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Up Close with Ms. Annette Arulrajah

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Up Close with Ms. Annette Arulrajah

Ms. Annette Arulrajah is the IFES East Asia Associate Regional Secretary. As one of the key persons for IFES EARC 2014, you will see her a lot too. Most of us immediately pick out the word E.P.I.C. as the focal point of this conference – with many students referring to EARC 2014 as E.P.I.C. Camp/Conference.  But according to Annette, there is one thing we are overlooking. We need to be LOOKING AGAIN. At what, you ask? Read on as Annette shares her heart for the region and EARC 2014.     1.    How long have you been the IFES East Asia Associate Regional Secretary? How many East Asia Regional Conferences have you been directly involved?   This is my fourth year as the IFES East Asia Associate Regional Secretary. It has been a real learning pleasure for me as I visit with movements in our region and learn from their situations and their wrestling with our Lord. The Lord has blessed our region with a rich diversity, and in each movement, I have savored different flavors of discipling, discipleship and stories of course.   And it has been a journey of being involved in shaping 5 EARCS for me – beginning with the EARC in 2003 onwards. As the General Secretary of Malaysia then, I was involved in shaping the program in Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and now again in Malaysia. But this EARC 2014, I am privileged to not only shape the program, but oversee and work alongside the Host Committee in Malaysia.     2.    You were involved with shaping the direction of IFES EARC 2014 from the start. Can you tell us briefly why the theme ‘Awesome God, E.P.I.C. Generation’ is such an urgent message for Christian students today?   It has been heartbreaking to see many young people walk away from living meaningful lives and to dream of taking part in God’s massive renovation plan for people and the society He has placed us in. We are a bunch of broken people, with broken dreams, and in many places I see young people have stopped dreaming. But even more heartbreaking is the fact that many have stopped believing that we have a God who cares, and a God who CAN overcome the odds.   Our God has become too small in our eyes. Our hearts have been eaten away by too much sorrow, and a lack of knowing this AWESOME GOD the Bible unveils. And we have failed to see Him as The Lord who walks in our lives and our messes, and is ready to begin all over again with us.   So, I feel it is urgent for our student generation to LOOK AGAIN at WHO IS OUR GOD, and then like Isaiah know that He is on the throne, working to bring about His restoration to all the earth.   When we see God in this light, then we will begin to rise up to become the E.P.I.C. Generation – engaging in God’s world and in lives; passionate about the things He is passionate about; and incarnational in the way we live by walking in the shoes of the society God has placed us ushering in beauty for ashes; and Christlike in our living as He changes us day by day to become more like Himself.   If this doesn’t happen, we are losing our voice as the voice of hope and the only chances our friend may have of being touched by the grace of God.     3.    What about the conference do you personally look forward to?   To see God at work. And to usher us away from distractions to places where we can hear Him speak.     4.    How can students prepare for IFES EARC 2014 before they arrive?   To merely invite the Lord to surprise them. Then begin opening the doors of their heart to Him and to people from other languages, races and colours. That is preparation enough. I personally am also embarking on reading the Book of Isaiah for myself, and it...

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How To Read Isaiah

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How To Read Isaiah

Is it hard to read the book of Isaiah? Here are some suggestions to help you!

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Up Close with Mr. Shin Ung-Seop

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Up Close with Mr. Shin Ung-Seop

Mr. Shin Ung-Seop is the IFES East Asia Regional Secretary. His is a smiling face you will definitely see regularly at IFES EARC 2014. We had the privilege of sitting down with him to ask a few questions on video. This EARC is a special one for him. Watch and find out why!   1.    How long have you been the IFES East Asia Regional Secretary? How many East Asia Regional Conferences have you been directly involved? This is my seventh year as Regional Secretary. And I was involved directly in EARC 2008 in Japan, EARC 2011 in Singapore and now EARC 2014 in Malaysia.   2.    You were involved with shaping the direction of IFES EARC 2014 from the start. As the Regional Secretary of IFES East Asia, what is your dream for EARC 2014 and East Asia? When we planned EARC 2011 together with other General Secretaries, we felt the need that we come together to comfort and to face the challenges in our region as a whole, as different movements and different individuals were struggling in their national movements. How can we as people of God, come together, look upon God, and seek His guidance in these challenging situations so that we can really be solidified, and we can really be attentive towards God’s calling in this generation. Also His calling to be prophetic in our calling. Also to look at the mission field, not from our own perspective but from God’s perspective. Of course there are many challenges. Many problems.  Very challenging situations. But how God is looking on it and then how we depend on God, to move on. That is one thing we would like to see together. As East Asian region, as a regional event, not only as an individual event, but as a whole we would like to see that we come together to see, to enjoy, to celebrate God’s guidance and God’s power amongst us. Then once we come to each movement, each country, then we can carry on the message that God has provided through this conference. So it’s actually a good opportunity to come together to listen to God. Also reminded that we are His people, sent by God to this conference, to each context, so that we can be faithful in witnessing and in bearing His name in our daily life. Also in our own personal life. Also relationship with our friends and our family. And also in our society. That is my dream.   3.    What about the conference do you personally look forward to? This coming EARC is special for me because I used to live in Malaysia for three years when I was working here. And this time, even though I have left Malaysia and returned to Korea, still I feel that Malaysia is my home. So I really wanted to feel more at home, meeting friends as a host by inviting or welcoming other people from other (countries). So that I can share the Malaysian experience with all other graduates or students or staff from different movements.  So this is very special for me. Not only as a Regional Secretary. But also as an individual. How can it be done so that people from other movements can really feel at home, can learn from Malaysia, FES Malaysia, how God has been blessing our movement here.   4.    What are some interesting features of IFES EARC 2014 (being an international conference) that students can expect to experience at the conference? First of all I think that there are many people, many students from pioneering movements that are joining. So we’re very excited not only for those who attend for the first time from the pioneering movements but also from more established ones, we can learn from one another. Not only from one perspective, but from mutual support and also mutual contribution. So open your mind, open your heart, and also open your eyes so that we can witness that God is working in every context, every culture and every individual. That is one very...

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Arrival and Departure Advice

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Dear EARC Participants, Some of us are already thinking about our travel plans to the EPIC event, IFES EARC 2014 in Malaysia. Arrival, 2 July 2014 If you are flying in, please reach KLIA/ KLIA 2/ LCCT by 12pm or earlier (if that is possible from your country). We will make arrangements to pick you at the airport to Port Dickson Methodist Centre (PDMC). The journey will take around 1 hour and 30 minutes. Registration will begin at 1:35pm and National Movement Meeting is scheduled at 4p.m. Departure, 8 July 2014 IFES EARC 2014 official program will end on 7 July, late night. 8 July is our traveling day back to our country. It would be advisable for you and your movement to get mid-morning or later timing flight home (if that is again possible for your country). I hope this information will help you in booking your air tickets. Most importantly, please do liaise with your movement’s EARC key person. They would have more information for you. for the AWESOME God, E.P.I.C. Generation, David Ho FES Malaysia Chairman of EARC...

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Up Close with Dr. Daniel Bourdanné

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Up Close with Dr. Daniel Bourdanné

One of the main people you will meet at IFES EARC 2014 is our main speaker, Dr. Daniel Bourdanné. Before you see for yourself at EARC 2014 just how tall he really is (read on to find out how tall!), we thought it will be great to get to know the man who will open up the book of Isaiah to us. We asked him a few questions. 1. Dr Daniel Bourdanné, we would like to get to know you a little bit better before we see you at the conference. Tell us some fun facts about yourself (e.g. hobbies, number of countries you have been to) I am the DIY (Do It Yourself) person in our home. I enjoy fixing things, gardening, working with my hands. I feel better living in a countryside and closer to the nature. Having a conversation and fun with friends under a big tree in a tropical warm region energizes and inspires me. I collect coins and vintage fountain pens. I travel a lot – I visited nearly 40 countries in the past five years – but I don’t like flying! Being tall as I am (1.91m) I need lots of legroom and that is not always possible on a plane. It would have been much easier for me to visit these countries and places without flying.     2. Can you share with us something about your family? What do you enjoy doing together? Originally from Chad, I am married to Halimatou (who is originally from Niger) and together we are blessed with four children (two sons and two daughters). I have two younger brothers and two younger sisters. My wife also has two brothers and two sisters. As a family, we enjoy welcoming friends, relatives and different visitors to our home. When we have an opportunity to travel together during holidays, we enjoy spending our days on the beaches.     3. Recalling your days as a university student, what inspired you in your personal journey with God? I will mention three things, among the many I could choose. 1) Being able to serve my local IFES group was inspiring As a student, I and some of my friends learned a lot by taking the initiative to lead our student groups. We had no staff visiting us on a regular basis. That experience forced me to take seriously the study of Scripture and I would say that most of my theological and biblical understanding was rooted and deepened in that period of my student life. I learned to trust the Lord more and to grow in my spiritual life. 2) Reading good books and watching committed and faithful Christian leaders was inspiring Written Christian resources were limited in my French-speaking Africa context, but I invested some of my limited money to buy books and build a personal library. I also was very much inspired by one particular lady: she was in her 20s but had left her country and continent and moved to our region to serve us. 3) I also want to underline the role of the Christian student community in my university. As a young believer coming to university, studying biology, I remember being challenged by my studies. I recall a biology professor saying to us, ‘You Christians, are you continuing to believe in those things even though they are not real, even though they are not true?’ If at that time there had been no student movement on campus, I don’t think my faith would have been sustained. I don’t know if I would have remained a believer if there had been no Christian group on my campus to help me when I was exposed to different challenges, to different ideologies. I was helped and inspired by discussing our challenges together and encouraging each other through prayers and practical advice, like recommending books relevant to the subject.     4. Can you tell us a bit about how you made the decision to be part of the student ministry and International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) as General...

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E.P.I.C. PHOTO CONTEST

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E.P.I.C. PHOTO CONTEST

WHAT IS E.P.I.C. TO YOU? E.P.I.C. people! In anticipation for IFES EARC 2014, we invite you to grab your camera and see the world through the Awesome God’s E.P.I.C. lenses. Send us original photos (plus caption) from your country about ENGAGING ISSUES OF OUR DAY – issues that need rebuilding, renovating or reconciliation. Show your talent and you might be the winner of an ACER ICONIA B1 Tablet!   RULES Contest is open to all students of IFES East Asia movements. Participants who are not going for IFES EARC 2014 itself may join this contest. All photos should be originally taken by the contest participant. Photo entries should be accompanied by a SHORT CAPTION to explain why that photo was chosen. Original photos that have previously been published on the internet are acceptable as long as there are no copyright issues. Photo and caption should tell us what the problem/issue is, not the solution. Photos may be taken using any type of camera or camera phone. But please make sure the picture is clear enough. There is no limit to the number of entries per participant. Upload photo entries into the IFES EARC 2014 Facebook group (facebook.com/groups/ifesearc2014). Put a hashtag #epicphotocontest. Get as many ‘likes’ as you can. Winning photo will be decided based on a combination of number of likes and decision of our panel of judges. Decision by the panel of judges is final. Prize will be presented to the winner during IFES EARC 2014. If winner is a non-participant of IFES EARC 2014, prize will be given through the winner’s IFES movement representative attending the conference. The organizers reserve the right to make changes to the contest rules and contest prize only if necessary....

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