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.

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.

26th Foreign Missionaries’ Spiritual Retreat

It was a spirit-filled weekend for the missionaries, pastors, and some visitors as they gathered at Madalphy Youth Training Center in Daejeon, South Korea for the annual missionaries’ retreat.

This year’s theme was Growing Like Jesus and is aimed at reviving the message found in Luke 2:52. All programs throughout the weekend were very wonderful and became blessings to everyone present.

Several pastors also attended the 26th gathering of foreign missionaries to share spiritual insights and inspiring words.

Pastor Oh Beom Seok, WCKC Youth Director, stressed in his message during the vesper service the Goliaths in our lives and how we can triumphantly overcome them like the conqueror David.

During the divine worship, Pastor Park Kwang Soo, 1000 MM Director, imparted the secrets on how to grow like Jesus in our daily Christian walk. He also led the dedication of the CV’s Bible writing term project. According to him, “Every person who has a Bible becomes a Christian; every Christian who reads the Bible becomes an Adventist; and, every Adventist who writes the Bible becomes a missionary.”

Pastor Lee Eun Sup, 1000 MM Associate Director, also inspired the missionaries through his message and uplifting words during the AY program. He re-emphasized the importance of being fervent in working as an army of God in a foreign land.

We bring back all the glory to God for the success of the programs and the blessings brought about by the retreat.

-Cherrie Mae Aguila

For more photos, please visit the 26th FMSR, under Gallery

GOD HEARS

by Felia Bante (32nd Batch)

 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. Psalms 34:17

There comes a time in our lives when we cry out of fear, sorrow or discouragement and we are tempted to think that God is distant and doesn’t seem to care. But our Almighty God is not deaf and is alive. Although we may not feel at times that He hears, but we claim to His promises in the Scriptures that He does. And so this song that God puts in my heart is a song about believing that God hears. 

GOD HEARS 

In my depression I cried and saw

That no one’s there for me

My eyes wandered at an empty room

There’s no one else but me

No one to hear the teardrops

falling from my very eyes

So I called to my Shepherd

And tried if He could hear me

  

Chorus:

I lift up my voice and He hears me

He hears even my fainting cries

And the whispers of my heart

I don’t need to shout or scream and wonder

‘Cause He’s a God who hears

The words not even uttered or said

 

Like the air I cannot see Him

But I know He’s always there

Watching me with loving eyes

Although there’s an empty room I see

For when I close my eyes with faith

I see thousands of angels

I know He’ll be there for me

I know He’ll always hear me

 

God hears. He sees. He knows.

Dirty Hands

by Marj Pomoy

It has been raining these past few days here in Seoul, South Korea and I never thought that in some areas it had already caused calamities like landslides and floods which claimed lives of more than 40 people. 

One affected area was the Sahmyook Rehabilitation Center in Gwangju. Since it is an Adventist Institute, the ADRA volunteered to help clean the Center. When Jermilyn Ermita, a 35th batch missionary, knew about it, she invited missionaries to join and help. There were 14 of us who came and we were crowded in the vehicle.

When we arrived there, it didn’t look like a hospital anymore. You could see mud all over the place and smell mud all over the place too. Outside the buildings and even the church were things piled covered in mud like benches, chairs, bed sheets, blankets, appliances, gadgets, sound systems and other small stuffs you couldn’t recognize anymore.

As a group of 1000 MM missionaries, we were assigned in the Nutrition Center or the kitchen. We washed dishes which had marks of mud from spoons, chopsticks, bowls, lids and the appliances and the walls of the kitchen. We were working with some “ahjummas.”

After lunch, we were assigned in cleaning the floors and walls wet with water and covered with mud. Since there were few mops or wipers, we used our bare hands with dirty towels turned to rags to wipe the floors and walls. We got our hands dirty and it smelled like mud too.

  

 

As we were cleaning, we were impressed by this one guy whose right arm was already paralyzed and yet he still wanted to help in his own way by handing out washed rags from the ahjummas and giving it to us and getting our dirty rags to be washed again. This inspired us, missionaries, to even work harder having two active arms.

You see, he didn’t just stand or sit there looking at us because he had a paralyzed arm. He did what he thought he could do to help and he was actively doing it which made us smile at him every time he would come and hand out the rags.

This made me think of a text in the Bible which is found in Ecclesiastes 9:10. It says:

“Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…”

All in all, we had fun and we enjoyed the experience of having dirty hands for the sake of cleaning the floors and walls of the Sahmyook Rehabilitation Center.

The ending? hmmmmm. Eating three kinds of pizza as a reward for our volunteer service courtesy of Pastor Lee Song Su.

Missionaries here in South Korea are always on the go because if you’re a missionary, they say, we’re always ready!

 

A Crown That Will Last Forever

by Lovely Hepowit

“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” 1 Corinthians 9:25

Long before I finished my bachelor‘s degree, I was already interested in joining the 1000 Missionary Movement. I thought I might dedicate even a year for missionary work as my gratitude to God for being with me throughout my school life. However, my communication with Him was always about my requests to mold my future and to become a financially successful woman someday. Eventually, I realized that juggling those two ambitions was not that easy. Things got worse as the years of my academe life increased and took up the majority of my time. Being preoccupied with my studies made me forget about my dream of being a missionary. My spiritual life was tested. Problems occurred that I even reached the point of contemplating suicide and cursing God for bringing me into such predicaments.

It took a lot of sweat, tears, patience, and heartfelt prayers before I got a scholarship for graduate studies here in South Korea. Working on my visa application was not that hard, but the moments before I got the opportunity to study abroad were tragic for me. Yet it seemed that a great strength was lent to me that I managed to survive from all those trials. He gave me angels in the form of human beings to comfort me and courage to stand from my falls. Being here created questions in my mind again, but when I considered everything that happened, it seemed like a path was especially designed to draw me here. It left me to solve the mystery of leaving home, and led me to the crossroads where I met a group of people who are called to be the chosen vessels of Christ. In retrospect, I realized that this is the group I wanted to join before when my heart still had unselfish desires.

God never gave up on me despite how sinful I am and how narrow my mind is. Instead, He made my stay here a great blessing to myself and to others as well. Now, I know one main reason why God sent me here and I know there are still more. But what I am sure of is that He chose me to be one of His vessels to spread His love in a place like this, teaching me to be tough while sailing against the current of the people’s undesirable practices. I may not be officially part of the 1000 MM but I consider myself as a missionary in my own way. I believe that lending a help to them is also part of my mission. Also, a number of souls were baptized in the church where I am attending now. According to my professor, these people were encouraged to attend church services because of God’s music that I share every Sabbath, all for the glory of God.

I might not have graduated cum laude, might have taken the board exam twice, might have been jobless for a year, and may still have problems like most of you are experiencing, but we are currently striving to win the race in which at the finish line awaits an everlasting award. The same is true for the missionaries here–serving other people rather than their families, leaving their professions behind and choosing to receive a lower pay, sacrificing personal relationships and instead making connections with strangers, forgetting what could be acquired from this world. But as what the Bible says (1 Cor. 9:25), we don’t do this to obtain our worldly desires that will decay, but rather to receive the crown that will last forever. After all, life is not only all about what God and what others can do for you, but what you can also offer to God and what you can do for others.

Soon, I may depart from the missionaries I am with now, but the heat of their spiritual faith would remain in me forever. So wherever I go, whatever I do, I will always remember that once a missionary, always a missionary–candidates to receive the crown of glory!

What I Learned from Responsibility

by Jesselyn Anchorez

It was almost a year since my uncontrolled tears fell while I was delivering my testimony at Yangpyeong English Village in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea during the 24th Missionary Retreat Program. It was an unexpected experience to release my emotions in front of my co-missionaries and pastors, sharing my first year of missionary experience in this country. I was relieved and felt better after that.

After those tears, I didn’t expect that God would give me a great responsibility with the Chosen Vessels. At first, I was hesitant to accept the challenge for I knew that I was not really worthy to do that kind of major responsibility. I’m the type of person who just likes to participate, cooperate, appreciate and follow leaders. I just want to do things behind the scene and not be the major character. And besides, I have difficulty in communicating with people. Many questions came to my mind. How could I do these things? After many encouragements from my co-missionaries, I was convinced that God had chosen me and so I accepted the challenge.

My major assignment was to collect and compile the 25th Bible Writing Project within six months. This project should be presented for the next missionary retreat. I was happy because the missionaries would share their penmanship by writing the whole Bible with their own hands. But reminding the missionaries about their respective assignments was not an easy task. I prayed so hard and even fasted that God would help me complete the project on time. Months passed but there were still many who didn’t submit their assignments. I kept on praying and hoped that it would be accomplished soon.

The most unforgettable experience was when we attended the Chosen Vessel’s official meeting in Seoul. It was about two weeks before the retreat. I was expecting that all assignments would be collected during the meeting so we could bind it but I was mistaken. All conference representatives also tried their best to encourage the missionaries in their respective conferences but still many failed to write. During that meeting, the officers tried to help in writing the needed chapters but we couldn’t make it. It was late and we needed to go back to our respective mission fields. To make things worse, my partner and I had to borrow money for bus fare because we got caught up in a heavy traffic jam and missed our train. Thank God our school supervisor reimbursed us the amount when he later learned of our predicament.

But the challenge was not over yet. There was only a week left but the project was not yet done. I found out that many didn’t follow the instructions, and so we had to make many corrections and it seemed impossible to finish the whole thing within a week. I slept late during those nights. I cried a lot and was about to lose hope but I kept on praying. At that time, I had this prayer on the board of my classroom: “Lord, this is up to You. You put me in this position. You know that I don’t have the resources within me to handle this job as it should be handled. I can’t try any harder. I am going to try less, help me make do with what I have, and I rely on You for the rest. In order to fulfill this responsibility, I need a greater measure of GRACE from You. Amen.”

Then God provided me missionaries to complete the unfinished tasks. A day before the retreat, we completed the Bible Writing Project and it was ready for binding. On that Friday morning, before we left for An-Myeondo, we were able to have the book ready for dedication.

I realized then that when God calls us to do a special task for Him, even though we could not see and understand His purpose at the beginning, if we just follow and obey, He will never fail us for He will also provide somebody to help us accomplish it. God wants us to realize that whatever task we have completed are done not by our own might nor strength but by the power and grace of God so that we may not boast before Him.

I would like to share the verse from the Bible which was the prayer of the prophet Jeremiah: “O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and the earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you! You have all wisdom and do great and mighty miracles. You see the conduct of all people, and you give them what they deserve.” (Jeremiah 32:17, 19)

25th Missionary Retreat

An Myeong-do Chungcheong Nam-do.  A 3hr-drive from Seoul and in a very remote area near the beach in middle west of Korea. The theme “Resurgence” meaning rebirth or revival, is very timely for all of missionaries.

As expected, the first day of the retreat is full of excitement, especially for the new missionaries. Reunited with their batchmates for the first time since they arrive in Korea,  there were laughter, hugs and tears of joy and occasional shouts everywhere.

The Sabbath was welcomed with praises and thanksgivings as missionaries participated in the Communion Service.

The second part of the Vesper program was a very inspiring and unique video presentation. It appeals to all missionaries to renew their commitment and dedication, not only in their ministry but most of all in their own spiritual growth. A reminder to all that our life is part of our ministry. While watching the video, the missionaries were writing down on a piece of post-it all their confessions and prayers. After which all went out to burn those papers, symbolizing the desire to be forgiven and be renewed in heart.

One of the most awaited part of the program, and first time in the history of missionaries retreat in Korea, is the Bible writing dedication program. 25th CV President Jeraeyzon Andoy together with the Officers and Representatives handed over the Bible to KUC Youth Director Pastor Kim Nak Yeong. It was an overwhelming experience. Finally, the fruit of all the missionaries’ hard work, dedication and commitment to write the Bible is now completed and dedicated to God.

The new 1000MM Director Pastor Park Kwang Soo is the guest speaker.

Everyone is so attentive listening to message.  He urged the missionaries to keep the missionary spirit ablaze and to be faithful in keeping their “post”,  their mission,  until it is accomplished.  He reminded them of the unselfish sacrifices and service that our Lord Jesus Christ has set as an example for all of us to follow.


The afternoon program was filled with praises to God through inspiring music and presentations prepared by each conference.

The afternoon program was followed by a sundown worship at the beach.

Sundown worship at the beach

The night’s program is also highly anticipated. Not only the elections of new set of Officers and Representatives, but the games and presentations as well.

26th Chosen Vessel Officers and Conference Representatives

 

A fun and memorable social night.