inexpressible and filled with glory

Plans and Paths
23 October 2009, 12:53 pm
Filed under: Persecution, Travel

It’s now the last day of the General Assembly in Seoul. After one day of business, we have been hearing country reports over the last few days from our National Contacts in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Arabian Peninsula. It is incredible to hear stories from all over the world of God’s faithfulness to his people through persecution.

In addition to the full days of meetings, I’ve had the opportunity to go out each night and see a different part of Seoul. On Tuesday night we went out to Dongdaemun Stadium which is a fashion/shopping district. The favourite part of the evening for me (which won’t surprise anyone who knows me) was catching the subway and seeing how this city of 15 million people runs for those who live here. Although the shopping didn’t really interest me, it was great to get outside. There were heaps of people out on the street and neon lights everywhere. The district was a mix between street markets and shopping malls. One thing that I love about Seoul is the effort put into the appearance of the city, and this was accentuated in the beautiful trees in the area. I grabbed a coffee, headed off by myself and tried to walk around as much of it as possible. We only had an hour but I was done a long while before that, and my feet were very glad to retire by the end.

On Wednesday night, we went out to Yoido Full Gospel Church which is the largest church in the world. We didn’t get to attend one of the big services, just a mid-week service attended by 200-300 people. The church was founded by David Yonggi Cho. I’ve seen his books in Koorong but don’t know a lot about him. South Korea is home to 10 out of the 11 largest churches in the world and is currently one of the largest sending bases for missionaries. I’ve heard that the prosperity gospel is really big here. I obviously couldn’t understand a word that was being said last night, but there was a lot of prayer, done very differently to what we’re used to at home (ask me about “Chu Yo”).

My favourite aspect of the night was getting to walk from the subway station to the church along the river. It was a beautiful area with bike paths, walking tracks, parks, and nice bridges. It was really good getting to walk along here talking to VOM people from different parts of the world.

Last night, we did all the preparation work for the Balloon Lauch. We had 100,000 gospel flyers that needed to be scrunched and packed into the balloon bags to be sent across the border into North Korea. After all our North Korea events in August and raising over $30,000 for the Balloon Launch projects, it was incredible to now be here, touching the very flyers that will be sent across the border in a few days. One of the most amazing things about the experience was getting to work alongside persecuted believers from all over the world to serve the people of North Korea. Even though these Christians have suffered so much themselves and work in extraordinarily difficult circumstances, they were so joyful and excited to be involved in the Balloon project.

One of the best parts of the week, however, is that I have been greatly challenged by the people I have met. It is all too easy for me to leave God out of the picture of my life, to do my work and live my life by my own strength and my own purposes and plans. I have been really challenged to see life and ministry as God’s work, to trust in his timing and strength and to do all things for his glory.

This is much easier said than done, but how true it is that we should be living every day and taking every step trusting in God – whether it’s driving to work, eating dinner with Katherine, heading to LiVE, writing an article at work, or anything else (great or small) that we may be doing. I need to invite God into these circumstances and hand it all over to him rather than doing it by myself. It reminds me of the many proverbs that repeat the idea that man makes his own plans, but the LORD determines his paths. I hope to trust the Lord more and more to direct my paths rather than trying to make my own way through life.

It has been a wonderful week of fellowship, meeting believers from all over the world, hearing about our exciting work and praying for the persecuted church. Praise the Lord!

Our team flies into Vietnam tomorrow. Please continue to pray for us, that we might be a great encouragement to the believers there, that God would also challenge us as we meet with persecuted believers and mostly that his will might be done to his glory.


1 Comment so far
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can’t wait for your reports on this, your latest work fot the Lord. praying for you and caring for Katherine

Comment by gordon andison

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