Ukraine – shepherd nation and missionary sending nation
Kiev mission report – 2001 Missionary Dr. Peter Kim (Kiev UBF)
"He appointed twelve-designating them apostles-that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach. (Mark 3:14)
May God's comfort be with all our gospel coworkers who serve 1:1 Bible studies, discipleship ministry and world mission with all their hearts and souls and strength!
I pray that God may raise each mission field, which serves God's will, as a Bible teacher nation, a priestly nation, a shepherd nation, and a missionary-sending nation. In this 21st century, may God raise us as a priestly nation and use us in preaching the gospel to the ends of the earth. May the gospel change the people and revive the nations to live for the glory of God. Thank and praise God for Dr. Samuel Lee whom God used very preciously as a spiritual leader for this generation. May God fill Missionary Sarah Barry with the Holy Sprit and continue to use her to serve God's will in this generation too! I give thanks to God for being with Kiev UBF last year. He gave us 1 Peter 2:1,2 as our year key verse. He helped us to trust in His words absolutely and to experience the power of God by trusting and obeying His words.
I. World Mission
First, the ISU Conference: There were 13 attendants from the Kiev UBF. By God's grace we were able to prepare a Ukraine Dance and offered it as our prayer for world mission and our dear coworkers in Christ. Sister Anastasia presented a mission report as a representative. Dr. Peter Kim delivered a message, "The work of being born again," from John 3:1-21.
God had mercy upon us and strengthened our faith and hope through this conference. We renewed God's hope and vision for us to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. We decided to devote ourselves as warriors of faith and prayer in this generation. My coworker, Missionary Sarah, has fought the good fight of faith for the past ten years in this mission field. In the course of serving God's work and ministry, however, she became weak due to her exhaustion. Even though she needed some rest and restoration, it was impossible for me to provide her with necessary care due to the shortage of health facilities in this country. Dr. Samuel Lee, who heard about her situation, immediately invited her to the conference and then to Chicago to pray for and to take care of her. Even though he himself was not healthy, Dr. Lee took care of her as if she were his own daughter until she was restored fully both physically and spiritually. Now she is healthy and co-works with us, serving the gospel ministry with all her heart. I thank God for bringing joy and happiness into my family through reviving our souls. I deeply thank Dr. Samuel Lee for his fatherly love and Missionary Grace A. Lee and many coworkers in Chicago for their sacrificial love and prayer for one tired soul. As debtors in Christ we sincerely and prayerfully commit ourselves to world mission and discipleship ministry.
Second, the Moscow Summer Conference. The Moscow conference was held Aug. 23-26 on the outskirts of Moscow, Orlyonok. I sent 12 members as the journey team with Shepherd Ivan as the team leader because Moscow UBF prepared the conference. I gave them a prayer topic that they would be prayer servants for the conference and learn one thing from this conference. Shepherd Andrew Shpagin and sister Oksana Leuta shared their personal life testimonies. Shepherd Andrew is a computer programmer and a soft-game engineer. When he entered college, he suffered from loneliness and lustful desire. But through Bible study he was born again and became a good shepherd. At work he witnessed Jesus to his coworkers and brought brother Kapitan Vitali to Bible study. Now brother Kapitan lives as a Bible teacher. He also introduced Jesus to his company president and his mom so that they all accepted the gospel. When he sought God and his kingdom first at work, God blessed him to become a vice-director in his company and made the company prosperous with 60 employees from 20. Sister Oksana Leuta was wounded in her heart because of her parents' fighting in her childhood. She suffered from meaninglessness and emptiness of life. But in her sophomore year in college she met Jesus through John 8:11, "Then neither do I condemn you." This year through the "Faith and Revival" conference she learned the importance of having personal faith in Jesus. She made a decision of faith to grow as a mother of prayer, receiving common life training in obedience to Jesus' word, "Follow me."
Third, after the conference was over several Korean staff shepherds came to the Kiev UBF for a visit. At the meeting Shepherd Sue-Eui Shin and Shepherd John Shin gave us a heart moving messages entitled, "The hope of God," based on Isaiah chapter 2.
Fourth, in the fall Dr. Peter Kim attended the German conference in Bonn. On the way to Kiev, he stayed in Korea briefly for Bible study. Dr. Peter and Sarah Kim and Korean staff shepherds visited the Odessa UBF and had a fellowship of encouragement with Missionaries John and Grace Lee to carry out our world mission task.
II. Conference Report
First, the Spring conference. At the beginning of spring we had a joint Ukraine conference (Kiev and Odessa), hoping that God would establish his life-giving work and spiritual revival in the land of the Ukraine based on Habakkuk 2:4 and 3:2. The conference title was "Faith & Revival (spiritual renaissance)" and it was held May 11 -13 at the conference center nearby Kiev.
Historically speaking, the Slavs were not influenced by the philosophies of the Enlightenment and Renaissance. At the time only some people who belonged to the upper class enjoyed the benefits of politics, economy, culture, religion and new ideas. The rest of them, on the other hand, suffered endlessly at the bottom of society in their ignorance and poverty. This majority of people waited for a new leader who could save them from their misery and hardship, and this became the soil for communism to emerge. But Lenin or Stalin, who had no Law of God,- could not be their Messiah. Ironically, the people suffered most under their exploitation and mistreatment. Even though the Ukraine was the most fertile land among European countries, two million Ukrainians starved to death during the time of their harsh ruling.
The history of the Ukraine has been a repetition of holding a ray of hope to survive followed by the vicious cycle of sufferings and failures, and this is the same continual cycle today. Whenever I thought about them and their hardships I felt deep pain and was heart-broken. As a Bible teacher and a shepherd for them I felt a deep sense of obligation to help them experience the work of revival from their despair and fatalism. Thus, we prayed that God might bless this conference so that the people of this country may accept the living word of God and the eternal promises of the gospel into their hearts and experience the renaissance of life with the vision that God will revive this country powerfully.
Throughout the conference God was with us and provided us with abundant words, which were full of truth and grace. There was the work of God's words and the work of the Holy Spirit by the help of many coworkers who came from a distance. Shepherd Steve Stasinos from Chicago served the message based on John 21 very graciously. Missionary David Baik from New York prepared a good spiritual environment and helped message preparation in order to make our conference very spiritual and fruitful. Missionary Moses Kim from An-Am Center in Korea served a lecture based on Habakkuk chapter 2 on how to live a life of faith. I was personally moved and encouraged by him for his zeal for the word of God and the gospel of Jesus. S. Stefan Elsholz from Bonn, Germany served Luke's Gospel chapter 5 and enabled us to listen to Jesus who calls his people to be fishers of men. Many other missionary coworkers and shepherds also came from Heidelberg and Moscow to serve the conference. This conference was a beautiful conference during which all attendants kept their seats in order to listen to the word of God and repented their sins sincerely. God sent so many sheep to this conference that there were not enough rooms for their lodging. God heard our prayer and filled the conference room with 181 attendants: 116 (2 missionaries) from Kiev, 51 (4 missionaries) from Odessa and 14 guests from other chapters. I thank and praise God who heard our prayer and revealed his mercy and blessing through this conference.
Second, the Fall conference. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened" was the theme for our beautiful fall conference. Not long ago, we had started a new millennium, the 21 st century, with great hope and vision. Contrary to our wishes, however, the world was going nowhere but falling into deep chaos and darkness. People expected to have a peaceful 21st century; but the dream was shattered by the terrorist attacks. As a result, people are afraid of flying in airplanes. Life in this world is weary and burdensome. Through the conference, however, we learned that men are hungry and thirsty in this time of overflowing knowledge and information, not because they have no food to eat or water to drink but because they have no word of God in their hearts. As man loses his appetite when he is sick, so man loses his desire for the word of God when he becomes sick spiritually. We repented of our unbelief and decided to love the word of God all the more in order to live a joyful life. We confessed that only in God is there life, peace and joy. We praised God for giving us the great privilege of singing hymns and enjoying his blessing under the beautiful autumn sky.
Third, discipleship ministry, one-to-one Bible study and Sunday worship services. God has received our faith and compassion of five loaves and two fish, as well as the labor of prayers from our coworkers, and he blesses our discipleship ministry to be fruitful day by day. God has blessed our intensive Bible study and discipleship ministry for the past ten years. Many shepherds and shepherdesses who have received training and grown in their faith take stewardship for this ministry and pray for the gospel ministry to extend to 24 campuses in the Ukraine. Each of the nine fellowships with a fellowship leader and a vice-leader chose one campus and engages in fishing and one-to-one ministry. Also, one-to-one ministry and the number of Sunday worship service attendants are growing. We have 80 one-to-ones and more than 55 Sunday worship service attendants. We pray that God may enable us to have 120 one-to-ones and 100 Sunday worship service attendants this new year.
Among our four house churches God gave precious children to three. Thank God for giving Ivan to Shepherd Vlad's family, Lydia to Shepherd Vladmir Point's family, and Enoch to S. Ivan's family. Especially, we thanked and praised God who allowed a healthy baby boy to Shepherdess Ira, who had suffered from radiation-related disease. God took away all our worries and filled our hearts with thanksgiving for his marvelous grace and mercy. May God continue to establish many new house churches this spring and raise the Ukraine as a shepherd nation and a missionary-sending nation. We pray that God may bless this country by raising 1,000 mothers of prayer and send 500 of them as missionaries to other nations. Please pray for S. Anastasia and Ruth (Alyona) to receive training well and become the firstfruits of our prayer. May God bless our faith and prayer of five loaves and two fish!
As the self-supporting house churches are growing, our chapter has become almost independent financially. Joseph Kim Jr. and Sarah Kim Jr. are doing well in the new environment in the Mission School. Our youngest son, Peter is growing healthily.
I thank and praise God for his great mercy upon us unworthy servants. We humbly pray that God may enable us to maintain his blessing well and give our hearts to prayer, Bible study and discipleship ministry. Thank God who works through our faith. Praise God who reveals his divine will to those who accept God's hope and vision and obey him. May God accept our prayer for this country and pour out his Holy Spirit upon this desert-like country and make her a shepherd nation and a missionary-sending nation with the work of the mighty spiritual revival!
III. What I learned
Last year I learned that I am a kingdom of priests and a holy nation and God's hope should be my own hope and vision. For this, my faith and hope need to grow. When I overcome this ungodly generation through God's hope in me, I can please God. The people of Israel left Egypt holding onto God's promise of raising them as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. However, they abandoned the promise of God and lost the holy vision and hope of God for them. God delivered the people of Israel from the slavery of Egypt so that he could bless them as a kingdom of priests and a holy nation and use them as the center for world mission. It was God's amazing grace and blessing for them. However, they were not thankful for God's holy hope in them.
While they lived in the wilderness, they did not overcome slave and beggar mentality. They did not trust in God. Finally, they abandoned God. They were unable to enter the Promised Land and became miserable in the wilderness. General Caleb and General Joshua were different from the other Israelites. God's hope and vision were burning in their hearts. They did not compromise with the situation. They longed to conquer the land of Canaan and to render glory to God. They wanted to show to the whole nation that God was the living God. When they had faith in God, they could overcome the sense of defeat and despair that resulted from hopeless human circumstances. Thus, they accomplished God's will and created the great history of God. Last year, I often lost God's vision like the people of Israel and lived a powerless life with negative thinking. When Satan repeatedly accused me, I lost hope and became doubtful of God's calling. I wondered if I should devote my life to God. I often lost direction as a missionary and a servant of God. I despaired and sorrowed over myself who, I think, looked like a grasshopper.
However, by the end of the year, God's word from Numbers touched my spirit. God restored my vision and strengthened my hope to conquer the Promised Land through the words of Numbers. I realized that I lost direction not because of my human circumstance but because of the lack of God's vision. God's hope was not my own. I had a human-centered hope in this world. God helped me to realize that I have to constantly repent of my worldly desires and hold on to God's hope and vision. I have to continue to struggle to live as God's servant until I enter the Promised Land Canaan that was prepared for me through my Lord Jesus Christ. How great the grace of God for me that I serve the will of God and participate in God's redemptive history while I live as a pilgrim in this world! I give thanks to God who not only saved me from the sea of meaninglessness and emptiness but also called me to be a fisher of men. I give thanks to God who called the slave people and molded them to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Our Lord is the Lord of lords and the King of kings. His will be done. I earnestly pray that I may humbly obey God's call and be used as a righteous instrument of God's work. This new year I want to study the Bible wholeheartedly. I want to study the Ukrainian language diligently and have much progress. I pray that God may help Ukrainian people to have God's hope. May the Ukraine grow as a great shepherd nation. I sincerely give thanks to all mission coworkers who prayed for me last year.
IV. The year 2002 prayer topics:
Kiev Center Key Verse: Mark 3:14.
Missionary Sarah Kim: John 15:5.
Dr. Peter Kim: Isaiah 49:2.
Shepherd Kyung Sun Park: Isaiah 26:34
Prayer Topics for 2002:
1. The year of wholehearted Bible study
2. Dr. Peter Kim may grow spiritually and speak fluent Ukrainian
3. To raise up 24 disciples, 120 1:1 Bible studies weekly, 100 SWA
4. God may establish 4 new house churches, and send out one missionary