“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Ge 1:1)
We thank and praise God for the Genesis Bible Café that was held from May.29 ~ June.1, 2012 at LA Downey HBF/JBF. On averagethere were 47attendants each day, including 8 newcomers. The main theme was “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” based on Genesis 1:1.The purpose of the event was to train HBF/JBFers (from 6th to12th graders) as good disciple candidates of Jesus and to help them to know how to co-work together and to advance God’s kingdom into their school life. God answered our prayer and showed his grace and mercy upon us as below:
First, God used HBFers as good messengers and testimony sharers. For the LA Downey ministry, it was the first time for them to serve God’s word as messengers. James Park Jr., Peter Lopez, Ellie Hopeman, and Sarah Jeong Jr. were the messengers. They are each entering college this fall semester. The Tuesday evening message was delivered by James Park Jr., entitled “Our purpose” based on Genesis 1:31. His point was that God created the heavens and the earth and God wants us to live to reveal the image of God and to bear much fruit through serving the blessed mission. He emphasized that our purpose of life is to please God under any circumstance. A testimony followed by Paul Lim Jr. He struggled hard to know and accept the Creator God personally. The Wednesday evening message was delivered by Peter Lopez with the title “Adam and Eve” based on Genesis 2:16-17. The key point was that God put Adam in a perfect garden and we can only truly be happy by obeying God. He repeated that true happiness does not come from a perfect environment but rather it comes from obeying God.He also proclaimed that God will give us a perfect and suitable helper when we are focused on pleasing God rather than ourselves. As good evidence, he shared his parent’s example. Hisparents were half way across the world and didn't even know the other existed until they were brought together by faith. The first words hisparents ever said to each other were over the phone, with his dad asking his mom to marry him. He confessed that they're the happiest parents he knows, and they're the perfect match, and help each other in pleasing God. After hearing his message, John Park and Deborah Jeong shared their testimonies. The Thursday evening message was delivered by Ellie Hopeman with the title “The seed of redemption” based on Genesis 3:15. Her point was that God showed his justice, mercy, and faithfulness through the promise of Jesus although man had sinned and broken the relationship with God. She prepared and delivered her message in a scholastic way. She mediated on the word of God deeply and mostly memorized her message and delivered it very powerfully. She also shared what God has done for her throughout high school and gave thanks to God. Testimonies were followed by Timothy Cho and Eunice Lee.
The Friday evening message was delivered by Sarah Jeong Jr., entitled “Son, your sins are forgiven” based on Mark 2:5. She kindly summarized the previous Genesis messages and delivered her message very gracefully. Her point was that sin is anything that goes against God's will for us and Jesus has authority on earth to forgive sins. She clearly pointed out that Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins through his blood. She also challenged us to bring our friends to Jesus by faith. Lastly Hope Lim shared his testimony very joyfully. We do believe that God blessed the work of God’s word abundantly and disciplined them as good disciples of Jesus and children of God.
Second, God helped them to co-work together. Youth leaders only gave them the message passages and brief guidelines how to prepare the event, and then let them design the program details amongst themselves. They did a wonderful job, only making a few errors that can be corrected next time. For example, Grace Choi and Martha Kwon made invitation cards together working with Cari Wilson until midnight. They then distributed it to HBF/JBFers fifteen days early in order to invite their friends. Under Peter and Sarah’s leadership, they had a preparation and prayer meeting one or two times a week among messengers and testimony sharers. A worship team was formed including Moses, Justin, Hope, Eunice, Peter, and Sarah. They practiced a lot and guided the audience to worship and praise God. Before starting each night’s program, they prayed together earnestly that God would bless the Genesis Bible Café abundantly. In this way, they were able to make a holy vessel and love one another. As a result, they invited their friends and worshiped together very joyfully. God blessed their co-working spirit and showed his wonderful work in and through them.
Third, God used parents as good disciple makers. Each parent took primary responsibility to oversee the preparation of their son and daughter’s message and testimony. They taught the Bible to their kids and prayed and coworked together. HBF/JBFers are good disciple candidates of Jesus and emerging spiritual leaders to advance God’s kingdom. Therefore, parents realized that they should train and empower their kids properly in a timely manner. With this mindset and prayer topic, parents trained their kids as the servant of God’s word. In this way they were able to build a loving and trust relationship with their children through the word of God and prayer. Youth leaders also supported them in many ways with prayerful minds. We do believe that God blessed each family abundantly as a disciple making family. We pray that HBF/JBFers may follow or even exceed their parents’ footsteps of faith.
We thank and praise God for blessing the Genesis Bible Café 2012 in so many ways.
Reported by Jason Koch/John Choi