A journey report by Isaac Kim
Deuteronomy 6:7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
From August 29 to September 7, 2011, I attended the Sixth World Education Mission Conference hosted by the World Christian School Network (WCSN).
University Bible Fellowship focuses on college students. In the long run though, in order for UBF to serve the Lord better, it is crucial for us to pray for children more. We can understand the necessity of child-education when we think about the name of God, that is, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
Last May UBF celebrated the fiftieth year anniversary. In many of UBF chapters worldwide, already three generations are growing together. For example Dr. Jose Ahn of Chicago is one of the first generations. Then he got married and produced two children who in turn built house churches and produced children. Soon as Missionary Jose Ahn’s grandchildren grow up he can expect great grand children joining the ministry. Dr. Paul Hong of Toledo for example expects to live more than 120 years. When this happens very likely he will end up seeing not just fourth generation but fifth generations joining his ministry.
In Downey UBF, beginning this year we had a separate JBF summer Bible Conf. A week ago we had the first CBF Bible conference. Lately, the Lord blessed the ministry by granting a new daughter Miah Larsen, born to the Larsen’s family.
In view of the significance of the child-education, I grabbed the opportunity to attend a seminar hosted by WCSN working with the IEA (International Evangelical Association, primarily run by the Midwest University based in Saint Luis). Dr. John Jun maintains a good relationship with Dr. James Song of Midwest. In fact one of the UBF members is teaching Systematic Theology as a professor at the Midwest. Through Dr. John Jun’s encouragement and prayer support, last October I attended the 5th World Mission Education Seminar hosted by the Midwest. At that time they advertised the 6th Seminar. The program was organized surrounding three words: “child”, “education”, and “world mission” (or raising children as “next generation global leaders” as they call it). The programs impressed me, so last year I registered for the seminar.
The seminar (the 6th World Education Mission Conference) took place in Jerusalem. The programs featured Jewish Child Education. Two main lecturers included two Messianic Jewish leaders, that is, Dr. Asher Intrater. Dr. Asher majored in Psychology and Philosophy in Harvard. Dr. Joseph earned a Ph.D in archeology from the Hebrew University, and he is a Rabbi ordained by a rabbinical school in Jerusalem. The two stood in strong contrast in that while Dr. Asher was more or less like Peter Type, with the signs of being the Pentecostal, Dr. Joseph was highly intellectual, more like the Apostle Paul in speech style.
The number of attendees was about fifty. Men were outnumbered by women about two to three ratio. There were two women pastors (one running a ministry in New Jersey, another in Virginia). Most of them were in their fifties and sixties. Dr. Byung D. Kang, the founder of Changsin Christian University is the oldest (76), and Pauline Chang from Bonn UBF was the youngest. Four UBF members attended (me, David Yun of Maryland UBF, Deborah Elsholtz and Pauline from Bonn UBF]. All the attendants had interest in “education”. They are from different nations such as U.S., Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Cambodia, and India. Most of them run a ministry or an educational organization. For example, Missionary/Pastor Deuk Yoon Hwang and his wife run an education center in Tanzania, where they operate an elementary school, and junior and senior high schools. Their power point presentation indicates that their campus facilities are modern, coming with five (or six?) storied buildings, looking far better than the Warren High School. Their ministry impressed me so I struck conversation with them. I realized that he is from my own home town, that is, Sangjoo Kun, Kongsung Myun, Oksandong. They know Missionary Timothy and Hanah Chung in Tanzania, so I shared Tanzania UBF prayer topics with them.
During the Tuesday evening (Sept. 1) program I was given the opportunity to share God’s work in UBF. Using this opportunity, after an introduction of the UBF ministry I briefly shared a life testimony.
Tuesday afternoon, along with David Yun, I had a prayer meeting with Missionary Joseph Sohn. We visited the the Science Campus of Hebrew University. On campus I let a Bible study based on John 14:14. Missionary Joseph is about to finish his PhD in bio-chemistry. He feeds three sheep. His wife works full time at the Korean Embassy stationed in Tel Aviv. From Tel Aviv to the campus it is about one and half hour of driving distance. His family lives at the middle point between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. His prayer topics include: to finish Ph.D.; to find a post doc position in Jerusalem; to secure a green card; and to pioneer the Hebrew University. The prayer topics look impossible. I encouraged him to recite John 14:14, “If you ask for anything in my name I will do it.” I also encouraged him to offer prayers ‘with a believing mind”. I could see that he is a man of faith, for while we were praying he said Amen’s many times.
After the seminar, Pastor Hynng-ho Cho gave us a Holy Land Tour by bus. The routes included Jerusalem, Dead Sea, Qumran, Galilee (and its neighboring towns such as Cana and Nazareth), Jordan River, Golan Heights, Mt. Hermon area, Caesarea Philippi, Dan, and Megiddo. During the visits, Pastor Cho gave us lectures on various topics such as Biblical stories/events/people associated with each cite, Jewish culture and customs, Politics in Israel (election system, party politics and representations), the history of the Jewish nation (from the Diaspora to the present), the battles and wars for the land acquisition, the chronology of the borderlines of Israel till as it stands now, and the demographics of the people living in the land (how different groups such as Muslims, Arabs [not all Arabs are Muslims], Christians, Jews, and other groups such as farm workers or construction workers imported from foreign countries live together).
Physically the journey came with lots of difficulties. The conference fee was $975. [Dr. John Kwon, the Executive Vice President of the Midwest states that they lost money, so they had to rely on donations from the cheerful givers. Dr. Alex Kim, one of the elders of Grace Church Int’l in LA, donated $8,000, and many others among the conferees donated as well.] But since IEA changed the dates of Seminar (from the third weekend of August to the first week of September) I had to pay the penalty for $270 to change the flight schedule. [As a result, I could not attend Downey UBF children’s Bible conference.] The weather was hot (in Galilee temperature went up to 40 degree Celsius.) The flight schedule was extremely difficult, with long layover periods at Istanbul then at London. It was extremely difficult to spend a night [from 10:30 p.m. till 11:00 a.m. next morning] at the Terminal 1 of the London Heathrow airport.
Yet, the travel was worthwhile for many reasons, especially the following:
– It enabled me to acquire a better sense of the Jewish (or Biblical) concept (or principle) of child education
– Developed more accurate understanding of the Bible land and the historical events that took place therein
– Updating the present condition of Israel as a nation
– The opportunity to introduce UBF to the leaders of other church organizations
– Established a net work with Christian leaders working in the education field
– Fellowship with Missionary Joseph Sohn
Personally I thank God for Dr. John Jun’s encouragement. I also thank God for the prayer support of Downey UBF coworkers. I pray that the Lord would grant me the opportunities to share my experience with others especially for child-education, beginning in Downey.
One word: impress upon them