Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, They will raise up the former devastations; And they will repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations. (Isaiah 61:4)
Thank you so much for your prayers, we had a blessed time at the BICA Volunteer Retreat on June 24-25. My personal favorite moment was when Yeon**, a North Korean defector, shared with me that the Holy Spirit told him in prayer as he entered the room, "There are children here who will become the second and third Pauls and will be used in the United States and the world." Those words brought tears to my eyes. Brother Deir, who is preparing for a mission to North Korea, shared with me that the most impressive thing about the retreat was the participation of Korean American teenagers, and that he could feel God's expectation just by looking at them.
The total number of people who came and went was 31, of which 18 were trained as volunteers (11 high school students and 7 adults). The remaining 13 people came as staff and visitors.
We experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit. There was a joy of learning and getting to know each other. It was a unique experience to be trained together as a tutor from 14 to 80 years old. Interaction between the generations was a blessing.
We had no snake or insect bites, and all of the vehicles coming and going were trouble-free. The weather was hot, but the place was beautiful and clean.
From 10:00 to 1:30, Heather Paul,an ESL expert, led the class with fun and students engaged actively in the training. She gave many concrete examples of how to expand the kingdom of God through ESL education. She provided a lot of concrete resources and sent them to the participants' emails after the session.
Starting at 4:30, North Korean defector, Mr. Y's speech challenged our teenagers and adults alike. Prof. Soo-Jung Kim's interpretation was excellent. According to Mr. Yeon, North Korean underground church members now number more than 200,000, and the next generation in North Korea is already exposed to information, dramas, and media about South Korea, so the time for the North Korean regime to fall is near, and riots have already occurred two weeks ago. The need for unity between the Korean and American churches and continued intercessory prayer.
The mentor-mentee session was smoothly conducted.
Mr. Deir's 20-minute mission report was about God’s call to NKorea, and his step-by-step preparations. It was also a great challenge for us. He mentioned that Korean churches are so divided. How could N and S be unified if the church were divided? Many Korean people did not notice that God raised Latin American young people to send NK missionaries.
Yeonjai Rah spoke for 25 minutes. Her speech title was "My story, Their story, and His-story". She shared how she became interested in North Korea and North Korean defectors, how BICA English tutoring service started, and two life stories of the students BICA has tutored, and what God is calling our generation and the next generation to do. Isaiah 61:4 was the key verse throughout the day. All the participants read together and memorize the 3 R's in the following verse: Then they will rebuildthe ancient ruins, They will raise upthe former devastations; And they will repairthe ruined cities, The desolations of many generations. (Isaiah 61:4)
Dr. Sooyeon Park, her husband Seok-ryul Jung and their eldest son, a college student, cooked lunch and dinner all day long. From 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.mThe whole family quietly devoted themselves in the kitchen. I saw the image of Jesus through their service. Their humble and quiet service was a great support for the program.
Sandra, Sehwa Lee donated fruits, Ki-Hoon Park and Phillip Park snacks and soda, Hyung-Jung Kim and Jin Park popsicles, Jae-Woo Kim and Hyun-Kyung Jung coffee, and Bev & Ellen cookies and dinner rolls.
Finally, on the 24th, we selected three students from among the teenage Volunteers who had served 20 hours or more in the past three years and thanked them with gift cards.: Paul Kim 50+ hours Samuel Lee 30+ hours Saeeum Jung 20+ hours. The sincerity and dedication of these three teens ensures that they will grow into amazing young adults and adults.
On the night of the 24th, seven of us stayed overnight at the hostel and shared the grace of the previous day over a meal on the 25th. Since June 25 is the commemoration of the Korean War, we talked about the recent situation in North Korea, the status of unification, and the intervention of the United States and China. Spending the night together made us feel more connected .
This is a message I received from an intercessor as I was leaving for the retreat on Saturday morning, the 24th, and I wanted to share it with you because it was so encouraging.
If God isn't working, Satan isn't working. Conversely, the bigger the work God wants to do, the more filled with the Holy Spirit, and the more grace, the more Satan will hinder. I think God is going to pour out a lot of grace through this retreat. So the bigger the obstacles, whether in dreams or in real life, the more I know and expect God to do great things. I don't worry or fear anything, but I pray with gratitude, anticipating the grace that God will pour out through this retreat. I was going to call you this morning on my way to the airport, but God kept me awake and gave me the heart to write this message. I will continue to intercede and pray. The wise will shine like the brightness of the firmament, and he who has converted many to righteousness will shine like the stars for ever and ever (Dan. 12:3).