Key Verse Luke 13:18-19, “Then Jesus asked, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.’”
Thank God for his grace, that he has been with us during one year in 2016. Thank God for his grace, that he has formed us through various shapes of trainings and refinements, and timely guided us to the word. I pray that we may look back on God's grace and prepare for the new year, 2017, through annual mission report.
I. A Mission Report.
- He has allowed Brother Alberto to be a remainder.
God has helped Brother Alberto to finish his study of the Gospel of Matthew this year. He graduated from the Department of Biology, IPN [Instituto Politécnico Nacional] this year and has been preparing to enter a graduate school next year. He faithfully has come to the Center once per week to study the Bible. Early in this year, he had presided at the Sunday worship service.
So I asked him to join the Easter conference in order to preside at the conference, but he refused it to go to his home. I was a little disappointed. However, when he lost his cell phone, he realized that this was a discipline of God who gave to the person who refused to invite him to the conference, and said he would go to the conference next year. God may have mercy on him, and help him to enter a graduate school in 2017. He may also help him join the Easter conference and grow to be a disciple of Jesus.
2. He has helped me to sow seeds of the words.
I have had a critical mind, during that time, doing not go up a campus, that God has given me as an inheritance, and seeing myself be occupied my store. So I challenged to go up the campus by closing the store 30 minutes early; then, God let me arrive at the campus before it was dark, and guided me to a short one-to-one Bible Study with one or two sheep, distributing a gospel preaching paper. Through this, I experienced a grace of God who opened the door of evangelism when I tried to preach the word in season or out of season. I pray that the seeds of the words sown in these campus sheep can grow well.
3. He has helped Brother Kyoseong Hwang to change his house into the house-church.
Brother Kyoseong Hwang is an overseas Korean which manages a car center. Having been suffering from influences of evil spirits, his family have studied God’s words with us in thirsty spirits. Though the change was slow, he has been steadily studying God’s words, and attending Sunday worship service every week for a few years.
And by the grace of God, his family have been freed from the influence of darkness, that the evil spirits had given them, and placed the foundation of faith, and this year(in 2016), they have brought their two children to have one to one Bible study and to attend Sunday worship service. This family have attended the Easter Bible Conference and Christmas worship service every year.
Since I served this family for a few years, thinking that they should follow our mission, I exhorted him to join us in the UBF mission ministry. But he hesitated not to still be ready to join in our mission. After studying all the 66 volumes of the Bible, he said to me to decide it. I suggested that they might go to other church to receive a training and refinement of faith. But he was not about to go to other church. In the meantime, I was in a situation that I would stay in Korea for a long time, next year, because of my daughter's medical treatment. Through this, God gave him an opportunity to challenge to study God’s words independently while I would be away.
So I challenged him to take care his family as a priest of the family. Concretely, that was to study the word and to offer a family worship together every week, reading one of messages, that Shp. Oh John (Cheonan UBF) prepared and placed about each of all the 66 volumes of the Bible wholeheartedly. And last week, when we went to offer a year-end worship service at his house, he said to us that he decided to study the words at his home together, and wanted to join in the Easter Bible Conference and the Christmas worship service, maintaining a good relationship with us, and hearing a spiritual advice.
I have seen that God has given them great faith to follow God’s direction. On that day, after having dinner with M. Lydia and his mother, we shared a Bible study and testimony, based on ‘Enter through the narrow gate,’ in Luke 13. They did not believe that God had created the world before the Bible study, but now each of them has been sure to believe it. And we have seen the seeds of the words like mustard seeds sprouting and growing in their hearts.
Recognizing that the promise of Jesus' presence where two or three are gathered in the name of Jesus, and that they have their identity as a royal-priesthood, I have witnessed that when this home lives with Jesus, according to his words, they can be built up and used as a house church. I have also informed him that he is in the position of a priest who serves the house church, and then we prayed that God might grant him a spiritual authority. Through this, God has let us see that it is possible for him to help this little family without any hope to be alive, grow, and bear fruits.
I used to disappoint that my sheep did not grow up fast and could not bring change and fruit. But when I help sheep with patience and hope, I learn that God can make them fruitful. God has given me confidence, comfort, and hope that he will bear fruits in a right time of God. Thank God for and praise be to his grace that he has let one family be alive, has set the family up as a glorious house church, and has been with them. The Lord may plant seeds of your word on the family every week, and let the family grow to be a great tree, that you may bless the family to keep growing as a family of solid faith, and a family of being used for the world mission, through an independent Bible study and worship.
II. Prayer topics:
1. The Lord may let brother Alberto grow to be a disciple of Jesus
2. Brother Kyoseong Hwang may serve and prepare well for the Bible study.
3. Haeun may be sure to be fully treated.
4. For Jr. Isaiah's spiritual growth (Admission to Auburn University, Alabama, the US).
5. The Lord may give M. Lydia a healthy physical strength.
6. M. Isaiah may help his daughter, Haeun, to receive a good medical treatment and himself receive a good spiritual training in S-Korea(translation Korean into English, by M. Matthew Han).
One word: A God’ s Kingdom in seed of word and seed of faith!
M. Isaiah Roh