From Touchstone Issue #40 See Full Issue

Regional Forum Highlights

Asia Pacific

The 2024 Asia Pacific Regional Forum took place from February 27-29, 2024 at Prison Fellowship Singapore’s Community Hub. 62 delegates representing 20 countries participated in the forum. Among these nations, 14 National Ministries and 3 prospective Chartered Affiliates were represented. 

Gathering under the overarching theme of Leading for Greater Impact, delegates were reminded of the importance of effective leadership and out-of-the-box solutions in navigating the complexities of our time. The forum objectives were clear:  

  • Empower leaders to lead effectively and inspire others.  
  • Explore innovative approaches to address emerging trends in prison ministry.  
  • Draw insights from the experience of Singapore, the host country. 

Delegates both gleaned key learnings from the insightful sessions and found meaning in prayer and fellowship among likeminded peers.  

On the first day of the forum, Andy Corley and Timothy Khoo, current and former Prison Fellowship International President and CEO respectively, spoke about Biblical leadership and emphasized the importance of placing trust in God at every juncture. This was followed by a presentation on Prison Fellowship Singapore’s Integrated Ministry Strategy, which brings together In-Care, Aftercare and Family Care in their ministry approach. Voice For Prisoners, a Hong Kong-based non-profit, shared how its advocacy efforts has raised awareness on drug mules in drug hot spots. 

Day two focused on developing partnerships to achieve a holistic approach in transforming the lives of prisoners. Participants gained insights from our speakers Eddie Tan (Board Member, Faith Comes By Hearing Asia), Jason Wong (Founder, Yellow Ribbon Project) and Joseph See (CEO, Agape Connecting People), highlighting the value of Kingdom partnerships to expand impact in local contexts. Roundtable discussions around the topics of rehabilitation, reintegration and reconciliation facilitated in-depth discussions on critical themes. These discussions were led by Reverend Tobias Brandner (Professor of Theology at the Divinity School of Chung Chi College, Chinese University of Hong Kong), Dr. Sreenivasa Rao (Inspector General of Prison, Andhra Pradesh India), Siew Lin Poh (Director of Community Development, Malaysian Care) and Samuel Lim (Coordinator of Community Development, Malaysian Care), and Tobias Merckle (Executive Chairman, Prison Fellowship Germany). 

On the third and final forum day, delegates visited Singapore Changi Prison and the largest Christian halfway house in Singapore, The Helping Hand. Those who visited the prison learned about Singapore Prison Service’s rehabilitation approach and toured the accommodation facilities and Visual Arts Hub. Others who went to The Helping Hand learned about their reintegration approach and experienced work training facilities for ex-prisoners. 

This forum would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship from Far East Organization and like-minded donors, and collaboration with partner organizations including Faith Comes By Hearing and Prison Fellowship Singapore (Host Office), and our faithful volunteers. Overall, forum participants were blessed in both knowledge and relationships through this event. Delegates shared that they, “learned so much over the few days” and found that there was a “good balance of information and collaboration.”   

Latin America and the Caribbean 

The 2024 Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Forum, held virtually from March 20-21 over Zoom, saw robust participation with 60 to 70 National Ministry leaders attending each day. Representing 80% of the 30 affiliated countries across the region, the forum centered on the theme of “Going for Growth.” Its aim was to equip ministries with management principles rooted in biblical perspectives, guiding them towards embracing greater expansion, reaching more prisons, and impacting more prisoners with the transformative message of Christ. Featuring virtual guest speakers such as Prison Fellowship International (PFI) President and CEO Andy Corley, PFI Board Chair Frances Wilson and PFI Global Field Director Hugh Greathead, daily sessions encompassed bilingual worship experiences, National Ministry-led devotionals, regional updates, prayer sessions and breakout discussions for further fellowship and engagement among participants. 

Throughout the forum, emphasis was placed on translating insights into action. Each National Ministry was encouraged to develop an actionable plan for the upcoming year, moving beyond theoretical discussions on growth towards tangible steps to implement their newfound learnings. This approach aimed to empower ministries to not just aspire for growth but to actively pursue it, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and meaningful impact across the region. 

Europe and Central Asia

The 2024 Europe and Central Asia Regional Forum convened with the primary goal of enhancing communication strategies within National Ministries amidst a dynamic global landscape. Emphasizing adaptability, participants were urged to use diverse communication tools as catalysts for transformative progress, regardless of their ministries’ maturity levels. Representatives from Prison Fellowship Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Albania, Scotland, and Northern Ireland shared insights as guest speakers, enriching discussions with varied perspectives.  

20 of the region’s 32 NMs (60%) engaged in the forum, with a daily attendance ranging between 25 to 35 participants. Post-forum survey outcomes underscored the event’s efficacy, revealing high satisfaction levels among attendees, with many expressing readiness for operational adjustments – indicating momentum towards innovation and growth within the participating ministries. 

The forum was a pivotal platform for fostering collaboration and strategic evolution among NMs, empowering them to navigate contemporary challenges and seize opportunities for advancement. Through engaging presentations, active participation and reflective exchanges, the forum not only imparted valuable insights but also inspired a collective commitment to leveraging communication as a potent driver for positive change and organizational enhancement across the region. 


  • Africa Regional Forum – Dates to be announced 

Missed your regional forum or want to dig deeper into what you learned? Email your regional staff for further practical resources to continue enhancing your ministry!  


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