ACTI was originally started by OMF in 1984 in response to churches in Asia faced with a new wave of Asian missionaries needing cross-cultural training as well as from Western countries who were sending Their missionaries new to Asia. With this need, a rented bungalow at Adam Road became the first venue to host the trainees for a period of one year.
After four years of existence, ACTI became independent in 1988, a partnership realised with different mission agencies and churches in Singapore networked together. Bringing in experienced missionaries working in Asia as trainers, it became a place in Asia for those needing cross-cultural training from different parts of the world.
ACTI has trained 485 cross-cultural missionaries (as of Mar 2022) and workers who are now serving in Asia, Africa and other parts of the world. Our graduates are from Singapore, S. Korea, Hong Kong, India, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, USA, Australia, Netherlands, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and other Asian countries.
We have also began to partner with like-minded organisations to train their nationals or their organisation’s trainees since 2016. This has resulted in new training areas, in their own context in other countries.
Suitability of ACTI Training
At ACTI, prospective cross-cultural Christian workers from across the world meet the real challenges of cross-cultural living, staying in places of training at Chiang Mai and in cosmopolitan Singapore.
Formal interactive lectures give strategic information about various aspects of the world of missions, while hands-on workshops offer skill development. Through the community life, trainees learn first-hand about the intricacies of interpersonal relationships, stress management, raising and keeping a missionary family together, and above all, practising true discipleship.
ACTI’s Training Model
ACTI’s TRAINERS AND LECTURERS
ACTI’s pool of 24 trainers and lecturers come from many different countries as well as from different mission agencies. All the lecturers are practitioners in the mission field with extensive missionary experiences. Each one will be able to utilise their experiences to teach and help the trainees to experience and feel what life will be like on the field.
Rev Louis Lau – Dean of ACTI
Louis was born and bred in Singapore and became a Christian at age 16. He was first involved in world missions in 1981 with OM, serving in London and then onboard the MV Doulos for 2 1/2 years. And from 1992, together with his wife Chris, they joined OMF and have been involved in church planting ministries in Japan.
Presently, he is the Church Planting Facilitator in Japan and in Asia, training and facilitating missionaries and local leaders towards building DMM/CMM networks. He ministers to the poor and to the homeless in Tokyo since 2012. In 2014, he became the dean at ACTI, knowing the importance of missionaries being trained effectively.
While on the field, Louis did his MA in Intercultural Studies with the Cook School of Intercultural Studies with Biola University, graduating in 2016. They have two children – Justin is a ministry staff with King’s Church at Durham, UK while studying in a seminary, while Jeremy is working in Tokyo.
Jim Won: Training Director
Jim and his family joined OMF International in the year 2000 to serve in Bangkok, Thailand. He and his wife have three daughters; the older 2 are in university while the youngest is in grade 9. He was trained in Trinity Theological College Singapore and upon graduation served in an Anglican Church in the area of youths, missions and worship.
Jim and his wife’s main ministries in Bangkok are Community Development work, University outreach, Sports as well as Missional Business. While on the field, Jim completed his MA in Intercultural Studies with Biola University (2015). Both Jim and his wife are alumni of ACTI.
Phil Carter – Trainer
Phil Carter, along with his wife Stella, have been serving in global missions through Cru for over 35 years in 38 countries across 66 cities. He founded and currently directs the XChange cross-cultural training program for Cru Asia Ltd.
Phil was born in South Carolina, USA, where he became a Christian at the age of 12. He attained a BFA in Advertising Design, a degree he has put to use across five continents while serving as a missionary. He married Stella at the age of 38 putting him in the middle of a large Chinese-Singaporean family, which is where the real cross-cultural learning began.
Phil and Stella have lived in the United States, South Korea and Singapore. In 2010 they began teaching and developing cross-cultural training tools for Asians moving to different cultures. He has also served as Sending and Partnership Development Director for seven countries in two different Cru regional offices within Asia.
Chris Lau – Trainer/Counsellor
Chris graduated from the National University of Singapore (1987) and Institute of Education (1988) and taught in a Junior College (High School) for 4 1/2 years before leaving for Japan with her husband as OMF missionaries in 1992.
Together with her husband, Louis, they have been involved in church planting ministries. Chris graduated with a Masters of Arts in Counselling in 2015 (Singapore Bible College). She is presently a counsellor for OMF missionaries, the wider missionary community and Japanese in Japan.
Besides serving at ACTI as trainer and counsellor, Chris also avails herself as a trainer in evangelism and discipleship in Japan, at the Re-Entry Retreats for returning Singapore missionaries and other training courses.
Serene Ong – Trainer/Administrator
Serene returned to Singapore in June 2021 after serving with her husband and 4 children in Cambodia, Phnom Penh for almost 10 years. She supported her husband in his role as Country Director in Cambodia for the Methodist Missions Society while homeschooling her children on the mission field. Her ministry in Cambodia involved Education, discipleship, ministering to orphans and young adults and TCKs through the arts.
Through God’s divine appointment, Serene joined ACTI as an Administrator in Jan 2022 and is also serving as a Trainer for the ACTI Course. She graduated with a Diploma in Business Management (Specializing in Human Resource) and completed an Advance Certificate in Christian Counselling by Waverly Abbey College in 2019. She is passionate to journey with young adults especially young women in their faith and calling.
Henry Tan – Trainer/BAM Coach & Consultant
Henry Tan was born and spent his formative years in Singapore. In 1975 he left for the USA for graduate studies at Stanford University and continued to work overseas, in the US and in many international locations for the next 20 years. He spent over 30 years of his career – planning, designing, building, financing and investing in infrastructural projects that facilitated the community development needs of cities and small communities.
In 1995, he returned to Singapore to work with a prominent Sovereign Wealth Fund to manage an Infrastructure Fund, to invest in infrastructural projects throughout Asia. He later went on to manage several large business organizations as MD and EVP. He then took on early retirement to work with Startup Enterprises as a Consultant, Advisor, Angel Investor, and Board member providing corporate guidance and governance to over 20 companies, and chairing most of them.
Presently, he is involved in projects, such as initiating a Hydroponic and Mushroom Cultivation ministry and serving the stateless Vietnamese communities in the Floating Villages in Cambodia. His focus is on improving the well-being of the many less developed communities amongst the minority communities in SE Asia. Amongst others, he helps communities to create viable income generating propositions such as in bakery, tailoring, micro-financing and BAM programs encompassing animal husbandry banking programs, introduction of alternative high value cash crops and others to demonstrate that God provides. Henry would be the go-to person in terms of community development, starting startups and BAM projects. Henry is an alumnus of ACTI.
The Lecturers of ACTI