- Prayer makes a difference. A lot of times, I don’t bother with prayer because I’m pretty sure things aren’t going to change anyways. But even if things don’t change, prayer is time for God to reset my brain and remind me that I’m not doing this alone and that I’m not in charge, thank goodness. And I’ve gained more experiences where God has answered prayers and come through right on time – so that can happen even when I think it won’t.
- I can persevere because I know that God is faithful in his own time. A lot of my fundraising support came in either right before my deadline, or after. So now, instead of being right at my goal, I’ve surpassed it, which is not something I could have imagined in May and June. On the trip, there were so many times that God worked in ways that I didn’t expect or think were possible. And that’s not even mentioning the impact that I won’t ever know about. Having this more realistic view of God’s abilities helps me to persevere through other circumstances and tasks.
- God calls me to be bold in the way I live for Him, and when I am more bold I see more of His faithfulness. I was more motivated to be bold with the students (i.e. talking to them, smiling at them, acts of kindness, sharing about Jesus) because I knew that I had such a short time with them. But that’s still true when I’m here at home. The more risks I took for God on this trip, the more I saw His power, faithfulness, and calling for my life. I want more of that here, too.
- Super thankful that we all got home safe and for everything that God did during the trip!
- That my life would change based on the lessons that God has taught me
- That all the Christian workers I’ve met, in North America and Asia, would be safe, healthy and have the strength to persevere in their ministries
- That more of the refugee students would find healing and new life in Christ
- I’m still in contact with a few of the refugee students that I hit it off with, so pray for them too (I think almost all of them are Christians), and that God would work through me to support them if He wants to. If people are interested in updated prayer requests from them and their schoolmates, maybe we can make something happen…
- Thanks that God has allowed us to link up with a church team with a real heart for Him and the students here
- Thanks that we were able to enjoy a few days touring the country and city we are in
- For the health of our team! I have a little bit of a cold, and a couple of people are dealing with injuries and pain.
- That God would reach out to the students through the next few days, in whatever way is in His plan
- Thankful that there are a lot of people here taking care of us and watching out for us
- Thankful that God was able to work through us at the VBS and that people were so accommodating to us
- For faith and courage! So far this week has been something new every day, and it can be a little scary to just jump into it the way I know we need to.
- That God would work through us somehow and continue to teach us more about Him
- Thankful for our supervisors and contacts that have been extremely helpful and welcoming
- Thankful for a safe, smooth, and relatively comfortable journey on the plane
- That we would trust in God’s ability to work through us, but also be open to whatever He has planned even if things don’t work out the way we want
- That God would continue to bring healing to the refugees here
- How to send people: I’m guilty of not really paying attention to my friends going on missions trips, but now I know a little bit more of what they’re going through and how much different kinds of support can mean to them. Even if I never go on another trip again, I’m excited to support future missions trips in a much better way than I’ve been doing. Thanks to all of you for showing me how!
- Understanding my Christian community: I didn’t realize the kind of community I had around me until I started asking for support. So many people have been generous in ways that I didn’t expect, including people not on this list, and it makes me want to become more involved with my different communities when I get back. Thank you for donating money, making time to talk to me, asking me thoughtful questions, telling me how I can pray for you, checking up on me, giving me really great advice, and signing up for this email list. Everything is super appreciated
- Being generous myself: I had to admit to myself that there was a temptation to push for more financial support just so that I wouldn’t have to pay for this trip, and I learned that I also can’t hold onto my own money too tightly just because I’m giving a lot of time. Tithing is actually a huge help; setting aside money to give beforehand makes me a lot more generous when something like someone’s missions trip comes up. Thanks to my family for being great examples of that!
- Giving up my own agenda: While a lot of the budgeting and fundraising and logistics problems were coming up, I realized that a lot of my stress was about my own plans being ruined. My entire summer has revolved around this trip, and because I gave up a few cool job opportunities to be able to go, it felt like if I didn’t go then I was a failure and an embarrassment. All of that reminded me to trust in God’s plan for me. Even if I didn’t get to go, I had definitely still learned a lot from the support raising and training process. And that would have really forced me to give up my own agenda, which is a good thing.
- Praise that fundraising and logistics are almost done and are in good shape, and that I’ve learned a lot through the whole process
- That Laura Beth and I would get to know each other better, and be able to plan activities and lessons that would really speak to the people they are for
- That I’d continue to give up my own agenda and trust God through any changes that might come up in the next couple weeks
- That God would continue to be with and speak to the people overseas
July 1st –Street Evangelism/Outreach
My apologies for the super late updates.
Before I start, I want to give you some information about the hosting church and the missionaries. The hosting church is called ‘Southall Baptist Church’ which is located in the South-West part of Great London Area. Southall is a very diverse town with the majority of the demographics of South Asians (Indians and Pakistanis). Although there is a British Senior Pastor at the church, my team and I have been working with a Korean pastor family (Rev. Kim, Mrs Kim, and Hayoung Kim, the son) who is currently serving at Southall Baptist Church as a pastor. Rev. Kim and Mrs Kim’s main ministry work is evangelism—street outreach, and door-to-door visits— and serving homeless people, by providing them meals and necessities at church. They have been serving homeless people for over 11 years. Rev. Kim and Mrs Kim have built strong relationships with the homeless people, to the point they regularly visit the missionaries and volunteer to help out any chores at church. Mrs Kim shared that God has given her the heart for children’s ministry, and Rev. Kim and Mrs Kim have been praying about it for about ten years. Finally, this year, through Arise mission 2019, children’s ministry work took place at Southall Baptist Church. Praise the Lord for the prosperous ministry work for the first year!
On Monday, July 1st, my team and I spent the day on the street for an outreach. In the morning, about six evangelists from the town came to Southall Baptist Church for the prayer meeting. We prayed for our hearts, the people in Southall, and the revival in the UK. It was devastating to see many British Christian Churches have closed down, while other religions’ worship places are growing in London, UK.
We went for the outreach at Southall Town Hall. Whether the evangelists are pastors or not, it was inspiring to see these people gathering every week to go out on the street to proclaim Jesus Christ. We sang hymns and worship songs, gave out the gospel tracts, spoke with some people on the street. There was a missionary who carries a wooden cross when he goes out for outreach and proclaims the gospel. He invited me to join the walk.
As I carried the cross and proclaimed the gospel, I was surprised that people on the street would look at me and listen to what I said. I remember I said,
“Hello, everyone. I am here to share the Good News! Did you know that God loves us so much that He gave His one and only son to pay for our sins? Whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. If you die today, do you know where you are going? I know where I am going. I am going to be in heaven where my Father God is! Jesus is the only way to heaven! It is by grace we have been saved. Not by works so that no one can boast! Believe in Jesus! Thank you for listening to me. Have a great day.”
Honestly, I couldn’t think of anything else to say. I was grateful for the opportunity to proclaim the gospel, which also was an opportunity for me to confess and remind myself of the truth and the love that God has shown through Jesus Christ.
The evangelists, usually the pastors, took turns to proclaim the gospel so that people on the street could hear them. I pray that the Holy Spirit works in the people we met so that they could believe and confess that Jesus is the Lord and Saviour!
July 2nd—Door-to-Door Evangelism
The time has come! Although door-to-door evangelism was the major part of Arise 2019, it is the most challenging ministry work for me, while children’s ministry being the most comfortable one. I am very friendly, but when it comes to knocking on the door and sharing Jesus, there is indescribable fear making me hesitate. During the Arise training sessions, one of the speakers shared this powerful verse:
1 John 4:18 (ESV)
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
I prayed 10,000 times that I would cast my fear; I would exchange that fear with Jesus; do this with love; and may Holy Spirit guide me to find the lost sheep.
My team members went in pairs, one man and a woman, to the neighbourhood in Southall. Each pair has a survey question sheet to start the conversation when tenants open their doors. Here are some rules about door-to-door evangelism:
- Pray for yourselves and the people you will meet.
- Go in pairs or three max., mixed genders. An evangelist of the same gender to the tenant start the conversation.
- Knock the doors melodically.
- Greet and introduce yourselves with a big smile on your face.
- Conduct the survey. One person asks the questions and the other scribe the response. Make sure to write the address (door number) so that the pastors of the hosting church could re-visit the house.
- The survey is only to start a conversation. The goal is to share the gospel; let them know about Jesus.
- Avoid any arguments. Our goal is to win people, not the argument.
- When the tenant invites you to come in, accept the invitation and continue the conversation.
- When the survey/conversation is over, thank them for their time and leave.
Rev. Kim (Korean missionary at Southall Baptist Church) added, “if you happened to spend quality time with one or two people, and you run out of time to take the survey of other houses, that is ok (Rev. Kim set the door-to-door evangelism session to be 2 hours).”
I was paired up with a young Korean pastor, Rev. Park, who currently serves at God’s Vision Church (Korean Presbyterian Church in Central London). We knocked on 40 houses in two hours, and only five people opened their doors. The tenants who responded to the survey and had spent quality time with us were Sikhs and Muslims.
We shared the gospel with them that Jesus is God’s son, who died on the cross and rose again to pay for our sin. God did this because He loved us so much! Also, we asked if they want to know more about Jesus Christ. The politely rejected, and we thanked them for their time. There was a woman we’ve met, who claims to have no religion but admits there is a god. She shared that she has been ill for a few years and has been going to the hospital regularly. She seemed open to hearing about Jesus, yet she kept sharing about what she believes. During our conversation, we shared the gospel with her. Just like others, she also politely rejected to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour, but she appreciated that we, young individuals, have come to visit her and have a quality conversation with her. When we said farewell, Rev. Park and I took a moment to pray for the woman we just met, that one day she would accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Saviour.
Although we were aware of the typical response to sharing the gospel, we were discouraged that there was no Christian in the neighbourhood. Rejections after rejections and houses with no response, Rev. Park and I desperately wanted to meet a Christian who could give us a boost (encourage us) to continue our visits to numerous houses. Then, there was.
We met a British woman who is a Christian. Her presence truly encouraged us. She said that we are doing a great job sharing the gospel to her neighbours.
My words could not express how devastating it was to see dead churches in the United Kingdom. I kept praying, ‘God, what happened here? This nation used to send out dedicated missionaries who would give their lives for Christ! God, You love this nation. Please restore this land. Use me to take part in bringing your people back to you.’
In the midst of darkness, there still was light. It seemed hopeless, yet there still was hope. It is our Lord, who is the hope of the hopeless. It is our God who is the light of the darkness. God uses His people to be the salt and the light in the world. Even though our work seemed very small, I am hopeful that people in the UK would come to God and confess, “Jesus is our Lord and Saviour!”
July 2nd-Part 2: Amazing Balloon and Bubble Show
In the late afternoon of the same day, there was ‘Amazing Bubble & Balloon Show’ hosted at Southall Baptist Church. A Korean pastor who is a balloon & bubble artist came to do the presentation for the community in the town of Southall. He does his ministry work in Cambodia, but he comes to the UK during the Arise missions period. With the Arise headquarter team, he visits the hosting churches to perform. By inviting the community to come to special events, it gives a great opportunity to share the gospel.
My team went out every morning during our stay at Southall Baptist Church to give out the invitations (flyers) for the Balloon/Bubble Show, as we invited the children to come in for the children’s program in the previous week. We also prayed that God would bring many people to this event so that they could hear the gospel.
Then it happened. Hallelujah!
The church hall was filled with people in the community, men, women, and children! There were about 350 people. They came with big smiles on their faces, looking forward to seeing the artist’s performance. Rev. Daniel Chae, who is the executive director of Amnos Church planting school, and the founder of the Arise short-term missions program in the UK, came to give a short message, ‘Jesus is our friend.’
Then my team played ‘Jesus loves me’ with handbells. Children who participated in the children’s program last week have played this song before, during their music session. I pray that these people would realize how much Jesus loves them.
After the successful event, the headquarter team and Team Southall gathered for the briefing. Each team member shared their Arise Mission 2019 experience. We all shared that we have witnessed God’s amazing work in the ministry, the team, physical and spiritual health, and the people in Southall. I shared that Arise 2019 was filled with joy and thankfulness. Also, I shared that people of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Canada are supporting me through prayers. Throughout this mission period, I could feel and see God answering the prayers. As a short-term overseas missionary, I was able to do God’s work confidently because of all the prayers. Thank you all for joining me through prayers on this Arise 2019 Mission in the United Kingdom!
July 3rd-Central London Tour
Team Southall went to Central London for sightseeing. We went to the British Museum in the morning. Rev. Park, a young pastor who paired up with me for door-to-door evangelism, took our team members around in the museum and explained the historical background of the kingdoms/civilizations presented in the Bible—Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonia, Persian, Greek, and Roman. It was fascinating to see historical/Biblical evidence in person.
Spending time with my team members by sharing joy and laughter truly was a blessing. I couldn’t stop thanking God how everyone worked together, balancing strengths and weaknesses as a body of Christ.
July 4th-Arise 2019 Missions Report/Celebration
Everyone—all team members of 8 hosting churches—went back to Trinity Church where Arise 2019 missions training took place, a.k.a. headquarter. Everyone seemed ready to share their experience of practical evangelism and outreach at their hosting churches. After the praise and worship, each team was given 5 minutes to share what God has done. A pastor from a hosting church shared they have visited 2000 houses, 169 houses have opened their doors and conducted the survey, and two people have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour! Hallelujah! At many hosting churches, not only the Arise participants have done the evangelism, but also the members from the hosting church have joined. It is more effective when church members do door-to-door evangelism so that they could take care of the newcomers regularly and revisit the houses.
Hearing stories about God’s amazing work at each mission field was very encouraging. This year, I took part in sowing the seeds of faith. It is God who makes the seeds grow and bear fruit. Indeed, God’s words never return empty-handed. One day, I want to take part in harvesting by witnessing people deciding to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Further, seeing them living their lives for Christ Jesus. I pray that God continues to use me, bringing His people to Christ.