HONG KONG- Over 700 Baptists from 16 Asian countries attended a youth conference last week, reviving their spirit for mission.
On Dec. 27-30, delegates from India, Japan, Australia, Macau, Hong Kong and other Asian countries convened at Negeri Sembilan Darul Khusus, a suburb in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the Asian Baptist Youth Conference 2005, according to the Baptist Convention of Hong Kong.
Under the theme "Turning the Tide, Making Things Right," young Baptists are challenged to "live the life for Christ positively" and to "make the world a better place." Around 33 delegates from Hong Kong were presented at the Conference and their horizons were greatly widened, the head of the Department of Training of the Baptist Convention of Hong Kong said.
The Conference was conducted in English, but as Chinese is becoming more popular in Asian countries, simultaneous translation into Chinese was available for messages and workshops.
"Messages, workshops, worships and adventures on the Conference were aimed at highlighting the unrighteousness of the trend in the post-modern world; therefore the Conference has posed great challenge to our Christian faith," the leader of the Hong Kong delegation, Rev Tse said.
"As a Christian, we must have faith and be courageous. Reversing the trend of the world, we must change the world with the power of God. The Conference encourages young Christians to stand up for God," he added.
A revival among the youth Baptists in Hong Kong was triggered by the 14th Baptist Youth World Conference held in Hong Kong in summer 2004. A few hundred of young believers became volunteers for the Conference, and later they have established the "Rainbow Teen’s Army" to serve local Baptist churches in terms of youth ministries and evangelism. Many of those from the "Rainbow Teen’s Army" have attended the Malaysia gathering this time.
The Asian Baptist Youth Conference was originally scheduled in 2003, but it was postponed to August 2004 due to the SARS epidemic. As it was also impossible to be held in parallel with the 14th Baptist Youth World Conference, it was finally set to convene in December 2005.
[Editor's Note: Chris Chan contributed reporting from Hong Kong for this article.]