Sunday, January 20, 2013

My Semester Abroad.. in Pictures

Where I left from.. (I think the last pics I posted were from Poland):

International Blending Conference in Baarlo, Holland.
Cycling around Baarlo, Holland.
London District 11 (Greenwich) Sisters
London District 11 (Greenwich) Brothers
Renato's Farewell party at the Central London broflat
A typical Thursday night at the Ballard's home meeting in Greenwich.
The excellent that I was privileged to be built up with on Thursdays. Ballard's home meeting at Greenwich.
At a jail in Dublin with Jacob and Tim. Obviously on tour, not for stay.
University Conference at Bower House in London.
Baptisms at the University Conference at Bower House, London
University Conference at Bower Houser, London
Visiting the saints in Cardiff! At the Chung's abode.
Last London Monthly Student Meeting of the year of 2012.
Last Central London home meeting of the year at the Chow's.
Winter BBQ at the Greenwich BroHo/Farewell party for the Americans.
Amazing weather and view at Malaga, Spain -- After the Malaga conference.
Staying at the Linero's after the Malaga conference.
At the Malaga bay with saints from Spain, Holland, New Zealand, and America
Another great view from the slopes of Malaga. 
An early dinner at 9 PM, in the streets of Malaga.
Acts 2:46. Meeting with the saints is the greatest joy on earth!
Cycling around Vlaardigen, Holland. Seen in this picture: Norway, Spain, Holland, Italy, UK and America.
First Winter School of Truth on the European continent! Senior group.
Baptisms at Winter School of Truth in Holland. 
New Year's Eve in Holland. Getting ready to celebrate Dutch holidays.
As the clock ticked 12 at the Nieuwlink's home on New Year's Eve

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Semester Abroad

The last four months have passed with such a swoosh, it almost feels like a dream. I've been trying to write this blog for a really long time, but it's been really hard touching pen to paper. To wrap four months of experience into a single post, that's pretty hard. Of course, this could have been solved by blogging more when I was abroad, but I'll try my best...

What a wonderful experience it has been! I will never forget these last four months. They have gained a special place in my heart, and I hope that these seeds would eventually grow and come to fruition. This trip has really made me treasure the saints. All of them. However different they may be from you in race, in age, in nature, in manner, etc... I really pray that the Lord will keep every one of us till the end--that we would not leave this unique flow and that the unique flow would not leave us. May this unique flow lead us to the consummation of the age!

One thing that I would just like to add is that I never felt like I was away from home. And maybe this is a cliche statement in the church life, but the saints are really your family. There is an eternal bond you create when you meet another person with the life of God. You fellowship for a bit, whether it's by uttering a bit of broken Spanish or trying to decode a bit of broken English, you sense and touch a flow of life. It really feels like you've known that saint for a long time, and they become eternally rooted in your heart. I've heard of many others say this, but I have to admit that this was the first time I really felt like this. 

I got to visit a number of places besides London. Scotland, Italy, Spain, Holland, Poland, Ireland, and Wales. Each place was very unique in its own and boasted of its particular characteristic. I really enjoyed the well-preserved buildings in Edinburgh, the sights in Rome, the weather in Spain, the bike-rides in Holland, the forest in Warsaw, the guides in Dublin, and the bay in Cardiff. And of course, you can't forget about the delicious food each place has in store for you. But the best attraction in every city and every country were the saints. Maybe my sophomoric eye needs more training and enlightening. But I just feel that I get easily bored after an awesome sight. We travel to see some extraordinary attraction, and they are jaw-opening at first. But you let a few moments pass by and you just realize that nothing has changed. It's the same building that I saw a few seconds ago. What more is there to see? Is that really it? However, the building of God, though invisible, never ceases to amaze me.

I really hope that this would not be my last encounter with Europe. It's so encouraging to see how the Lord has some -- maybe not many in numbers, but at least one or two -- who are absolutely consecrated lovers at every country. They have kindled my spirit. I feel very privileged to have been able to visit Europe. I like to encourage those who are still in college/high school to consider about studying abroad in Europe. At least mention it to the Lord.

Sorry for the long text! I promise you a blog post with only pictures in the future :)

Read about other students' experience studying abroad:


What were some takeaways from this experience?

(1) I am a vessel of life. I'm a vessel, in contrast to a tool, or a mere instrument to be used by God. There was a lot of "work" that was required to be done this past semester. Whether it was going out to many campuses to pass out bibles and preach the gospel, organize events, visit people, hold bible studies, practical service, etc... there were just so many needs and it was easy to be caught in "work" mode. However, that's not how and why we were made. We were made as vessels to contain God Himself as life, life supply, and everything. Have you ever experienced God being your everything? I don't think I have fully yet, but I definitely feel like I touched a little bit this past semester. So, whatever we do, we should first be open to be filled. Then, we should open wider, so that we can be filled even more. We should allow the Lord to overflow us. This overflow will be our reaching others.

(2) Whatever work we do, we need to expect the Lord's blessing. "Impossible" is what first came into mind in whatever we did. We didn't have the manpower nor were we experts at anything. I don't say this to downplay our capacity. It's just a fact. But so did the little boy with the five loaves and two fishes. We should just offer what little we have to the Lord and expect that He will break it, bless it, and give it back to us to feed the thousands.

(3) The Lord needs to revive us. We need to pray for the last revival, a revival which has never been recorded in the history of mankind, that will end this age. Habbakuk 3:2 and Hosea 6:2 reveal the key relationship between this kind of a revival and the Lord's coming back. No revival, no way for the Lord to return. This revival starts from our personal relationship with the Lord. From our being lovers and vessels. May we wake up every morning to meet our dearest Beloved! (Matt. 3:17; 1 Pet. 1:8; 1 Cor. 2:9)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Weekend in Warsaw [First College-Age Conference in Poland]

Last weekend, I had the privilege to attend the first ever College-Age Conference in Warsaw, Poland, with 5 other dear university students from the UK. It was an awesome time of enjoying the Lord, being blended, and being built!

We began our trip Friday morning by gathering together at Stratford station in London. Our Ryanair flight was a brisk 2-hour flight that was followed by another 4-hour trek along the streets of Poland. We were squeezed unto a shuttle, got a rucksack (the British term for "backpack") strap stuck in the train, exited through emergency exits on the underground, and given a massage in the bus. Then, we got greeted by two Polish university students, Mira and Michael, who came out to meet us at the bus stop. Praise the Lord! One thing I've realized through this adventurous journey through Poland is that whatever the situation and the environment, it's so good to be able to spend it with saints and to see the saints!

The conference began that same night we arrived in Poland. The messages, of course, were given in Polish. I was impressed that the ones who were doing the translations were university students (Bartek and Lukas) who were close to our age. They did an excellent job as we felt that we weren't left out of the burden that was being shared throughout the conference. By the way, the subject of the conference was "Being a University Student in Truth, Life, Church and Gospel."

Along with attending the conference, we were allotted one hour to share concerning the campus work in London this past semester. It was so good to be able to overflow from our experiences of the Lord blessing us this past week and pass on the burden to the Polish students. Here's a highlight of some of our sharing: (1) A history of the student work in London (students rising up to take care of the campus work), (2) relying on the members of the Body in the matter of our burdens, (3) a personal experience of picking up a burden for contacts, (4) praying before every event, activity, or work, (5) coming together to pray and coordinate with one another to receive the Lord's blessing and (6) realizing that we are not merely tools, but vessels in God's economy and that our primary function is to be filled with Christ as life and that all our work is simply an overflow of this life.

So, there were 24 total student attendees this weekend (18 Polish and 6 UK). What I was most impressed was that these students were ready to pick up the burden right away. All they really needed was a gentle nudge that, yes, they can pick up the burden for their own campuses. Many of them were church kids who have been stored up with a rich deposit of truth and life. The few that were recently saved are burning for the Lord and have already had some experiences of bringing others to Christ. I was also impressed how eager the serving ones were longing to pass the driver's seat to the students in the matters of the campus work. We are witnessing a strong beginning amongst the university students in Poland!

Okay, so that was a brief recap of the trip, and for the other parts of the trip, I'll let the pictures tell the story. Enjoy:

Part of our 4-hour trek through Poland. Underground station.


The following day, we took a beautiful hike through the woods in Warsaw.

Hard to find such beauty in the busy streets of London.

Polish students coordinating our post-conference Warsaw tour. How cherishing!

The UK 6. Left to right: Raymond, myself, Tim, Aurora, Ela, Kennedy.

Old Town, Warsaw trip. Walking along the wall.

There's no such thing as a tour without a group picture! Blocking half of the archway so that we can preserve the sweet memories with the Polish students!

Another picture along the wall.

The cherry on top of the conference. Stopped at a chocolate shop in Old Town, Warsaw.
See more pictures on facebook!

Year 7-13 Conference Recap

Hello y'all, you are lucky today -- you will be getting a double-header. Two weeks ago there was a conference for the young people around the UK at Bower House. I'll just give a brief recap of the burden that was shared that weekend. Next post (which will also come out) is about the first College-Age Conference held in Warsaw, Poland. Stay tuned.

The subject of this last Year 7-13 Conference was on a Normal Fruit-Bearing Life. The main line of burden was that we, as young people in this age, would realize who we are. To begin with, we are man created in God's image for the purpose of containing Him. But we are more than just man. We are also believers, and when we believed, we received God's life into us. As believers we are three things -- salt, light, and branches.

Matt 5:13-14 says that "You are the salt of the earth..." and that "You are the light of the world..." What does it mean to be salt and light? Salt has two unique functions: (1) it kills germs, and (2) it preserves. A good picture of this is fish. Once you kill a fish, it automatically begins to stink due to the decaying germs. Thus, many fishermen put salt with fish. This kills all the germs on the fish and preserves the fish so that it can later be fresh for food. This decaying fish is like the world around us -- stinking and decaying. We as believers in the world serve this kind of function as salt, of killing and of preserving. However, there is a danger. The danger of salt is that it can lose its salting function. As salt, we have to be careful not to lose our saltiness. How can we preserve our salting function? Lot's wife became a pillar of salt (and lost its salting function) because she looked back. Lot and his wife were probably somewhere in between Sodom and safety (maybe halfway?), but happened to turn around. The reason why she looked back was because her heart was still towards Sodom. She was not a 100%, absolute Christian but a halfway Christian. We must make sure that if we want to fulfill God's purpose we have to be absolute Christians, a full one-hundred percent. For this, we need to have a fresh love towards the Lord.

As light of the world, our function is to bring light to this darkened world. This world is full of darkness and chaos -- no one is clear of his direction. However, as light of the world, there is a danger as well. The danger is not that we lose our light. As believers our salting and shining function is not anything of our own. It is a natural capacity that issues from the divine life that we have received from God. However, there is a danger that we can cover this light, and hide it under a bushel. A bushel is a unit of measurement and it typifies the worries and anxieties of our life. When we are bound by the same worries that unbelievers faced, we can cover our light. As young people in this world, we are faced with many anxieties in life. Following the latest fashion. Getting the newest shoes. Etc... All these anxieties and worries in life make us no different from the unbelievers and covers our light under a bushel. For this, we need to talk to the Lord. We need to let the Lord know all our thoughts. Phil. 4:6 says "In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." We should let the Lord know everything, even of our worldly woes.

I'm realizing that this post is getting longer than I thought it'll be, so I'll save the branches for a later time. The conference was an exhausting but exhilarating time nonetheless. I thoroughly enjoyed enjoying the Lord with my dear young people, and hope that these ones will be the ones to join our generation in bringing the Lord back. Amen, Lord, come quickly!

Four dear Year 7 brothers who were baptized at the conference. From left to right: Jordan, Ryan, Daniel, and Joseph.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Commanding the Lord's Blessing by Taking the Blended Way

I cannot describe with adequate feeling what the past two weeks have been like. Wednesdays (today) are all-London coordination meeting at Bower House. And having finished coordination at its regular time, we ended up coming back around 4 PM. That's when it hit. I have not been back home this early, ever, for the last two weeks or so. It's been a crazy, yet, such a rewarding time. There's no room for tiredness. There's no time for yourself. The Lord is moving, and if we are not following Him, we may miss our opportunity to participate in such a privileged time!

We are so blessed to be in the Lord's recovery, and to be in His recovery today. I have to admit, a few weeks ago, I was blind in how much the Lord is moving, especially here in Europe. The Lord truly desires to expedite His coming, and for that, He needs to gain this land as a testimony against the age.

Enough of my excited rambling. Let me give you a few reports. Over a thousand bibles, one-thousand one-hundred thirty-six to be exact, have been given out this past week to university students here in the London area. This is something beyond what every one of us have been expecting. We are not doing anything particularly special -- no drama, no rock band, no nothing. Just lovers of Christ, passing out the Word of God.

So, to be honest, I don't know why so many university students have been coming to our teeny table standing in the end of the sidewalk, asking for Bibles. Actually, scratch that, I think I may know of a crucial element that played a key role in creating such a hunger for the Word:

The Lord blesses the oneness, which is brought in by taking the blended way. We are not here just to carry out a successful campus work with structured organizations. We are here to build up the Body of Christ.

Prayer and fellowship time at the bookshop.
It all started out when a few dozen saints - students, full-time serving ones, and community - came to a small bookshop on Pentonville Road to enjoy the Lord together and pray for His move amongst the universities in London. Many paid not-a-small price in coming, time-wise and money-wise. 

So, I can try to analyze every single element in our Fresher's distributions, but I think just showing some pictures would be most entertaining.

Our first distribution. At the Westminster campus - 52 Bibles.
Queen Mary! This is the university where I'll be studying for the semester - 60 Bibles (ran out of Bibles). No picture, but South Bank distributed 80 Bibles before running out as well.
Sorry for the blurry picture -- after our double-hitter Wednesday (day we distributed at two campuses at the same time), we had a welcome dinner for the new ones. Food and fellowship was great! - Approx. 10 new ones or so.
Thursday @ University of Greenwich - 127 Bibles. We didn't run out of Bibles this time...because we got a second load! More Bibles were distributed on Friday as well.
Welcome Dinner @ University of Greenwich - 5 new ones or so. Another time of much enjoyment and really, really good food. There was also a second welcome dinner on Friday with more new ones!
Kingston on Friday. Kingston distributed 700 Bibles in total for the entire week! Amazing!!
Saturday Picnic @ Greenwich Park
Tuesday @ Brunel. 144 Bibles (ran out again) given out in 4 hours or so.
Brunel Welcome Dinner with 7 (or 8?) new ones. Again, really great food. We forgot songbooks so we just decided to sing verses from the Bible. Awesome time of fellowship.

Not to say that the Lord will not bear fruit this year, but even if we bore no fruit, I feel that there has been such a strong building up amongst the students here in London. And not just amongst the students, but with the full-time serving ones as well as the community saints. I truly believe that the Lord will grant us some remaining fruit this year. It's been an awesome opportunity to be part of such a laboring, paying a price for one another - praying for one another's campuses, going to each other's campuses, etc.. Blending really takes place when we are enjoying the Lord together, and there is no better way to enjoy the Lord together than singing with one another in the middle of the street!

And the things is, we are not finished yet! We are tackling one more campus twice this week, granting us two more days of blending with one another. The Lord is itching to gain more ground!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Greetings from London!

Hello there! It's been a while, a very looong while. I apologize. I have to admit that this last spring, I got a little burnt out and lost my motivation to blog, so I took a small hiatus. But I'm back now...on the other side of the pond! That's right, I'm currently on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in the other "United" country (the UK). I'll be taking this next semester off to study at Queen Mary University. I actually have been in Europe since the end of August, but have been very occupied with other sorts of things. Like what? You may ask. Well, mainly traveling to many different cities around Europe to visit the saints.

I would really love to talk about every single event and city, but if I did, I would bore you to death. So, I'll let some pictures do the talking. They say that a picture is a thousand words right? So, I'm still writing a lot, just in different media. Enjoy:

Bower House. Our family took hospitality close to the Bower House. This is the training center where the Lord has been actively moving the last few months through the Bible distributions.

Buckingham Palace. Of course, our family had to do the touristy stuff around London. I'll post more pictures in a future blog, maybe. But for now, this will suffice.

Amanatrust bookshop and cafe.

The Kang's. Our families have known each other for a while. Brother Newman used to serve at San Diego before migrating here to London. This is right in front of Bower House.

Our journeys then led us north to the land of the Scots! This is up a hill in Edinburgh with our dear brother Haggai Kim.

With the Kim's family at their restaurant - Kim's Korean Mini Meals. If there was a chart that accounted best tasting Korean food vs. Distance from Korea, this place would be an outlier. Beats Chicagoan Korean food for sure.

London Bible Distributions. What a blessed time! I cannot describe that one Wednesday with words. People are hungry for God's word. The Lord blesses when the entire Body acts and moves in one accord. In this picture alone, three continents are represented.

Colosseum, Rome. My dad and I took a little tour to Rome, Italy. This little detour may deserve a blog post of its own. Let's see if it surfaces. More pictures to follow.

The church in Madrid. Our family reunited again in Madrid, Spain, where we were able to join the table meeting there.

Segovilla, Spain.

Segovilla, Spain. Touristy stuff. They say that castle in the background is what inspired the castle in Disneyland. It was a really cool castle.

Madrid, Spain. I have to say that Madrid is one of the cleanest cities in Europe.

Cordoba, Spain. This is the beginning of our long trek south to visit the churches in southern Spain! On the left is brother Jameson Chen who migrated to Spain a few years ago and was our indispensable guide for the trip. He speaks perfect Spanish.

Prayer meeting at the church in Cordoba. Here is where I was forced to speak Spanish.

Sevilla, Spain. Second from the left is sister Cynthia. She is a very young sister who is an indispensable pillar for the church in Sevilla. Due to some circumstances, the church in Sevilla was left to be a few families in number. Still, she has been a steady rock, still standing for the Lord's testimony in Sevilla. We have no excuse, and I mean it. If you think the church life is hard, you need to hear this sister's testimony.

The church in Malaga. The biggest locality in Spain, full of authentic Spaniards. Wish I could have spent more time here blending with the saints.

The Martinez family. Dear couple where we stayed for hospitality. These saints have been in the church life for so long!  Pillars who love the Lord and follow the ministry in an absolute way.