Key verse: Deut. 30:20 – “and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life…”
Thank and praise God who has been with us throughout the year 2015. We are small and weak, but our God is great and strong. Thank God for sustaining and guiding us last year as a good shepherd leads his sheep. Thank God for the grace of participating in expanding God’s kingdom in Ireland.
Starting the year, we chose Deut. 30:20 as our key verse to choose life and prosperity. We tried to listen to God’s voice through deep bible study and prayer. We studied the Book of Samuel. I enjoyed the study and learned a lot through the study. The Israelites asked for a king and God gave them kings. The first king, Saul did not follow God from his heart. The second king, David was different. He was a man after God’s own heart. He sought God in all he did. God was pleased and promised him a dynasty. Separate from the main theme of the book, God taught me one thing repeatedly. It was about fruit. I had been occupied with visible fruit, perhaps a little bit more than God. This took away joy from me. However, when I accepted God as my Lord once again, joy was restored as it had happened to the prophet Habakkuk. I also learned that becoming a man of God is more fundamental than trying to bear visible fruit only. I felt free, unchained by legalistic ideas.
Last year I prayed for studying the Bible with someone I maintained a friendship only. God answered this prayer. Tony started John’s Gospel study with me. He is a Chinese, a part-time student in UCC. We studied up to chapter 5. Slowly, God is working in his heart. Lin, his wife, also showed an interest in studying the Bible. We pray that God may kindle holy desire in her heart and start bible study with M. Anna in the coming year.
It has been 5 years since we visited Korea last time. We went to Korea in July. We had a great time meeting family members. We also spent some time with and prayed for our aging unbelieving parents-in-law. We also attended the Chunchon SBC. Unexpectedly, we met two Korean students, studying in Trinity College in Dublin. We are building friendship with them. We pray that God may send new bible students through them. Leaving for Ireland again, God gave me Isa 43:18, 19. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” This voice of God renewed my faith and hope for Ireland mission.
At the end of October (22nd – 26th), M. Charles and Pauline Kim from London visited us. We had a good eating and sports fellowship. We also studied 1Samuel 1, 2 together. Their visit was very encouraging because we never had any guests for more than five years. At the same time, they also had a good break from busy and hectic life in London. It was like going to a green pasture from a city full of concrete buildings.
Continuing from the last year, M. Anna studied accounting. She passed few exams this year, but still has few more to do in the coming year. While visiting Korea this year, God encouraged and strengthened her a lot through early morning prayer and Gen 39:20.
We had family bible reading and prayer time from time to time. We read John’s Gospel and shared thanksgiving and prayer topics together and prayed. It was short but it was graceful.
As God repeatedly taught me about fruit this year, I want to focus on bearing inner fruits in the coming year. My key verse for the year 2016 is Galatians 5:22, 23a. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” I pray that we may bear even some of these fruits in the coming year.
Our prayer topics are:
- Book of Kings study
- One hour quiet time
- 3 one-to-one bible studies with new young students
- God may send a mission co-worker