25-29 July 2023, Thailand
This was a historic gathering of 1,300 young people from across Asia and the Middle East who came together to worship, hear God’s voice, and journey with thousands of other young people who want to live for God’s purposes. The aim of this event was to help them find out more about missions and what God is doing around the world, and to inspire them to take the gospel throughout Asia and to the rest of the world.
Sponsoring partners included more than 10 mission agencies and seminaries, along with over 20 endorsing partners.
It was a question that sparked off the idea of this event: “What would it be like to see God ignite the hearts of this younger generation throughout Asia, to bring the Gospel where there is no Gospel witness in Asia and beyond?”
Asia is an area of enormous need for the Gospel: 60% of the world’s population lives in Asia, and the majority of the unengaged and unreached people groups who have yet to hear the Gospel also live in this region.
Over five days, the participants listened to messages and panel discussions, and attended workshops on a whole range of topics. Talks and seminars addressed issues facing missions today: unreached people groups, different types and durations of missions, the persecuted church, business as mission, social justice and much more!
There was also an Innovation Lab – an ideathon over three afternoons: groups of 5 to 8 from different cultures brainstormed together to formulate actionable ideas to catalyse the spread of the gospel throughout Asia and the world. Christian leaders in various fields of business, technology, and entrepreneurship were on hand to give advice. Several groups might also have opportunity to partner with mission organisations and/or kingdom-minded investors to see their project to its completion.
One speaker made a clarion call to attendees to be prepared to make sacrifices for God. He said that the biggest challenge to missions today is that too many offer up sacrifices that cost them nothing. He said that we should echo the apostle Paul in Acts 20:24: “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”
It wasn’t possible, of course, to have all our questions answered in just these few days. One attendee said that the most valuable part of the conference was the opportunities to connect with others and ask questions – they might be speakers and workshop leaders, people met during meals, or randomly assigned roommates. Who knows where some of these connections and friendships will lead?