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Thursday, January 31, 2013

To fit or not to fit, that is the question (RTS L-1)

The other day my wife called me to come to her desk and fix a computer problem. I said, "What is the matter?" She said, "Keyboard is not working." The Bill Gates' Microsoft Keyboard brand used to work fine, wirelessly. Whatever she typed, was seamlessly reflected on the screen, but all of sudden the keys for numbers and letters started misbehaving - with sticky keys all around. So I checked the control setting, readjusted the speed and all others, then with a mini vacuum cleaner, removed fine dust particles out of the key board. Then it started working fine! There was an issue with the software (control setting), and an issue with the hardware (dust getting piled up, underneath keys).

What about man - the most sofisticated machine ever made? For example, what happens if he is unable to communicate with his creator seamlessly? What is the solution to such problem as communication problem? What if the software that runs his life remains out of sync, outdated or is subject to viruses? What is or are the ways to get the living entity called life reformated and be restored to the factory setting?

John answers the question. In John 1:29-34, John the Baptist pointed to Jesus saying, "Look the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."

John shows here the first key to getting fit inside out, that is, getting what makes man to be unfit out of the way. Sin blocks the relationship between God and men. It was sin that rendered Adam to be unfit in the Garden of delight. Due to sin he was rendered unfit with God and the Garden.

Jesus came to get this blockage out of the way, so Adam can be fit into the bosom of God and the domain of the Garden.

Note that the word 'takes' - the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. It is in the present tense. So at a real time called now, we need to come to the Lord, Jesus the Son of God, accept the grace of him taking away the sin of the world (i.e., you and me), so we would be fit into the family of God, the family born of His Spirit.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Total Fitness Program via RTS (Real Time Synchronization) - Introduction

The front cover of "Self" magazine, Feb. 2013 edition, says
* Tight abs
* Lean legs
*  Cute butt.
It also says,  "body confidence" - Own IT! The magazine has on the side of the cover a catch pharse - "Tap Into Your Best Self".
But self represents more of inner phenominon than outer. There are many who are physically fit. Among them are many of supermodels or movie stars. A while ago, during my visit to Kenya, I  met a freind of mine. He shared room with me. He also shared the story of his 'first love'.  This led me to watching a Korean TV drama "Winter Sonata".  The TV series came in 6 DVD's. I enjoyed the movie. Yet I was saddened by the news that Yong Ha Park (August 10, 1977 - June 30, 2010) one of my favorate actors in the drama committted suicide.  Why did he die at the prime of his life? Obviously his inner self was not well fit. Many are body confident but not many are self-confident. 
Question then becomes: "How can I be best fit inside out?" "How can I tap into my best self?"
If you have been following up on my blog postings at, already you might have guessed the answer to the question: Read the Bible, for the Scripture has all the answers to all the questions on life.
From this week on, I would like you to join a total fitness program (TFP) based on not all the 66 books of the Bible but on John's gospel. The TFP is called 'total' fitness, for we are called to be fit in the totality of one's person - in one's internal and external person. 
Note that to be fit is one thing, to stay fit is another. How can one stay fit all the time? RTS addresses th question. RTS stands for real time synchronization. Real time refers to the time called 'now'. Synchronization is to be in sync with Jesus Christ, the one who makes one to be fit and helps  him to stay fit.
First let us check into a spiritual gym as the Apostle John opened up. Let us go to John and read 1:1-18.
Here John introduces Jesus the Son of God as the Divine Fitter - the only one who can make one to be fit and stay fit. Among other features notice:
- Jesus the author of life I-4)
- Jesus the giver of the new life (12)
- the means by which he lets you to stay (grace and truth)
That is it for introduction.
Next TFP Exercise 1 will be based on the next following passage.
Have a nice day.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

21st Century - an African Century!

Africa Report by Isaac H. Kim dated January 19, 2013 (for the 2013 UBF Annual Report)

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

For most of the UBF members, the year 2012 was the year of Africa. And the Lord blessed the three African regional Bible conferences that took place during the first three weekends of August. At our UBF website (Home Contents), you can find detailed reports on them.

During the first weekend of the New Year 2013, we had a New Year African Directors’ Conference at Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. The conference was particularly meaningful for it took place at a place called “Bagamoyo” which means “I leave my soul here”, which is what African slaves, after having been caught by slave traders during the early part of the 18th century, but before being exported to a foreign land, gave a final look at their mother land, said. At the outset of the conference Missionary Timothy Chung said, “Let us pray that this land be changed from the land of exporting slaves to the land exporting missionaries.” And we did pray accordingly.

Missionary Andrew Kim, the African Co-ordinator, made a detailed report on this new year’s conference, and I trust that it is available online.

On my way from Tanzania to Los Angeles, I read from an inflight magazine (of the Ethiopian Airline) an article which I think is worth quoting. “We firmly believe that the 21st Century will be an African century. With its young and dynamic population, most of the world’s uncultivated arable land, untapped natural resources, a rising middle class, and fast economic growth, Africa will be the next and perhaps the last frontier in the advancement of globalization.”

Last December I visited Kenya to attend a wedding. At that time I saw that business-minded people such as the Brussel Airlines have a keen sense that “a big time money making opportunities” are opening up in Arica, so they opened up new services connecting the world with more than two dozen cities in Africa especially in the western region.

UBF shepherds and missionaries operating in Africa also understand the urgency/trend. And they pray to send out missionaries and shepherds reach out to souls in all unreached African nations. Missionary Peter Park of Nigeria for example prays to send out missionaries to and pioneer 14 French speaking African nations such as Ivory Coast.

Enemies also are working hard to disrupt the work of God in Africa. You’ve heard the prayer topics from one missionary in Sudan, especially the restriction of the religious freedom. There is also a news report on Mali where Muslim insurgents are taking over villages with guns and rifles. And the French government is losing out the battle against the villains.

Last August we were glad and prayed for one missionary arriving at the heart of Congo. But the project was canceled so he pulled himself out of the mission field. However, Missionary Truman Lee is in Ghana a new mission field.

Let us keep praying that the Lord empower us to send out shepherds to all 55 African nations.

One word: You will be my witnesses

In Christ,
Isaac H. Kim
Cell: 562-714-0417

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:I-5 S,Downey,United States

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mathematic Solution to Paul's Theological question :-)

There are 66 books of the Bible. Of the 66 some say 14 or according to another 13 were penned by the Apostle Paul. 

Assuming 14 is true, 

14 ÷ 66 = 0.21212121...

So his writings account for over 21%. That is a lot (of revelation). 

Now, let us solve a problem on the Apostle Paul's theology of salvation. 


Paul says in Colossians 3:3-4, "For you died, and your life  is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life, appears, then you will also appear with him in glory."  In 2:11-15, he also says, "In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." Christ died and rose again over two thousand years ago. You and I live in this 21st Century. Yet, Paul says, "You were this or you were that, or you did this you did that along with Christ more than two thousand years ago." 

What is going on? 


Christ is God. 

His value (or profit) = ∞ 
Our sins (or loss) = finite
Jesus paid the price for our sins, so the value he paid for our debts (sins/loss) ≧ our debts/sins

All came from Jesus, so Jesus ≧ all, so when Jesus died and rose again, all died and rose again. 

So in Jesus all who put trust in Him can live a new life that is free of sin and death, full of life. 


The Chronicles of the Biblical You

In a song, "Where am I going" (from Sweet Charity), Barbara Streisand sang, "Where am I going?...What am I doing?...Looking inside me, what do I see? Anger, hope, and doubt. Why do I care? What am I all about?"

The writer of the lyric raises questions on life, compelling you to answer the questions.

In regard to the origin, present status, and the destiny of life, every one staying physically alive knows that he or she is from a mother's womb, then goes to a grave, sooner than later. But this information does not satisfy us, for it is limited to a physical realm; it falls short of the life prior to the conception in a mother's womb, as well as the life beyond the grave.

So where did I come from? What am I doing? Where am I going? And why should I/you care?

Well, at least this is what the Bible (which by the way is called the book of life) says.

1. Life was in Jesus Christ. (Surprise?) John 1 says, "In Him was life and that life was the light of men..." Read John 1 and you will find as a bonus the infor on who made you and how he made you.

2. Adam (you) lost himself (yourself) due to sinning. Genesis 3

3. God sent Jesus, the Son to look for and save the lost. Luke 19:10; John 1:1-18

4. The way for him to save the lost is to remove for the lost the cause of  loss, that is, your sins (and all of its ill effects including the loss of the relationship with the Father). And he did it through himself offering as an atoning sacrifice on the cross. Thereafter he rose again and is now seated at the right hand of God working as your representative/mediator between you and God the Father. 1Co 15:3-4; Romans 5

5. To ensure that the lost be saved, for the one who repents and turns to Jesus the Savior for His grace, God gives him the right to be called a child of God. John 1:12 God also sends you the Holy Spirit to give you new birth, providing you with a brand new self that is designed to be like him in perfect righteousness, holiness, and redemption. (Col 3:10; Eph 4:24)

6. For the one who remains in Jesus Christ the Savior, his life is now preserved (hidden) in Jesus Christ, and will appear with Jesus in glory when Jesus Christ comes again. (Colossians 3:1-4)

7. The life you live now here in a physical body is to do the good work for which God sent you in this age. When your work is done, your body will remain in the grave, your soul will be preserved in a place called Sheol, but your spirit will go back to the Father, only for you (in a resurrected body) to reappear with him, and receive the inheritance that will be ordered by God in the coming age. Ephesians 1-2 If however Jesus returns while you are still in a physical body, he will ensure that you be  transformed into a body making you to be like Him (in a risen state) so you would reign with Him for good.

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

7 Minutes Coffee Break with Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) who said, "God is dead", is dead but his words are around. A friend of mine used to be an avid reader of the German philospher, but after studying the Bible (Genesis and John in particular) he became a Christian. The man invited the German atheist (his words with quotation marks) to a coffee table, and exchanged his thoughts with the atheist's.   
  1. “The person lives most beautifully who does not reflect upon existence” - Correct, for we are called to fix our thoughts and eyes on Jesus, the Savior, rather than on my this or my that. And life that lives in and through Jesus the Savior is bound to be beautiful in good times and bad times. 
  2. “Believe me! The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously!” - True in the sense that like Jesus we are to live not to please men, but to please God. And as you live to please God, troubles are bound to come your way.
  3.  “One has to pay dearly for immortality; one has to die several times while one is still alive”- This is also true for the Apostle Paul said, "Brothers, I die every day." Didn't Jesus also say, "Deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow me"?
  4. “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” - Correct in the sense that all human ways are unvailing as far as life is concerned, for Jesus alone is the Way the Truth and the Life.
  5. “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking” - True. See how many great thoughts came out of the mouth of Jesus while he was still walking with His disciples.
  6. “One ought to hold on to one's heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too.” - True, for it has been proven that heart sends to brain more electro-magnatic signals than brain does to your heart.
  7. “A thought, even a possibility, can shatter and transform us” - True, just as it is written: "In the beginning was the Word".
  8. “The more you let yourself go, the less others let you go” - True. Consider how our Lord Jesus warned his disciples against the yeast (hypocricy) of the Pharisees. The case in point is Matthew a tax collector who after letting himself go, he saw that people (sinners and tax collectors) instead of letting Levi (Matthew) go, came and flocked together with him, eating and drinking, break-dancing, making lots of noise.
  9. “After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands” - True. See the comment on para 8.
  10. “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” - True. God made man in his image, one of which attributes is to hang "what" (we do) on "why" (we do what we do.)
  11. “To forget one's purpose is the commonest form of stupidity.” - True. See the discussion on para 10.
  12. “I still live, I still think: I still have to live, for I still have to think.” - True. God made man in his image. The essence of his image is "thoughts", just as it is written: "The Word was God."

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Meaning of Relief

[By coming to a deep mountain area memorizing tens and thousands of Buddhist literature, will this man be able to find rest?]

Ruth 2:12

"May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge. ”

We can find the meaning of relief in the word 'refuge'.
Refuge refers to the place where you find yourself safe from the zone where war is raging.

By definition war involves conflcts between good and evil. The two (good and evil) forces are not going to come to rest in so long as one is exposed to the two coming in conflicts and warring against each other.

Upon falling man came to come and live under this war zone. The key characteristics of a man living in this war zone is 'restlessness'.

All the descendants of the first man Adam endeavoured to find rest from the restlessness, and yet no one was, has been, or is able to find rest (or peace) on his or her own, for it is only when one comes back to the Father under whose wings alone one can find true peace.

Elimelech and his two sons experienced this first hand. So was the case with Naomi and her two daughters in law.

But since Naomi decided to come to Bethlehem, the house of bread, and inasmuch as Ruth clung to her, and followed all the way to Bethlehem, with the firm decision to come to not just Ruth's home town but also [this is important and crititical to getting true relief of a soul being exposed to the warring state] the God of Israel, Boaz saw that indeed Ruth came under the wings of the God of Israel, that he blessed her saying, "...under whose wings you have come to take refuge."

Notice that Ruth 2:12 talks about provision beginning and the source of provision. In 12a, Boaz talks about beginning of provision (repayment and reward), and 12b describes the source of provision that is, the wings of the God of Boaz.

Boaz is the prefigure of Jesus the Savior who came to destroy the work of the devil and open the wat to the Father. In Jesus alone one can find true rest (or relief).

Speaking of this transaction Jesus said, "All who are weary and burdened, come to me. I will give you rest." Looking forward to the relief found in the Lord, Isaiah said, "Repentance and rest is your salvation, quietness and truyst is your strength." Isaiah 30:15

So relief begins and ends with one coming to and abiding in Jesus for good.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Namib Beetle

Prayer makes a difference

The Ethiopian Airline In-flight magazine Selamta (Jan/Feb 2013, Volume 30 /number 1, P. 16) carries an article entitled 'inspirational bug'. The Namib Desert Beetle is one tough bug. Dwelling in one of the world's driest climates (only half an inch of rain each year), the Namib survives by harvesting moisture from morning fog and then storing the water on its back. Now, a U.S. started up called NBD Nano is using the beetle's survival methods as inspiration. The start-up is finishing its first fully functioning prototype and hopes to create a cost-effective way to provide water to dry regions of the world.

The Namib lives in a desert land where no man can survive. It developed a survival technique. In the Book of Genesis it is seen that due to man sinning, the Lord God had to curse the land (Genesis 3:17).

To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life."

Things grew worse when at a later time Cain murdered his brother Abel, for the Lord said in Genesis 4:12
"When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

The story of Namib raises a question: Who gave Namib the survival or thriving technique? Or wait. It survives or thrives due to the elements such as morning fog in a desert land.

Once God cursed the land but now it seems he no longer does, for sending morning fog or morning dew is reminiscent of God's grace falling on men and animals vs. man's response to it, giving us a hint of why some thrive even in a poor land while others improverished in a seemingly rich land.

How does God bestow upon man (and anilmals man can learn from) his grace? It has been said, "There are two means of grace" that is the word of God and prayer of saints. One of the first occasions of man approaching God with many thanks and supplications for his mercy is seen in what Noah first did after himself coming out of the ark. He built an altar to the Lord. Genesis 8:21 describes the Lord's response to Noah's prayer offerings:

"The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done."

We understand God is the source of all that are good. James 1:17 His intention is to bestow upon his children as much as they can handle. But when his children ignore him and turns away from him it is impossible even for him to bless them. For this reason in Isaiah 43:18-24 he bids his children to come to him.

“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. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.“Yet you have not called on me, Jacob, you have not wearied yourselves for me, Israel."

Does the Namib appreciate what Noah did? Does the Namib know that it is the beneficiary of Noah offering prayers to the Lord? I do not know.

We do know that Noah prefigures what our Lord Jesus did on a tree. He offered himself as the atoning sacrifice, and thereby open the way for his children to come back to Him and live under His blessings. Jesus is our High Priest praying on behalf of his children.

Before his departure he exhorted his disciples to "always" pray and not give up. Luke 18:1 So we pray from our heart, "Our Heavenly Father, Hallowed be your name..."

Prayer should not be mechanical. It must not be superficial either. It must come with love for the Lord, not any love but the kind of love He has for us. In the Bible it is seen how much God feels sorry for the flimsiness of the love his children have for the Lord. Jacob is the name of the Israelites. Jacob being a man steeped in the things of the world, for the most part he had little love for the Lord. So the Lord said, your love for me is like a morning mist that disappears. Hosea 6:4; 13:3.

Imagine the morning fog that appears briefly and disappears. Although the moisture is so little the Namib appreciates, gathers every little hint of it, and stores it to survive and thrive.

This reminds me of my coming to the Lord in prayer vs. the Lord coming to me with his grace, for on so many occasions, and for the most part of my life, my coming to him was very much like a morning mist that appears and disappears in the desert. It was not like Noah building an altar offering sacrifices with the pleasing aroma raising to God's throne room.

So Noah prayed and our Lord Jesus prayed and is praying, so His grace is still falling on us, even on a man as meager as the Namib.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bible Tanzania World Mission

Bible Studies with coworkers of Tanzania UBF

January 7 (Monday) afternoon - several of us visited prison island (where they used to lock up prisoners) where we saw turtles.

January 8 (Tuesday)
Missionary Timothy took us to "Amaani Bungalows" a place with beach where I served a few Bible studies on Bible Tanzania and World Mission.

Lesson I. Is indeed Tanzania a horrible palce to live/evangelize?

In Tanzania UBF native leaders are yet to be established. One might think that Tanzania is a hard place to plant church. Why then does the Scritpure say, "When times are good be happy, but when times (or mission fields) are bad, consider this: God has made this as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future." Ecc 7:14

The answer is hidden in the "Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future."Why no one?
It is because their future (your future, my future, the future of Tanzanians as well as Tanzanian UBF coworkers) will all depend on what you think of who God is. Isn't it God who has made the land as hard as it is now? Then why did God make the times of life in the land this way? And who do you think God is - the God who made the land that way, and why has God made the land that way?

Consider then that God is the good God. For those who believe he is good and good all the time. So even when the times are bad, inasmuh as God is a good God, oen is called to operate with absolute faith believing in God who is good and good all the time.

Lessson 2 - What should one first and foremost remember in serving the flock of God in any mission fields?

Daniel 7:14, 28-29; Ecc 12:13; Col 3:3

Beginning this coming Sunday Missionary Timothy Chung decided to serve the Sunday worship messages in English. One should expect/believe that the Lord God would do mighty work in the years to come.

So I was encouraged to serve a Bible study based on the above referenced Bible passages.

Daniel saw in a vision the end of the matter, that is, as Jesus comes back, he will ensure that the dominion, powers, soverignty of all kingdoms will be taken away from the wicked and given to the saints.
Solomon talks about the conclusion of the matter, that is to say, man's whole duty is to fear God and obey His commands.

But on his own, man cannot do this, so the first thing one needs to do is to be in Jesus, for life eternal, so he could participate in his eternal kingdom.

For this reason, the Apostle Paul says 'You died in the Lord, so your life is now hidden in Christ, so when Christ appears [at the end of the matter] your life also will appear."

So the firrst for one to do is to lead the flock of God to Jesus Christ. Then one can learn to live a life fearing and obeying God.

3. Lesson 3 - The call for Real Time Synchronization, revisited

John 14:9-10

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Rule of operation No 1 for a missionary (or pastor) is to keep himself in sync with Jesus in real time.

But I see many (myself included) goes out of sync so often just as was the case with Philip in John 14.

So check yourself whether u r in or out of sync with Jesus real time called now.

Otherwise you cannot not expect any work of life arising in and through you, neither today nor tomorrow.

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Freedom from slavery

Writings on the wall of Slavery Museum at Stonetown
Galatians 5:1-4 (NIV)
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Jan 8 Monday, '13
Learning the way of freedom in the Lord via the visit to Zanzibar, an island near Dar Es Salaam.

At the outset of the African Directors Conference 2013, Missionary Timothy Chung took the podium and said to the African directors, "Let us pray that Tanzania be changed from the the sad history of Bagamoyo to Missionary Sending Nation".

As I mentioned in my previous blog post Bagamoyo means "I leave my soul here." Prior to being exported to slave grounds in foreign lands like Saudi Arabia, India (under the British Rule), or Europe, looking back towards the mother land for the last moment, slaves said, "Bagamoyo."

The slaves then were brought to an island Zanzibar. (Zanzibar is a combination of two words:'zan' meaning 'black' and 'zibar' meaning 'island'.) There they were locked up in a prison which is a cave dug underground. They were stacked up there for two or three days, until the day of auction. On the day of auction, they were brought out to an open field, put on display on a stage. They were tied to trees (one of the trees called Jojoba used to tie up slaves is still standing on the frontyard where now a Catholic church is standing), and whipped. The beatings took palce for the sellers to demonstrate to the buyers the strength of the slaves being sold, for primarily the value of the slaves were determined by theeir 'strength' (labor value). The prices per slave ranged from $20 on the low side to $40 on the high side - the price of New York Steak!

After acquring the title the tradesman ships the slaves from Zanzibar to overseas countries. It took about one month and 2 weeks for the slaves to arrive at a foreign land where they were resold to retailors.

At 7:00 a.m. we left Dar Es Salaam for Zanzibar via Ferry.

The underground prison for slaves and the auction place were located at a town called "Stonetown", a place designated as a UNESCO Heritage site.

As I was visiting the sites, I asked myself a question, "How did this evil (slave trade) begin? Why did the slavery take place to the Africans? Who is liable for the sin of slavery? The Africans or the 'invaders' who invaded the lands with artilleries? Or both?"

We find the answer to the question in Galathians 5:1. Note the expression 'Do not let..', especially the word 'let'. Do not let yourself be burdened by the yoke of slavery!

It is you who 'let' it happen to you if it happens to you! The sin of slavery began first with the Africans. Slave traders were used only as an instrument.

Well, in the first place, slave traders are already in slavery, perhaps on a grander scale, - enslaved to the power of sin and Satan. That is why they end up invading an otherwise peaceful land and commit sins as horrible as slave trade. While John Newton was enslaved by the power of sin and Satan, he submitted himself to greed, so he made a living out of slave trade. But thanks to the influence of William Wilberforce (his shepherd so to speak), he met Jesus. He was set free from the bondage to the power of sin and death. And he fought for the abolishment of slave trade.

It is said the slave trade in Zanzibar began in 1801 and came to a close in 1873 but behind the cessation there is the history of the British Empire passing the law prohibiting slave trade as 'illegal', and for this many like John Newton, who found the true freedom in Jesus Christ, fought for the cessation of the slave trade

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

Notice the word 'again'. What does 'again' mean? Again means 'again'. This word indicates that people repeat the same mistake again and again. Yes. You are born free, but you 'let' yourself be burdened by slavery again. Becasue you let it happen, things happen the way 'you' [decided to] let them happen, like out of nowhere, invaders land at the beach of Zanzibar or Dar Es Salaam. They shoot artillery, and they hold you up.

So do not let it happen. And it is you who hold the key.

Did the people of Tanzania or Zanzibar learn the lesson? What about you? or Me? Am I a Christian? Was I born free? And am I free in the true sense of being free?

How did the Africans 'let' themselves burdened by the yoke of slavery?

According to Moses Yoon who was in the visiting group, slave traders did not actually go out to the African villages and nab slaves. Fellow Africans caught fellow Africans as slaves. They handed fellow Africans to the slave traders. In Africa there used to be mutual hatred among tribes. They kept fighting against each other. The long history of tribal conficts resulted in them suffering from such horrible consequences as slavery. The slave traders took advantage of the situation. So all that the slave traders had to do was to give guns and rifles to one tribe, so as the tribes fight each other, the tribe that borrowed guns and artillry from the British, win the battle against the other, so the winning tribe turns in their captives to the hands of the slave traders who in turn sold the captives as slaves.

Written on the wall of the slavery museum at the Stonetown is 'None of us is as strong as all of us.' Does this writing ring anything to you?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhonepe, looking at the mother land for the last moment, they said, "Bagamoyo."

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Camera Lenz of Missionary Life in Africa

Story 1 - Once upon a time Dr. Samuel Yoo met one student named Saul at Kampala. Saul lost one eye. Samuel had a heart for Saul, taught the Bible and helped him graduate from college. But Saul could not get a job due to the problem with his vision. Dr. Samuel called one of his friends in Seoul Korea, an eye doctor, to help Saul to get an eye surgery. Saul then went to Seoul, got a surgery, came back, secured a drivre license. But while driving he ran into an accident, and died instantly together with four other passengers in the car. Dr. Samuel's wife Mary is still broken hearted each time she thinks of him. I comforted her saying, "For those who believe, bad things are always good things, for the Lord is good, and good 'all' the time."

Story 2 - Missionary Mary met a sister named Lillian. Lillian is small-bodied, yet smart and pretty. She taught Lillian John's gospel and Genesis through her college years. She graduated, went back home, far away from the city. A few years later Lillian called Mary, and asked her for money. "What do you need the money for?" Mary asked. Lillian said, "I am hungry." Then she sent some money. Since then Lillian kept calling her, each time asking for money. Finally Mary had enough. To teach her the sense of responsibility, Mary said, "This time the money I am giving you is a loan, not a gift." When Lillian calls her next time, Mary wants to ask her, "What happen to the loan payment?"

Story 3 - In 1994, Uganda was raging with AIDS. Dr. Samuel met a student named Julius with AIDS. He taught the Bible gave him medication to let the process slow down. Julius graduated from college, went back home. Soon he died of AIDS. His wife sent Dr. Samuel a picture of her husband (Julius)'s dead body. She then brought her two sons to Kampala where Dr. Samuel is ministering. She asked for money to support her two children through the school. So he gave her all he had.

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Dar Es Salaam University Campus Visit

After the conference, during late afternoon hours of January 6, we visited the campus. The campus is located at the city center. Coming in and out of the library there were many students.

I fished one student named Kevin, a sophomore, majoring in geography. I asked him whether or not he was interested in knowing the Bible. He talked back, "How do you study the Bible?" He looked sincere. So I asked Ezra Chung, a new missionary to Tanzania to come over, and introduced him to Kevin. I asked Keven whether or not he wants to exchange email address. He said, "Yes." Then I pulled out my name tag. Kevin pulled out of his bag a ball pen. Ezra cut it in half. On one half Kevin wrote his email. On the other Ezra wrote his. And they exchanged. Then Kevin said, "Do you want my number?" Ezra said, "Yes." Then the two had a photo session.

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Location:Alykhan Road,Dar es Salaam,Tanzania

2013 African conference (Prayer topics announced by Pastor Abraham Kim)

- pray for each nation
- devotion to the word of God
- worship with love and joy of God
- 55 African nations
- Tanzania ( Beautiful Co-working with Missionary Ezra Chung family; English worship service; Wig factory; Missionary Hanna's good health)
- religious freedom in Sudan, Central Asia (Kazakstan and Uzbekistan), Middle East (for the first time UBF could hold a directors' conference in Saudi Arabia), China, North Korea
- Peter Park of Nigeria (his self-supporting business), James Lee of Zimbabwe and his health
- Bethesda Mission Hospital in Uganda (close to completion: On Feb. 9, 2013, there is an opening ceremony. We want to practice the love of Jesus through the clinic to do healing ministry. If any of the African missionaries are sick, they can first visit BMC to save cost. Rooms are many but they are empty, we need to fill the rooms with medical equipment through the UBF worldwide Christmas offering, such as X-ray machine, etc.)

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2013 African Directors Conference (Sunday Worship)

Special Song by Uganda Shepherds, "Be Magnified O Lord"

The death of Nadab and Abihu
Sunday message by Timothy Chung of Tanzania UBF
Key Verse Leviticus 10:1-3

Missionary Timothy came out. Before taking the podium, he bowed down before the congregation and said in Korean, "Happy New Year. May The Lord bless you."

He also said, "I am going to serve the message in Korean language, for this is what he used to be doing. And Missionary Moses Yoon is going to translate the message in English. However, this is the last time for me to serve the sunday message in Korean, for beginning next Sunday I am going to serve the message in English."

Nadab and Abihu offered unauthorized fire to God. Fire came out and consumed them.

They despised God's command. This is because of their pride. God is not creation. So we cannot proceed to God according to our own ideas.

Moses said to Aaron, "This is what The Lord said" - "Among those who approach me, I will show myself holy; in the sight of all the people I will be honored."

Timothy hosted the conference, so he kept communicating with coworkers to prepare the conference. In the course of the preparation, he ran into a lot of problems. He ended up judging co-workers. On the surface he seemed to be obedient. But inside, he lost joy. He only acted superficially. Through preparing the message he realized that he sinned before God. He repented of his hypocrisy.

Church community ought to realize that God is walking along them. So each member ought to live before God. We need to obey The Lord from the heart.
The key verse of Leviticus is "Be holy, because I am holy." We cannot be holy on our own. Christ died and rose again in order to clothe ourselves with His holiness.

Missionary Timothy then asked the congregation to sing a song 350 praising The Lord who purchased us, cleansed us, with his blood, and made us to be holy.

Offering Session followed with Hymn 246, "I love thy kingdom of love".

Timothy Chung offered a prayer of thanks for the worship and thanks offering saying, "Our Father, you know how far we have gone away from you. Please forgive us of our inequities. Please help us to live before you, not before men, so we would be made holy, and live as members of his Holy Kingdom."

We closed the worship with the Lord's Prayer.

Then we laid hands on two servants:

1) Andrew Kim - the New African Co-ordinator, replacing James Lee of S. Africa
2) Philip Lee - the New N. Sudan director, replacing Andrew Kim. His photo is below.

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Ezra's Decision (2013 Africa Directors New Year Conference, Day 3 - Sunday)

On Dec. 6, Sunday morning, from 9 - 11, we had a group Bible study on Ezra 7.

At the time Ezra stood up, about 138 years passed since the destruction of the Jerusalem temple, and 58 years after the re-dedication of the Jerusalem temple. Physical building (temple) was there, but the problem was with people coming back from the Babylonian captivity. They were steeped into the "unbiblical world-view" so to speak. Ezra had a sense of problem. The returnees were third and fourth generation, after the exile, so they lost their identity as the members of the priests and holy nation. So Ezra resolved to resolve this problem. He took 1,256 co-workers consisting of priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, and temple servants, to help him. (Ezra 7:7; 8:1-14)

In Africa self-supporting missionaries and shepherds find it challenging. But they can make themselves be familiar with the word of God through maintaing such practices as QT, writing sunday messages, teaching the Bible 1:1, etc.

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Special Lecture on Church Doctrine as seen in the book of Ephesians

Fullness of Christ (Eph 1:22-23)
He began the message saying "Let us Go back to the Bible."
Church doctrine ought to be based on the Bible.
Ephesus was a city of worldly wealths and idol worship (goddess of Artemis).
Church is not building or organization but people who profess faith in The Lord Jesus, the Savior. It is called the body of Christ, a temple filled with the fullness of Christ.
First, it is the body of Christ
Christ is the head. The owner of the church is Christ. All churches receive life from Christ. There is only one universal church, with branches, so it comes with diversity and universality.
Jesus is the King of kings, Lord of lords, so members of his church are endowed with a royal standing.
Body operates as "one".
The Holy Spirit keeps it to be one.
Second, it is nurtured with the fullness of Christ.
He fills everything in every way. Acts 2:43-47.
In Zimbabwe, two missionary families were robbed last year. In the area where Missionary Caleb Shin lives, often times, the water supply is cut off for one whole week. Missionary Jacob Yoon runs a chicken store. There he raised one local person as a successor, but the local person who had been given trust betrayed, and ran away with a safe with money. Samuel Lee came to stay in Zimbabwe for last one and half years. Life in Zimbabwe was difficult so he felt like going back home. But he realized that what a missionary needs the most is, "the fullness of Christ" who fills him with everything he needs. He also said, "You should not lose balance on isms such as Calvinism or Armenianism." We should not be performance-oriented either. Rather we must strive for the fullness of Christ. Production stems from the fullness of Christ.
Third, it is the Temple of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit establishes the church. He also provides the members of the church with a variety of gifts.
We have 42 chapters in 16 African nations. Of the 16 nations, 13 nations are being pioneered by one 'house church'.
It is awesome that Jesus works in the church as the head. We need to have reverent fear of God's glory residing in us.
Fourth, it consists of the citizens of God's kingdom (Eph 2:19)
We are the bride of Christ.
Worship is a festival. Through worship we offer ourselves, and celebrate the oneness with the Triune God. Signs of God's kingdom include - worship, proclamation of Word, communion service, mutual love of God, demolition of discrimination, unity via mutual service, relief for the estranged, devotion to Christ, ecological concern and efforts, etc.
Fifth, it represents God's households (Eph 2:19).
We need to remember that they are members of the family of God bonded together in the blood of Christ's love. Missionary Samuel says "I am still a young missionary." So he questioned whether he would truly regard African sheep as his own household. At the age of 68 as he was being sent out from Korea to Africa (Zimbabwe) as a missionary, his grandson Daniel (4) kept asking "Grandpa, you do not go to Africa, do you?" Last year he went back to Korea. As he was coming back to Africa, his grand-son said to him at the airport "Grandpa, please do not go back to Africa." His heart was broken. Yet he denied himself. He came back to Zimbabwe. He now feeds 23 sheep. He could identify himself with African students as his own households.
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African Directors Conference (Testimony)

From 4 - 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, native shepherds gathered together and shared testimonies.

Total 11 attended.

1. Oyo Moses
He was worried about S. Sudan and her people, for they are very lazy and corrupt. But through studying the passage, he learned that instead of worrying, he must pray and continually preach the gospel, for the gospel has the power to save people. He realized once again that it is not within his own power. He needed to re-submit himself to God for God to work in and through him.

2. Padiet Deng
He believes that just as the Apostle Paul was called by God by God's gift, so also God called him by his special gift. At first he thought he came to go to the good university because he was a good person or because of his good GPA. But he now can confess that it is by God's grace that he could go to that campus, so he could meet Philip, and receive God's calling.
The same thing happened in regard to this Bible conference. At first he did not want to come to the conference. So even until one day before the conference he did not take a leave from his boss, nor buy an airplane ticket. [He works as a field engineer for an oil company; he supervises workers to inspect and fix any irregularities like corrosion.] But by faith he decided to come. So he asked the boss for days off. At the last minute his boss gave him a release. Then there was a problem to buy airplane ticket on local airline. There were 70 people on the waiting list. By faith he challenged. He talked and talked to people. Then one of his colleagues gave up his seat for me. This is an amazing grace.

3. John Sejjemba
He says there are two J's on his last name, but the name tag includes only one j. He is a campus shepherd for Chiambogo Univ. In the past he used to complain for sheep who do not keep Bible study appointments. They come and go any time. They appear for the Bible study anytime they want and they leave anytime. They do not appreciate how much he had to wait for them for Bible studies. But through the message he learned that he lacked the love of God. He prays to learn the deep love of God, so he could bear students with many thanks and pray for them as a faithful and patient shepherd.

4. Abia Kganana
He is a campus shepherd at Pretoria. He regarded the call as a campus shepherd as a burden. But through the passage he realized that he forgot how unworthy he was and yet how by God's grace God called him as a shepherd. He prays now that he would be deeply rooted in God's love, and go back and live as a loving shepherd and pray for college students of S. Africa.

5. David Lu
He is eternally thankful for the call. He has many identities in this world: a husband of a wife, a father of a daughter (3), a Chinese student, an employee of a company, etc. But he is first of all, a Gospel Servant. For this title, he is eternally thankful for nothing is more noble and worthy to live for than the life of a servant of the gospel that saves man's life.

6. Andrew Cortese
He began his testimony by asking, "Why did I become a campus shepherd? Where does this calling come from?" Then based on the key verse, he testified that his calling came by the gift of God. He then reconfirmed that he needs to pray with a clear sense of calling for students at UCT, for it is by God's one-sided grace that he was called to be a servant of this gospel.

7. Steven Sebale
He is a married person. He works full time at the Council of National Science and Technology. Beginning last September, he started pioneering a new campus (Christian University). This campus is located about 20 km away from Makarere. He feeds six sheep every week. He has been feeding one sheep for last six years but he did not change. Finally his patience ran out. So he gave up on him. Then one day his wife Margaret ask him for his sheep's number. Reluctantly he gave the sheep's number. Then she called him. And he is studying the Bible faithfully with his wife.

8. Andrew Jung Jr. (14)
He used to watch what is adulterous on the Internet. His grades were not satisfactory. Through the Bible study today he learned that he needed to repent. He prays to submit himself to God, so God would control him. Then he can overcome the bad habit. And his school grades will improve.

9. Abraham Victor
He was assured of God's calling as a servant of the gospel by His gift. He is working as a chief economist advising the President of Namibia. He works at an office close to the President of the nation.

10. Patrick Ogwang
He has a broken heart for Moses his sheep. Moses went to Rwanda as a missionary. But eventually since he could not find a job, he came back to Uganda. And without taking any advice from him, his shepherd, Moses found a job at a place which is about 400 km away from Makarere. Actually this place is very close to Rwanda, but far from the Uganda Bible center.
He also complained to God for every week he had to give ride to five sheep who are far away (40 km) from the center.
But through Bible studies he learned that he is lacking in the love of God. He prays to be rooted in the love of God, so he could be strong and serve God's flock with long patience.

11. Isaac Kim
He is from a broken family. So his inner being was weak, and is still weak to a certain extent. But through the passage he learned that in Jesus Christ he newly reconfirmed the way to be made strong in Jesus.
On Jan. 2, when he arrived at Dar Es Salaam, he went out to eat lunch by himself. He walked into a beach side restaurant. There he saw a man doing a welding job. As he studied the passage then, he was reminded that God is like the welder, the Holy Spirit is like the torch light heating the two pieces of metal, and Jesus Christ is like the stick being melted down to make the two pieces stick together. Like the welding, he learned that he needed to be tightly connected to God, and then His power will work in and through him.

The end

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Second day of Conference in Tanzania (main lecture)

Dr. Abraham T. Kim served a main lecture.

Key verse Ephesians 3:7

Problem of Christians is the lack of knowledge of God and of Christ. Worldly wealth is nothing compared with the spiritual wealth we have in Christ.

Paul prays that members of Jesus' church would grow to the fullness of God.

Paul is the prisoner of Christ Jesus. His heart was bound by the love of Christ. So he was free from all the bondages. The mystery is that Gentiles be members of one body per the promise in Jesus. "Together" is repeated three times. There were walls of hostility among people. Jesus welcomed all sinners into the family of God. Paul suffered a lot. Finally he suffered martyrdom. He preached the gospel. As God's servants we should know the boundless riches of Christ, so God's flock under our care would have the full riches of Christ (peace, unity, hope of resurrection, riches of God's love...).

Paul worked in God's power (God's love and power, peace and joy, miracles of performing miracles.) The Holy Spirit worked in him, that he would have the heart, mind, and will of Christ, filled with Jesus' zeal, vision and Spirit.) We became His servant through the working of His power. We need more of his power.

As we submit ourselves to Christ, God works powerfully. We do not see angels but they see us. When we preach demons scream. Angels shout. God is displaying his wisdom in wondrous colors and harmony.

As new creation we support each other. The church is the shadow of eternal kingdom to come. God is present among us. We must believe in the Triune God who is working in us. Work of God is to believe in the one he has sent. The church is central to God's history. Church stood victoriously while worldly kingdoms rise and fall. The church is the light of the world. She is mysterious and glorious. All churches together may shine in the beauty of Christ. In the church each member has his or her unique role assigned by God. We are called to be disciple makers. We are like marines. We go to campuses, invite students, nourish them and send them to other churches. World mission is God's heart beat. Think about God's sorrow. Think how God is comforted when one soul is saved. Our one to one Bible study is a precious tool to save souls. Students study and may leave us, but angels in heaven will cheer us up. Our Lord values one soul as more valuable than the whole universe.

Paul prayed for:

1) the strengthening of the inner being (14-16);
2) the Christ dwelling in one's heart (17); and
3) the knowledge of His love that surpasses knowledge (18-19).

We need to grasp and know his love. [Grasp - to catch; know - personalize]

In order to know the Christ, something within me must die, like self-love.

Paul's prayer talks about love as the mark of Christian.

Where are you in the measure of the fullness of God? How can we reach the full measure? On our own it is impossible, but in Jesus it is possible. 3:20

One word: mystery of Christ

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Mystery of Christ (Ephesians 3:7)

From 9 - 11 a.m. of January 5 (Saturday), 2013 we had a group Bible study. We got ourselves divided into three groups: first group consisted of women, the second group all men missionaries, and the third Native shepherds.

I served the third group where all native shepherds were gathered, and unlike other groups who studied in Korean we studied in English.

In regard to the location of the Bible study we were given options to study indoors or outdoors. All shepherds preferred outside. So I asked Dr. Oyo Moses to find a location. He went out and set up a table next to beach.

There although we were supposed to focus on Chapter 3 alone, many had desires to understand the whole book of Ephesians. Especially Shepherd Andrew Cortese from Cape Town wanted to see the 'forest' rather than just 'trees and branches'. So we chose to read the whole 6 chapters of the book.

Then shepherds raised questions on any of the book. Virtually all shepherds had questions on the meanings of the book of Ephesians. I also asked many questions to check whether or not they understand the passage correctly. For example David Lu from Uganda asked about the meaning of 'righteousness'. Patrick Ogwang asked about the meaning of holiness. And the questions poured out. The discussions were truly lively. So by the time we wanted to get into the individual study questions, we ran out of time.

After the study, we took a group picture.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

2013 African Directors Conference - Day 1 (Friday)

2013 African Directors Conference

The conference took place at a hotel Stella Maris, about 50 km away from the down town of Dar Es Salaam. At first, Timothy Jung did not want to host the conference for he could not find a proper place for the conference, but as he prayed further, he found this hotel located at a port called Bagamoyo which means "I leave my soul here." The slaves were caught, brought over here, and exported to other parts of the world, out of this port where hotel Stella Maris stands. [Stella Maris means Star of Ocean. Stella is the brand-name of Wig made by Timothy Jung.] Timothy Jung said, "May this place be changed from "Bagamoyo to Missionary Sending Point".

Total 39 (seven women, 7 native shepherds, and the rest Koreans) from S. Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Pretoria, Capetown, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Yabatech, Korea (Abigail Lee of Chongno, a staff shepherdess, Ezra Soonchon Chung, Noah Lee of Chongno, a new missionary to Tanzania, Moses Yoon of Chongno, Elisha Kim of Namsan), USA, Kenya, Zimbabwe. Peter Park of Nigeria could not attend for business.

Opening Message: Isaac H. Kim, "Freshly plucked olive leaf" Genesis 8:11

Missionary Isaac Kim said, "In the year 2013, a lot of good things are happening in Africa, beginning in Tanzania." [Tanzania has a new missionary family. On Dec. 20, Missionary Ezra Chung (Mechanical Engineering - math teacher) from Chongno II came to Dar Es Salaam as a missionary. (He came as a company employee to work at Timothy Chung's Stella Wig Company, in charge of accounting.) His wife Pauline will join in three months.

In the message Missionary Isaac Kim encouraged the congregation saying, "The vision the Lord God showed Noah - the vision of Noah sending out a dove returning in the evening with a freshly plucked olive leaf" sums up the Redemptive Work to be done from the Day 1 of Noah's new year until the day our Lord Jesus to come. ... As he promised sooner than later He will come back. Soon his feet will touch the Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem fulfilling the vision given to Noah. So until he comes back let us be faithful to working on His vision beginning here in the great Continent Africa and beyond."

After his message, Missionary Deborah Chung of Botswana approached and said, "Thank you for the message; I realized I am like a dove sent to the Botswana." Dr. Joseph Chung and Missionary Moses Yoon also said, "Your message is deeply touching."

Mission Report

Namibia - Population 2.1 million; rich in Uranium, as well as corruption. With Missionary Betty they start inviting students from not only national university but also two private universities. They used to have worship services at their house but now they pray to have worship on campus. Samuel and Anna Lee visited their place. Shepherd James of UK also visited and helped him with Bible studies.Romans 8:37, "More than conquerers!" is his key verse. Pray for his sunday messages, for 40 SWA, 20 1:1's.
S. africa (Capetown) - Do not say, I am only a child, Jeremiah says. Once Daniel Lee visited him went to the UWC campus sang a song, and then he served a sunday message on Gen 1. One student who used to study the Bible left the ministry. He prays for the student.
Noah Lee - the son of Spurgeon Lee did a special song, "You raise me up" - flute solo
S. Sudan and Egypt - Malakal and Egypt report by Dr. Oyo Moses. He finished Ph.D. last Oct. He was worried about Mondou and Ayman. Because of musical skill Mondou is busy with other churches. Ayman is so young so he could not teach. In April he visited Egypt, and kept encouraging. Andrew Kim asked him to invite Mondou and Ayman to the Regional Conference. They did come. They went back in spirit. He visited them in Sept. He had a beautiful Bible study at the Ansheim University. Mandou also invited two students to his apartment so five people had a sunday worship. Now he is praying that Egypt UBF would have 20 SWS. Malakal Report - South Sudan got severed from the north. North shut down the oil supply. May 19 - Johnson Deng married shepherdess Regina and started a house church. Daniel and Miso Lee visited. May God provide S. Sudan with a Bible center. They studied 4 Christmas messages on Luke. January 7, 2013 Egypt UBF is going to have a Christmas worship service at Ayman's apartment. 30 weekly 1:1 for Malakal UBF. To carry out an independent conference.
Sudan - by Philip Lee Acts 2:38; Sudan is persecuting Christians, so about 20 missionaries got kicked out and 100 more will be expelled soon. Three students are faithful. Thirty people including 7 new sheep attended the 2012 Christmas worship. Andrew raised Philip Lee as the new director. Feed sheep from among N. Sudanese students. Pray to sell Khartoum Bible Center. It was registered in the name of two persons both of whom all are no longer in Khartoum. By selling it, buy a new Bible center. Acts Bible study.

Dinner Fellowship

Special Lecture -

Biblical Worldview and Discipleship Training by Shepherd Elisha Kim, newly appointed Namsan UBF chapter director. He heavily quoted Paul Hiebert the author of the Biblical World View. Paul states, "In order to be a true Christian, one must alter not only behaviors, rituals, belief system, but also world view." Key Verse Matthew 6:22; Romans 12:2

What is the world view? In general, Immanuel Kant used the term. James Orr, or Abraham Kuyper tried to define the Biblical World View.

How to find out anyone's world view? Ask four questions: How does the world come into being? who are we? What went wrong? How to resolve the problems?
Everyone has one world view or another just like a man wearing eye glasses, still not knowing it. This world view constitutes the essence of culture. One develops world view via culture and traditions. And it determines one's direction of life (thoughts/word/acts).

Biblical World View - Albert Walters say, consists of "Creation, fall, redemption". (Structure of the Bible)

Creation - it is the foundation of the Biblical world view; within the creation is revealed God's presence. It is the beginning towards completion. God still works.

Fall - loss of paradise, resulting in total depravity.

Redemption - it is gradual via Jesus Christ, towards recovery, restoring His rule in real life.

Kingdom of God - D-day vs. V-day (D - day refers to the day when God made a breakthrough; V - day refers to the day to come wherein God is going to restore what is to come). The D-day and V-day ought to balance out for a balanced world view.

Diverse Biblical World view:

Antagonistic (culture vs. gospel)
Dualistic (culture and gospel working together) (Martin Luther)
Melting (Culture and Gospel are mixed together) [Roman Catholic]
Absorb (Culture eating up culture) [Liberalism]
Gospel transforming culture (gospel --> culture) [Calvinistic - tends to be idealistic]

Calvinistic vs. Arminianism

* Life - total depravity vs. free will
* Election - unconditional election vs. foreknowledge but God does not force
* Atonement - limited vs. all forgiven
* grace - irresistible vs. resistible
* salvation - perseverance vs. possibility of falling from grace

Biblical world view
Transform culture
Sovereignty and Glory to God
Healthy community

In Africa it is possible that although they believe in Jesus, their world view might not have been changed. Let us pray on the two fronts: that is world view and disciple making, so disciples would come out with the biblical world view.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

The intent of his eternal purpose (Ephesians 3:10-11)

In reading Eph 3:10-11, one might wonder why God intended that it is through the church that the manifold wisdom of God be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.
Discussion -
1. God gave the manifold wisdom of God to the church alone, not to the rulers and authorities or anyone else.
2. God commanded the church to proclaim the manifold wisdom of God to the rulers and authorities.
Consider what to proclaim and to whom to proclaim, and then the examples of it.
1) What to proclaim? - manifold wisdom of God
** Manifold wisdom of God refers to the gospel of Jesus who gives man righteousness, holiness, and redemption that come in and through Jesus and Jesus alone. 1Co 1:30
** This wisdom is described as 'manifold' for among other components it has three, not single, wraps.
** This set up (or way) is called the "wisdom of God" because it refers to the 'knowledge' made known to the church via the faith in Jesus Christ".
** Note that if any information is not known to men but only to God, it is 'secret' (or mystery). God uses his prophets to reveal the secret. Then it is no longer a secret (mystery) but a revelation. When revelation be is understood and received it becomes 'wisdom'. (Rom 16:25-26)
** This is of God rather than of men, in that it comes through faith in Jesus who himself is the author and giver of the wisdom. Note that God has made the wisdom of the world foolish so by its wisdom the world may not know Him. 1Co 1:20-25
2) to whom to proclaim
** Proclamation is to be made to the rulers and authorities in heavenly realms first, for whatever is going on in a physical level has its root in that which is in heavenly realms. Spirit controls soul controls body. [Gen 2:7; Col 2;10-15; Eph 6:12; 1:3,21; cf Psa 68:18 vs. Eph 4:8]
** By the time Paul wrote the epistle he was incarcerated in Rome. Eph 3:13
He regards the persecution via the Roman rule (which is reflection of the heavenly rule) as the opportunity to make God's manifold wisdom known.) So when you have the opportunity to make known what should be known, you do not get discouraged. Notice that for a believer hard times are good times to reveal His gory.
3) Examples
** Jesus commanded the evil spirit to come out and then healed the Gerasenes demoniac. Luke 8:29
** God created man by breathing into his nostrils the breath of life, indicating that God who is Spirit is the origin, the life seen such as fleshly being is a result. Gen 2:7
** Jesus said "The Spirit gives life, but flesh counts for nothing." John 6:63
** The Apostle Paul exhorts us that in everything by prayer and petitions we are to make our requests known to Him. Phi 4:6
** Jesus also says we must always pray and not give up.
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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Journey Report Continued (Tanzania)

January 1, 2013

Preparation for the Conference

My flight schedule was to fly out from Bucharest, to Rome via Alitalia, to Addis Ababa, to Kilimanjaro, then to Dar Es Salaam, via Ethiopia Airline. There was a close to five hours of layover period at the Rome airport, until midnight.

I spent the new year's day in the Ethiopian airline.

I arrived at Dar Es Salaam at 2:00 p.m. At the customs there was a long wait in line to get a visa. They charged $100 to U.S. citizens but $50 to non U.S. citizens.

Missionary Hanna Jung was waiting for me, sweating profusely. In the car, I said that I have a reservation at an apartment hotel at the city center, so I asked her to take me there. Then Hannah said, "That is a Muslim area. It is very dangerous." Since the reservation was subject to 'free cancellation', I accepted her choice.

Next morning, power went out. A german who checked in next room said, "In Tanzania power generation is less than 50% of demand." Around noon time, Missionary Andrew Yoon of Yabatech checked in. That afternoon, Missionary Timothy Jung came back from his overseas trip. So three of us (Andrew Yoon, Timothy, myself) went to Timothy's apartment, and started organizing the conference. Total 37 (7 women, 7 native shepherds, 3 children, and the rest Korean missionaries) registered. Peter Park of Nigeria chose not to come. Korean UBF (Chongno II) shepherds were supposed to come early to make necessary preparations but it turned out that they were unable to come early. After much discussion and many phone calls, in about three hours we were able to organize and set up: name tags, sample binder for hand-outs (program, study questions, room assignments), registration servants, post conf. tour schedule, Bible study groups, group leaders, room assignments, airport pick up plans (using two buses to be rented, one passenger car, one minivan, and one truck, operating between airport and conf. site which is one and hour driving distance).

Tomorrow at 10 a.m. along with Timothy Chung, Andrew Yoon and I will head for the conf. site as a pilot team.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Old Bagamoyo Road,Dar es Salaam,Tanzania

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Journey report

Travel to and from Africa is a challenging experience. There are changes in weather, food, languages, and currencies. At one place like Brasvo it was a freezing cold winter, but in Dar Es Salaam it is now 34 Celsius. I lost tooth brush so I asked a stewardess for any toothbrush to spare. As you come in and out of airports, when they ask for money you need to figure out how to handle the situation. And you need to be constantly aware of your luggage for no one knows when it might disappear. Plus the customs officer can go unreasonable: although you explain that the bottle contains only vitamin pills they ask you to open it up, so you have to tear up the gift wrap. And there is jet-lag.

From January 4-5, 2013 African UBF directors scheduled to hold the African Director's new year conference. This time we chose Dar Es Salaam of Tanzania as the venue. There is only one family (Timothy and Hanna Chung) hosting the conference. To support themselves they run a factory making wig with a brand name "Stella").

On the way from LA to Tanzania I made a visit to Romania where there are two UBF chapters - one served by Missionary John Jung another by David Kim. [Officially David is associated with CMI (I do not know what CMI stands for), an organization established by the so called 'ex-ubf' members who left UBF while Dr. Samuel Lee was ministering in Chicago.) Both of the chapters are in Bucharest.

Located two hours away from Bucharest is a second largest city Brasvo where Pastor Young Lee is running a Missionary Training Center. Young Lee was sent by one of the Korean baptist churches in Korea. He is a strong advocate of UBF. At one of the Kimnet meetings in Toronto Canada when there was a panel discussion he volunteered to serve as one of the panelists. After heated discussion he suggested to the floor to adopt "UBF style" as a model for future missionary work. Last October at the Kimnet meeting in Charlotte, NC, he struck up friendship with me. His two sons study in California, one in San Francisco, another in LA. Last December he visited his two sons in LA. On that occasion he also made a visit to LA UBF. Around this time he bid me to visit Romania, so on my way to Tanzania I paid a visit to his ministry not only to get to know and learn of him, but also to pray for UBF missionaries working in Bucharest.

On Dec. 26, at 6:00 a.m. Missionary John dropped me at LAX. The next day Dec. 27 (Thursday) when I arrived at 1:05 p.m. Young Lee greeted me at the airport. [I was not used to rely on local people in the mission fields. So in the past it has been my practice to make reservations myself for the transportation and places to stay, but he insisted on me dropping my plan and stick to his plan, which I reluctantly did.]

Brasvo was in a winter season with snow covering mountains and fields. It was a two and half hours of drive from the airport. On the way we briefly visited Peres Castle a private residence built by one of the rulers of the nation.

At the outskirt of the city Brasvo Young Lee got built a three story residential unit as well as a three story conference facility. The conference facility was completed leaving only cosmetics such as carpets, and furnishings. He says it would cost about $200,000 to make it fully operational as a conference center.

Dec. 28 (Friday) - Young Lee let me to take a look around the facility and community developments such as sports facility, community park, small lake, adventure park, trails, and skiing place. He also ordered me to share the history of UBF coming Sunday at three places - at his church, at a Brethren Church located at Codrea, and a sister church nearby which was branched out from the Brethren church.

Dec. 29 (Saturday) - During morning hours I worked on the report. In talking with Young Lee and his wife Esther, she expressed her desire for a "smart" phone. Her friends in Korea wanted to talk to her on Kakao talk, but since Esther does not have a smart phone, her friend in Korea sort of ridiculed her saying, "You don't have a smart phone?" So I asked her what sort of smart phone she wants. She said, 'iPhone'. So we went to a market, and as a donation to the Young Lee's ministry I bought for her iPhone 4S. I also gave her $100 to buy a iPhone holder.

Dec. 30 (Sunday)

1) 10 a.m. - noon

Sunday worship at the Young Lee's Training Center:

Saturday evening Missionary John Jihun Jung, the director of Bucharest UBF, his wife Monica, and two shepherds (Alex and Doru) and one sister (Andrea) arrived at Young Lee's and slept at the center.

At 10 a.m. Sunday we had a worship. Neighbors, one missionary family visiting Young Lee, Bucharest UBF members worshiped together. The worship lasted two hours. The program for the first hour consisted of prayers, offering, hymns, special songs, a report, instructions, and announcements, etc. and the next one hour was assigned to my report which was comprised of: 1) the history of Korea; 2) the history of UBF Int'l; 3) the history of LA UBF; and 4) the history of universe subtitled "the conclusion of the matter". After the worship we had a photo session.

2) noon - 5 p.m.

Lunch fellowship at the house of Gabriel in Codrea:

Codrea is located about 20 minutes of driving distance from the Training Center.

At Codrea there is a believing family of Gabriel. He is a good-natured, kind-hearted Christian; he is in his fifties. While Gabriel was 19 he was serving the local church as a sunday school teacher. At the sunday school there was a girl aged 13. Soon Gabriel fell in love with the girl (who is now his wife named Esther. There are so many Esther's in the world!] After serving two years of military duty he married Esther his first love. He and his wife Esther produced 7 beautiful daughters in a row, and then succeeded to produce a son Elisei. All seven daughters are beautiful.

How did Young Lee get to know this family? It happened this way. Once upon a time when Young Lee visited a church where Gabriel's father was an elder, Gabriel's father showed strong interest in knowing the Bible truths. So he used to visit Young Lee's place and asked many questions on the Bible. Soon they became friends. Then Gabriel's father passed away. Since then Young Lee filled the void, so all seven daughters and Elisei call Young Lee "grandpa" (actually they say 'halabouji' which means in Korean grandpa.)

All of Gabriel's kids love Korea, so although they do not have TV at home they learned by themselves Korean pop songs. The daughters know how to play guitar, and they sing Korean songs like a pro.

How did the lunch fellowship go? They invited to lunch me, young lee, his wife, John Jung, his wife monica, Alex, Doru, and Andrea. We went to the house in two cars. Outside was freezing cold. Their house is located at a humble place adjacent to a gradual wooded hill. It is a two story house, with a backyard located in the rear where they grow chickens and vines. The first floor consisted of a hallway, dining place, and kitchen. Upstairs are living quarters. Because it was during winter break all children were at home except the twin daughters who had to work in town. The dining hall was cozy. They served traditional Romanian food. All dishes were delicious, especially the food called "Sarmale".

After we were done with food the daughters came around the table, and sang songs playing guitar. The song was sweet and they were beautiful so two UBF shepherds watched them singing and they were swooned. And we talked and talked. The fellowship was so pleasant that I felt as if I were in a third heaven. And the fellowship lasted until 5 p.m. But we had to tear ourselves from the fellowship, for all of us did not want to be late at the evening Sunday worship at the Brethren church where Gabriel is one of the leading servants.

3. Evening Worship

The Brethren church is situated about 5 minutes of driving distance. The way they run the church program is similar to LA UBF. There is no one imposing on the church congregation as "the" 'pastor'. Each sunday several 'brethren' take turns to serve a message. Family members also participate in various functions such as choir. Like UBF shepherds speakers do not get paid and they have their own careers.

As soon as I arrived at the church, I handed over to a young man in charge of media control room a stick containing video clips and power point. They started worship with hymns and prayers. The presiding person named prayer servants whereupon they stood from the congregation and prayed. One person (a middle aged? father) prayed in a loud voice shedding tears!

Gabriel's family (including Elisei, but not his sisters who went to serve a special program at another church) along with UBF members were seated up front. I was given 25 minutes including translation. So I cut short the presentation focusing on the word of God especially Luke 2:10, Acts 1:8, and Isaiah 9:1-2. The translator Emmanuel was a handsome young man. He and I prayed that the Holy Spirit work powerfully. And The Lord answered our prayer. I could see that the congregation who filled the sanctuary were responsive.

4. Second worship

As soon as my sermon was over, Young Lee hurried me to the next church in the same town. [UBF members continued to have fellowship with the said Brethren church. Then since Monica is in her first trimester of pregnancy, they went back to Bucharest that night.]

When I arrived the congregation were already ready to start the worship. I went up to the control room and gave a stick to a young man. Since I ran short of time, I asked Elisei (he is only 12 years old boy, yet very computer savvy; in fact he turned three video clips I gave him into a short movie using windows movie maker on his sister's computer) to work with the man in charge of the control room.

The worship program started with hyms and prayers and then I and Emanuel (the translator) took the podium and spoke. But there was a small glitch - the slide was so slow to turn pages that I asked the man in the control room to stop and we proceeded without the power point. The Lord was graceful, so the message rang out.

After the worship, there was a talking fellowship with people. Then one handsome young man approached, introduced himself to me. He said, "I know Samuel Lee. I know Sarah Barry. I studied the Bible with Wesley Yoon. I really want to live as the Bible teaches. I want to become a shepherd. Please pray for my wife for she does not believe." I promised to pray for him and his wife. And we took a picture.

5. Dinner Fellowship

Gabriel invited to a dinner at his home me Young Lee, Young Lee's wife, Missionary Sandu and his wife Luminutz, Sandu's two children, his wife's sister and her husband along with their two children.

It was already very dark. Yet the streets were well lit up with Christmas lights. They served another Romanian dish consisting of noodle mixed with home-made meat and toppings. The soup was so tasty so I asked the mom, "What is the name of this soup?" She said, "soup". Since I liked the Sarmale she served it again.

After the main course they served the home made cookies/cakes along with drinks like coffee or tea.

Then followed a special music session. With Luminutz playing guitar her children came around the table and sang songs. The youngest daughter then came out and surprised everyone by memorizing the Moses' Ten Commandments (not a short but long version) fluently. She went so fast and her memory was like a man playing a tape-recorder. And the voice was like a spring bird singing.

Sandu's wife's sister is a medical doctor. Between the doctor and Gabriel they started discussing about the condition of Gabriel's heart, for apparently Gabriel has an issue with his heart. I asked Young Lee what was the problem. And I was reminded of the heart problem I used to suffer from. Mine was stress-related. As they started paying attention to me, I shared a "Biblical remedy" for the stress-related heart diseases, that is, Proverbs 4:23, Philippians 4:6-7, and Isaiah 30:15.

Around this time the twin sisters came back from work, making the number "7" daughters complete. The talk spread over to myself having 'five grand-daughters'. Then Esther (Gabriel's wife) said, "My mother has 41 grand-children, and my grand mother has 82 grand children." I was shocked so I asked again, "How many did you say?" Then Damaris said, "41 and 82 - my mother's mother has 41 grand children, and my great grand mother has 82 grand children!" "Wow!" I said. And it was a true "Wow".

Pursuant to the encouragement of Pastor Young Lee, I shared with the congregation one word for the seven daughters who are all unmarried: "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17 [Every in the expression 'every good and perfect gift' includes a husband who is good and perfect.] Then I prayed for the family that Gabriel would live to be 120 years young and beyond, until he sees all of his children getting married and produce grand-children as many as the number of stars in the sky.

It was already close to midnight, so we tore ourselves from the Emanuel family, said "good bye". Young Lee drove us back to the Training Center at Brasvo.

Dec. 31, 2012 - Fellowship with Missionaries in Bucharest

1. Lunch fellowship

In order to pray for the missionaries working in Bucharest area, especially Missionary David and Rebekah Kim and their coworkers, serving college students in Bucharest, I talked to Pastor Young Lee and hosted a "year end lunch fellowship among missionaries working in the capital city."

The appointment was made so the meeting would take place at a Korean restaurant called Dami located near the airport in Bucharest.

To catch the meeting on time Young Lee, his wife, and I left (in a minivan) Brasvo at 9:30 a.m. for Bucharest. When we arrived at the restaurant, about 20 missionaries were gathered waiting for us. They are from all different denominations such as Baptists, Methodists, etc..

During the eating fellowship I talked with Rebekah Kim, the wife of David Kim. She is 'the first' Korean missionary in Bucharest, Romania, I was told. David and Rebekah were discipled by David Woo, the director of Incheon UBF. While I was at Chongno in early 1970's, I used to get along with David Woo and his shepherd Peter Surh. David Woo is still serving students at Incheon UBF. Rebekah and David were dispatched by Incheon UBF.

Rebekah was instrumental to pioneering the former USSR in 1990. At that time we prayed hard that The Lord would open the door to USSR for the gospel. While the iron curtain was still drawn down, Rebekah Kim was working as a nurse missionary in Hungary. One day David Woo called her and asked her whether or not she could go to Moscow State University and get an admission letter for James Whang. By faith she obeyed. Along with one native shepherd who speaks Russian she went to Moscow by train. Despite many obstacles she secured an admission letter from the MSU, thus opening the way for Korean UBF missionaries to go to Moscow, and pioneer the former USSR.

She and David work with another missionary family: Andrew and Esther Lee who are also from CMI. Andrew works at Goldline company which deals with export/import of timber. They have two children (Jihye 23 working on bio engineering at Seoul National University; Jiun 19 who recently received an admission letter from the Korea University.) Rebekah and David do not have children, so they adopted Romanian children.

Missionary John Jihun Jung also attended the lunch fellowship. He met and talked with missionaries associated with CMI (David and Rebekah, Andrew and Esther). Before we started eating, each missionary stood up, introduced himself or herself and the ministry he or she is serving. And Missionary John Jung is youngest missionary. He said, "I am glad that for the first time in my mission life in Romania, I could attend this kind of meeting and have fellowship with senior missionaries. Thank God."

After the eating fellowship, we had a photo session. I realized that the Korean missionaries working in Romania need a lot of support, especially loving attention and recognition, so they would be greatly encouraged to brave hardship and serve The Lord in their respective mission areas.

After paying the bill for the lunch, I said goodbye to all, especially to Pastor Young and Esther Lee.

2. Bible study with John and Monica Jung

After the lunch fellowship, John Jung gave me a ride through the downtown Bucharest. He also showed me around the college campus he is pioneering, the Bible center where Bible students are having a common life, and then he invited me to his house located near the airport.

At his house Monica's mother (Romanian) was babysitting their first son (3) Yustin (Nakwon in Korean). Monica looked healthy although she has a lot of morning sickness (3 months pregnancy). She said she has a good memory of my wife Rebekah Kim, and I said I will share it with my wife when I go back.

Since my fight for Tanzania leaves at 6:20 p.m., I served a short Bible study on Micah 5:4, "He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of The Lord and in the majesty of the name of The Lord his God." I warned them especially John that he would not rely on his enthusiasm, integrity, and strength alone. Then we had a joint prayer for the following prayer topics:

- To establish 84 house churches (shepherd families) serving 56 national and 28 private universities and colleges campuses of Romania BY THE YEAR 2020;

- For Alex, Bogdan, Doru, Andrea, and Bernica to grow and eat daily bread faithfully

- Sunday worship messages on Luke and Exodus by John Jung

- Monica's Safe delivery (scheduled to go in July, 2013)

Location:Old Bagamoyo Road,Dar es Salaam,Tanzania