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 is already speaking into my life. 🙂

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