Excited for THAT Moment

By Dulce Amor Pielago

 “Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book.” Revelation 22:7

I and my partners were listening and watching a group of male singers singing gospel songs on the computer while eating our supper. We found one of the members really handsome. While excitedly looking at the screen, I took the box of cake and opened it. I was slowly taking the cake out of the box when suddenly everything was poured out on my shirt. One of my partners exclaimed, “You know? It’s because of you!” (pointing to the screen).
A sudden question popped out of my mind. I asked my partners, “What if Jesus comes? Will we be excited to meet Him? Will we be shouting, “Jesus,I’m here. Look at me. Please sign this picture of you for an autograph.” Then we laughed.

Yes. It sounds funny but true. When we get the chance to see those people we excitedly view on televisions, like our favorite actors and actresses, it seems that our bodies would shake because of excitement. Hearing their voices over radios and televisions make us feel like floating up in the air because of extreme happiness. We play their songs on YouTube or in our playlists over and over again.
Do we think we will feel the same excitement when Jesus comes? Do we take time to read over and over His wonderful promises and reminders in the Bible? Do we take time to listen to His soft voice speaking to us again and again?
Everytime we listen to the song or watch a movie of our favorite actors and actresses, God is over there watching and waiting for us to find time with Him. And He is repeatedly calling us to pay attention to Him. God wants all of us to be excited in seeing Him on that Glorious day. Let’s take time to prepare ourselves for that wonderful moment.

A Prayer to Remember

by Juvy Lou Tamanal

 “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people…” 1 Timothy 2:1

It was a fine spring day, my first-day class with the middle school students. When I entered the classroom, the students quickly halted their conversations. With a big smile pasted on my face, I greeted them enthusiastically. I asked them to bow their heads, when a girl named ‘Catherine’ defiantly said in class, “I don’t pray and I don’t want to pray.”

Shocked by her words, I immediately asked her to close her eyes, and that she needed not to really pray. “JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES!” Those were the words I struggled to say while I was still contemplating on what to do next. After I offered my prayer to God, I decided to ask each student about their beliefs. Most of them answered, “I don’t believe in God.” “There’s no God.” “We are descendants of apes.” “I only believe in myself…” Dumbfounded by these young souls’ view of our beloved Creator, it was difficult for me to sleep that very night. I was troubled! I grew up as a Christian. I was raised to obey and love God. “How come they don’t believe in God?” I asked myself. Feeling restless that night, I hit my sack with a heavy heart.

Did God see what happened that day in my class? Was He upset by this young people’s defiance against HIM? Ah, my mind was clouded with questions. All I could think was to ask God’s intervention.

Still searching and waiting for something to happen, I found a book that was so inspiring. I felt blessed by this book which is all about the power of intercessory prayers. I decided to write each name of my students in a notebook. I had not done such a thing in my life. I just used to pray for myself, my family and those people who asked me to pray for them. Well, if the writer of that book believed in praying for others would bring miracles, then, it was the right time for me to give it a try.

Nightly, I prayed for each student. Sometimes, I would fall asleep while holding the notebook on which the names of the students were listed. I prayed for their families, their pursuit of English language learning, and that they would open their hearts to listen about God. I prayed that they would see the LIGHT!
I continued to say out loud the prayer before and after each class. Gradually, the students started to pray with me. I slowly brought up the topic of God’s love particularly the creation. At first, silence enveloped the four corners of the classroom. However, day by day, I could see how our loving God was leading these young people to know Him. They began to ask questions, and I patiently answered them.

I was happy with the vivid result that God had shown me. However, it was not that long for Catherine quit coming into my class. I was saddened by the sudden news that the very girl who had a special part of my prayers was gone. I erased her name from my list. After all, a new student had come.
One day, there was a knock at the door. When I opened it, Catherine was standing in front of me. It was almost a year since the last time I saw her. We hugged and smiled to each other. I was glad to hear that she had come to attend my class again. So, I was quite excited that I started to ask her a lot of things when she politely said, “Teacher, let us pray first.” I was speechless!

That night, my heart was filled with thanksgiving and praises to the Lord. He remembered Catherine! He remembered my prayer! Indeed, I learned that God remembers our prayers in the past, our prayers for tomorrow and our prayers even now.

Today, whenever I encounter some doubts and fears in my life, Catherine’s voice is like a sweet melody that keeps its tune helping me cling on Him and His promises. YES, THIS IS A PRAYER TO REMEMBER!
Heavenly Father, we’d like to thank you for always remembering our prayers, though there are times when we fail to recognize your will and love for us each day. Help us to never cease trusting and loving You. Amen.

ECKCians Long to be Responsible Watchmen

Twenty-eight missionaries gathered during the Midterm Spiritual Retreat of the East Central Korean Conference last September 28-30 in Deer Mountain, Cheongpyeong, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea. The theme, “Watchman: Blow the Gospel Trumpet,” was based on the text found in Ezekiel 3:15-21. The said spiritual revival of the missionaries was supervised by the ECKC Youth Director Ptr Kim Giyoung and programs were coordinated by representatives from its sub-territories, the ECKC1 and ECKC2 respectively. During the Opening Program, Pastor Choi Hoyoung KUC Youth Director gave a message about working in the Lord’s vineyard. Then, the missionaries had a wonderful time experiencing the act of humility by washing each other’s feet beside the river bank in the cool of the night. “It’s my first time to experience such an activity. Being closer to nature gives me more opportunity to meditate and humble myself before my Creator,” said one of the attendees. Communion service followed after the foot-washing.

Before the sun rose in the cool Sabbath morning, the missionaries gathered within their small group for the GT. It was focused on the theme, “Watchman: Blow the Gospel Trumpet.” Through the deep study of the topic, missionaries were able to feel the urgency of the calling to be  watchmen of God. Part of it was a 45-minute meditation and prayer where missionaries looked for a place to commune with God. Others went to the river bank and knelt on the rock while meditating with the music produced by the flowing river, cool breeze and chirping birds.

In the Sabbath School, selected missionaries presented their CV Project, “My Story My Song.” Others gave their testimonies, too. They were so inspired by the testimonies that some of them had teary eyes while listening. During the Hour of Worship, Pastor Choi Hoyoung, the guest speaker, continued his presentation about working in the Lord’s vineyard.

The pre-AY Program was celebrated in The Garden of the Morning Calm where missionaries had a glimpse of the gift of God through nature enhanced by man. The program proper followed at the outdoor amphitheater of Deer Mountain Church under the pines. There, missionaries’ talents were rendered by different batches. The director of the 1000 Missionary Movement, Pastor Park Kwangsu also gave a short encouragement message with the tag line, “If you want to go fast, walk alone but if you want to go further, walk together.”

The Midterm Missionary Retreat of the ECKC closed after the giving of certificates and tokens. Celebrations of its success followed in the evening with lots of fun games, surprises, jokes and food.

The missionaries of the ECKC went back to their respective mission fields bringing with them the Light to share with the world as watchmen of God.

When God Woke Me Up

by Mark Lester Dondonay

“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment…” Hebrews 9:27

It was not a usual morning for me. I woke up three o’clock and went out, rode my bike and maneuvered around downtown Donghae. The air was cool. I was shivering but enjoying the bright lights of the city. After an hour I went to my room. Unfortunately, I fell asleep again.
I was lying down when I felt the urge to urinate. It was dawn. I turned on the light in the bathroom. When I opened the sliding door, I felt the shower curtain blocking my way. Feeling half asleep, I still attempted to open it but it could not be opened. It seemed like there was somebody holding it resisting me. After struggling, I managed to open it with a shout. Wahhhhhh! It was horrible. I couldn’t believe what I saw─ a man with blood dripping down his face. I was struggling to let go because he was holding my arms. “Wait,” I said. “My bathroom has no shower curtain. It’s just a nightmare.” I paused for a moment and closed my eyes. “This is just a dream, Lord please help me,” I whispered a simple prayer. I could still feel the man holding my arms. A few seconds after I whispered a prayer, I woke up. I felt so tired.
It seemed like it was real. The nightmare started when I was lying down with an urge to urinate. The scenario was vivid.
Do you know the feeling that although you are sleeping you are conscious that you’re having a dream? You want somebody to help you and wake you up but no matter how you scream; no sound is coming out from your mouth. That was my feeling. After my experience I knelt and thanked God for saving me. I could have died if He didn’t let me realize that I was just dreaming; if he didn’t wake me up from my nightmare. I thought of people who sleep without waking up, who were healthy, full of vigor and happy.
It happened two days before my birthday. God gave me a morning lesson. A message direct from my Savior telling me that life is short; that I need to be ready for the close of probation that may come to me anytime.

No one knows what will happen next.

Like a fish caught in a net,

or a bird caught in a trap,

people are trapped by evil

when it suddenly falls on them.

~~Ecclesiastes 9:12
Life is short, death comes unexpectedly. It could be a few minutes after you read this article. I’m not trying to scare you. I’m just opening your eyes to the reality of death as a wage for our sin. It is really certain and we don’t know when. For me, this is a serious thing. There’s no time to waste. Every moment of our life must be consecrated to God. Satan is deceiving us because he lets us feel comfortable and forget the need for consecration. This is the message and lesson God wanted me to learn and I want to share it with you too.

Journey with Christ – SWKC, MWKC and SEKC Midterm Retreat

MWKC, SWKC, SEKC fused missionary retreat for the first time

Excitements turned into joy and laughter when missionaries from SWKC, SEKC and MWKC finally arrived in Woonam Church, Gwangju City last September 28-30. Thirty-five missionaries from the three conferences attended the first ever fused midterm retreat.

The theme was “Journey with Christ” with the goal of having each missionary reflect on their spiritual journey, stressing that nothing is impossible when they only walk with Christ. The “Travelers” as they call themselves, were greatly blessed by the event.

The message from God through pastor Lee Hyung Jin reassured them that “[God’s] grace is sufficient.” 2 Cor. 12:9. The foot washing and communion service uplifted their souls and had them reflect on Christ’s humility and love with the consciousness of Christ’s forgiveness. And the well-organized activity called “Journey to the Promised Land” rekindled the sense of faith in them that God does make miracles as He did during the Israelites’ journey.

The Travelers then went introspective and retrospective when they studied Paul’s missionary journey during their GT (Godly Time) early in the morning. A few tearfully shared their life’s spiritual journey remembering how God picked and saved them from the dark pathways they once walked on.

The Sabbath was well spent with the inspiring message about God’s faithfulness through Joseph’s life by Pastor Lee Hyung Jin; the testing of their knowledge of the Bible during the AY; and the powerful message on achieving christian perfection by the CV president, Darlyn Mae Gupit for the Sundown worship. With the presence of SWKC youth director, Pastor Lee Jung Hwan, and the 1000MM associate director, Pastor Lee Eun Sup, the Travelers felt so loved and special. The jaw-cracking laughs and enervating games during the social made the event even more memorable.

All throughout the retreat, the Travelers never hungered for food for the body and nourishment for the soul because everything necessary was well given. Thanks to Pastor Lee Jung Hwan, Pastor Koo Chul Nam, Pastor Lee Gui Reum and Pastor Kong Sang Soo for the help and support; the representatives for leading and preparing the programs; and to God who made everything possible.

The Travelers went back to their mission fields blessed, spirit-filled and inspired to raise the torch higher and continue to bring glory to our precious Redeemer.