Sunday, June 25, 2017

Trip to Korea (June 2017)...

This short trip to Korea had a primary purpose of attending IBA Leaders Forum and IBA Conference.

IBA Leaders Forum
This is IBA's 11th and my second event. It was the largest event with 145 people in attendance. I spoke on the subject of "Innovative Finance to Help the Socially Disadvantaged People." A lengthy headline, but basically microfinance success stories. It was a challenge to deliver it in 25 minutes, but I made it. I also wrote an article for the book that has been distributed to all participants.

It was a wonderful blessing to meet Kerry and Annie Hilton, Chris Brown, Kwang Pyo Hong, Jong Myung Lee, Jae Chul Yoo, Young Kwang Hong and a few others. The fellowship with Sam Cho, Dong Ho Song, Peter Lee, Chan Jung Kim was also a blessing. I will see what God has in store.

Prayer time was always uplifting and the communion held before the forum was completed gave us a sense of unity.

A small Korean musical instrument trio performed beautiful music and touched our heart.

Mt. Sorak was ever beautiful and magnificent. God's creation remains impressive all the time.

There was a short break between IBA Leaders Forum and IBA Conference that took place in Seoul. So I took advantage of meeting up with some friends.

Peter Lee is a friend and a colleague. We shared a room so we ended up spending quite a bit of time together.

I met up briefly with Jun Kim in the hotel lobby since I did not get to see him last time. He was as usual, a little eccentric but pure in heart. He brought a special home-made Gochujang made with honey. Apparently, it was sealed loosely and the stuff squeezed out of the bottle in the luggage. Fortunately, it was still in a box that blocked a disaster.

I had a gathering with Heart to Heart people. Hyun Ah Kwon is a photograph artist. Together with her colleagues, they held an exhibition of photos taken in Cuba. Che Guevara was all over the place, but I liked a photo of a humming bird. Early dinner after the event was wow... too much food.

I had a dinner with Isaac Baik who is a faithful supporter of SfK Ministries financially as well as being a diligent member of SBS Rwanda. I wanted to spend personal time with him. He is a faithful young adult rarely seen in this materialistic world. He has been supporting SfK with a monthly $400 donation for over a year! Not easy for anyone that young. I am grateful.

I visited the office of BinChae Foundation to meet up with John Chae and his wife Doreen Chae. It was my first time to meet Doreen Chae, but she was delightful. They are still active at the age of 74 and they look just as healthy as anyone in the sixties. I also had a fellowship with Jiin Park who used to be part of Nanuri Community in Rwanda and is now helping us out partly with SfK Ministries.

I did not get to visit mom, but talked with her twice on the phone. Minja was kind enough to buy some dried seaweeds and bring them to the hotel for a brief chat in the lobby.

Korean mountains are beautiful. I have not visited any of them lately, other than Mt. Sorak, but some photos of the mountains displayed on the walls of Subway were stunning. Someday, I hope to visit some of them.

IBA Conference
This event for the general public has been another gathering platform for young adults who are seeking to serve meaningfully for the Kingdom of God. It took place at Jang Chung Church, a beautifully built at the outskirt of Mt. Namsan right next to Jang Chung Arena.

This conference used to attract close to 1,000 but this year's event has drawn only 600 or so. This may be a reason for the leadership to decide to hold it every two years. During the gap year, they intend to go out to the filed in the name of BAM Exposure. A lot of inspirational speakers with touching stories. Bill Hwang, a successful hedge fund manager in the Wall Street shared his story and heart for spreading the drama bible to people.

I spoke about the same subject during BAM Prism session, but only within 15 minutes. It is a challenge. But I made it.

At this conference, I met Hana Lee who is from Australia and is serving start-ups with financial planning. We agreed to follow up in my next visit to explore more. A few people came to greet and it was fun to be around some of the speakers.

I had to skip the second day due to my upcoming trip to Italy which I look forward to. - Jeffrey 

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