-one basis.

This year, to strengthen community learning, Dr Benno and Berdine van den Toren were roped in as lecturers and senior trainers in residence for the entire duration of the training. They were much appreciated by the participants.

Berdine said she thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them and working with them:

“The participants of this year seemed to be a group of mature mission leaders, who were willing to both learn and share their experience. This made for a rich exchange of learning,” she said.

It’s our prayer that the impact of the training will be felt far and wide.

For those in leadership and training, they plan to adapt and apply what they have acquired to the training programmes in their respective contexts. Church leaders hope to conduct mission seminars for their congregations on their return.

The new missionaries are confident that they are now better equipped for the field while the others believe they can engage with people from different faiths more deeply and sensitively.

Asia Gateway Training is a collaborative ministry of Seminari Theoloji Malaysia, the Trinity Annual Conference of the Methodist Church in Malaysia, the Anglican Diocese of West Malaysia, Serving In Mission, Asia Collaborative Mission Services, Overseas Missionary Fellowship, Interserve Malaysia and Operation Mobilisation Malaysia.

We thank God and all our partners and supporters for Asia Gateway 2017 and look forward to the next one in 2018.

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