Visiting Report of Pacific Northwest Summer Bible Conference by Mark Vucekovich

July 12, 2012

Pacific Northwest Summer Bible Conference
June 29th to July 1st, 2012
Mt. Baker Bible Camp in Deming, WA

Mark Vucekovich SBC UBF

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Heb11:6).

I was invited to attend this conference and asked to give the opening message on Hebrews 11:1–7. I was so glad to have the chance to think about this passage newly. This was the second conference of UBF chapters in the Pacific Northwest. Joshua and Helen Park from Victoria, John and Anna Kim from Vancouver, David and Susannah Kim from Alaska and Abraham and Susannah Jung from Richland, Washington attended, as did Abraham and Sarah Song, Ben and Maria Westerhoff and Dr. Peace from Seattle. Missionary Isaac Kim and Charles Wilson from Downey UBF also came. 16 adults and 13 children attended, including 4 who are in high school.

Friday Evening
David Kim from Alaska gave the first main message from Mark 4:35-41, entitled, “Do You Still Have No Faith?” It was a very thoughtful message. Jesus challenged his disciples while they were in the midst of a furious squall on the lake to have faith in God. (Missionary David and Susannah are from ChongRo UBF and first were missionaries in Zimbabwe. Since they moved to Alaska Missionary David works for the Korean Embassy.)

After the message, Abraham Song from Seattle gave the announcements. He said that real faith is not theoretical; it gives us power and victory to live as God’s servants. (Missionary Abraham and Sarah are originally from KyungSung UBF. He works as an IT manager with Visa Card Services. Missionary Sarah wants to study to be a Pharm Tech, as she was a pharmacist in Korea. They served the conference in detail and worked very hard. They made a good environment of love and prayer.)

We gathered in small groups to pray for half of the UBF chapters in the Pacific Northwest, as well as for the upcoming Africa Regional conferences. The prayer meeting lasted about an hour, and we finished at about 11:00 PM.

Saturday Morning
Dr. Kurt Grimm led a special discussion on how to understand the main themes of the Bible, as well as the spiritual condition of the church in North America. It was a very lively and engaging discussion. Dr. Grimm teaches life sciences at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver. He became a Christian 10 years ago. He has become a good friend of Missionary John Kim. (Missionary John and Anna came to Vancouver two years ago. They are from Choong Ang UBF in Seoul, the chapter of the late Moses Kim.) Saturday afternoon was set aside for testimony writing. Because it was raining throughout the day, recreation was mainly indoors playing ping pong.

Saturday Evening
After dinner we had group Bible study on Mark 11:20–26. Then in the evening Ben Westerhoff gave the second main message on the passage. His message was also very thoughtful. He inspired us to pray based on faith, and that through the channel of our prayers God’s amazing work in the world is done. He wept during his message as he thought about Jesus, who sacrificed his life on the cross so that we could receive God’s forgiveness and also forgive others.

After the message, Dr. Peace shared her life story with us. She is a medical doctor from Uganda who is a friend with one of the shepherds in Uganda UBF. She comes from a large, poor family, but God opened the door for her to come to the U.S. to study health administration. She came only by faith and has struggled to put God first, especially now that she is studying for the American board exam. We were encouraged by her sincere struggle. Afterwards, we again gathered in groups to pray for the other chapters in the Pacific Northwest.

Sunday Morning
We gathered for group Bible study on Mark 16:15-18. Then Abraham Jung gave the Sunday message on the passage. He challenged us to “go into all the world,” including all the difficult places in the world. (Dr. Jung is doing research in Richland, a former secret research center in plutonium development for the Manhattan project, and part of the TriCities. He is praying to get a permanent research position in environmental biochemistry. His wife Susanne is from New York UBF and joined the ministry during her graduate school studies at Columbia University. They have two lovely children, and Susannah’s mother, who has retired and is a sincere Christian, is helping them.)

At the conference I was so glad to meet Joshua and Helen Park. They have been running a successful sushi restaurant in Victoria. A week before the conference, however, there was a fire in their restaurant. God used this event to allow them to attend the conference fully and to meditate deeply on the words, “Have Faith in God.” Their three sons are very bright. One of them played hymns on the keyboard for all the meetings. Joshua and Helen used to be missionaries in Kenya. This Fall a new missionary family, Timothy and Prayer Shin, from ChongRo UBF, will hopefully join them in co-working for student ministry in Victoria.

Missionary Isaac Kim spent time counseling the missionaries on many practical matters. I am grateful for his diligent stewardship and heart for the missionaries on the West Coast of North America. After prayer and lunch, people returned home. I was invited to visit the University of Washington at Seattle campus with some of the missionaries. There are 50,000 students at the campus. After praying at the campus, we had dinner at a local restaurant.

I thank God for this wonderful time of fellowship in the word of God and prayer with his servants in the Pacific NW. I also thank God for sending these precious families like kernels of wheat at the campuses in those cities. I was glad to see their loving fellowship. Especially, Msn. Abraham Song has servantship among them. He encouraged them to have the power and victory of faith, he led them in united prayer for the African conferences and for one another, including prayer for Philip and Hannah Won’s family and their new life in Knoxville, TN, and for Dr. Joe and Sarah-Theresa Ahn’s family who just moved to Portland. He especially wants to study with all the coworkers in the Pacific NW about how to conduct effective house church ministry practically.

By Mark Vucekovich