12 Feb 2013 by Donna Uning-
Kuching – “It is the vision of Bishop Bolly Lapok to have this event,” told Bro Phillip Yong to participants at the opening of Alpha Vision Day here, Wednesday morning. The Most Rev Datuk Bolly Lapok also attended the morning meeting held at the Parish Hall, St. Faith’s Church here.
The event was graced earlier at a dinner by Alpha co-founder Bishop Sandy Millar from Holy Trinity Brompton, England, with Alpha Malaysia’s representatives and guests. The Alpha course, according to its website htb.org.uk/alpha “is an opportunity to explore the meaning of life in an informal, fun and friendly environment.”
“Alpha is motivated by Jesus,” said Melissa Theng, Alpha Malaysia’s training manager. In John 15:9:
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
The church exists to evangelize and make disciples of all men, she said. She also expressed that through this program, “we put a name behind each number (of those saved).”
One of the milestones for the evangelistic program last year was to have Alpha in Bahasa Melayu and Chinese. The use of both languages saw a huge growth in the use of the course as an evangelistic tool.
The conspicuous issue of the day was the use of language. The Iban language is more important than BM because the bulk of congregation is Iban, pointed Bro Philip Yong. Many agree to the use of the Iban language, especially in Northern Sarawak, added Rev Alfred Damu from St. Columba’s Parish, Miri. Alpha national director Foo Lai Wei said that by the middle of the year Alpha will have transcripts in Iban.
“Iban will be much more important than Bahasa, in the Sarawak context,” added Bro Philip Yong. Rev Trevor Tinda from St. Helen’s Church, Serian also said, when the Iban manual is completed, (then) we are in the position to say yes (to the translated version). Rev John Sim also joined the panel for the question and answer session.
In using Alpha as an evangelistic tool, Rev John Sim said, “With this tool, we can be more vicious.” We don’t want to just keep the blessing and not bless others. Whatever we know, we want to impart to others and vice versa, he added. Rev Sim has been a pioneer in the use of Alpha here, also with the BM language and in the national service.
Alpha Vision Day was held at St. Faith’s Church, Kuching. Some 30 churches sent representatives to the event which saw about 80 participants to the much awaited evangelistic call. The course has been running for 20 years, in 170 countries, in 120 languages and by every denomination. For more information on the Alpha course, go towww.alphafriends.org.my.
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