Matthews 28:19a and 20a: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…”
Jesus gave us the Great Commission. And this word is one of UBF’s key verses. By God’s grace, Msn Deborah and I were blessed to share our life testimonies at the Kenyan Conference. According to African native leaders, M. Deborah’s life testimony inspired them powerfully. At the conference, God moved my heart through Luke 15:3. “…the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.” One of the Bible questions asked me, “What wealth have I received and squandered?” I realized that God has given me great wealth: the grace of forgiveness of all my sins, years of Bible study in UBF, great family, retirement income and a lot of time!” But I painfully realized that I was squandering precious wealth. I have been serving only 2 sheep by 1:1, and I have given my attention to other things, such as to the politics or Tennis. So in my Bible testimony, I sincerely prayed, “Father, I have sinned against you. I will go back to campus for 1:1 Bible study and discipleship ministry!” After the conference, we visited Uganda and Rwanda. Our Uganda coworkers began praying for the pioneering of Rwanda 5 years ago. Once a month, they sent two shepherds to serve Rwandan students with 2 group Bible studies and SWS. They planted the seed of the gospel like A. Paul. But Rwandan students prayed for a full time missionary who can water them like Apollos. Seven Rwandan students attended the Kenya Conference taking a 23 hour bus ride.
As you know, the country Rwanda suffered from the 1994 genocide which cost nearly one million lives out of 12 million people, due to tribal conflict. The country had been colonized by Belgium, so they speak French. But 7 years ago the country switched her official language to English. So most professors and college students struggle with English. Until the genocide, 95% of people were Catholics, but now around 40% are Protestants. Most students offer fasting prayers once or twice a week. Their frequent fasting was partly because they love to pray and sing, and partly because they can afford only 1 or 2 meals a day with their monthly allowance of $30.
When I first met 7 students in Kigali, the Capital, who seemed to love God, his word and his servant dearly, my heart was moved. The Spirit of God instilled a sense of spiritual urgency and holy burden in my heart, when I noticed that all the 7 who attended Kenya C. and all of the 7 law students in front of my eyes were seniors who will graduate in less than 2 months, leaving no students in the campus. Normally it takes a long time for me to make a major decision. But that moment, God worked in my heart and enabled me to decide to stay and serve them, canceling my return schedule to US. But Msn Deborah had to go back home since she had to serve my Mother in Chicago.
The Work of God in Rwanda: God himself has done a great work through a very unlikely spiritual man. It was because I have been serving UBF finance from when Dr. Samuel Lee was GD and I was retired as a bank officer. As King David said in 2 Sa 7:18, “Who am I, Lord God! …You have brought me this far!” I felt same way when God called me to serve his flock in Rwanda.
First, “Therefore Go…” The word “go” is a very short verb, but its impact is great, especially, when we obey God’s word. In Genesis 12:1, the Lord said to Abram, “Go…to the land I will show you.” Heb. 11:8 says, “By faith Abraham, when called to go, …. obeyed and went…” His going by faith made Abram the father of faith. Even though I went to Rwanda for a short two day spying out trip, God Himself, started to do a great and beautiful work in two months! A couple times God sent me to visit the medical school and led me to invite 3 students. One of them, Patrick has been very faithful to 1:1 Bible study and SWS. All the students from other colleges, except medical school, went home for their long 4 month summer vacation. So God led me to start Bible study with key leaders, S. Hodal and James. On June 5th, we studied Jesus’ Great Commission, Mt 28:19-20. We decided to obey his word, “Therefore go” immediately. Four of us were walking up the hill of medical school and unexpectedly we met Sister Kevine, a Freshman at the medical school. With her courageous suggestion, we got into 4 different classrooms and introduced UBF 1:1 Bible study and SWS. God moved the hearts of 25 students who wrote their names and correct phone numbers. We were overjoyed by God’s historic blessing through our simple obedience to his word, “Go.” Two days later, Msn Francis Choi joined us for another outreach at the classrooms. That day God granted us another 20 students. Since then we prayed for these students for 1:1 and SWS. On June 19th, out of 15 SWS attendants, 11 of them were medical students even though their finals started the next day. So far 16 medical students have 1:1 Bible studies or attended our SWS. And 8 medical students signed up for 1:1 Bible study with me via a SNS (WhatsApp) while I stay in US. Other students could not sign up since they do not have smart phones. (We are praying for used smart phones.)
Second, Make Disciples of all Nations, teaching them to obey…
Many Rwandan students seem to be better Christians than I, in terms of fasting prayers. So one day I seriously asked several key leaders. “Do the Rwandan students need my help? In what way, can our UBF contribute something which local churches cannot?” They sincerely said, “Rwandan churches have no 1:1 personal Bible study or discipleship ministry.” As someone expressed, the faith of these students seems to be miles wide, but their Bible knowledge seems to be an inch deep. Maybe that is why the students are eager for 1:1 Bible studies. Patrick moved my heart when he usually walks 45 minutes for each 1:1 and then walks back home 45 minutes. Thank and praise God for Rwandan students’ longing for the words of God through personal 1:1 Bible study. My lifetime prayer topic was to raise 12 disciples of Jesus through 1:1 Bible study. Only once in my life, I had 12 1:1s. It was when I was laid off from my work. God blessed me to serve 20 to 28 students with 1:1 Bible study, consecutively 6 weeks, despite final exams. Some days like having 7 1:1s, I hardly could open my mouth, but I experienced unspeakable joy and thanksgiving in my heart! Also I deeply thank God that he heard our prayers and has sent us so many non-senior students in last 6 weeks, making more than 70% of 1:1 or SWS attendants are non-senior students. We are praying and preparing for fishing Freshmen when school opens in early Oct.
Growing Shepherds: I deeply thank God for calling S. Hodal to decide to become an Intern Shepherd to serve Rwandan campus mission. He is one of the most brilliant and handsome young men. Hodal got several good job offers, but he decided to serve Rwanda campus mission without being paid (after studying about St Paul’s self-supporting ministry). In order to serve God as a campus shepherd, he is praying for an opportunity to be invited by UBF Internship Program in US before 2018 ISBC or to be accepted to a Ph. D program in US. After US training or study, he wants to come back home and serve UBF campus mission. Also I thank God for S. Etienne, David and James (Kenya Seven) and growing student shepherds, Sister Kevine (Phar. 3), Felicien (Civil Engr. 3) and Patrick (Med 3). By God’s grace, from last June 17th, all these 7 leaders and 10 other Bible students began 1:1 Bible study with me via SNS during my visit in US!
I thank God for Dr. Joseph Chung who encouraged me through Mt. 9:36-38. “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but workers are few. Ask the Lord of harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’”. Although I have served Rwandan students only for two months, God has given me faith that young or old, poor or rich, high school or college students, all NA UBF coworkers can “Go and make disciples of all nations through 1:1 Bible studies!”
One Word: “Go and make disciples of all nations”
1. Learn more about Jesus through Mark's Gospel study
2. God may raise 12 faithful shepherds beginning from S. Hodal
3. Fishing Freshmen in Oct.
4. Pioneer medical school and 3 campuses in Kigali
5. One proper Bible House in Kigali
by Daniel Yang, IIT