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서길성/조이스 선교사 2018년 8월 선교편지

글쓴이 : 천성교회 날짜 : 2018-11-03 (토) 01:10 조회 : 45

Late Summer 2018

                       
Equipping and Empowering                          
Emerging Leaders in Cambodia        

2 Things I learned on Home service


It’s hard to believe that it was only a few months ago that I (Joyce) kicked off my time in North America with a visit to “Live Café” in Chicago and a Cubs game with Resonate regional colleagues. Time with churches and supporters was truly bittersweet because, though we enjoy the time with churches and supporters, it was simply too short.  I always feel like I don’t do full justice to the relationships.  People and churches were exceedingly gracious, kind and generous.  There were times when I was overwhelmed with the kindness and generosity that we experienced.   

I think many of us learn that it is “better to give than to receive.”  We missionaries often function in a giving mode in our contexts and fields.  But on home service the tables turn. This time in North America, God impressed on me that “it is also good to receive.”  Part of God’s economy is to let others be kind, pour out their hearts, and give.  It’s good for the savior complex, it reminds us that we are part of a body in which all give and all have need. 

If time with churches and friends was short, time with family seemed even shorter.  I didn’t get to see every close family member.  Then, at the end of the summer, I started thinking “time with David was really not enough and now I have to let go of Isaac too.”  It was more difficult than I thought to see them drive away at the Grand Rapids airport. “I have to leave them to God,” I thought. 

I don’t deny that I had some sad time in my long flights home--and since.  But, God gave me some snapshots that I think he wants me to hold on to.  We attended the wedding of the daughter of former mission colleagues from Nigeria. There was a large group of mission “Aunts and Uncles.”  
We’ve missed so many family events and milestones over the years, but I realized “this is a niece’s wedding.” What a rich life I’ve been given, to have extended family like this!  Then, when the Cambodian ladies hugged me after church one Sunday in Holland Michigan, and we were invited to a birthday lunch (Cambodia feast) I thought, “these are my people too!”  

In my last church visit (Rosewood CRC, Bellflower CA), we were prayed over in each of three services.  The last was the Spanish-speaking service.  After our presentation we were walking to the back and they called us forward again.  We couldn’t leave without a hug and a spoken blessing from everyone in attendance.  Mission makes community--bonds that surpass the ordinary. “See, Joyce,” God is showing me, “this is part of the family that I’ve given you.  And this is just a taste of the family that is coming when I make all things new.”

SEAPI and CLAY


I (Gil) just returned to Cambodia after another intense summer home service. Joyce and Mary had returned earlier to Phnom Penh for Mary’s school. I’m grateful for every church I visited and everyone I met, although I couldn’t visit every supporting church or every individual supporter within a 2 ½-month period. We officially spoke at 15 churches in Michigan, Ohio and California and visited with quite a number of individuals at their homes and over coffee. It was challenging, but as always, I felt so loved and blessed by people’s generosity and hospitality. I greatly enjoy reconnecting with dear people and sharing what God’s doing in our life. 












One highlight was reconnecting with friends from SEAPI (South East Asia and Pacific Islanders) and CLAY (Christ Like Asian Youth). I carved out the time to briefly join their annual conference in Tennessee, Illinois. SEAPI is a group of leaders of ethnic churches in the CRC—such as Cambodian, Filipino, Vietnamese, Laotian, Hmong, Indonesian and Samoan. Before my family left for Cambodia 10 years ago, I became close to some of these leaders. I vividly remember Joyce and I were prayed over and commissioned by this group at one of their annual conferences. It was such a blessing to meet them in person again. 

It was even more special because the meeting was held together with the CLAY conference. CLAY is a gathering of young people from South East Asian ethnic churches in the mid-west. These 2nd generation youth (Jr. high to college age) spend a week in worship, Bible study and fellowship. They organize the conference by themselves with minimum help from outside. I could tell that these young people’s Christian identity and faith was being strengthened. And future leaders of the churches and kingdom workers were being raised up. It was beautiful to witness SEAPI (first generation leaders) and CLAY (second generation youth) worshiping and fellowshipping together. 

A concrete example of intergenerational engagement and leadership transfer is Cambodian Fellowship Church in Holland, Michigan. A group of Cambodian refugees started this church about 30 years ago under the leadership of Socheth Na (a SEAPI leader). Pastor Socheth is a caring pastor and a visionary leader. He saw the need to raise up leaders among the 2nd generation youth of his church. He recruited and encouraged Sophat (who grew up in the church) to pursue pastoral training. Now Sophat is co-pastor of the church with Socheth. The plan is that, within a few years, Sophat will become the pastor and Socheth would step back. 

Sophat is also one of the key leaders of CLAY and involved in discipling other 2nd generation young people in South East Asian congregations. Among the ethnic churches started by refugees and immigrants, God is raising up young leaders like Sophat through older leaders like Socheth. Resonate Global Mission recognizes groups like SEAPI and CLAY as God’s gifts to our denomination and the wider body of Christ. We see all kinds of Kingdom possibilities among and through these groups. SEAPI leaders and churches still have connection to their home countries and have a desire to participate in God’s mission among their peoples. Resonate Global Mission will continue to explore what it would look like to partner with SEAPI and CLAY for the gospel ministry among South East Asians both in North America and in South East Asia. Pray for discernment and guidance. 

Upcoming Ministry


After the summer visit to North America, we are back to our life and ministry of coaching/mentoring, training and networking in Cambodia and South East Asia. The next few months will be filled with activities, moving and travels. Please pray for energy and safety. 

- September: We will host Joel and Patty Hogan who will lead a 2-day “Soul Care” retreat. Joel was former director of ministries for Resonate and recently retired.  Patty was active in prayer and care at Madison Square, Grand Rapids.  They have a heart for bringing spiritual renewal and refreshment through spiritual formation and direction.  We hope that this may lead to a cohort of people who will carry on and bring similar ministry in the Cambodia contexts in which they work. We plan to move to smaller accommodations at the end of September.  

- October:  Joyce will travel to Nepal to lead a strategy review of Resonate’s work in that field.  One of the questions on the table will be adapting to a project model for the work in.  Can we conceive of ministry in different categories which will facilitate relationship and maximize resources?  This is a potential pilot or test case for the project approach. Gil will make a quick trip to the Holistic Mission Network meeting in Philadelphia. 
 
Prayer

- for David and Isaac to finish up their summer work and start off their college life well. And for Mary to be get a good start in the IB program which is academically much demanding.  
- for our visa renewal into one-year visa to be smooth
- for the health and healing of our relative Tina Vander Veen, our colleagues, Ver Bernardino and Dave Nederhood, and our friends’ daughter Jordan Friedburg 
- for coffee break--Joyce did training and is praying with Deb Wilson (RCA) about how and where to implement what we’ve learned in small group evangelistic bible study.
- for discerning our long-term ministry plan/direction

 
 
Gil & Joyce Suh
Resonate Cambodia

*Here is our home service video: https://vimeo.com/287186944