0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Whenever I visit foreign countries to share the gospel, I see brothers and sisters who are in dire need of missionaries. However, I got to see a different side when I went there this time. They said, "Next year, we'll go to Korea. Let's meet at the International Youth Fellowship (IYF) World Retreat."From the last IYF retreat, the words of promise, "tomorrow about this time," had a great impact on the churches abroad Korea. The youths of this generation, who had never humbled or denied themselves, who only believed in themselves and praised themselves, and who were against the church and the gospel, had started to change after they attended the IYF retreat. After they received salvation, they began to learn about the church and wanted to live their life receiving the heart of the servants of God. When the youths returned to their own country, the grace that they had received continued to spread.On October 1, 2001, I arrived at San Paulo, Brazil, which took twenty-nine hours by plane from Korea. The brothers and sisters we met did not welcome us as regular visitors, but welcomed us with immense gratitude. They were very thankful toward the church that poured grace upon them.The missionary in Brazil had been dispatched for three years. Although there were no means of support in the beginning, there were many things that God had done inside the church in Brazil. There were more than thirty brothers and sisters who were established, and the gospel was constantly working inside the church. This year, they were able to assemble a new church. Through the Bible Seminar, ten people out of the sixty, who had attended, received the gospel. I was especially thankful that one of the sister's husband, who had gospel fellowship three years ago, finally received salvation at this Bible Seminar. Also, there was a Brother's wife who also received salvation through the Bible Seminar. Before the Brother's wife received salvation, he had put his wife through misery because he was physically paralyzed. When the Brother first received salvation, his wife said that he gave her even more pain because he belonged to what she believed was a cult. She was constantly persecuting the brother, but on the last day of the seminar, she received salvation through God's grace. This gave joy to the whole church. There was also a person from Brazilia that received salvation at the Bible Seminar. Currently, there are eight members who are gathering for service at the church in Brazilia. Pastor De-chul Kang is still seeking grace to learn the Brazilian language. The youths who attended the IYF retreat have changed immensely through God's grace, and now they are witnessing and translating for the church. Seeing such joy in their children caused the parents to open up their hearts towards the church. This became a powerful strength for the church.On October 6, the retreat in Argentina started. At the Argentinean church, everyone was native except for a Korean brother and sister. We had the retreat for five days and approximately a hundred people gathered. They had just finished constructing the church so it felt good to have the retreat at the new church for the first time. This time around, they did not pay fees for the retreat. Instead, through the guidance of God, they decided to give offerings for the fee and food. Everything for the retreat was abundantly provided. There were some brothers and sisters who worked from 7 a.m. until 2 a.m., but only got paid 200-250 dollars per month. Some didn't even have a job to earn money. Even though all these brothers and sisters were in difficult situations, they served the church and prepared for the retreat. These brothers and sisters were very precious to me. One of them even offered his whole paycheck, another gave a hundred dollars, and one gave his bread and potatoes. None of them live in the prosperous conditions found in Korea, but they denied themselves and served the gospel. Seeing the humbleness of the Argentinean brothers and sisters made me feel ashamed. Even though they slept on concrete floors, they were not embarrassed because God is with them. Although they ate only one piece of bread for a meal, they thanked God because their hearts were filled with peace.A pastor's wife and her daughter from the church in Santiago rode the bus to attend the conference. They were joyful after listening to the sermon. There were sixteen churches who belonged to the same denomination, and they were looking for a guest speaker for their own conference.The pastor's wife had listened to the radio broadcastings about the retreat and had come to our church. Afterwards she asked, "Please share these words at our church." The people in that church denomination invited us for a whole week starting from November 7, 2001. They would cover all the fees for the transportation and the radio broadcastings. Now they are waiting expectantly for us. In Uruguay, three people received salvation at the Bible seminar. Currently there are twenty people who meet for Bible study from time to time. We were thankful that God filled up all our weaknesses.On October 11th, when I arrived at Paraguay, I was very moved when I saw the retreat center for it was 54,000 square feet. It was amazing to see that inside this church, the gospel was being preached regardless of the fact that the surrounding land was dusty and poor in quality. When I thought about how God was going to work and preach His word before us, I was very grateful. The retreat center had previously been a farm with six sections for the cows and pigs. The farm was destroyed and replaced by a conference hall and a lounge. Although the retreat was being held in a building without finished windows, the word filled our hearts. Just as an old house is torn down and a new one is built on top, the word of God destroys our self-believing hearts and replaces it with a heart filled with God's words. From that point on, we are filled with the hope of God in our hearts. At the Paraguay retreat, there were five local churches, including the Asuncion Church. Two hundred fifty people attended the retreat, and thirty seven people were saved at the retreat. Seventeen people from Brother Tae's factory attended the retreat and received salvation. This made our hearts flow with joy.There were brothers and sisters living for the gospel. Some of them earned only sixty dollars per month and were supporting the Bolivian and Columbian churches. It made us realize how full of shame we were. In any situation, if God is in your heart, there are no problems, however, if God is not in you, then everything becomes a problem. Seeing this, I realized that inside the gospel, being poor is not a problem.There was one brother who came to the IYF retreat as a troublemaker, but returned to South America after he received change. He was working as an Internet journalist, and it was remarkable to see him work for the gospel. The people who saw him felt thankful towards God. IYF gave every country hopes and dreams. I always wonder how God will work tomorrow about this time, and I feel very blessed that I can be here at this moment."A wise man lives according to the will of God and does not follow his own will. However, the foolish one returns to his own vomit and lives a life of failure just like the dog who returns to its own vomit." (Proverbs 26:11) Inside the city gate of Samaria, there is only death. If I was locked up inside myself, I would not have been able to see this wonderful grace. I am thankful to God for this amazing experience because it allowed me to see His grace, power, and His wonderful works in these churches.
Salvation Church (Park Ock-Soo Faction) International Youth Fellowship (IYF)There are three factions in the Salvation Church. They are the Kwon Shin-chan (deceased)-Yoo Byeong-Eon faction, the Lee Yo-han faction, and the Park Ock-soo faction. All of them have been officially classified as cults by the main denominations of Korean churches.