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Saturday, September 29, 2012

2012 U.S./Canada Senior Staff Meeting (September) Day 1

2012 UBF Senior Staff Meeting (September 28-29, 2012)

Sept. 27 (from Long Beach to Msn. Jacob's house in Maryland)

From Sept. 28 to 29, 2012, Maryland UBF hosted a staff meeting at a place called Sandy Cove. The place is located about one and a half hour to the north from the Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI). Since there was no flight from LA to BWI which can put me in BWI early enough for the evening program, I chose to arrive one day early, so on Sept 27 I flew out of Long Beach to BWI and arrived there close to midnight. Jacob Lee of Maryland UBF invited me to stay at his home. So I rented a car and drove to his house. But on the way I got lost. It rained hard the whole night. Plus, the battery was running out. After about an hour of drive to a wrong direction, through the talk on the phone with Jacob I realized that I put in the wrong address on my GPS system (Waze Program) on my IPhone. Plus the phone battery went dead. I dropped by a Dunkin Donut shop, got the battery recharged, put in the right address and finally reached his house around 1:30 a.m. M. Jacob and Ester were waiting for me, and she served a late night meal with a seafood soup. Three generations live at Jacob's house. The next morning I woke up at 4 a.m. and took a walk at the community park.

Breakfast at Jacob Lee's house

At around 7 am Jacob's family served breakfast. He also invited Missionary Joseph and Mariah Ahn as well as Dr. Moses Park. The previous night Ahn family visited Dr. Moses Park's house. In 1982 Dr. Moses's wife Grace came to UBF Chongno III while Ahn family were pioneering the chapter. There Grace married Moses Park. Moses' Korean name is Chung-soon Park. He graduated from Seoul National University majoring in Civil Engineering. In 1992, Moses went to Moscow and earned a Ph.D in civil engineering. In 1997 he went back to Korea, and started working for the Korean government at an agency called KICTEP (Korea Institute of Construction and Transportation technology Evaluation and Planning.) He is now in the U.S. on a one year exchange program funded by the Korean government studying civil engineering at the Maryland state university. In two months he will go back to Korea. Around the eating table I shared with him the vision for the unification of n. and s. Korea, so he should be able to work for the united Korea, especially in developing traffic, construction, and engineering for northern part of the United Korea. He then said, "North Korea also sends students to Moscow for Ph.D studies.

Airport Pick-up Services for the Guests Coming to Conf.

After breakfast, I took a rest. Around noon time, pursuant to Jacob Lee's request, along with Esther Lee, Jacob's wife, I went to pick up the incoming guests at BWI. She drove a burgundy Toyota, I took my red colored ford rental car. At the airport, I greeted Dr. James and his wife at the C gate. Then Esther moved to the A gate to greet Dr. Henry and his wife Pauline. In the meantime while Esther was at the A gave I also greeted Dr. Bento, his wife Christy To, Shepherd Teddy and his wife Liz. At 3:40 p.m. Dr. Henry and Pauline joined us. We then went to the Parking Lot. At BWI, they charge $2 for every half an hour for parking fee. And in two cars (Dr. Henry and his wife, Dr. James Kim and his wife in my car; Dr. Bento and his wife, and Shepherd Teddy and his wife in Esther's) we arrived at the Sandy Cove at close to 5 p.m. During the drive, Dr. Henry from Columbus Ohio and his wife talked with Dr. James's family who are from Chicago. through overhearing the conversation I could learn what is going on in Chicago as well as Ohio.) On the way, we had to pay the toll fee twice, first $3, then $6.

Dinner Program

About 40 people gathered. It was good to see Mother Barry, Dr. John Jun and his wife. Dr. Joseph Shafer and his wife Sharon also attended the conference. After dinner we met at a meeting place. Mother Barry made an impromptu speech on God's manifold wisdom based on Ephesians 3. She said "manifold'" may mean something (spiritually) like a computer screen with many pixels. Dr. Jim Rabchuck asked how the manifold wisdom can be applicable to us. In addition he asked whether or not it is a 'wise' thing to identify ourselves as the "University" bible fellowship. He opined that calling the ministry "university" Bible fellowship might be viewed as a 'politically-minded' notion. Mother Barry asked the floor, "Does anyone have any answer?" I said, "manifold wisdom" means "His righteousness, his holiness, and his redemption", so it has a direct application to all of us, esp. young college students who are full of youthful passion. Mother Barry then said we cannot ignore the historical aspect of the ministry, for God is the God of history, and the name of the church "university bible fellowship" is enshrined in the historical aspect of God's calling for college students.

The discussion seemed prolonging, so Missionary Jacob Lee intervened saying, "This is a retreat, so let us move on to the next program." Then through his motion, the floor moved to the next agenda that is to celebrate and give thanks to God for Dr. Paul Hong who lately turned over the leadership to three member committee to run the Toledo UBF ministry. Dr. Paul Hong gave an impromptu message. But before he started talking, he could give the audience a short message. I was seated right next to him. I knew that although he said he wold give a "short" message, he wold take the liberty of taking a long time. So I teased him saying, "A great man keeps his speech short. Why don't you limit it to let say one minute." But his message lasted about 5 minutes. His wife Sarah Hong also shared words of grace. Daniel Yang asked him to share any wisdom the Lord might have revealed to him through his service as the director of Toledo UBF for more than three decades. Dr. Paul pondered for a while and said, "I should have turned over the leadership to younger generation 10 years ago."

After Paul and Sarah cutting the cake, and breaking of the bread, Pastor Mark Vucekovich the North American Coordinator presented Dr. Paul Hong a gift (one book on the spiritual leadership, one Bible). Dr. John Jun then prayed and finished the evening program.

Before we went out to do the bonfire, we had a snack time though. During the snack fellowship, Pastor Ron Ward approached me and asked, "Missionary isaac, I heard Downey UBF did terrible things to the three people. What happened?" I asked him, "What do you mean?" He said, "It sounds too horrible for me to say it. I am wondering how this could happen? Do you know?" I said, "Like any closely knit society, in UBF, a rumor spreads at the speed of light, and when the news reaches the other side, it becomes a monster." Then Pastor Ron said, "You are right. But, still I am wondering how that happened." So I said, "Apparently people with young energy had many good ideas, so they met together to share different ideas on the way to serve the Lord, and obviously not all of them were in agreement. I was not in the meetings; I understand Missionary John Kwon chaired the meetings, so you may wish to talk to him." "Okay", he said.

During the bonfire session where I partially attended many Dr. Ben included shared what were in their hearts and sang songs.

I slept at Room #120. The conference fee was $70 per person. The room had three beds (one queen size) two super small beds. Yet Jacob Lee assigned four people (me, Missionary Mark Yang, Dr. Mark Yoon, and Missionary Elijah Park of Maryland UBF). I re-memorized Isaiah 2:12, the day's daily bread passage, and went to bed.

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