July 12, 2012
Pacific Northwest Summer Bible Conference
“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.
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.
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.
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