This is an interview by Edmond Chua of The Christian Post

South Asian Christians worshipping at the 3rd South Asian Global Convention held last week at The Salvation Army PraiseHaven Retreat Centre.

The international conference attempting to reconcile South Asians across diverse ethnic boundaries was started by a local Singapore Pastor Pritam Singh Sandhu. Crossing strong political and religious boundaries, the South Asian Global Convention SAGC 2009 gathered groups like Indians, Pakistanis, Nepalis, Sri Lankans and Bangladeshis.

The event, which concluded last week, was nothing short of a ‘miracle’ and ‘God’s hand’, said founder and coordinator Pastor Pritam Singh, citing remarks by attendants.

It started when Pastor Pritam Singh Sandhu, 45, was undergoing his theological Master’s degree training at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. In 2002, he had a vision of God ‘handpicking’ South Asians and placing them in other countries in the diaspora to ‘touch’ them there so He can mobilise them for missions wherever they are planted."

“God says that He is going to raise up a living army of people for the South Asian work,” said Pastor Pritam Singh Sandhu in an interview today with The Christian Post, adding that he heard God asking him if he would organise a South Asian Global Convention.

Subsequently he gained the assurance from God that “every help would be made available” for the event. After he shared the vision with the leadership of the church he was attending in Canada, they said that the vision is from God.

“We want to confirm it and we want to help it,” the board members and leaders had said. Then the church bathed the vision in a thousand hours of prayer project using a coupon system to track the length of time each member prayed. The theme for the conference, "Serving God’s Purposes in Our Generation" emerged after that time. Eventually, the first SAGC 2004 was held in Vancouver, Canada in 2004.

From that single ‘bubble’, as the pastor described it, many others came about. This included the South Asian Connection, the ministry platform he founded and leads to challenge South Asian youth and young adults for local and global missions, coordinate the SAGC, and communicate ideas, strategies and resources using the power of the new media.

The platform has had a ‘very far’ and ‘very wide’ reach touching countries like the UK, Australia, India, Pakistan, Nepal, the U.S., Mexico, U.A.E., U.K., the Philippines, South Africa, Kenya etc. . . . This year’s conference gathered people from 25 nations. It has challenged South Asians Christians to use sports, media, dance and writing for ministry, preach the Gospel, conduct seminars, open orphanages and even enter the marketplace. With its trans-denominational nature, the ministry has also gained the support of mainline denominations and independent churches, which have sponsored conference attendants or even provided funding.

“We’ve told them that if God has gifted you, use your talents for the Kingdom of God,” said Pastor Pritam Singh Sandhu.

What are the needs of South Asians?

It is mostly financial, said Pastor Pritam Singh Sandhu. Education, organisation and social networking are other needs.

The Singapore-born Pastor Pritam Singh Sandhu himself was converted from Sikhism to Christianity and discipled in the Christian faith at the tender age of 13. After graduating from a local university, he went on to become a science teacher at a secondary school and then vice-principal of a private school and finally planted a church only two years ago with a vision to equip and empower especially South Asians for world evangelisation.

Many South Asians in Singapore are being saved, and South Asians Christians are generally ‘very mission minded’, ‘focused’, ‘very evangelistic’ and involved in mobilising and training people for local missions.

Interview by Edmond Chua of The Christian Post