SILVER SPRING, Md. (BP)–A total of 128 Korean-Americans made commitments to overseas missions service during the Korean-American International Missions Celebration at Global Mission Church of Greater Washington in Silver Spring, Md., in September.
Members of 25 Korean-American churches from Maryland and 12 from Virginia gathered for the event, which was the fourth in a series of five celebrations with a goal of recruiting and deploying 1,000 new Korean-American missionaries.
One participant said she learned how to turn her desire to obey God into
“To serve without question is the main thing the Lord has given me to do,”
said T.J. Woo. “I didn’t know how international missions worked, and then they explained it to me.”
In addition to small group sessions with International Mission Board leaders and missionaries, Korean-Americans enjoyed worship, heard a challenge from IMB President Jerry Rankin and examined resources available from the agency.
With more than 5,100 missionaries, missionary support from more than 42,000 local churches and well-organized volunteer projects, the IMB is a very effective channel for missions involvement, said host church pastor Man Poong Kim.
Global Mission Church hosted the celebration in hopes of introducing more
Korean-American congregations to effective partnership opportunities through the board, Kim said. And, as the IMB is forced to limit missionary appointments because Southern Baptist giving is not keeping up with the number of missionaries God is calling, Kim is encouraging Korean-Americans to be faithful in their giving.
“If they stay as they are now, their fruits will be limited,” he said. “If they get involved with the Cooperative Program and International Mission
Board, God will use them more effectively.”
God has blessed Koreans for more than a generation, and now it’s their turn to be a blessing, said another participant.
“For the past 25 years Koreans have been tremendously blessed by the Lord,” said Dan Moon, who planted Asian-American churches for more than three decades through the North American Mission Board. “It is our turn to go out and do mission work.”
When Jacob Suktae and Poong Ja Shin became Southern Baptists’ first Korean-American missionaries in 1989, few Korean-American churches were working with the IMB. Today, though, they are glad to see Korean-Americans catching a vision for partnership missions and becoming deeply involved through the board.
The Shins retired from active missionary service in August 2001, and he now serves as a consultant for language churches with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. He encourages congregations to have a big, God-fueled vision, a passion for loving God and their neighbors and perseverance to never give up their ministry.
IMB President Jerry Rankin challenged participants to lay their lives on the altar and obey God’s leadership.
“God may want you here [in the United States], but you can never be sure until you’re willing to go wherever He leads,” he said.
A total of 439 individuals have made commitments to volunteering or to long-term missions service in the four Korean-American missions celebrations held to date. The next celebration will be held Feb. 28-29 at Takoma First Baptist Church in Tacoma, Wash.
There are 750 Korean-speaking Southern Baptist churches across the United
States. Except for Caucasians, more Koreans serve as International Mission Board workers than any other ethnic group.
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: GREETINGS and WORSHIPPING.