Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Trip to Korea (August/September 2016)...

Usually, my trip to Korea is packed with schedules. This time was not an exception.

This trip has largely three categories of meetings: ministry, family and friends.

a) SfK Ministries - Obviously, this was the highest priority. Meetings with Rev. Dongho Kim, chairman of the board of SfK Korea, and with Dr. Wonmin Sohn, COO, took place on several occasions. The progress is somewhat slower than I hoped, but there is nothing much we could do at present.

Dr. Sohn's presentation to Rev. Kim was made for the first time and I would call it progress.

Also, Rev. Kim made it public to raise funding for SfK BAM Fund at BAM Global gathering, obviously with his strong commitment to support. I am deeply grateful.

b) IBA Neo Moravian House business plan panel - IBA represents Internaitonal BAM Alliance. It holds up annual conference that gathers approximately 1,000 attendees every year and advocates BAM to the leadership of churches and mission agencies.

This year, for the first time, IBA sponsored the first Neo Moravian House which represents the first BAM school based on collaboration with mission agencies and churches.

I participated in the panel to hear and give feedback on the business plans that the attendees presented after the 4-week intensive training. The countries represented included China, Malaysia, Morocco, India, Thailand, Guinea Bissau, Turkey, Jordan and Guatemala.

I met a few new people who are like-minded in His Kingdom and I quickly followed up with some. I look forward to witnessing what the Lord has in mind.

After graduation
With core members of Neo Moravian House
The number of attendees was short of expectation (14), particularly compared to the number of faculty members (25) but the outcome was encouraging. The graduation was held in big celebration. I pray that this collaborative effort will continue and bear fruits.

c) BAM Global - My participating in this BAM Global gathering (formerly BAM Consultation) is the fourth year in a row. I normally give two or three lectures, while providing coaching individually for some BAMers. This year, I ended up interpreting three times for the main speaker: Dr. Ted Yamamori, in addition to delivering two lectures. He is almost 80, but he is still going strong with various ministries. I would love to have the energy level that he has when I reach his age. The Lord has provided me with several opportunities of meeting like-minded people for His Kingdom. Look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for His own Kingdom.

Rev. Dongho Kim
Children band leading the praise time
Mt. Sorak, always beautiful
Me interpreting for Dr. Ted Yamamori
Me, presenting SfK Ministries
Woong Jae Han, a gospel singer
I met a lot of people, including Jungsam Ahn from Brazil and Jongsup Kwon from Canada, in transit, but I need to follow up with Jinho Hwang from Thailand, Seungkeun Choi from Thailand, YoungGyu Sang from Philippines, Inho Lee from Hong Kong but in transit, Ho Park from China.

Also, I visited a ramyun cafe where PPL, a Koran non-profit, is helping those who escaped North Korea to settle down in South Korea to stand alone. With the financial support from Hyundai Motor, PPL is trying to help them turn into entrepreneurs who will run their own cafes. It was greatly encouraging them to thrive with excitement and passion. I really pray that they will succeed. They are missional entrepreneurs.

With Rev. Dongho Kim and two would-be entrepreneurs
d) Off-line gathering with SBS groups - I now run 4 SBS groups on Kakao Talk. Since it is an on-line bible study group, I make an effort to meeting up with them whenever there is an opportunity. This time, I had three meetings: one with the original Rwanda SBS group, another with the Heart 2 Heart SBS group and the other with a new Handong SBS.

Heart2Heart group attendees are so responsive to the teaching that I was greatly encouraged. The original SBS group members are pretty stable and consistent now. The new Handong SBS begins humbly with two members, but I trust the Lord will work in their hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit to be powerful witnesses in the world.

Rwanda SBS
Handong SBS
e) Fellow Kingdom workers - Good Neighbors International Founder Ilha Lee, Senior Director in charge of International Business Seon Kim, Hae Gyun Park, Seung Gon Yang, Min-Young Jung, John Chae, Jung, Jin and Jiwon, Namsoon Kim, Hyun Namgoong,

Dr. Yang and his 94-year old father
Namsoon Kim
Beautiful people at Marriott breakfast
a) My own family - After my father passed in January 2016, it was the first time that our family got together over dinner. Most of us also visited our deceased father at Chung Ah Park.

With my 86-year old mom on KTX to Mokpo
With my mom and two sisters after visiting deceased father
Minsook and her husband Mr. Oh at their flower shop
b) My uncle's 70th birthday celebration - My mom's younger brother still lives in Mokpo.  He has been successful in his painting business, subsequently construction and real estate investment. He has been diligently supportive of our family whenever in need because my parents gave him strong support when he was in need for assistance when he first started his life in Mokpo. He has three daughters and one son all of whom are doing pretty well. It was good to see them all.

My mother's sister and her brother with his wife

c) My cousins - There are several cousins whom I have not met for many decades. It was great occasion to see them. One of them is several years younger than I am, but has seven grand children.
My cousin, Jongok Lim
Uncle's youngest cousin, Changsuk Kim and his wife
Uncle's oldest daughter Jihyun and her husband
Uncle's third daughter Jayoung and her husband.
My uncle has another daughter Soohyun, but I did not catch a moment to take her photo. She is unmarried.

One of the interesting experiences in Mokpo was eating live octopus. It is served with sesame oil only, chopped into pieces. You have to be careful chewing them because they are quite sticky. Cruel... yes, but always amusing also.

a) High school friends - When I was in high school, we had two groups of friends: one in six friends and the other in 12 friends. I had a gathering with six friends in Gwangju. This gathering was right after one of them retired from his teaching career as principal. The reunion with him (Kim, Hyung Suk) was almost 43 years after the last time we saw each other. It was a joyous reunion. We missed Youngsik who could not make it because he lives in Calgary in Canada.

Youngsoo, Gilyong, Hyungsuk and Myungkyu
Also, I had a separate gathering with a few friends from the other group. It is always joyous to see old friends. Old friends are like good wine that ages as time goes.

With Joonhan... There also were Changho and ChulEui
b) College friends - I have several friends whom I am close to. I met up with Pyung Ku Lee with Seung Hwa Lee. Separately, I had dinner with Jangsik Shim. They are always good friends.

c) Beloved other friends - I also had fellowship with other friends, such as Young Jun Kim, Professor Moon, Newspaper Editor Do Woon Lee and diplomat Heon Lee.

Overall, my schedule in Korea was packed, but I was grateful to finish up the trip without any major incident or losing health. - Jeffrey

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