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National Diaspora Symposium 2023

"Building Bridges, Closing Gaps"

21st-23rd September 2023

Sungai Way - Subang Methodist Church (SSMC)


About Conference

Welcome to National Diaspora Symposium 2023

The call of our Lord Jesus Christ to every follower is peacemaking and reconciliation. Diaspora communities, whether voluntarily or forcibly displaced, have faced rejection, exploitation, and, in some cases, violence. How can we reach them and reconcile them to God and to one another?

This symposium aims to facilitate God’s movement among diaspora communities in Malaysia by encouraging and empowering participants to find solutions to close gaps and build bridges toward fruitful engagement in the local context. We recognized that diversity in every aspect presented by these communities demands a variety of approaches and creative solutions from all parties involved. The highlight of this symposium is the workshop discussions, in which all are welcome to participate.

Conference Date

See you soon!

Our Speakers/Facilitators

Meet The Facilitators & Speakers

Dr. Wong Young Soon

Former Executive Director of Malaysian CARE

Dr. Kevin Higgins

General Director of Frontier Ventures

Rev. Elisha Satvinder

Co-Founder at Dignity for Children Foundation

Dr. Michael Crane

Director of Radius Global Cities Network

Ms. Margaret Loy

CEO of Community Transformation Initiative Bhd

Dr. Chua Thiem Seng

Training Director and Deputy Education Director of ElShaddai Centre

Ps Neduncheliyan Adaikalam

Ministry Coordinator and Training Consultant with a regional Christian organization

Rev Daniel Chong

Ordained minister of the Assemblies of God Malaysia

Dr. Jennifer Hu

Lecturer at the Malaysia Baptist Theological Seminary

Our Workshops

Discover Your Workshop, Elevate Your Skills

Facilitator: Dr. Wong Young Soon

Recommended Audience: Everyone

Description: This workshop seeks to bridge the gap between Christians and diaspora groups, through honest conversations about the “elephant in the room”. As believers, we first need to recognise that within the church and even within ourselves, we all carry racist and xenophobic attitudes towards foreigners to some extent. Income inequality between most church members and these marginalised diaspora groups also further contributes to the “us” versus “them” mindset. This workshop will discuss ways that we can change such existing mindsets and attitudes.

Facilitator: Dr. Kevin Higgins

Recommended Audience: Everyone

Description: This workshop seeks to help us see and bridge the gap between what we assume Scripture says or means, and what it actually says about how God sees all people. We will explore how the Bible can help us to see other people in new ways, and reach out to people from different cultures.

Facilitator: Dr. Michael Crane

Recommended Audience: Church Leaders and Practitioners

Description: Many organisations only address the physical and material needs of marginalised diaspora groups, while their spiritual needs and need for true Christian community are neglected. Even when we think about forming new Christian communities or churches, we often think about it in a way that requires heavy institutional structure and a hefty budget. However, the reality is that diaspora groups can find themselves in very diverse situations when they arrive in Malaysia. This means that different approaches are needed for a diaspora person’s spiritual formation and identity in Christ.

Facilitator: Ps Ned Adaikalam

Recommended Audience: Everyone

Description: This workshop aims to bridge the culture gap between churches and those of other cultures. By first examining the various cultures in our midst, both local and migrant, participants will learn to recognise and grasp the importance of culture in conveying messages to other culture groups. What defines “our culture” versus “their culture”? What is the role of religion in influencing culture?

Through examples from Scripture, participants will also identify and learn to follow Jesus’ model of engaging people from different and challenging cultures. Finally, participants will examine case studies and develop strategies and practical steps for engagement, drawing from the Luke 10 Principle.

Facilitator: Dr Chua Thiem Seng

Recommended Audience: Church Leaders and Practitioners

Description: This workshop aims to bridge resource and generation gaps by discussing ways to involve the younger generation in diaspora missions. Participants will discuss creative ideas to engage young people, as well as how to conduct effective discipleship training within the church to mobilise young people for mission in the community. The workshop will cover campus student volunteer movement and international student ministry.

Questions covered include: What challenges does the church face in developing young mission partners? How do we prepare and engage a new generation of young believers who have a high potential of moving away from their home church? What are some new discipleship ideas suitable for young people who are on the move?

Facilitator: Dr. Jennifer Hu

Recommended Audience: Everyone

Description: How can a relational concept such as hospitality overcome barriers in reaching the socially, racially, and culturally different Others among us?

Global migration has brought the diaspora to our neighborhoods and homes. Despite churches running migrant ministries, interactions between local believers with these groups are minimal and often functional. Should believers be more open and hospitable to these marginalized Others on a day-to-day basis? How can we do so?

This workshop aims to bridge the gap between "us" and "them" by drawing from scriptures and exploring case studies that highlight related issues. Participants will discover in their own context how they can extend biblical hospitality in practical ways as an authentic and loving movement toward the Other.

Facilitator: Ms. Margaret Loy

Recommended Audience: Church Leaders and Practitioners


This workshop aims to bridge a theological gap by exploring a biblical framework to shape our missional perspectives on migration and refugee issues, as well as practical implications for ministry in our local context. The workshop will examine scriptures and social justice teachings in both Evangelical and Catholic traditions to understand how they shape our understanding and responses today.

Scriptures to be examined include passages from Deuteronomy, Matthew, 1 Peter and Micah. Evangelical teachings pertain to the topics of God’s people being aliens and exiles/sojourners; The Great Commission and our responsibility to share the Good News with the migrant diaspora; loving God wholeheartedly and loving our neighbour as ourselves; welcoming the stranger, giving food and clothing; and acting justly, loving mercy, walking humbly. Catholic teachings include Daniel Groody’s Crossing the Divide: Foundations of a Theology of Migration and Refugees; God’s preferential option for the poor; and the Catholic Social Justice philosphical framework.

Facilitator: Rev Daniel Chong

Recommended Audience: Church Leaders and Practitioners

Description: In this workshop, participants will learn how to harness the power of collaboration to address the gap in resources within the body of Christ, when it comes to serving the stateless community, especially in Sabah.

The workshop will address ways to improve collaboration between churches, and between Christian NGOs and churches serving stateless communities. Challenges faced in the process of collaboration will also be discussed.

Pertinent questions will also be covered, such as: How can we see God’s heart in this collaboration for the stateless communities? Can we collaborate if we all have different visions? Why is it important to collaborate in building bridges and closing gaps within the Body of Christ for the stateless communities? Is this collaboration a necessity, a luxury or a form of publicity? What can we expect in the future if we collaborate now?

Our Timetable

Proposed Agenda & Schedule

12.00 – 2.00 pmRegistration & Lunch
2.00 – 3.45 pmWelcome and Overview by Andrew Ng
3.45 – 4.00 pmTea Break by community
4.00 – 5.45 pmWorkshop 1
5.45 – 7.00 pmDinner
7.00 – 9.00 pmSession 1: Building Bridges, Closing Gaps – Dr. Wong Young Soon
9.00 – 10.30amSession 2: Building Bridges, Closing Gaps – Rev Elisha Satvinder
10.30 – 10.45 amTea Break
10.45 – 12.30 pm

Workshop 2


12.30 – 2.00 pmLunch
2.00 – 3.45 pmWorkshop 3                           
3.45 – 4.00 pmTea Break by community
4.00 – 5.45 pmWorkshop 4                   
5.45 – 7.00 pmDinner
7.00 – 9.00 pmSession 3: Building Bridges, Closing Gaps- Dr. Kevin Higgins
9.00 – 10.30amSession 4: Summary of workshops discussion, presentation of solutions derived.- Dr Ng Oi Leng
10.30 – 10.45 amTea Break
10.45 – 12.30 pmSession 5: Vision Casting by Andrew Ng

Choose a Ticket

Ticket Pricing

Normal (1st July - 10th Sept)

  • 3 days conference tickets
  • All meals inclusive
  • Networking
  • Workshops

National Diaspora Symposium 2023

Building Bridges, Closing Gaps

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Nearby Accommodation

There are plenty of nearby accommodation options to choose from. O’Boutique Suites and One Avenue Hotel are two nearby choices. There are more hotel options are available in Damansara Uptown area, which is nearby. Please note that attendees of the event will need to sort out their own accommodation arrangements. However, there are plenty of online booking platforms available where you can easily make a reservation. We recommend booking your accommodation early to secure your preferred option.

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Christmas Fundraising 2021

Empowering Communities, Transforming Lives.

Help the marginalized and displaced families to rebuild their lives. The effect of the pandemic has been devastating for our whole society, especially to the most vulnerable among us. The families ElShaddai Centre work with are now seeking to rebuild their lives with dignity.