Anchorage, Alaska Visitation Report

by LA UBF   04/16/2010     0 reads



 Visitation report by Isaac Kim, dated April 17, 2010

Romans 1:11,12:  I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong--That is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.

From April 13 (Tuesday) to 17 (Saturday), for mutual encouragement through each other's faith, I visited Alaska UBF where Msn. David Seongil Kim and Susanna Kim run a house church. Missionary David Kim used to work at the Korean embassy in Zimbabwe as an assistant to a Korean consul. After his term was over in Zimbabwe, the Korean consul liked David Kim very much and when he relocated Anchorage Alaska, about a little over a year ago, he took David Kim with him. This resulted in David’s family relocating to Alaska. They have three children: Hayoung (girl, 2), Joy (girl, 4), and David Jr. (6). They pray to pioneer the UAA (University of Alaska in Anchorage).

Although I arrived at the anchorage airport after midnight, David came out to greet me. I checked into a hotel about 15 minutes from their apartment, 15 minutes from the airport, and 12 minutes from the campus. 

When I woke up Wednesday morning it was snowing. They say this is sort of unusual, so David and Susanna said, "You brought good weather." Wednesday morning David worked at the embassy. He finished his work at 5:00 p.m. So I went to his work place, picked him up, and headed to his apartment which was located about 5 minutes away. That evening, at his apartment, we had a group Bible study on Genesis 33:11 focusing on "the Importance of Spiritual Struggle." Jacob in Genesis was a believing person. He was born in a believing family. Although he was a believer, he still had lots of hope in the things of the world. So although God gave him the vision to be a source of blessing for many, he largely ignored God's vision. Rather he struggled to grasp what is mundane. Although he acquired a lot of blessings, such as four wives, children, and lots of material possessions, he remained dissatisfied. This worldly way of life took its toll on him. On his way back home, at the Jabbok River, he hit rock bottom. As he was about to meet Esau, he became a nervous wreck. But the Lord God had mercy on him. Waiting for this very moment to come, the Lord sent an angel, who in turned helped Jacob to struggle to overcome himself and the world. Through the night's struggle, he came to meet the God of [Jacob] Israel personally. Then as he greeted Esau he was able to say, "I have all I need." He then reconciled with Esau. 

After the group Bible study Missionary Susanna served a delicious dinner with a special dish called "Altang" (a stew made of sea food).

After the dinner we prayed together. Then, since there was still daylight (in Anchorage the sun sets at 9:15 p.m.), David and Susanna took me to the Flat Top which is like the LA Observatory at the Griffith Park. There in a snow covered hilltop we could see a beautiful winter scenery, God's beautiful creation.

On Thursday morning at 6 a.m. at Missionary David's apartment three of us (David, Susanna, and I) had a daily bread meeting. Since they did not have an English version of daily bread, I gave them one. We read the Bible passage on Job 32:21. For about 20 minutes we wrote the daily bread while seated around the table. Then all three of us shared the daily bread. Through the daily bread I realized that I should not be a skilled flatterer but rather a truthful shepherd. We finished the daily bread meeting by reading Proverbs 27:17, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Then we prayed that the Lord would help us grow and function as truthful shepherds for American college students. 

Thursday Missionary David took the day off from work. So that day in the afternoon we planned to have another Bible study on Colossians 2. During the morning hours they prepared themselves for the Bible study by reading the book of Colossians. At 3:30 p.m. we had another group Bible study based on Colossians 2:2 entitled "the mystery of God". Through my personal experience I recognized that it is not easy for a lay person to work full time, keep a family, and still pioneer a college campus. In UBF most missionaries are in further need of understanding the Bible in-depth. So using a short period of time I chose to study this passage with them, so we could secure an over-arching view of the Scriptures. At first we planned to finish the study in an hour. But it lasted two hours. After the Bible study David and I visited the UAA campus and had a fishing journey. We met at the library, I shared with David that it would be good if Alaska UBF would have a worship service on campus on week days such as Friday, so they could invite students. I also shared the idea that instead of having a formal Sunday worship, they could put together one group Bible study where students can have a group Bible study. In this way when the relationships are built up, they can invite students to a formal worship. David said it is a good idea. Then we prayed together and started fishing separately. I sat at my own place. I prayed that I would invite the first student to come my way. Then in ten minutes one student came towards me. She was very beautiful with blonde hair and blue eyes just like a Hollywood movie star. I stopped her, and said, "I came to meet students who have the desire to study the Bible. Are you interested in studying the Bible?" She said, "Yes. When do you have Bible studies?" I was so shocked that I said, "We are considering a group Bible study organized on week days such as Friday. But the plan is not set yet. If you give me your phone no., someone will contact you with detailed information." Then she said, "No. I cannot give you a phone no." I asked her, "Why not?" She said, "I am too busy." 

David also met one Russian student. But apparently he was not able to secure a commitment from him. After the fishing journey, we went to the front gate of the campus and took a picture. 

That evening I invited David's family and their friend "Sister Nam" and her son to an eating fellowship. Sister Nam is in her early forties. She lives in the same apartment complex. She attends a Korean church. She has one son named Eugene (6). Her husband is a deacon at her church. She has been in Anchorage for more than 4 years. While David and Susanna were relocating themselves from Zimbabwe to Alaska, she extended them a lot of help such as offering them a place to stay for free. Since her husband was working at the church, I invited Sister Nam and her son along with David's family to a Korean VIP restaurant.  

The next morning, at 6 a.m. we had another daily bread meeting at the apartment. Daily bread was based on Job 33:28, "He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light." The three of us meditated on the word for about half an hour, and wrote a testimony. All of us shared testimonies. We received a lot of grace so after the daily bread we further discussed the "journey of a soul" based on the passage. Then Msn. Susanna served breakfast. That day David Jr. had a singing contest at his Korean language school, so David and Susanna had to attend to him. So I gave them a break that day. But while I was taking a break at the hotel, around 8:00 p.m. they visited me at the hotel asking for another prayer meeting. We went down to the hotel lounge. There in front of a fire place, we had a talking fellowship. Soon the fellowship evolved into a counseling session where the couple shared a number of important issues, such as family relationships, direction of the ministry, career plan, etc. So we opened the Bible to Isaiah 46:10 and Proverbs 19:21. Based on these Scriptures and with the theme title of "a purpose-driven life," we had another group Bible study. Then we had a joint prayer for Bible America and world campus mission. 

They then gave me some gifts for Downey coworkers. As we parted company David and Susanna made big smiles and asked me to invite them to our summer Bible conference. I said, "I will talk to the coworkers and will certainly invite." 

In conclusion, I realize that Alaska is an important mission field. Its land size is 20 percent of the land mass of the entire U.S. It is one of the richest states in natural resources. Missionary David and Susanna are still in the process of adjusting themselves to the new environment. May the Lord strengthen them and provide them with what is needed as they first seek first God's kingdom and his righteousness. 

One word: mutual encouragement through each other's faith