January 5, 2013
Preparation for the Conference
The Latin American-European Directors’ Conference was held on Dec. 26-29 in Spain. This conference was historical in two ways: First, it was an intercontinental coordinators’ conference. Each continent had meetings in different halls with different programs, but we listened together to the lecture of Mother Sarah Barry. At the conference, we had fellowship, prayed together and even played soccer, making this an intercontinental conference.
Second, it was held in Spain, a European country. Some couldn’t understand why we should have the Latin American leaders’ conference in Spain. But Spain and the Latin American countries have an inseparable relationship since they were colonized by Spain. However, European countries including Spain are spiritually deteriorating. On the other hand, there is spiritual revival in Latin America allowing for the gospel to be exported back to Spain and Europe from Latin America. This means colonial countries are becoming a shepherd nation for their mother country. Humanly speaking, it is like the story of Don Quixote. But this amazing work has been going on among us as the gospel is reintroduced from Korea to the USA and European countries. The Latin American coordinators’ conference in Spain became an opportunity for the coordinators and native shepherds to see the spiritual vision to reintroduce the gospel to Spain and other European countries. In 1975, M. Jose Ahn worked in Spain, in 1988-89, M. Jose and M. Pablo worked in the embassy. Afterward, there was an attempt to pioneer Spain again, but it didn’t work out. However, this conference became a turning point to strengthen the work of God in Spain.
The idea to hold the historical Latin American/European Directors' Conference in Spain was discussed in 2011 during the 50th year anniversary of UBF and the Ambassador Pablo Oh accepted it in Feb. 2012. Then in April, M. Jose and Maria Ahn visited Spain and reserved the conference site and dates.
From July, the conference preparation committee members prepared the conference through Skype. M. Timothy Rhee, the current Latin American Coordinator, and five regional coordinators, Esteban Cho, Elias Park, Josue Ham, Barnabas Choi and Juan Seo, were the committee members. The committee communicated from July to December until the final arrangements were made via Skype. Through this effort to unite our heart and prayers we could prepare for the conference one by one.
Finally, the day of the conference arrived and the sponsoring chapter, Spain UBF, prepared thoroughly the conference site, did pick-up from the airport, prepared snacks and a tour. M. Pablo Star Oh with the help of the president of Korean Association in Spain rented the conference site at a low cost. M. Joshua Kang served guests by picking them up from the airport. M. Juan Seo and M. Josue Chun arrived in Spain early to support the airport pick-up. M. Paula Oh and Esther Kang diligently prepared refreshment and snack.
The thorough preparation by the host chapter, Spain UBF, made a good environment spiritually and practically. Through this conference, we prayed for M. Joshua Kang to be strengthened as the Spain UBF director. We thank God for M. Paula Oh, Joshua Kang and Esther Kang for their hard work and whole-hearted service. At this historical conference, Pastor Abraham Kim, Shepherd David Kim and Mother Sarah Barry, Dr. John Jun and many other missionaries and shepherds attended. We are thankful to the coworkers around the world for their prayer support.
M. Juan Seo, Venezuela UBF