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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bible Thailand World Campus Mission

Monkon and Watcheri

Pat and Luke
Tampol and Onpolin

There are three shepherd families in Thailand UBF. Msn. Bansuk Lee runs a business to install in Taxi cabs LPG. He has a business goal to get installed at least 40 LPGs a month, which will barely help him break even. Due to the gas prices going down, not many are interested in LPG, so that he finds it increasingly difficult to break even. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

When your life seems chaotic, dismal, grey, dark, and darker...

Who Will Be the First To Go and Fight?

(The Secret of Being Content in All Circumstances)
Judges 1:1-21:25
Key Verses 1:1-2

“After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the LORD, ‘Who will be the first to go up and fight for us against the Canaanites?’ The LORD answered, ‘Judah is to go; I have given the land into their hands.’ ”

Last week a friend of mine experienced an emotional high and an emotional low. One day he was elated to find out that his GPA was 4.0. Since he did so well in his school studies, he was recognized by the principle of the school and was asked to apply for a scholarship. But the next day a turn of the events worked against him and he was hit with terrible news: on an important test he got the lowest possible score among all the students in his class.

In the book of Judges, we see the Israelites going through emotional ups and downs. For a while they went through happy moments, but soon they were hit with terrible disasters, such as drive-by shooters invading the land. For the most part, in the days of the book of Judges, the Israelites went through the lowest lows in their career as a chosen people. The net result was that the Israelites grew terribly dissatisfied. Supposedly, they were saved out of Egypt and came to the so called Promised Land expecting to be happy. But they ended up being hit with an entirely different reality. So we can admit that something definitely went wrong.  

What then is the reason for the Israelites' down-fall? Why was it that after going through so many good training programs, such as 40 years of desert training or decades of war experiences where they garnered so many victories, that they did not learn to perpetuate their success, but rather ended up falling down to the bottom of bottoms so miserably?

On a practical level, what should guarantee that one would never fall down to the lowest pit but rather permanently be planted in the land where the joy of life is constant?

Surprisingly, it is here in the book of Judges that the Lord God reveals the secret that "guarantees" a blessed life, and the Lord God is revealing this secret against the backdrop of all the shameful failures. I believe the secret is found in what the Lord God asked the Israelites to do first at the outset the book of Judges and in the last two chapters of Judges. With this in mind let us read Judges 1:1-2 and 20:18. Let us think about the Lord's secret in three parts:

First, the problem

According to Hally's Bible handbook during the period of the Judges, the Israelites went through 410 years of failures and years of victories: 111 years of failure, and 299 years of victory. Specifically, for the entire 111 years of failure they were oppressed. But as they cried out, the Lord raised up judges (12 male, 1 female) through whom the Lord allowed them to enjoy freedom from the oppressive rule of the Canaanites. So the ratio of the time period between oppression and independence is 1:3, not 3:1. This ratio shows that Lord was graceful upon his children. Figuratively speaking, God is like a teacher who helps out a rebellious student with enduring patience. Suppose you are a teacher to middle school kids and one particular student starts acting out. What do you do? In love you discipline him, for example, giving him a time-out for one hour. Then as the student begs for mercy, you allow him to come back to the class. But three hours later, the student again acts up. So you give him another time-out. Then the student begs for mercy. You give the student freedom again. Three hours later the student screws up again. So you give the student another time-out. And this happens again and again. Question: Does the student learn anything from the time-outs? No. The student gets worse.

This is exactly what happened to the Israelites in the book of Judges. Instead of learning a lesson, they grew worse. How worse did they become? Let us read 19:1-30; 20:46-21:3. The Levites were called to serve the Lord full time. They were supposed to please the Lord, not themselves. One of their main duties was to live as Bible teachers. For this purpose the Lord intentionally spread them equally among the twelve tribes of Israel. Yet, abandoning their mission they made themselves busy chasing after women (19:1).

What about the women of the days of the Judges? They were no different. For example, the concubine of the Levite in Joshua 19 became unfaithful to her master. Yet the unfaithfulness exhibited by the Levite and his concubine was just the tip of the iceberg. In Genesis Chapter 18 we saw how and why the Lord overturned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. But in Joshua 19:22 we see the same problem, that is, homosexuality persisting among the so-called chosen people. In order to establish them as a holy nation the Lord God made numerous efforts. Through years, decades, and centuries of training, finally the Lord God led the Israelites to conquer the land of Canaan and settle in their respective territories. Normally, one would expect that they would rise to God's level and operate as members of a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. But what did they become? Joshua 19:22-24 indicates that they came down to ground zero. The people of Gibeah became no different, if not worse, than the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Judges 19:30 reads, "Everyone who saw it said, ‘Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Think about it! Consider it! Tell us what to do!’ ” This passage ends with three sentences which all come with an exclamation point: “Think about it! Consider it! Tell us what to do!” These questions cry out for a solution! What then is the solution? Interestingly their solution was a call to arms, to destroy the Benjamites! But it was the wrong solution. It invited more troubles to the people of the Israelites than solutions.

Second, the solution

What then is the solution?

Look at Joshua 1:1,2. “After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the LORD, ‘Who will be the first to go up and fight for us against the Canaanites?’ The LORD answered, ‘Judah is to go; I have given the land into their hands.’ ” Let us also read Judges 20:18, “The Israelites went up to Bethel and inquired of God. They said, ‘Who of us shall go first to fight against the Benjamites?’ The LORD replied, ‘Judah shall go first.’ ” Here we see the Lord repeating the same remedy saying, “Judah is to go,” and, “Judah shall go first.”

This repetition raises a question: “Why did the Lord ask Judah to go first?” Was it because the people belonging to the tribe of Judah were more adapt to fighting than the other tribes? Was it because they had more Kung-Fu martial artists or champion gun slingers than the rest of the tribes? The answers to these questions are all, NO. Judges 20:44 indicates that the Benjamites had more valiant fighters than any of the other tribes. Why then did the Lord choose Judah to go first?

We can find the answer to this question in the name Judah, which means, “This time I will praise the Lord.” This requires a short review on the background of how Judah was named. Let us read Genesis 29:16-35, responsively. Now let us focus on the last five verses where we can see the spiritual growth of Leah in naming her babies.

1)         Reuben: Surely my husband will love me now.
2)         Simeon: Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.
3)         Levi: Now at least my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.
4)         Judah: This time I will praise the Lord.

“Then she stopped having children.”

The meanings of the name of the four sons describe the spiritual growth of Leah. The names of the first three sons indicate the nature of the problems she had. They represent her times of failure. The name of the forth son shows that she finally found the right solution to her problem. So the expression, “she stopped having children” [after naming her fourth son Judah], represents the net effect of her spiritual growth.

This observation then teaches us the way to total satisfaction, which is the key point for our Bible study tonight. The key is found in the meaning of the name Judah, that is, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Genesis 29:35b reads, "Then she stopped having children." Here a question arises: "What does it imply that after Leah named her fourth son Judah she stopped having children?" We can find the answer to this question from what she "stopped" doing, that is, having children. Praising the Lord put her to a complete "stop" to having children! This means that when she started praising the Lord she stopped being thirsty for her husband's love. As a result she stopped having children for a time. [Afterwards, Leah bore a fifth son, named Issachar, meaning “Wages.” Interestingly prior to her conception of Issachar, she had prayed to God, and God heard her prayers (Genesis 30:17-18). Leah also conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son, Zebulun, meaning “Dwelling” (verse 20).]

Her example reminds us of the way God designed man, that is, God made man in such a way that man can find true satisfaction of his soul in only one source: the Lord. In Leah’s case, she tried to quench the thirst for love from Jacob. In an effort to secure her husband's love, she kept enticing Jacob; as a result she kept producing children out of Jacob. But again and again she failed to quench her thirst. After failing three times, finally, it dawned on her that Jacob is not the right source. As a last resort she turned to the Lord. Then, in the Lord, she found what she was looking for. In a way then she is like the Samaritan woman who looked to fill the needs of her soul in the wrong places, such as a husband. Jesus understood her thirst. Through a divine appointment Jesus met her at Jacob’s well. Through a personal bible study with her Jesus introduced himself as the Savior of the world who alone can quench the thirsts of her soul. At this point let us open the Bible and read John 4:10-14.

Now, let us compare this passage with the key verses we have tonight. “After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the LORD, ‘Who will be the first to go up and fight for us against the Canaanites?’ The LORD answered, ‘Judah is to go; I have given the land into their hands.’ ” Judah is to go! As we know, our Lord Jesus came through the line of Judah. Unlike the other tribes, the tribe of Judah holds the seed of the hope of salvation for all, that is, Jesus Christ. Looking to the time of the Savior to come, Genesis 49:10 reads, "The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his."

Third, applications

From Leah's example we learn that God made man in such a way that he or she will never be fully satisfied with what has been created. We humans can find true satisfaction only in worshiping the Lord. The people of the days of the Judges did not learn this Biblical truth and made mistakes one after another. Again and again they went after people and the things of this world. As a result they became increasingly thirsty, and then increasingly frustrated. The more they indulged in pleasure seeking lifestyles, the more they were disappointed. They were disappointed in themselves and they made others disappointed. But the Lord God had mercy on them. Each time they ran into troubles, the Lord provided them with the remedy: that is, Judah going out first to fight the problems they had.

In our generation there are many who are like the people in the days of the Judges. Some people are addicted to materialistic ways of life. Some people indulge in pleasure seeking lifestyles. Like the people living in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, or like the people who lived in the city of Gibeah, a town in the land of Benjamin, people who live in our own generation suffer mostly in looking for the spiritual water that could quench the thirsts of their souls. And they look for the solution in all the wrong places. But thanks and praise be to the Lord who sent Jesus Christ, who alone can fully quench the thirsts of our soul.

In the college campuses there are many who are like Leah. Like Leah they look for solutions to their thirst problem in all the wrong places, such as girlfriends or boyfriends. Like the people in the day of the Judges, even many Christians suffer from such problems as greed for money or lust for human recognition or thirst for human love. As much as we know that nothing but the gospel of our Lord Jesus can offer true solution to all of their problems, let us all pray to present the gospel to the thirsty souls of our generation.

One word: Judah will go first

Review Questions

·       After giving birth to her fourth son, she named the baby Judah saying, “________________________________.”
·       What happened when she started praising the Lord?
·       Judah means in Hebrew: _________________
·       Judges 1 begins saying, “After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the Lord, “Who will be the first to go up and fight for us against the Canaanites?” The Lord said, “Judah is to go.”  Is/are there any application(s) to adopt in day to day life?
·       Who of the following is/are not the judge given to Israel?
o   Othniel
o   Ehud
o   Shamgar
o   Deborah
o   Gideon
o   Abimelek
o   Tola
o   Jair
o   Jephthah
o   Ibzan
o   Elon
o   Abdon
o   Samson
o   Samuel

Review Notes

  •  This time I will praise the Lord. Judah means “praise” or “thankfulness”. In Hebrew the name Judah [ יְהוּדָה (Yĕhuwdah)] includes the name of the Lord consisting of four letters (Yud, Hey, Vab, Hey). On his death-bed Jacob blessed Judah stating, ““Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you. You are a lion’s cub, Judah; you return from the prey, my son.Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judahnor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his. He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine,  his robes in the blood of grapes. His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk.”Later, as prophesied, Jesus, the Son of God, came from the line of Judah, crushed the head of the archenemy Satan.
  • The prospect of her life changed from that which is gloomy and horrible to that which is bright and comfortable. It is said, “Under three things the earth trembles: … an unloved women who is married.” Proverbs 30:21-23 Leah was the one (at least in her mind). But now she gained the flight out of the gloom to the bliss of the Lord. She stopped having children at least for a while. This indicates that as she praised the Lord, the Lord quenched her thirst for husband (i.e., lust, jealousy). She was yet to grow in the knowledge of the Lord, but at least she got a major break-through in terms of her growth. The proof of this is seen in her praying to the Lord for child-bearing, so that as she prayed, she got Issachar. The expression “God listened to Leah” indicates that [perhaps while in bed with Jacob] she prayed to the Lord. Genesis 30:17 In Hebrew Issachar has the meaning of ‘reward’ which reveals that she believed in the Lord who rewards for those who come to him believing in the goodness of the Lord.  
  •   One application is to begin each day with a moment of prayer, believing in the Lord’s goodness for his guidance. Another is to live each day praising the Lord first to finish, praising him not so much with lip services but from the bottom of our heart, believing and appreciating the Lord of grace the creator and sustainer of his creation, who willing to bestow upon his children all that are good, not just any good but the highest good, bent on giving more than we can bear.
  • All of them are judges. Abimelek is a tempting choice but although he became a judge by treachery, still he ruled for 3 years.

Monday, January 26, 2015

2015 Latin America Bible Conference (Southern Region) in Argentine

After attending the conference, Msn. Jose Ahn wrote:

Dear World mission prayer coworkers. Thank God for the wonderful conference with your prayer supports. Sorry for no being able to update last 4 days due to internet access.

Now we returned to Buenos Aires. an Official rpt will be sent by M. Esteban Cho.. I just want to share some pictures (some more after this e mail) and a summary of Southern Latin Conf. (1.15-18)

You might have received the first day rpt... 130 members from 7 Southern Latin nations and some guests from Korea and USA.

Thank God for the cool weather in hot Summer in Argentina. The conference place was so remote from the city, today's technology and it turned out to be one of the best environments to spend time with our beloved Christ Jesus and hark labored coworkers, national leaders and second genes. Most of all 7 lectures in 4 days with 3 group bible studies led by well prepared national leaders and around 10 Life Testimonies, very sincere, bold, honest, changed life made us swim in the sea of God's abundant grace with exquisite Argentina food. 4 days were still seemed too short.....The around 20 2nd gene CBF members were also well taken care of by missionaries and local shepherds and Paul Cho (Korea), having their own group bible studies and testimony sharings. The conference was Full of joy, all participated in some work,(moving chairs, tables for meals, cleaning, music, world mission night dancings of each nation and skits, duo drama, chorus etc).

It was well organized through hard labor of M. Isaac Cho, Juan Moon, Marcos Kim's co-working with 7 nations' coworkers and second genes and national leaders. There were many new and young members from Bolivia around 50 who came by bus almost taking 40 hours one way, and Brazil second genes. So the conference became so energetic, fresh with the powerful work of the Spirit.

We finished with evaluation meeting with national leaders as well as listening to Ambassador Oh's audio visual mission report since 1987 when God called him for the World Campus Mission and M. Elias Park's prayer topics. 1. Let's love God’s word and mediate on it deeply 2. Love Bible students and guide them to Jesus through Bible study 3. Pioneer new cities and nations such as Bolivia 3 cities, 4. April 2-5 Mexican region conference as well as Central America Conference which will be held separately on the same period.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bible Muslim World Campus Mission

FYI ---------- Weitergeleitete Nachricht ---------- Von: "Waehrisch-Oblau, Claudia" Datum: 20.01.2015 09:43 Betreff: UEM Prayer Alert: Hatred against Muslims and refugees in Germany and church responses An: "" Cc: Dear sisters and brothers in the UEM community, Today the German Region is asking for your prayers. You may have heard that in the last year, the number of refugees coming to Europe has increased greatly. Many of them come from Syria and Iraq, others from Northern Africa and Eritrea. As it is almost impossible to reach Europe legally, hundreds of refugees take to rickety little boats every day to cross the Mediterranean. Thousands of refugees have died during such attempts in the last years when their boats sank or lost power. As a reaction to the growing number of refugees, a new movement has arisen in Germany, “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West” (the German acronym is Pegida). This movement has been staging demonstrations all over Germany, warning that the country is being “islamized”, and spreading fear and hatred of immigrants. Church leaders have spoken out publicly against this movement, and have called on Christians not to get involved with this movement and its demonstrations. Christians have also been at the forefront of numerous counter-demonstrations that are being held all over the country. As of the moment, the number of those counter-demonstrators is far higher than those taking to the street for Pegida, but after the attacks in Paris, many of us fear that hatred against Muslims could be on the rise and lead to attacks on Muslims, mosques, and refugees in general. Churches have also become increasingly active in assisting those refugees who actually reach Germany, with both EKvW and EKiR increasing funding for work with refugees even while making big cuts in other areas of their work. Many congregations have become active to assist refugees living in their neighbourhood. Churches also lobby for a more humane immigration policy which allows asylum seekers to reach Europe without having to risk their lives. And EKiR, which has just finished its annual synod, has called for a campaign “Now! Together!” (Gerade jetzt gemeinsam) to call on people from all religions to work together for peaceful coexistence in our country. On January 19, the planned Pegida demonstration in the city of Dresden was prohibited by the police as it was said that there were concrete suspicions that Muslim terrorists were planning an attack on the Pegida leadership. A planned counter-demonstration in Dresden was also outlawed. This certainly raises tensions within Germany, and strengthens prejudice against immigrants from Muslim countries. All of this has ignited a huge debate about Islam and Muslim extremism/terrorism, about refugees, and about the role of religion in public life. Please pray that this debate will be resolved peacefully, and that Germany will remain a nation in which immigrants can live peacefully and feel welcomed. Thank you and God bless you!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Bible Zambia, World Campus Mission!

On his facebook account, Msn. Nehemiah wrote:
1.17일은 제가 여기 온 지 20년이 되는 날입니다. 잠비아 개척 20주년 기념일이지요. 18일 주일에 20주념 기념 예배를 드리려고 합니다. 요새 안 나오는 양들도 초대하고요. 확싱하게 리더로 선 양이 없어서 마음이 아프긴 합니다. 양들도 조금밖에 없고요. 말구유 역사예요. 혹시 올 수 있는 분은 오세요. 초대합니다. 얼마나 올 지 모르겠네요. 다른 대륙에서도 축하 사절단이 올라나요 ^^

[January 17, 2015 represents 20 year anniversary of my mission life in Zambia. On Jan. 18, Sunday, we would like to hold a memorial worship service. We would like to invite sheep. We are still a manger ministry. I wish you could come. Translation is mine (Isaac Kim)]

(To self-support, he runs an eyeglasses store)

(Family - coworkers/team work)

예배 끝나고 소감 나누는 사진
Testimony Sharing

Thank and praise be to God, Missionary Nehemiah for your faithful service! Thank you also for seeing me off at the Nairobi Airport last December. In salute to your Spirit of faithfulness, I sing, and post here Zambia National Anthem - the Chorus part.

      Praise be to God,

Praise be, praise be, praise be,
Bless our great nation,
Zambia, Zambia, Zambia.
Free men we stand
Under the flag of our land.
Zambia, praise to thee!
All one, strong and free.

Bible Santa Monica City College and World Campus Mission

(Dustin Hoffman is from SMC - posted by Isaac H. Kim

Lately, in an email Pastor John Baek shared the work of God 2014, stating (Bold-faced and color font is mine):

Hi, dear missionary Isaac. On the first day of the new year, we and Downey UBF had a soccer game. Missionary Philip, David Cho, Gideon Lim and other missionaries came to El Camino with some second gens and Andrew. About two years ago, we lost, but this time, we won 6-2. 

And missionary Philip and David graciously invited us to Hometown Buffer for dinner - it was very good. So, we are going to have this soccer fellowship more often than before. Missionary Philip told me and Grace about his visit to you - we were surprised that he made kimchi there at Redding. His tender heart and love for you touched our hearts deeply. I could see that as you loved God and served Him wholeheartedly, God has given you many people who love you as their father; missionary John Kwon is just another. I pray that I may be one of them. 

Your life of faith is beautiful, and I am happy and thankful for God's blessing that He gave me a chance to have life together with you and serve God's work together so that I might learn from you, be trained by you, and established as a man of God just like you. Thank you for your love and prayer for us. 

On Nov. 22-23, we had the Fall Bible conference; we prayed for 120 attendants, and God blessed us with 121 people. The title was: "God is love." We wanted to see and show God's beauty through this conference, so that, by seeing how beautiful our God is, all the attendants at the conference might be attracted to Him, fall in love with him and pursue him, instead of being attracted by other things. And God blessed us greatly. Shepherds and shepherdesses were very touched. About the conference, John Boos said, "This conference was different." I think that was actually, how all of us perceived this conference.

 After this conference, new disciples are growing up. Since the seed is planted in them, we pray that we may reap the harvest this year with 12 new disciples. So, I attached one group picture from the conference. Also, on January 10, we had a wedding ceremony for Rob Crane and Iliana Garcia. It was beautiful wedding. 

Rob has been praying and struggling to pioneer Santa Monica City College; he works in downtown LA, but after work, he drives to Santa Monica City college, and all by himself, he has been serving one to one ministry there. I pray that God may establish his kingdom powerfully at SMC through him. So, I attached two wedding pictures - seven house churches (one more house churches are there in our ministry, but that house church is going through some difficulty due to many reasons; so, they are not in the picture), and group pictures (most of disciples in our ministry are in the picture). Thank you again for your love and prayer for me, my family, and all the disciples here at El Camino. I will send one more picture (my family picture, which was taken at the wedding) in a separate mail, due to the limit of attached file size. Thank you.
Your servant in Christ, John Baik

Note by Isaac H. Kim

Please pray for the SMC pioneering work, esp. shepherd Rob Crane and Iliana Garcia; Rob works in downtown LA but after work he visits SMC to feed sheep. Among 126 city colleges in California, SMC produces the most number of students transferring to UC campuses. Dustin Hoffman graduated from SMC. 


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Bible Austria, World Campus Mission

While in transit to and from Africa (to attend the African New Year Conference 2015), I had a chance to visit Austria and pray for the Bible Austria and Austrian campus evangelism.

* House Church

Dr. Han (Joong-Hee Han) pioneers the University of Vienna. He is from Cheonan UBF Korea (Yohan Oh of Cheonan). He worked on and earned a Ph.D from the Graz University of Technology, Austria. He now works as a scientist at AIT (Austrian Institute of Technology), Mobility Department working on the Electric Drive Technologies.
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology Gmbh
Giefinggasse 2 | 1210 Vienna, Austria
T +43 50550-6022 | M +43 664 8157887 | F +43 50550-6595 |

He took a picture of me while I was standing in front of the Vienna UBF Bible Center located across the street of the University of Vienna.

In Austria the tuition for college and university education is free. Now there are aver 100,000 students studying at the university.

University of Vienna (Dr. James on the right)

He and his wife Sarah have five children: Lydia (79), Sarah (76), Lois (75), David (70) and Paula (6). He co-works with another missionary family (Daniel and Daniela). Msn. Daniel works at the Korean Embassy.

During my visit Dr. James took me to the university campus, then to historical places like the place where they keep the teeth of the Apostle John. Inasmuch as he is a scientist working on electric drive technology (running hybrid car then cars that run fully on electric batteries), and since I myself had a keen interest in electricity, upon my further inquiries, he shared with me interesting stuff like Witricity as it had first been discovered by Nichola Tesla of Serbia.

** Bible Austria World Campus Mission

After an eating fellowship, I led a Bible study on Matthew 1:1, entitled "Jesus the son of Abraham, and the son of David", and prayed for the Bible Austria world campus mission.

On my way back to the U.S. I had a chance to visit places like Admond where there is a monastery one of the largest in the entire Europe, and Salzburg, the town of classical music like Mozart as well as the location for the movie the Sound of Music.

Austria is one of the wealthiest nations in the world. But inasmuch as the nation is materially rich the people are in need of the gospel, just as Jesus said, "You fool, tonight your soul is required of you."

This nation with the Roman Catholicism being predominant suffers from the social ill of hatred based on religious bigotry.

In a barbaric affront to Muslim sensibilities, part of a pig's head and some pork tripe was attached to the door of a Mosque in Vienna's 21st district on Christmas day.