News from Korea – Day 3

LAST DAY OF THE OCEAN CONFERENCE

The English word, OCEAN has been used as the title for this conference in Seoul as an anagram for these words: One Church Engaging All Nations. There are leaders here from most Asian nations. Although it is being facilitated by Koreans their heart is to unite Christian leaders – not just for a conference but to serve God’s purpose for the nations themselves. It is a bit like an international version of Crosslink – people being together for the sake of better effectiveness for all of the work they represent – not just strong people using weaker people and not just smaller people tagging along behind the big-name people. It is amazing. in this Conference it was hard to pick who the main leaders were. There were some very competent big name people there, but they were not speaking in all of the sessions and their “star” status was never promoted. Not only that, but the sharing of the sessions was from the different leaders from the nations telling us what was on their hearts and what God was doing and what they wanted God to do in their nations. We got to know that by them sharing their heart and we get to be a part of that because we know them in that way. Nine out of ten of the participants in this conference were under the age of twenty five. The worship was amazing. You would have to see video of it to get an idea. I woke up yesterday morning with the idea that I wanted to get hold of a South Korean soccer jersey. Next Saturday Australia will play Korea in the Asia Cup in Sydney. So I wanted to wear this jersey and point out that the kingdom of God works differently to the kingdom of this world. It is this-world thinking to want “us” to win and “them” to lose. If Jesus is the model, then if “they” lose, we all lose. In the Jesus model “we” are prepared to lose so that “they” can win. The cross is the supreme example of this kind of redemptive love. There is another way of this world, where we look for a “win-win” solution. We can find ourselves being defensive of what we have and protective. So we look for “win-win” options. Something in it for you and something for me. The kingdom of God is that we lay down our lives for one another. This is counter-intuitive to normal human operations and has killed a lot of testimony that would represent Jesus anywhere. So Daesop and I went off looking for a shop that would sell a South Korean jersey. There wasn’t one anywhere. I still believed that there was a way to get one, so I kept talking to people until David Cho, one of the core leaders of the group, said he would talk to the people in his office and get them looking, When I walked in to the session in the evening he brought me a bag with a wonderful South Korean soccer top. And the idea worked really well. Daesop interpreted for me and we have a good understanding now- and he is one of the few people who understand my accent anyway. It was a great night and Gods presence was hard to avoid. Amazingly we heard all kinds of testimonies later on of people who had come to the conference who were not believers, but by a whole lot of different means – and they were touched and experienced the healing love of God. There wasn’t an alter call anywhere and no one laid hands on anyone. The Holy Spirit did it through what was going on in the normal flow of the sessions. Today we are going back to the Kazakhstan Embassy to see if we have a visa. We fly out to Tashkent in Uzbekistan this evening to begin our time of sharing with Christian leaders in those two countries. Please be in prayer for us and pray that we will know what to say and how to say it. This is a very special time and I am part of a great team of godly blokes. Daesop and I will be travelling with Pastor Jeremiah Son and Pastor Jin-Young Kim. Pastor Kim was a missionary in this region for ten years and will be going back there when he and his wife find a way to get a visa. Our love to you all.

Brian and Daesop

O1 O2 O3 O4