A total of 2,754 new believers has been added to the kingdom of God through a partnership evangelism project involving Baptists from the United States and South Korea.
W.H. "Dub" Jackson, who helps organize partnership evangelism projects for the International Mission Board, led a team of 121 Southern Baptists from the United States to South Korea. There, the volunteers paired with Korean believers to host thirty-seven evangelistic campaigns in local churches.
"The experience is better in every way than any of us could have ever hoped for," said Alan Tungett, a LifeWay Christian Resources employee who led one team. "There are very few things in my Christian life that can compare with what our team has experienced over the last few days."
Partway through the outreach, Tungett reported his team already had witnessed nineteen people accept Christ. One of the new believers did not have a Bible, so Tungett gave the man his.
Another volunteer, Paul Dowdy, from McKinney, Texas, led a team with Kim Jo Mo, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Suwon City, Korea. Kim's church averaged about thirty attenders before the crusades. Fifteen new members joined the church and contacts were made with twenty other new believers.
Dowdy's team witnessed in apartments, public schools, a university, and a Samsung Electronics building. Through their visits, the Christians shared the gospel with many people and saw God work in extraordinary ways.
The team was invited to lay hands on a Korean woman who was suffering from a severe back injury. After the Christians prayed for her, she experienced a complete healing. The woman received Christ as her Savior and led several others to the Lord through her testimony.
The teams conducted home visitations during the days and held evangelistic services in the evenings. The Christians' activities attracted the attention of the mayor of Suwon City, who welcomed the team and their ministry.
The number of new Christians is significant for Baptist leaders in South Korea, who feared their convention was no longer growing. They contacted Jackson last year to request volunteers for the nationwide campaign, which officials hoped would jumpstart new growth in the convention.
Volunteers gathered after the weeklong projects to share stories and reports.
One volunteer shared how a young man had taken an American team member to visit his parents, and saw both accept Christ. Another team member told about seven junior high girls who prayed to accept Christ after meeting one of the American teenagers.
"We heard many wonderful testimonies of how God had worked during the crusades," said Dennis Brotherton, an International Mission Board missionary in Korea. "We give God the glory for all that he did during these wonderful meetings."
Jackson already is beginning to plan for a number of evangelism projects in Hong Kong, scheduled to take place July 18-31, 2001. Hong Kong Baptists have requested twenty teams to help 290 churches. The cost of the trip is $2,595.
For more information or to sign up for the project, contact Jackson by phone at (915) 698-8480; fax, (915) 698-4000 or e-mail, [email protected]. The mailing address is 2426 Spyglass Hill Court, Abilene, TX 79606.
Prayer Walking in China
Christian workers in China are forging new pathways into communities and people groups that have never before heard of the loving Savior. Young, healthy prayer walkers from Tennessee recently entered a remote village in China that had not had contact with the outside world for more than fifty years.
The team had already prayer walked several other villages when they decided to brave the bus ride required to enter the mountainous village that was elevated 2,000 meters up from the main road. Traveling on a road so rugged that it was almost impassable, the group arrived at their destination late in the afternoon. They soon discovered that there wasn't a place large enough to pitch their tent. But since it was too late to turn back, they began to work on an alternate plan.
Soon they secured permission to sleep at a small government operated health clinic. There, amidst the soiled linens and rickety beds, they dropped their backpacks. An official arrived shortly thereafter to tell them that they were not to leave the clinic without supervision. They were then subjected to several hours of questioning, after which they were escorted to a village restaurant where they were closely supervised throughout supper.
It was during the supper that one of the village elders asked them, "Are you part of that other group?" The team leader who was able to communicate in Chinese said, "What other group?" The elder explained that he was referring to the "group" that had crashed their plane there more than fifty years earlier. He went on to explain that although they refused to allow the foreigners to salvage the airplane, they had let them depart the community unharmed.
"Reality hit my volunteer team," reported the long-term Christian worker.
"They realized that they had never been into such a remote area of the world – a place that had not had outside visitors in five decades, and then only because of a plane crash."
Early the next morning, the group was escorted to the lone bus that connected the village with the main road. But they left many gospel tapes and copies of the Jesus film behind. He reflected on the brief village sojourn, "We prayed over the area as best we could under 'clinic arrest.'
"Only the Lord knows what impact that prayer, and the materials will make in the life of the village."
The unreached people group worker went on to say, "You can find this village at the crossroads of your prayer map. It is located at the edge of where lostness remains and where I am called to serve."