I want to give a short report about the European Directors' Conference in Sweden. There were 86 participants from 20 European nations, 6 missionaries from the USA (P. Abraham & Sarah Kim, Henry Park, David Baik, David Kim, Samuel A. Lee), 1 from China (Johanna Park) and 2 from Korea (Paul T. Kim and Paul Na). Missionaries from Romania (John Jung), Serbia (Danijel Ko), Spain (Joshua Kang), and Italy (Peter Ko) could not come because of work or other pressing issues. Among the Europeans, 20 were 2nd gens. The conference was rather quiet and harmonious. I could feel the Holy Spirit working quietly among us.
On the first day, Missionary John and Grace Joo's oldest children Grace jr (medical student at Orebro) and Anna (pharmacology student at Uppsala) gave an interesting compact introduction to Sweden and the local UBF. Afterwards, M. John Joo gave the opening message on Isaiah 2:1-4 with the title “The Word of God will Go Out from Zion.” His message was very gracious and gave us a great vision for world mission. So all participants could open their hearts wide for the ongoing work of God. Then we listened to the missionary reports of 20 European national coordinators. I was personally greatly encouraged by the report of Missionary J. S. He has begun to study Genesis from the original Hebrew text in order to understand God's saving grace more deeply. God accepted his decision and gave him grace for the word of God week by week. Through the love of God, he could hold two Bible schools, one in August and one in October. They invited six promising students. In November they had a 2-day conference by a large sea. There they studied Luke 5 which helped them to enter deeply into the world of grace in Jesus Christ. One brother will make a decision for Jesus Christ soon, by the grace of God. At the same time, Missionary J.'s family struggled because of their limited residence permit. It seemed to be impossible to stay permanently which may have rendered their efforts in vain. But after years of spiritual struggle in prayer, Missionary J. and his family received permanent residency and cried many tears of joy and thanksgiving to the Lord God. Praise God who has confirmed the faith of Missionary J.! He himself accepted this as a clear sign that God is faithful to those who trust in him and that God loves to have campus mission in his nation. God has made impossibility possible, and so Missionary J. will continue to experience the help of God through prayer in his self-supporting life. Truly, our missionaries are ones of whom this world is not worthy (Heb. 11:38).
After dinner, we listened to Shp. Walter Nett's special message on Heb. 1 with the title “Jesus – Radiance of God's Glory.” This message served as a preparation for the main lecture on the following day. But before, we also heard the reports on two conferences. Shp. Elia Lee (Cologne 1) reported on the young people's conference “Encounter 2015.” He stressed the effective and fruitful coworking of the core team with senior members. Thus, the gospel as the central message of the conference could root deeply in the hearts of European young people. Meanwhile, preparation for Encounter 2016 (Aug. 3-6) is already on the way. Shp. Paul T. Kim gave an outlook on the upcoming World Mission Report and the following missionary conference 2016 in Korea (June 5-8). His joyful presentation moved everyone to pray for and join this meaningful assembly. May God bless P. Abraham Kim's key note message and raise life testimony speakers from all regions of the world.
On the following morning, after deep group Bibel study on Heb. 12, we joined to hear P. Abraham Kim's message with the title “Let Us Fix Our Eyes On Jesus.” We were both encouraged and challenged to overcome our limited thinking and situation by looking up to Jesus and running our spiritual race by faith in him. We took time to write our testimonies very deeply so that sharing them in our small groups lasted until late in the night.
This European Directors' Conference has once again been in a pleasant spiritual atmosphese, was joyful, encouraging and gracious. I could see that this has been a fruit of good coworking. Those missionaries who had sent their children to “Encounter 2015” expressed their thankfulness because the young people had been encouraged in spirit. Coworking with their parents has improved. I am very thankful to God for the good service of Esra Hong (Heidelberg), Esther Nett (Cologne 1), Lydia Lee jr. (Greece), and Sua Kim (Mannheim).
I am also very thankful for Missionary John and Grace Joo and their five children who have made a good environment for this conference. I could see the love of God in their midst. After the conference, we visited the main campus in Stockholm and prayed for a new spiritual revival in that nation. We could also see the City Hall where the annual reception of Nobel Prize laureates is held. We could see the greatness of Sweden and have a vision of many noble young Christians being raised through the one-to-one Bible study and Sunday worship service of our sacrificial coworkers.
Sarah K. Lee