General News

ABPF Sunday 2019

Celebrating APBF Foundation Day-APBF SUNDAY

The beginnings of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation (APBF) can be traced back to 1953 when some young people from Asia met in Rio de Janeiro during the Baptist World Alliance (BWA). This resulted in the formation of the Asia Baptist Youth Fellowship when the 1st Asia Baptist Youth Conference was held in Hong Kong on the 20th August 1956 (Third Sunday of August).

This followed by a number of leaders sharing the conviction and vision to come together as a regional body when Baptist leaders from Asia met during the BWA meet in Tokyo in 1970. A consultation of 50 members from 21 member bodies then met on December 1st in Hong Kong in 1974 to commit and formulate the application for membership in the BWA.
ABF’s application for membership in the Baptist World Alliance was accepted at the BWA meet in Stockholm in 1975. Thus, ‘Asia Baptist Fellowship’, which was subsequently changed to ‘Asia Baptist Federation’ came into being in 1975.

Rev. Allan Prior, who was then one of the Vice President of Baptist World Alliance became the first General Secretary of ABF. He is remembered for his initiative, and hard work which made the formation of ABF possible. Dr. W.G Wickramasinghe from Sri Lanka became the first President of ABF. Asia Baptist Federation held its first Congress in Hyderabad, India from January 8-14, 1979. At the 7thABF Congress in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the ‘Asia Baptist Federation’ came to be known as ‘Asia Pacific Baptist Federation’.

APBF Sunday

The third Sunday of every August has been instituted as APBF Sunday or Foundation Day to commemorate the beginnings of APBF. On this special Sunday, the APBF calls upon every Baptists within the membership of APBF, to remember God’s faithfulness over the years and celebrate the value of togetherness as: 1. We value bringing oneness to Baptist people because we are stronger when we work together.
2. We value living lives that are fully dependent on God in obedience to The Word and The Spirit.
3. We value doing our best because it honors God and inspires others.
4. We value integrity – committed to being honest, transparent, accountable and above reproach. May God bless APBF as we vision together to transform lives in Christ across the Asia Pacific, live out His mission together to inspire and equip Baptists by collaborating, networking, training and serving to fulfill the Great Commission! APBF appreciates your partnership!

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:18-20

The best position in life to be in is on our knees.
I wish we could all see how amazing prayer is because it is where earth can touch heaven and a mere mortal approach the throne of the Almighty Sovereign of the universe. To me, prayer is not about asking, it is about delighting in the presence of the Almighty. It is to enjoy His presence so much that to be outside of His presence spells meaninglessness and despair. We were made to be in God’s presence. Ephesians 6:18 is a power-packed verse on prayer.



1. Pray in the Spirit
All true, biblical prayers are the result of the movement of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we do not know how and what to pray, but the Spirit comes alongside us and aid us in our prayers (Rom. 8:26). To pray in the Spirit is to be in tune with Him, to allow Him to lead us in our prayers. Sometimes He would lead us to pray for the most unusual people and situations.

2. Pray Always
To live is to pray. Prayer is the breath of the Christian life. It is not just asking, it is delighting in the presence. How can we pray always? It means to be conscious of the presence of God. It is a life lived constantly in the presence of God. When we know we are constantly in God's presence, we can tell Him anything any time.

3. Pray all kinds of Prayers
We often look at prayer as just petitioning but in reality, prayer is more than that. It is a time for praise and adoration. It is a time for giving thanks. It is a time for confession. It is a time to pray for others as well as for self.

4. Prayers for all Saints
Pray for others, not just our own needs or just asking God to bless them. When we are praying for others, we are setting a shield for and around him or her too. That will help to thwart the fiery missiles of the evil one.

5. Prayer for Boldness
Paul requested for boldness to proclaim the gospel of our Lord Jesus that God would grant him free course into many lives. Evangelism is tough work. It takes a lot of courage to speak to someone or even to invite him or her to an evangelistic event.


1. Prayer is a Dialogue
Prayer is a dialogue, not man’s monologue before God. In prayer, we are the listeners. We are in tune and listen to the Heavenly Father’s voice.

2. Prayer is receiving the Word, and responding to it
It is first and foremost a response to God’s Word within us. Thus prayer can never be divorced from the disciplined reading and diligent study of it.

3. Prayer demands Believing Faith
Prayer can move mountains even when our faith is as small as a mustard seed. Ultimately it is not our faith but the great God behind that faith. Remember Daniel, the Prime Minister? He was not a prayer warrior, he was a prayer general. That’s why even when he was in the lions’ den he was able to sleep sweetly and beautifully. Faith brings a sense of peace that we have never experienced before. On the contrary, King Darius who had a half-hearted faith could not sleep as sweetly or soundly even when he was in the palace. Remember he said: “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you.” Even when he went straightway to the lions’ den the following morning, he asked the same thing: “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” His was a half-hearted faith like many of us when we pray.

4. Persistence and Perseverance in Prayer
It’s like prayer that twists the arms of God—Luke 18:1-3—this is an open universe whereby God can intervene in response to the love and prayers of His saints. Prayer must first move the heart of God before we can move the hearts of men. No one can change another, only God can do that, and it’s His job. No one need apply. Prayer claims territories and lives for the Lord.

5. Power of Prayer
The power of prayer is its power to transform lives. We must never forget that we are constantly in spiritual warfare—warring not against flesh and blood, but the principalities and powers in dark places. Whenever we are into evangelism, we are treading on enemy territories and he does not like that. No work for God can go forth without being supported by persevering, persisting prayer. While Joshua was fighting the enemy, Moses was praying (Ex. 17:8-16).

6. Prayer Unlimited
Prayer is not limited by age or educational background. The oldest saint as well as the youngest child can both approach the throne of grace and find the same loving Father waiting to bless us.

The I, It and Thou of life
The German thinker, Martin Buber’s book on “I and Thou” speaks volumes to us. He speaks about treating people as Thou, not It which we often do. Do you love your loved ones enough to spend time with them, to pray for them without ceasing and to trust God to break through into their lives? “There have been times when I think we do not desire heaven; but more often I find myself wondering whether, in our heart of hearts, we have ever desired anything else.” CS Lewis in “The Problem of Pain.”

A fellow pilgrim in this sacred journey,
Rev Edwin Lam
President, APBF


Message by Rev Dr Vesekhoyi Tetseo, General Secretary, APBF
Last year, during the APBF Sunday-third Sunday of August, we took time to celebrate our identity and meaning of being one Baptist family in the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation. APBF’s history tells us that a meeting of few young Baptists during the Baptist World Alliance in Rio De Janerio in 1953 ushered the journey of its formation as ABF (then) in 1975. APBF is now spread over 22 countries with more than 5 million Baptists in 63 conventions.

If we are to ask, why be part of APBF? APBF brings to each one of us the belongingness that we are people of ‘one Lord, one faith, one baptism’. And as Baptists, we are a group of ‘Christ loving people’ who are committed to the proclamation of the gospel, preach Christ and share faith passionately, by living out the gospel at home or community. That, we are “Baptists Together Transforming Lives in Christ Across the Asia Pacific”.

Message by Rev Dr Vesekhoyi Tetseo, General Secretary, APBF
This year, the third Sunday of August, dated August 18th, 2019, we call upon our convention, churches to kindly set a special time, to remember APBF Sunday and celebrate by:
1. Reminding us that we belong to a BIG Baptist family spread over 22 countries. This is your body. Your organization. May we own APBF with love and responsibility.
2. It is a call seeking member bodies to unite our communities that we are ‘Stronger Together’. And we must relentlessly pursue this even stronger.
3. It is a call to make a difference in our region by empowering our churches to impact and transform our communities.
4. It is a call to remind us of God’s faithful love, give thanks for what God is doing in our region as convention/churches fulfill the task of the Great Commission Jesus gave us.
5. It is a call of prayer God will use Baptists mightily around the APBF region to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

Message by Rev Dr Vesekhoyi Tetseo, General Secretary, APBF
Thank you for being part of APBF. Whether you are a small congregation/convention or a large one, your presence is significant to APBF. Your love to support the work of God allows APBF to be the hands and feet of Christ in our region. Your offering brings hope to those facing hardship, natural disaster; and allows APBF to help empower churches to transform communities. You are an important member of APBF. We need your partnership. As you set aside August 18th, 2019, the third Sunday as APBF Foundation Day-APBF Sunday, I seek your support in prayer, and to take up a special offering for APBF. Your generosity means someone in this part of the world has been blessed.

Prayer Items:
1. To spend the third Sunday of August (August 18) to remember what APBF does to minister to areas where a singular church cannot go or do ministry.
2. To pray as APBF stands for those in need of shelter, clothing in times of tragedies, natural calamities. (Especially those in India, Nepal, Bangladesh whose Monsoon rains are causing flooding and displaced millions out of their homes.)
3. To pray for APBF when they raise the voice of minority to represent communities whose voices have been shut, oppressed by those mightier than them.
4. To pray as APBF seeks to "Empower churches to transform communities" through trainings.
5. To pray for the movement of mission and evangelism in the APBF region as APBF seeks to engage the unengaged.
6. To make generous offerings to the APBF to enable APBF to become hands and feet of Christ.



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