From the Superintendent's DESK
Many faithful saints from our South Korean churches gathered at the Seoul headquarters on Thursday, August 3, for this year’s camp meeting. All six branch churches were represented, and the Portland headquarters was as well, by Director of East Asia Work, Bill McKibben, and his wife, Lori.
The schedule was busy with church services each morning and evening, and meetings or services in the afternoons. From the first note of music on Thursday evening through the group photo on Sunday afternoon, there was a sweetness from the Holy Spirit on all the activities. Every service began with a prelude provided by a different branch church until Sunday morning when a combined youth choir sang. The opening music was followed by hymn arrangements played by the orchestra. This year, Brother Bill noted that a number of young people conducted the music as well as led the congregational singing.
In an evening service, the South Korea District Superintendent, Kim Jeong Min, shared the Korean translation of the Daybreak devotional series published by the Portland headquarters. It was produced on equipment purchased several months ago to enable newly translated materials to be printed, cut, and bound on church premises. Testimonies and invitation cards are also being printed, just as when our work here was first established over fifty years ago. Pray for those who receive the Good News.
The messages heard throughout the camp meeting were inspiring and encouraging. These included “Take Off Your Sandals” from Exodus 3:1-3, delivered by the Busan pastor, Ra Young Do. He said those present are on holy ground and called of God by name as Moses was. Another message was “Redemption in Christ Alone” given by Kang Kyung Yoon, the Okpo pastor. Taking her text from Romans 3:20-24, she related that all have sinned, but are freely offered grace, forgiveness, and justification through Christ. Brother Kim, who is also the Seoul pastor, spoke from 1 Corinthians 1:10 on the beauty of entire sanctification. He said it unites those of various personalities, preferences, and desires to glorify God with one mind and voice. The Daegu pastor, Kim Sang Kyu, preached from Matthew 7:21-24 on “The Lord’s Will Is Holiness.” He said Jesus’ work on the Cross made God’s holiness available to all through salvation and sanctification. He exhorted the listeners to seek and reflect God’s will. Brother Bill gave a message from Acts 10:34-45 on “You Are God’s Favorite.” He relayed that the Jews felt they had an exclusive right to God, but Jesus’ plan was for none to be excluded. He reminded the congregation that every individual is God’s favorite. The final message was from Psalm 116 on “I Love the Lord.” It brought out that our love for God flows first from His love for us. He offered us the “cup of salvation,” which we receive when we repent and believe. Our relationship with God is then developed through prayer and obedience.
During the camp meeting, the afternoon activities included a gathering of the ministers for a time of fellowship, encouragement, and teaching. On another afternoon, all the saints came together to celebrate the Lord’s Supper and Foot Washing. There was a sweet spirit as the two ordinance messages were given and the congregation took part. For the Lord’s Supper, Brother Bill mentioned that a miracle of wholeness takes place when Christ’s brokenness on the Cross meets the brokenness of sin in a person’s life. For the Foot Washing, Gu Dae Seo, a minister from Daejeon, shared about the wonderful unity that results from following the Lord’s example in washing one another’s feet. The ordinance service preceded a water baptismal service in which six new believers declared their faith by following the Lord in baptism. It was a joyous time for them and for all!
On Sunday afternoon, August 6, as the saints tearfully bid each other goodbye, there was a renewed purpose to let a love for the Lord shine out to those around. The McKibbens returned to the United States on Monday with a good report of God’s continued working in South Korea.