“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes… ” Romans 1:16
“Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” Genesis 12:1
Lots of teachings in the church and in the Bible surround this concept of surrender to God. But what does it mean?
It means ceasing to fight and to wrestle with God or against God and to surrender, to forfeit, to let go of your own will, your own plans, your desires, your own sins. It also means to stop depending on yourself and your talents and strengths. You do not endeavor to accomplish anything and, instead, depend on God’s Spirit, his word, his leading, his power to do everything.
A surrendered person wants something and she checks the Scriptures to ensure that it is good, it is righteous, that it is a needed thing. Then she prays about it seeking God’s Spirit for confirmation that if the things she desires is his will, or not, because many times his general will doesn’t mean a specific go ahead for an individual at that particular time. If she senses– and this is the tricky part– that God has planted that dream and her, then her mantra must be henceforth, “Not by my might or power but, by your Spirit, Lord!” And if she’s married, she can tack on the end of that line, “…and with my husband’s joyful consent and cooperation.” She doesn’t depend on her networking prowess, nor her nagging. She depends on God to work and to orchestrate. She doesn’t depend on her abilities to manage her manipulate.
She casts her bread on the waters and waits to see where God brings the harvest. She opens her mouth only when pertinent with people and also in prayer to God. This is a surrendered woman.
Prayer: This is what and who I have not been but what and who I desire to be by Your Spirit, Jesus. I surrender to walk by Your Spirit. What if I don’t like where I end up, though? “What if’s” are poison and, YOU know, Father!
Reminder: God will walk beside you, Dear Heart, and he’ll be there wherever you end up. His Spirit who leads you there will always be with you to draw power from if you are willing!
Bye Bye 2018!
The last day of 2018 at 6:30 p.m. found me lying on the couch scrolling through Pinterest, completely wasting time. Three of my 4 teenagers had gone to friends’ houses to ring in the new year. One of my teens preferred to stay home and was snickering at funny Youtube videos a few feet away. My husband had gone to the store 2 hours before and apparently had gotten lost there…or trampled by the throngs of crowds who couldn’t think of anything better to do than wade through traffic and long lines. But who was I to judge? I was re-pinning photos of hairdos I’d never do and gardens I’d never plant.
I thought how pathetic that was, so I sat up and began to write this. The first thing I’d have to do was justify my laziness. After a massive fight with one of my children, I barely got any sleep last night. Then, I’d tutored English for an hour and a half in the morning. I’d done a few loads of laundry. I’d taken down the Christmas tree. I’d cooked a meal and washed lots of dishes. However, those cheesecake ingredients went back into the fridge and that job application would just have to wait until next year. It was very unlike me to kill time scrolling through Pinterest, really. Maybe I was still in a funk from Christmas, which was so depressing; I don’t even want to describe it. It suffices to say that the kids were disappointed with their small gifts, and I missed the hubbub of extended family get-togethers for my 8th year in a row, and I was sick of it. As a mild protest, which no one noticed, I didn’t plug in the Christmas lights that day.
There is a saying, “Today is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you’ll ever be.” Although not as succinctly, I thought that one day when I was about 25 years old. I was staring at my hand for some reason and felt a little distain for the deepening wrinkles and thickening joints. I thought I should be thankful for how my hands looked at that moment because they’d never look that young again.
Recently, that thought darted into my head again as I reflected on this year. I felt more than a little distain for the deepening sadness and thickening relational callouses with one of my children. I thought—and this may not make sense—that if I swap out the superlatives, the first half of the sentence would ring true. “This year is the worst you’ve ever been…” but I hope the second half would not be, “…and the best you’ll ever be.” No! Don’t assassinate my hope! Relationships don’t work that way! The body may peak and then decline, but, “Oh God, don’t allow my spirit or my relationships to do the same.”
In a few hours, the earth will keep whirling around in space, oblivious to the countdowns and merry renditions of “Auld Lang Syne.” But, old prophet Isaiah, of long, long ago, tell me: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.”
My clock will toll midnight, but our Lord chime in my heart the promise, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
My calendar will tell me that it is the first day of a new year, and, oh great King, command my heart to, “write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true…I am making everything new!” Amen, let it be so.
By Jay Lee
Imagine you lived in city run by drug lords. You are addicted to cocaine, and you make your living selling it. One day, you discover a government program that helps addicts get off drugs. You join. You go through the rehab. You are set free from cocaine. You realize the awful effect it has had on you, and you are glad you are clean even though you are poor since you can’t sell cocaine anymore.
The government announces it will be cracking down on drug users and sellers, but it promises to pardon anyone who gets out of the cocaine business before the crackdown. Almost everyone is addicted to cocaine, and most of them are making living by manufacturing and selling cocaine to the rest of the country.
You are commissioned by the government to go into the city and get as many people out of the cocaine business as possible before the government comes with military. What would you do?
- I would go out to the streets with huge loud speakers and announce the government’s plans and tell them to stop. I would tell about the program that I went through and how much better I feel now. I may get shot but I care too much to watch people suffer as addicts and eventually get punished as criminals.
- I will meet people individually, be friends with them and educate them about the danger of cocaine and the government’s plan. I will lose friends and be hated by people but I care too much to watch people suffer as addicts and eventually get punished as criminals.
- I will ignore their actions as if you do not know what they are doing, and do nothing. After all, I used to be just like them, and I don’t want to be judgmental. What worked for me may not work for everyone.
- I will tell people that it is okay to continue and reassure them that the government may not even come, so don’t worry. Breaking an addiction is too painful anyway; so just let them be happy for the little time they have left.
- I will join them and make money again by helping sell cocaine; after all the government doesn’t pay much for this job they commissioned me to do.
Thank You, Teacher
By Jay Lee
The sea of blue graduation caps tilted upward and a hush fell over the MIU graduates as their eyes followed another speaker to the podium. The young woman leaned toward the microphone and said, “First of all, I thank Professor Jay Lee for forcing me to go to church every Sunday.”
The rest of what she said was a blur to me because I was so shocked that she said that! I had invited her to church as often as I met her in my classes or in the cafeteria but she usually refused. But there I was, among these very special 2016 graduates hearing the surprising words myself! Since they were freshman, I had taught their management classes, helped them with their academic and emotional problems, taught them the Bible, and repeatedly invited them to come to church! But their senior year, I had to be in the states for the sake of my own children’s education so I promised them I would at least come for their graduation. Someone asked me: “What is the ministry value of this trip?” The first line of the graduation speech answered this question and many more. It ministered to my heart tremendously, but God had a lot more in store.
After the ceremonies, the graduates and their families happily posed for photos with their friends and professors. I was standing by the school door, and one lady came up to me and handed me a bundle of flowers. I thought she was trying to sell it to me until she said a name I recognized; she was the mother of one of my most outstanding students. I have been in MIU since 2010, and have seen hundreds of students graduating in 5 graduation ceremonies, yet this was the first time that I’ve received a bundle of flowers from a parent, especially because this woman is not a Christian, but she has seen the remarkable work Christ has done in her daughter through my discipleship, and she wanted to express her gratitude.
Last Sunday, I had 4 people came to my house church. Three of them were not Christians. One of them was an MIU alumnus, who I had shared the gospel with for four years but had remained indifferent to the message. After the service, while we were eating lunch, I shared my personal testimony for almost two hours with them. Then the alumnus started asking questions about Christianity and the Bible. I realized she was having a hard time at work but that was drawing her closer to God. God used her hard situation to open her to the gospel.
On Monday, I was planning to go horse riding with some students, it fell through. I was disappointed. Then Nyamka who I led to Christ 3 years ago texted and asked me if we could meet. I went to school and found out that her father had a heart attack and she was scared. We discussed the grace of God in difficult situations, and prayed together. After praying, I had a chance to share the gospel with another non-Christian worker, and knew that God lovingly cancelled the horse-riding plans.
Please pray for Zolbo and Hulan to open their hearts to God and confess Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior, for Nyamka’s family that they would all come to God and grow through this difficult situation, and for Hulan that she would be a believer.
Habakkuk 3:19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.
One of my goals during the furlough was regaining my strength. Before I went to Mongolia, I used to exercise 3 hours a day; running 7 miles in one hour, playing basketball for an hour and lifting weights for an hour. I was fit and had energy that lasted for 5 years. In Mongolia, I had almost no time to exercise due to my busy schedule, the only thing I did was walking back and forth to school which took less than 30 minutes each way. So, when I came to Jacksonville, a great place for people into exercise, I wanted to regain my former glorious strength! It was not as easy as I thought, I can barely run 6 miles in one hour, but it is still better than nothing.
The other morning, I pushed myself to get ready for a 6 mile run. I had an iPhone in an arm band and a Bluetooth in my ear. As I was running, I was listening to uplifting praise songs to forget the agony of running. Then, suddenly the music stopped at about a mile into the running. I realized that I have forgotten to plug the device into an outlet to recharge. Now the Bluetooth was out of battery and not playing any music, but I still had to carry it the rest of my run. Once what gave me pleasure in my ears now became a useless and burdensome device that I had to carry. I was pretty annoyed by the whole situation.
At that time, I heard a small voice – not from the Bluetooth device though. I realized that this is how we would be if we do not recharge ourselves. If we do not plug ourselves to God and recharge regularly, we would be totally useless and burdensome to God. We are called to glorify God, but, we cannot fulfill our purposes unless we are charged with the power of Holy Spirit. We cannot afford to be too busy or too lazy to recharge because our battery will run out, and we will not be functional anymore. We need to plug ourselves into God the source of the power through mediating on the scriptures, praying and having fellowship with other Christians. Once we find the strength in the Sovereign LORD, He enables us to tread on the heights, and our feet are like the feet of a deer! Let it be so in us, amen?
The following letter was written by our teammate, Gillian N. She gave me permission to change the names/examples to reflect the students whom Jay and I serve. And, yes, this is our April newsletter, and, yes, it snows here well into May! Enjoy.
It looked like the snow was falling in slow motion. Watching from our 8th floor apartment the minute flakes danced and sparkled like a million diamonds cascading earthwards. We marveled as each flake somersaulted past our window; each perfectly formed, lacy and wafer-thin, delicate and unique. Within a few hours the snow had transformed the city into a pristine wonderland.
The following morning the steely sun had all but washed that wonderland into grayness. Houses, grimy from the long winter smog, belched black smoke from their chimneys, while cars, bumper to bumper, filled the air with toxic fumes. Pedestrians dashed to work sliding along icy pavements, while overall-clad street cleaners chipped away at the frozen snow one painful shovelful at a time. The previous day’s magic had receded to be replaced by the usual.
Over the last 5 years we’ve worked with college students at -M- University. We’ve listened to their stories and we’ve watched as God has worked amazing things in their lives. It has been extraordinary, but we still have our feet on the ground living in the real world of struggles and irritations, trials and anger.
Last year, Oka went to -C- on a summer mission trip with Jay and a team of MU students. She committed her life to mission work for the Lord; she was baptized 6 months later. Yet, shortly after her baptism, Oka stopped coming to church. She got pregnant by her Shaman boyfriend. They’ve had the baby and are living together with plans to get married. They’ve been to church once with their infant.
Leo is an –M- who grew up in Europe. He came regularly to our house church and was doing a Bible study with Jay each week. He was changing; he talked about experiencing the Spirit, though he was still confused and unsure. He broke up with his Buddhist girlfriend and began coming to church with Helen, his new girlfriend, who was open to the gospel. We saw the pristine snowflakes tumble past our window, so to speak. But just as quickly as a spring snowfall turns to slush, Leo’s relationship with Helen turn immoral and abusive. Leo will not come to church and has been avoiding Jay. However, Helen has been confessing her sin, she moved back with her parents and has just believed in Jesus!
This week, 3 students prayed with Jay to become Christians. We hold our breath, hoping the prayers were sincere and that Jesus is now holding them in his capable hands. Two other students are very close to responding to the Gospel. Please pray that they would have Christ: the Light and the Life.
The Madison family was the “perfect” missionary family. They’d lived in –M- for a decade, had children of their own and adopted children—all of whom loved living in –M-. They spoke the language very well, led their team with enthusiasm and brought many missionaries to the country to serve effectively. Yet within a month, they announce they were having marriage problems and were gone.
And so the list goes on, real difficulties, real challenges, both large and small in the midst of everyday life. Listening to students recount their trials, hearing their frustrations and the ‘if onlys’ that punctuate their conversation, reminds us of our own frustrations and the ease with which we blame our struggles on others, God or even, inanimate objects; how many times I’ve said, “That computer makes me so angry!”
Our friends tell us that if their situations changed, if they lived somewhere else or their relationships were different then the pressures would be alleviated and they would respond differently. We smile. How many times have we used those lines only to arrive at the understanding that God is more concerned with my response to the problem than with the difficulty itself? His focus to my exasperated prayers that long to see others or my circumstances change always reflects back onto me; I guess because my prayers expose the shortcomings in my own life.
We tell our friends that God knows what He’s doing when he allows us to pass through difficulties. Naturally we long to live without trials and in our prayers for family and friends we’ve often asked God to relieve them of the trials they are encountering. Sometimes God has answered our prayers but many times He has not because, we later realize, He has greater purposes to work out. It’s our experience that in the midst of trials we grow as the Lord teaches and disciplines us, preparing and equipping us to face what lies ahead.
Whatever our life looks like to us now, the truth is God is in control. And despite any propensity we may have to drift away from trusting Him and live by our own efforts and resources, God is always with us, sustaining and enabling us and reminding us that we never reach a point where we graduate from dependency on Him.
The snow-covered landscape is beautiful. Part of me longs to always live in that pristine world, to be able to see the pure, white blanket blot out the grim. But of course that would not be living in reality; because, for most of us, our reality is colored with greyness. The smog that descends on this city hides the surrounding mountains from view. The mountains have not moved. They are hidden but they are still on the edge of the city, reminding me that their majesty merely lies in the shadows.
God is the same. How quickly my view of His glory, His purity and holiness becomes obscured by the trials surrounding me as I am immersed in tricky situations with particular people and specific tasks. All of us, ourselves and our friends, need to maintain a balance in seeing His bigger picture and not allow our pedestrian lives to squeeze out our view of His reality. We need to hold in balance the truth of His glories while we also recognize the demonstrations of his power in the middle of the muddle.
In praying for our friends we asked that the Lord would allow their eyes to be lifted up to see that even though they experience unexpected difficulties in places they would not chose to go, and with people they would not chose to be with, God allows us all to be in these situations in order to produce in us something wonderful that we cannot achieve on our own.
Thank goodness that His grace is always present and completely sufficient for all our needs.
Love, J and Rox and Family
Well, it’s March 20th, 2015 and we’ve been in our new apartment a little over 3 weeks. The story of how we moved is somewhat interesting, and it testifies to the Lord’s loving guidance so I’ll share it.
A year ago, I wrote on one of my prayer cards that I wanted a school for my children where they could meet other Christian MKs. I also wrote that I wanted a house and a yard and/or a car! I was actually aching for these gifts. Life had been fairly challenging since we came to -M-, and I was honestly feeling entitled. But if I couldn’t have any of those, I asked the Lord to give me contentment in lieu of them. And so, ever so gently, Christ began teaching me about being content. One by one, He said, “No.” And I felt complete removal of each of the desires.
Six months ago, I wrote that I had received the peace I sought. I didn’t need to leave -M- as I had been wishing. I had the Lord’s word, Psalm 37:3, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.”
But what would that look like? I had home schooled 3 of my children for the first 3 years in -M-. My youngest had been attending Korean school. Both situations were very stressful and I couldn’t imagine going back to either of them. The 4th year, MS offered to open an elementary school. It was a blessed answer to prayer. But after its first experimental year, the administration decided to close it down. We decided to try the one remaining schooling option: the Home School Co-op. Despite my trepidation based on previous bad experiences with the Co-op, we were delighted from the first day. Praise God: our 5th year is our best yet!
Since we didn’t have a car, the kids would need to take a taxi to school and back, which cost $100 a month. To save money, I wanted to move closer to the co-op. Plus, our 500 square feet apartment was feeling more cramped each day. Our sons and daughters were getting too big for the bunks I built them (I am a woman who to build stuff), and they needed to have a separate girls and boys room. I prayed so hard to move to a better place, but nothing opened up. So finally, I decided that I would not seek to move; it just caused too much dissatisfaction in me. If God opened up a place, we’d go for it. Otherwise, we’d just stay put.
Again, my desire to move disappeared and I literally forgot about it. Besides, I had other things on my mind. Our furlough year was approaching and Jay and I could not decide what to do. Should we take a year in the U.S. to rest and finish Jay’s degree? I liked that idea and began to fantasize about traveling the States in an RV as a happy family. Of course, we had no money for that so I prayed in earnest. However, another option would be to only take 6 months off to visit supporters and family and forget the RV. But what about the disruption in the kid’s schooling? They had finally come to enjoy school in Mongolia. What about their newly formed friendships? My heart was in turmoil. I had been wanting to go back to the States so badly and suddenly, I was actually asking Jay if we could come back to M for the start of the school year in September rather than being nomads in the U.S. And just like that, we made a plan NOT to take a furlough for the sake of the children’s education and relationships. After the decision, I felt peace mingled with pain; kind of like when you have a necessary surgery. I thought, “Lord, this decision is an offering to You. I’ll pour it on Your feet. It is costly. I’m giving up time with my family at holidays and birthdays and normal days just like I have for 5 years. I ached with homesickness and now I’m actually pouring out the furlough onto your feet willingly? People might say (I might say!) it doesn’t make sense and that it is a waste of what we’ve saved up, like the alabaster jar of pure nard saved for a special occasion. But oh, my beautiful Jesus, You are worth it, and we’ve got to act on what we believe you are leading us to do—even if we’re wrong. Will You accept this decision as an offering of love—even if later all the plans change?”
Just hours after I prayed the above prayer, I was amazed by the sermon at our church specifically about the alabaster jar from John chapter 12; about how often things don’t make sense from a worldly perspective but Christ is worth it. The very next day, on our hectic Monday morning, the taxi didn’t come so I had to walk the kids to school. I met another mother walking her children to school because her car broke down. As we were walking in the icy, smoky morning, she told me of an apartment available for $350 USD per month. It was a 10 minute walk from the co-op and cheaper than our current apartment. I scheduled to look at the place with Jay the next evening. He liked it. We signed the next day and moved the following day!
I estimate that the size is nearly double of the previous apartment (still only one bathroom…oh, well.) The view of the bustling streets below is pleasant; we can actually see out of our windows because unlike our old place, there is no ice on the windows. The walls in the old kitchen were decaying and the paint was peeling wherever the wallpaper wasn’t. For 2 weeks before we moved, our toilet didn’t work so we had to dump a bucket of water down to flush it. Our water had never been consistently hot, but at our new place, it is. This new place is closer to the bus stop and to the co-op and to lots of great markets! Oh—an added bonus is that there is an elevator. Granted the 5 flights of stairs helped us keep in shape at our old place. But it is so nice when you have heavy bags. Each day we all gush with thankfulness for this wonderful place God has provided. Our appreciation for this apartment wouldn’t have been half as plentiful if we hadn’t squeezed into #62 for 4 ½ years! Therefore, God’s grace makes us thankful for his grace. We can never boast except in Him.
Greetings from -M- in the name of Jesus Christ.
Our organization, has about 2,500 workers all over the world. Every two years, each region holds its own conference designed to train, network and encourage its workers. The theme this year was “Endurance” from Romans 15:5.
We attended many informative seminars while the children enjoyed the youth programs which are carefully structured to enable kids to process the experiences they’ve had growing up in foreign countries. It was heartening to see our children connect with other kids who identify with them.
Our organization is growing quickly as they mobilize ms from all over the world. In fact, 11 M families have joined and have been trained to go out in obedience to the great commission. Let’s thank our Father together for these brothers and sisters! We believe that the Lord has equipped M believers with a unique resilience having grown up in such an extreme environment.
After our conference, we stopped by K. We visited some friends and were greatly encouraged. Yet, we were happy to return to M since we are not used to sleeping on the floor!
Now we will be very busy until summer comes. The kids have a lot of school to catch up on. Jay is continuing his online class required for his visa. The university has started Spring Semester with one small change: classes begin an hour earlier at 7:40 a.m. This change is meant to ease traffic congestion, which is a serious problem.
Continue to pray for Jay’s work in discipleship. We have 2 Christians who have been coming to church regularly and inviting their non-Christian classmates. Both of these young women are natural leaders and, we have great hopes for the Lord using them to build his kingdom. Pray for them both to overcome the many hardships they’ve been facing recently.
Since we started our home fellowship last Fall, the number of students coming was 2 to 5, and many Sundays, zero. I kept telling to myself, “Oh well, we still have 6 people to have fellowship with.” I knew God was teaching me that He alone draws people, but it was hard not to be discouraged.
Furthermore, the number of students visiting my office had dropped from about 20 students to about 3 per day. Because of my shared office situation (see last month’s newsletter) when they visit, there is not enough space and privacy to counsel them and share the good news of Jesus. This was a huge disappointment, and I was very depressed.
But the battle belongs to the Lord and, He is victorious. “A”, who became a Christian in my office last year, visited me with her friend recently. I shared the gospel and, “A’s” friend prayed for salvation. Then, that friend brought her friend to my office, and she also accepted Christ. I realized that their hearts were open because God used “A” to plant seeds; the only thing I did was declare Christ’s truth. This encouraged me that Christian students are evangelizing other students!!
Also, since a few weeks ago, the number of attendees of our Sunday fellowship has suddenly increased from 2 to about 10. Moreover, only two of them are Christians!! Others are Buddhists, Shamanists and Atheists, but one of them start saying, “I am not a Christian, YET.”
Please pray that God will open their hearts so that they will confess that Christ is Lord. Pray that the Holy Spirit will then guide them to the right M churches where they can grow and serve.
Love in Christ,
Jay (and Family)
A Very Brief History of Buddhism’s Spread in the World– and Its Regression in my LifeBy Jay
When it emerged on the historical scene, Buddhism was not well accepted because walking on the path that Siddhartha taught was simply too hard. At best, it would take a few lives though reincarnation to achieve Nirvana. However, a powerful ancient Indian king of the Mauryan dynasty named Ashoka (304-232 BC), changed the teachings of the Buddhism in order to make it more “believer-friendly.” He upheld that Nirvana was achievable within a single lifetime if believers practiced it correctly. Ironically, Ashoka did not achieve Nirvana in his lifetime.
Since these modifications made it more acceptable to people Buddhism started spreading. The next stage of Buddhism sprouted in the Bactrian area in around 200 B.C. The Bactrian area had been Hellenized by Alexander the Great’s conquest in 3rd Century B.C. Under the influence of Hellenism, Buddhists started carving images and sculptures of Buddha which resembled Greek gods or Hercules. This is called Greco-Buddhism. Before Buddhism arrived in this area, images or sculptures of Buddha were not highly valued; relics were far more important.
Greco-Buddhism travel though the Silk Road, and arrived in China during the Han Dynasty period (206 B.C. to 220 A.D.) When Greco-Buddhism entered China, it went through another transformation process in order to be accepted by the Chinese. This time, Buddhism was mixed with Chinese Shamanism, which consists of worshipping the spirits of ancestors. This form of Buddhism is called Mahayana Buddhism, which was further spread to Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Taiwan. As it travelled through Korea, Buddhism was mixed with Korean Shamanism, which worships nature such as rocks, trees, mountains, and so on. In fact, most Korean Buddhist temples have a dedicated area for local mountain gods even these days. This Korean Buddhism went to Japan, got mixed with Japanese Shamanism and transformed again, becoming Shintoism.
The Chinese Buddhist, or Mahayana, travelled to the Tibet area between the 5th-8th centuries. A dark Shamanism called the Bon religion was predominant in that vast mountainous area. There was resistance from the Bon religion to Buddhism’s penetration so, after centuries of struggles, they met in the middle. The name “Bon” disappeared and what survived was Vajrayana Buddhism.
This Vajrayana Buddhism, or Tibet Buddhism, came to Mongolia between the 13th-15th centuries. Vajrayana Buddhism also faced resistance from Mongolian Shamanism, called Tengrism. After hundreds years of struggles and support from the both the Mongolian and Chinese governments, Buddhism won the hearts of Mongolians by accepting many elements of Tengrism and reintroducing those elements as Buddhism. At the same time, Tengrism also went through a transformation process in order to survive thought the persecutions of Buddhism; Mongolian Shamanism accepted elements of Buddhism and incorporated these into their own practices.
Through my studies on the history and beliefs of Buddhism, I found that the real goal of following Buddhism is not getting help from deities to be healthy, rich or have inner-peace. The real goal is achieving Nirvana. Nirvana can be achieved if, and only if, one can overcome all the worldly and physical desires and temptations. And, this is simply not possible for ordinary human beings. Followers strive for the unachievable. And, this was the main reason I finally gave up on Buddhism.
Suddenly, at the age of 20, math, science and religion collided before me. The science taught in my school was based on evolution. The religion accepted in my country was based on reincarnation. The math taught in South Korea during my generation would blow your mind. We were doing calculus in 5th grade! Statistics was a synch for me. Like a violent collision in my mind, I realized that evolution and reincarnation created a statistical impossibility: Billions of creatures acting on instinct with no capacity to discern morality could not reincarnate to humans. Where did all the souls come from? Animals act on only instinct. How can they behave well enough to be reincarnated to a higher life form? And if it were possible to become human, what is the statistical possibility of any of the 7 billion people on Earth achieving Nirvana? I’d never met anyone who had. It was hopeless and, so was I.
A lot of things started unfolding in my life after that realization. Missionaries came to teach the Bible in English, and my sister and brother (being excellent students) went to learn English. They became Christians. Although I was not happy with the inconsistencies of Buddhism, I hated the thought of my family turning Christian. I burned my sister’s Bible, urinated on church walls, made noise when my brother and sister tried to worship. Then I had a dream.
In the dream there was a huge cross. I cursed. Suddenly, a Buddha came and knocked the cross down. I cheered. Then the cross was back. I cursed. Buddha again knocked it away. I cheered. Finally, the cross came back and stayed. Buddha broke apart. I woke up.
I talked with my brother about the dream. He told me that after struggling for a while between Buddhism and Christianity, I would choose the cross. I didn’t like that interpretation. My mother was also confounded because she had turned away from Christ 30 years before. She felt herself being drawn back through her children but she feared her own weakness, “What if I give up on Him again?”
But God used her to give me a push toward Him. She wanted me to learn English and stop wasting my life, so she told me to go to Bible study. I grudgingly went. The first time I went, it was cold outside. I remember feeling warmth from the people rather than from the place. I felt love and truth. Every week, a missionary lady would ask me, “Eun Sung, why don’t you believe in God?” And since my English was limited, I’d say, “I don’t know.” After a year, I surrendered. I asked Jesus to save me. I was totally convinced that it was impossible to free myself from the cycle of sin and it’s ultimate, dark end.
More to come on my testimony and journey toward/with Christ…. 🙂
After sharing an office for 3 years at MU, I was rewarded for my “disruptive” Bible Studies and prolific student meetings by getting a storage room to use last year. The storage room was on the first floor next to the front door of MU. Rox used the boxes of books stored there to create a seating nook. I gave coffee and snacks to anyone who came to visit. Sometimes Christian students came to play guitar and sing. Other times, I invited non-Christians to share their troubles and, I prayed for them. Many students heard and accepted the gospel; many more learned about the Bible and grew in their faith.
Due to a library expansion project this summer, I had to move into a smaller shared office. Please pray for a place for mission-minded teachers like me to do ministry. Also, pray that I will not continue to be discouraged; I am looking for the “open window” in all of this.
Closed School Doorby H
After being home schooled for 3 years, MS opened an elementary class. Remember last October’s newsletter? I was in 7th grade, while the youngest one in the room was in first grade! We studied at our own level while taking the same classes. It was more fun than home school but, still there was no one my age and, the cafeteria food was terrible 🙂 Well, the good AND bad news is that, MS decided to discontinue the program.
My parents chose to join a co-op for home schoolers (see page 2). It has been very nice. For the first time in 4 years, I have really close friends. So do my brothers and sister. I feel like we are all learning more, too. We’ve almost memorized the whole preamble to the Declaration of Independence. Also, we pack our lunches! I am so glad things worked out this way. Praise God with me!
Home School Co-opby Roxanne
Our decision to join the co-op was not an easy one. MS cancelling their 1-year old elementary program was a big disappointment and, I’d had a few bad experiences at the co-op before this. But since September 1st, we’ve had positively joyful times! I started a thing called “Feature Friday’s” because most of the kids are done with their school work after lunch on Friday. We did a string making day, a picture day, a balloon rockets day and a catapults day. More activities will follow, like a Geography Bee, mountain climbing, bake sale, talent show, etc.
“Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.’ ” –Psalm 126:2 ESV
Dear Supporters and Co-workers in Christ,
I pray that the grace and providence of God is abundant in your life this summer. As I mentioned in previous newsletters, I went to Ch with 9 MU Students for 3 weeks, and came back on July 17th.
First, we went to CD city where we met a Kor M who has been in that area for over 10 years. He took us to a countryside town about 3 hours away. As soon as we arrived, we sang praise songs and performed worship dances in the marketplace to announce our arrival (this was the M’s idea). As people gather around us to watch, we invited elementary and high school students to come to our English classes. Many students came to the free lessons, and we taught English and shared the gospel with them.
We stayed at a building used for C gatherings. The building was old and dirty, so we cleaned and painted walls. We were asked to visit other gathering places, and we cleaned them also, and had services; I preached three times in three different places within two days. We also visited sick people and prayed for them, and were invited to the gathering places in nearby towns where we met Ch believers and prayed with them. The people in that town welcomed us and, they asked us to come back again. I never believed that we would be able to freely worship God with Ch believers, openly invite people to churches and share the gospel with them in Ch. But, by the grace of God, we were free.
We stayed for a week, we went back to CD to rest and prepare for the following week. The second week, we went to “T” area, which took us 6 hours by a bus through winding roads. On the way, we passed 4,300 meters (2.6 miles) above sea level!
We arrived in a small city surrounded by steep, towering mountains. Almost everyone in this city are T who believe in Lamaism. I saw countless temples with golden roofs and colorful flags which symbolize T Buddhism, and many, many monks walking around. Due to Dalai Lama’s birthday in July, fully armed soldiers with tanks were patrolling the city, and the atmosphere was very tense.
In this city, we met a Ch M who arranged us to stay at his meeting place. We didn’t share the gospel with anyone, but we taught English to some preteens so that the Ch M could develop positive relationships for the future. For 3 days we taught English 4 hours a day.
We moved further into the mountains and stayed with a family who are not believers but had a good relationship with M’s working in that area. He gave us a room that is reserved for passing by monks who need to rest. This room is surrounded by Buddhist pictures, idols and pictures of Dalai Lama and other monks. The next day, we visited an orphanage house run by a T Buddhist worker, who welcomed us and asked us to return to help them next year. We also visited other T believers’ homes.
We learned and experienced many things through this trip:
– We read a chapter of Matthew every morning for QT and shared at night. We experienced how God leads us through the Bible.
– During the trip, two students suffered severe stomachaches and terrifying dreams. Through these pains, we confirmed our oneness in Christ and love for one another. We also experienced the power of prayers.
– One of students had lost his faith before the trip due to his brother’s suicide. His family had been involved with church for a long time, but they all left church after the tragic incident. However, he fully recovered his faith during this trip.
– All M’s we met during this trip told us that we were the first short-term team that had come to their areas to serve. They earnestly asked us to return. This encouraged us tremendously for the little work we had done. At the same time, we realized the great need for workers in this area.
– We did not have anybody who spoke Ch on the way back, while we had to take four different busses. However, God had prepared people along the way for us so that they could help us when we needed help. We learned that we should not worry about these things but trust God that He always has plans for us.
– Many students are planning to return to the places we visited, and one of them is thinking about long-term commitment to M work.
Thank you so much for praying for us and supporting us. We could not have done without your prayers and support. Please continue to pray for the places we visited that God would send more workers and reach out to people. Also, please pray for students who went with us so that they will grow spiritually and commit to serve God in Mn or to the ends of the earth.
Would you join this m by sponsoring $100 for at least one of the 14 members? Gifts are NOT tax deductible; we cannot fund raise for this m through our organization since the students are not members. If God leads you to participate in this m, please give using the “DONATE” button above.
Here are messages from the 14 students who are going:
1:“I know the mission will be difficult, but I look to Jesus to give us all strength, unity and fruit!
2:“I was baptized 6 months ago. I never had hope in my life. But now, through Christ, I have hope.
3: “It is so cool how the Bible leads us and corrects us. Last year, I really experienced this on our mission trip.
4:“I’ve been on mission trips into Ch 5 times. I know the way to purchase tickets and find places to stay.
5:“I believe God gave me inspiration to join the mission team this summer. May all credit go to Him!
6:“My dad is a Mn pstr. I got my love of praise music from him. I want to serve Christ as he has.
7:“Praying is the most important aspect of our m. We cannot do anything on our own. Pr for us, too, will you?
8:“We’ve gone on many difficult trips down to Ch. God always teaches me something about myself & His power each time.
9:“Working at the student success center this year has helped me to see that each person needs Jesus.
10:“Earlier this year, after my brother died, I nearly denied God. But through Teacher Jay’s mentoring, I’ve found my faith again.
11:“Jay Teacher told us that if the Lord wants us to go, then He will provide for us. I am waiting on this.
12:“I love to sing. My pstr’s wife has given me voice lessons. I look forward to serving.
13: “I look forward to this summer m because I know God has called me so that He can show me his love for people.
14: “I translated for last year’s m trip into Ch. We got interrogated by the police for 2 days!
Recently while checking assignments, I found identical submission from two students. As I had promised, I deducted 10 points (the maximum points for each assignment is +10). The next day, those two students showed up in my office, and explained that they shared the same computer, and one student accidentally sent her roommate’s file by mistake. I tested them by making them do the assignment work again right there, and saw that they knew what they were doing, so I gave them 9 points instead of -10.
One of the two, D, is a Christian but the other one, D’s roommate, Anujin, was not. I shared the gospel with A, and because D had been praying for and witnessing to A for a year, A accepted Christ. D actually cried with joy because A became a Christian. Both of them are coming to a Bible study now, and I notice that A is taking notes as I explain the Gospel of Mark.
Please pray for this new sister in God’s family, A, that she will experience the power and love of God in her life and grow up to be a church leader in the future.
March/April 2014 Update
Greetings from Rox in M! Spring is coming here as the ice from October is finally melting, and the wind is blowing up dust storms. The sun has been brilliant, making the days longer and more cheerful. Our eyes are searching for the first green of spring which is a few weeks away.
MU is also getting close to midterms. Every day, Jay’s office is filled with students who come to talk about their problems, to study the Bible and to hang out. Jay is constantly talking to students and sharing the gospel. Because of that, he has no time to prepare for his teaching or study for his online course, so he does that after 10:30 p.m. when everyone goes to sleep. He has been looking very tired these days!
This semester, many students are showing great interest in Christianity, and another student recently joined the Christian family. Jay’s story about Anastasia is here: “On the first day of the semester, I noticed a Russ student waiting for class. I decided to strike up a conversation and realized she was not only a non-Christian but, also she despised Christians. Stasia asked what is so special about Christianity, so I explained the gospel. After that conversation, she started going to church and Christian student worship meetings every week. She came back to me after a month and a half, and wanted to talk. I noticed that her face had changed, and asked if she would be a Christian. Stasia did not hesitate, and said, ‘Yes!’ ”
Afghan, Uzbek and Tajik students from MIU got together to share their ethic food and culture in a celebration on March 21st called Nowruz. (See photo) Please pray for these precious students who have more opportunities to hear the gospel in M than in their Muslim countries. Many of these international students struggle with loneliness while they are here. Yet, they experience deep hopelessness at times as they consider returning to war-torn and poverty stricken countries. Pray that they will find meaning in their lives through Jesus Christ.
Pray for 2 young men who have been surprisingly consistent coming to Jay’s Bible study and to our home fellowship. -A- grew up in France and -T- grew up in Korea; they are best friends with a good sense of humor and lots of energy. Pray for them to surrender to Jesus in repentance for salvation. Also pray for their girlfriends to begin coming to Bible study and church so that they can hear the gospel and be saved.
Pray for Z who Jay met last summer on a train from Ch. Jay shared the gospel with her and an Israeli man for several hours. The Israeli man, U, stayed with Jay for weeks and has been in touch through email; pray for his salvation, too. Since their talk on the train, Z went to a church once and our home fellowship once. She had a Bible study with Rox once, also. Pray for her heart to open. She is a medical student who speaks Eng, Ch and M. The Lord could do great things THROUGH her if she will let Him do great things IN her!
Pray for O who used to serve his church very well. However, this year his older brother committed suicide and his mother got in a car accident. His family became angry at God, so they performed the brother’s funeral at a Buddhist temple and stopped going to church. Finally O expressed to Jay his disappointment and anger toward God. After several long talks, Odana is coming to Jay’s office to sing praise songs. He even expressed his desire to join the summer mission trip again. Pray that his entire family will come back to faith and be stronger than before.
Summer mis-n plans are in progress, thanks to your prayers. Currently, there are five cities in Russ requesting MU students, but we do not have enough students and faculty volunteers to visit all 5 cities. Jay is in communication with brothers and sisters in Tbt also, but the situation in that area is very unstable. We need prayers that the door will be opened and that God would provide the necessary volunteers and finances for both teams.
January 2014. Come to School with Us!
Come along on a short trip to -M-U. Watch the video on youtube: http://youtu.be/CrceNtK10GQ
Fall 2013. Successful Trip.
Because of your prayers, we had a successful trip to an unnamed Asian country where we worked at a school. The principal called the students at his school “potential -mis-aries” to that city. At the end of the trip, 5 out of the 10 MU students who served confirmed their calling as long term -mis-aries in the future.
We traveled 4 days (by train and bus) without a break to arrive in a special area where most are a minority Muslim people. There are no known foreign -mis-aries there; a few -mis-aries from other provinces are there but are closely watched by the police.
It is strictly forbidden to spread the gospel especially to the Muslims. The police found out about our presence, and we were interrogated for two days. However, it was not as scary as I had seen in the movies; they were very polite and even bought lunch one day. At the end of the interrogation, God gave us favor in their eyes so that they told us it was okay for us to stay and continue what we were doing and even come back next year as long as we let them know ahead of time!
During this trip, we experienced the power of prayer and of God’s word. We read a B chapter each morning. Almost every day, we had to exercise what God told us that morning. This was an excellent experience for all of us on how and why Jesus feeds us daily spiritual bread. It was also a good lesson on the importance of time with the Lord.
Another MU team was in that county at about the same time. They desperately needed to meet us because they ran out of money. They had no way to contact us, and no idea where we were. So, they prayed. And, we got on the very train that they were traveling on! After giving them $170, we realized that we had that amount extra! When we came home, we had 2 dollars left.
Spring 2013. Greetings from M!
This is Jay. How are you? We are entering Finals Week at MU; I can hardly believe that Spring Semester is nearly over; at the beginning of the semester, I felt like it was never going to be over since I had 7 classes to teach.
Although I could not host as many B Studies as usual, it was a fruitful semester. Two students who were members of the so-called “Mother God” church, a Korean heretic group from the Seven Day Adventists, began asking me questions. Then, praise the Lord, they stopped attending that church. Also, a student who had a membership with the Jehovah’s Witness is coming very close to becoming a Christian. There are many other students who followed Buddhist or Shamanistic faith but are now attending church regularly. We are delighted to witness God transforming young university students’ lives.
Rox is also experiencing the joy of working with the students at MU. Her Web Design class went very well and the students have contributed to her study-M.com website. The last 7 lessons are finally coming together after a 2 year delay. Rox had been discouraged when her helper quit without finishing the work she paid for. She began to pray for helpers to finish the site. God answered and gave her 30 helpers who are all IT students!
On study-M.com, Rox constructed ten lessons about various topics; lesson 8 is about church words and concepts.One -mis-ary already thanked Rox for the site because the -mis-ary learned some important M words which helped her to share the gospel more fully this week! That is the real goal of language learning so Rox is thrilled.
The kids are doing well. Each one of them has expressed a desire to be baptized. The older 2 children began reading their Bs each morning without any prompting from us. They are asking excellent questions. Sometimes it seems they could hold their ground in any philosophy discussion!
Pray for the fruit of love to be in the words and actions of the kids…there is still more unkindness than I am comfortable with…if you know what I mean!
I am planning to take students to a short term summer -mis-. I had been preparing to go to T since last year, however, God is leading to another place. There are 10 students who want to travel to an unnamed country and help a local -mis-ary. There are a few students who are interested in joining but they aren’t even Christians! So they are attending church and B studies faithfully and I’ll take only those who are willing to confess faith in Jesus and get baptized.
I’m preparing an overnight retreat for the -mis- team and any students who are interested in learning more about Christianity. After the retreat, any student who wants to accept Christ will be baptized by our church pastor (He’ll be there conducting some of the teaching sessions.)
• Please pray for this retreat that many non-Christians would come, open their hearts to Jesus and get baptized.
•Pray that I would accomplish many eternally valuable things during the summer.
March 2013. Jesus is risen! Alleluia!
“According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” — 1 Peter 1:3
The snow on the M ground reminds me of the white lilies that perfume churches on Easter morning; and the lilies symbolize the trumpets blown in heaven at the victory Jesus Christ won for us.
New life; may we never take it for granted!
Two weeks ago, Jay had the joy to explaining the gospel and seeing it received by his student. She testified that after she accepted the Lord, her nightmares and fever went away. Our Savior is living and working.
“To belong to Jesus is to embrace the nations with Him.” — John Piper
Jay is teaching 5 classes at MU this semester. Because his office has to be shared (unlike last semester), the number of students coming for unofficial counseling has dropped. This leaves more time for Jay to prepare for classes and conduct more focused discipleship with a few upper classmen. He also building stronger bonds with the students he is trying to share the gospel with. Three new students have opened their hearts; pray that they will fully surrender their lives to Jesus Christ.
Rox has even joined the staff at MU; she is really enjoying teaching Web Design in the Information Technology Department. The website the class builds will be a completion of her yet-unfinished M language learning site (http://study-M.com)
“I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” — 3 John 1:4
Jay is teaching 2 classes at MS, setting a record for one professor teaching the most classes at MU/MS (7 total)! If you are a teacher and want to work with -mis-ary kids and international students at the high school level, would you please consider giving Jay a break by COMING HERE to teach for 9 months?
It is a unique– and often overlooked — min opportunity.
Rox is continuing to teach English, Creative Writing and Graphic Design at MS. She said one day to the students that she was thinking about not teaching next semester and all the students shouted, “No!!” Pray for direction for Rox and her many school/family responsibilities.
“Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right.” — Max Lucado
J is the only one of our children attending the — school. She has many friends, and has learned lots of Korean. It is so cute to see her to translate for her 3 siblings! Please pray that she will speak more boldly in Korean, though. Her understanding in listening is obvious, but she still resists speaking up.
March was the start of the Korean school year, and– at the invitation of the 3rd grade teacher– we were planning on enrolling our 2 boys. But the 4th grade teacher did not want to have them in her class if they couldn’t understand Korean (**yet**), so they were denied admission into the school.
It was disappointing in a way but…where one door closes, another opens.
There is a strong possibility of starting a “university model” elementary school on the campus of MU. We have some of the elements needed to start: passion, facilities, participating families and prayer support. Rox would need to get some training through the National Association of University-Model Schools (NAUMS)….possible visit to the U.S.? Check out http://www.naums.net to see what it is all about.
“I thought it reasonable that I should seek the work where the work was the most abundant and the workers fewest.” — Mis-n-y on why he went to M (160 years ago)
The second issue of God’s Steward has been printed! Thank you for your prayers. Jay had the strength to translate the articles into Korean even though he was busy with finals and the Vision Trip last semester. The Institute emphasizes Jesus, the B and the church. This trilingual publication equips M Christians with sound doctrine which will unite and deepen the faith of believers. The third issue was planned for June 2013, however the church which sponsored the publication is having financial difficulty so the funding was cut.
Winter 2013. On the Home Front.
“A family is a place where principles are hammered and honed on the anvil of everyday living.” —Chuck Swindoll
Continue to pay for spiritual/physical health for 4 kids.
H could enter 7th grade at MS in September. The cost is $350 per month. Pray with us as we prepare for this possible transition.
Spring 2013. Looking Towards Summer (Already)
“Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” — James 4:15
Jay is supervising a club which organize and trains MU summer -mis- teams. His original plan was to organize one team to take to T-bet this summer. However, the club requested that Jay also supervise and train all the summer teams that have destinations in Ch, Inner -M- and Rus. He is working with 3 other professors in this effort.
Please pray for spiritual and financial preparation for these trips– that love would govern all our choices.
2012 Year End Update
First of all, I would like to apologize that I was not able to update you on our activities; the last two months have been extremely busy. I would like to share what had happened at the end of 2012 and share our vision for 2013.
Inst. of M Chch Theology: 2nd Issue of GS
As soon as MU finished Fall semester, we started working on the second issue of GS (the first issue had been published in the summer of 2012). My portion of this task was finished on January 25th. I translated Korean articles into English and wrote an article to be posted on the apologetic section. Articles are being proofread, and the second issue is planned to be published before the end of February.
Starting from December 30th, I took 7 M students to the U.S. west coast for three weeks. We visited companies such as Yahoo, Apple, Google, Intel, Facebook, Taylor Made, ISIS Pharmaceutical, and Pfizer Pharmaceutical. We toured universities such as UC San Diego, Stanford University, UC Berkeley University and land marks such as the Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon. At the Grand Canyon, we were able to share about the historical/geological reliability of the global flood recorded in the B.
During the last week of our trip, we stayed at Concordia University in Irvine CA where we audited classes and had fellowship with faculty members and students. None of -M-n students were Christians, but they observed Christian lives as many Christian families and churches hosted us. Students confessed that Christians are different at home also. Even in the preparation time before the trip, we experienced the power of prayer as God provided during some difficult situations.pict2of12-2012letter
I have been leading many B study groups, prayer meetings and praise team as well as preaching. However, during the TL training, God revealed to both Roxanne and me that we have not spent quality time with Him personally. Please pray that each of us individually would spend more personal worship time with Christ. M believers have many very advantageous elements for NK and Central Asian m!ssions. Although, the Christian population is less than 1%, I believe God has a big plan for M Christians. Please pray with us that God would call many workers from M for NK and Central Asia.
Please pray for all six of us in the school/education realm. This coming semester, Rox will be teaching Web Design at MU in addition to 3 classes at the high school. She will home school the other 3 children . I will be teaching History in addition to 5 other classes. We are being given so many new subjects, responsibilities and even new language for the kids. May Christ shine through our diligence and joyful work.
Winter 2012. Warm Hearts.
Joy warms my heart when I step inside “D” building at MU. “D” stands for Disciple, and that is my -mis- at MU– making disciples for Jesus. I thank God for having us here to see a lot of students who are spiritually growing and are transforming. Hundreds more students will get to hear the gospel because of all you who participate in this great -mis- through prayers and financial support. THANK YOU & PRAISE THE LORD!!
In contrast to the warmth in my heart, outdoors it has been below freezing since mid-October. According to the M meteorologists, the temperature in this winter might be as low as -50 F! There are hundreds of thousand people who are living in tents or cheaply made houses, and they are burning raw coal to keep warm. Suffocating smog blankets the air. PRAY FOR the poor M people in these difficult winter months. Our apartment is cozy thanks to several layers of plastic sheeting we put over the windows and some felt with which we insulated the doors; this is our 3rd winter here and we winterized early!
MU had midterm exams a few weeks ago, and we are a month away from the final. PRAY FOR students to study hard yet not miss opportunities to hear the gospel at one of Jay’s B studies.
Jay is currently teaching 6 classes, 7 B studies. Also, our pastor is traveling a lot so Jay has to prepare sermons very often. With translation for “God’s Steward” and preparation for the vision trip, PRAY THAT he will not be distracted but keep his focus on Jesus. Also, pray for Rox who has to be strong to home school 3 kids, teach 3 classes at MS and keep up at home.
Pray for MU. We are getting more students but less number of teachers every year so it is hard for us to provide excellent education while taking good care of students and nurturing them spiritually. Furthermore, the school’s financial situation worsened, and the school told us unofficially that we won’t get our housing assistance for a while.
We are not 100% sure that Jay and a group of students to the west coast of the U.S. on a Vision Trip in January; we are waiting for God to lead us. The U.S. Vision Trip Team is meeting regularly to discuss visits to 3 universities, Apple company, Google company and other key places. The intent is to give a vision of success and hard work to our students since they have never seen such development, such progress, such hope as there is in the States…except on TV. Currently, none of students in the team is a Christian, and we believe this is a good opportunity to let them experience the hand of God. Students still have to get VISAs and money for the trip. PRAY FOR the students to respond to God’s loving provision for them through this trip; pray for the hospitality of local churches who will welcome them as they travel; pray for traveling safety.
Please pray for my family. The long and cold M winter started, and the pollution is also so severe that my children spend most their time at home. Pray that they will stay healthy through the wintertime and have true friends to share their experiences with. Praise God for a pen-pal that H made; the girl is with her family as ms in Kenya. It is a small, but welcome step for both of them who often feel so different from their peers.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! In Christ, Jay and Rox
Spring 2012. Battle for the Mind.
What happened after communism fell in 1994? Mis-naries flooded in. Non-government organizations (NGOs) helped the poor and showed the love of Christ. The Christian population grew from 4 believers to 60,000 (still only 2% of the population.)
Congregations exist in all of the 18 provinces with several dozen registered churches in the capital city of UB. -M- churches are spreading and are committed to training church leaders. The -M- Evangelical Alliance has a vision and strategy to see 10% of the population come to faith in Jesus Christ by the year 2020.
What will happen to -M- in the next few years? As the standard of living improves for many -M-s, NGO’s are pulling out of aid projects aimed at the poor. Now it is a head-to-head battle for the mind (pun intended:) Educating college students is critical as we attempt to reach the families of the -M- middle-class for Jesus. We must know what we believe and be able to intelligently present and defend our world view.
Please pray for our efforts among the bright young university students at MU.
November 2011. Student Care Program.
Ministering to college students knows no limits. Significant and rapid changes happen in a person’s life during the first semester of college. What better time to introduce them to the One who can change their heart forever?
College students look up to professors who invest in them. Each day, about 10 students visit my office for Bible studies and counseling but, some days I have about 30 students! Many of them started attending church and I can see others opening up to the gospel.
Last month, God gave me a privilege of leading two freshman students, -A- and -B-, to Christ. Spiritual warfare in -M- is intense; pray for these students to overcome opposition and grow spiritually.
October 2011. Near Us.
Most -M-s are either Buddhists or Shamanists. The -M- Buddhism is Lama Buddhism (or T Buddhism) is heavily influenced by Shamanism, and share a lot of common understandings about the spiritual world and life after death.
One student told me that she believes in Shamans because they are always around us, whereas the God of Christianity is in heaven, and not around us. Of course, she misunderstands the God of the Bible. Shamanism is human centered. The “gods” or spirits are not interested in human well-being, the order of society or morality. They do not tell believers what is right or wrong. They are only interested what they are going to get from their human counter-part. At the same time, believers in these religious systems do not ask these spirits what is right or wrong. But, when they need some supernatural intervention to get what they want, they go and offer what these spirits might like in exchange.
However, God in the Bible is completely the opposite. He cares for humans’ well-being. He shows people what is right and how to live. He does not accept sinners’ sacrifices. May we as Christians never treat our LORD like Shamanists treat their spirits. Let’s honor God by letting him tell us what is right and wrong; let him be the God of the universe who lives in our hearts because he CARES for us!
– For God allowing us to be able to return (financially, physically and spiritually) for our 2nd year of service.
– For joyful reunion with students and team members.
– For home school and college classes being underway and going well.
– For fruit in the Bible Studies and fellowship groups we are leading among non-believers and Christians.
– For -M- church to rise up in the power of the Holy Spirit to fulfill the great commission among their own people and in other limited-access countries.
Fall 2011. Returning and Re-Learning.
Coming back to the US for the summer was as strange experience as going to -M-.
I had to re-learn many things:
I can ask almost anyone in English when I need help – in -M-, I was totally helpless, and got used to not asking for help.
Everything looks very expensive, but that is how we live in America. At least I can trust the product I am buying will work or I can return them.
Americans are very kind and polite.
I met so many good people, and will meet more.
Thanks for your support and encouragement. It has been exciting days to meet people and share what God is doing in -M-.
Please pray for our fund raising, our support is only about 70% of what we need to stay in -M-.
Also pray for our safe trip; we still have a lot of driving to do.
August 2011. No Longer.
The United State of America! People are friendly, stores are clean and well stocked, food is affordable, roads are smooth, cars are shiny, nature is lush, homes are large and comfortable. Every single day of the 75 days that we spent in America filled me with more wonder than the day before; no longer the desperate lack that exists elsewhere.
In M, I had been touched by a sermon about heaven being the land of “no longers.” No longer will there be any pain or tears. No longer will there be any dysfunction or hunger. No longer will there be any evil and darkness. No longer will there be any questioning and confusion.
No nation on earth can be a land of “no longers” like our eternal home will be.One great hope I have: that despite our prosperity, we will cling to the hope of heaven while spreading the good news about the Land of No Longers which out-shines all other lands because of its great King Jesus!
Summer 2011. “Tour” Schedule.
We are coming to the U.S. to fulfill our obligation with — and to raise support for our ministries.
If you want to set up a time for us to make a presentation for your group about M and the work God is having us do here, please let us know as soon as you can. Since we must raise the needed support to remain with –, we are going to emphasize partner building. It is a great opportunity for teamwork, yes?
Spring 2011. Feeding 17 People with Less than 20 Dollars.
My SCP (Student Care Program) students wanted to get together, so we decided to go to a mountain with my family. On April 16th, 11 students showed up. Including my family, 17 of us took a bus to go to the mountain. My original plan for lunch was making kim-bab and bring Ramyon to the top of the mountain and cook it, but, it was a lot of hassle, so I decided to buy fast food. There was one restaurant near the bus stop where we bought 22 “Horshor” and 22 “Piroshki.” I paid 20,000 Tugriks, which is about 17 dollars.
When we went to the mountain, it was very windy. I was glad that I did not try to cook Ramyon because it was so windy that we would be able to cook anything. Everyone was happy to eat the Horshor and Piroshki. We even had left over!! What a deal.
The picture below shows us having fast food at the mountain with students. It was very cold up there!
At the beginning of the semester, Jay had 3 classes at MU, 1 class at MS where he performed administrative duties as a Vice Principal, 4 Bible studies.
Now Jay has:
2 Bible studies with faculty members at MU, 1 Bible study with exchange students from K, 1 Discipleship training for M students, 2 Bible studies with non-Christian M students, 1 Bible study at a local M church.
April 2011. What a Day!
When it rains, it pours; ever had one of those days?
Suddenly, three teachers at the school where I am Vice-Principle had to go away on business. To make matters worse, another teacher called in sick. So I had to utilize everyone to substitute for the missing teachers, and I also had to substitute for 4 classes in a row. 1st period, Pre-calculus. 2nd period, Algebra 1. 3rd period, Music. 4th period, PE.
As soon as we had lunch after the 4th period, we had to rush to another high school for a Sports Day which we had with another -mis-ary Kids’ High School for the first time in our 8 month history 🙂
I was refereeing for the basketball game when one student had a cramp in his leg so I had to play for him for the rest of the game. Well, the other team thought it was not fair since I was still refereeing while I was playing. I tried to be fair but, it was not easy.
Then, I had to rush back to MU to teach a computer class. Right after the computer class at 5 pm. I had to go to set up for the weekly faculty worship service. I had to lead praise and worship also.
It was 9 o’clock at night when I finally got home from school.
What a day.
Spring 2011. Cultural Night at MU.
It was wonderful to celebrate the traditions, dances and foods from -M-, Afg-an, Rsia, Ch, the US and K.
These societies are so distinctive and yet so intertwined because of history and because of human nature. It was a special opportunity to share the magnificence of our differences. To appreciate another culture is to absorb it as part of your own heritage.
The students and staff at MU overflow with irresistible humor, indescribable humility, boundless creativity and beautiful community…it is no wonder God loves you so much! And, we love you, too, MU!!
❤ Blessings, From all of us in the — Family ❤
February 2011. From Jay and Rox:
The White Moon Festival/New Year’s Celebration has passed. You can see a little girl on her way to a celebration in her traditional dress.
MU and MS classes are in full swing. Rox is grading English essays from Jay’s writing class. Jay is hurrying from leading B Studies to teaching classes to administrating a high school. The kids are drilling through the last 75 days of school while H counts down to her tenth birthday. The weather is above zero more often and we are seeing the light…perhaps Spring will come after all!
Moksaneem N, if you are reading this, praise God because Roxanne started another Inductive Bible Study with pstr’s wives and M students. One woman is translating for those whose English skills are not very strong; she can speak Kor, M and En and she is fired up about IBS…all glory goes to Jesus!
Winter 2011. Reflections…
I was clunking around in my heavy snow boots at a M grocery store yesterday when my head snapped up to see who was speaking my language. An older American couple were standing next to a roasted chicken discussing whether is was fresh or not. I just stood there staring…enjoying the odd feeling of being transported to another place and time. Then they were gone…but I just stood there staring– wondering at the strange sensation of connecting with total strangers who weren’t even aware of it. People have asked me if I felt culture shock since I’ve been here. I never noticed it. I’ve spent the last 12 years of my life in the K sub-culture in America: hearing words I didn’t understand, seeing things I didn’t identify with, being comfortable with being different. Only once in a while do I realize how far away from home I really am…
“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:11-13
2 Peter 1:5-7
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
Have a blessed New Year with the Lord!
From Rox: Held my first Inductive B Study for -M-s ! Pray for understanding, insight and new joy as the scriptures unfold for the 6 young women.
Temperatures were near -30 degrees all week, so this weekend, zero degrees felt balmy!
Summer 2011. Living in -M- is great!!
There are so many opportunities to share the gospel with non-believers. They are a lot more open people than I met in K or Am where people think they are Christians or they think they know what Christianity is about. Here in -M-, I have a chance to share the gospel not only with university students, but also with travelers from Europe and other -M-n people.
Speaking at the Open Fellowship Meeting
Instead of preaching, I decided to share my testimony and talk about how I was a hater of God but God loved me and led me to be his child. I was asked to speak on November 30th. I was more nervous than ever, because I want to deliver the gospel to non-believers. So far, I have shared my testimony only with Christians or at churches. I was very excited that I would get to share my testimony with many non-Christians, but, I was also very stressed and nervous. During the testimony, I shared the struggles I went through. Since many -M-ns believe in Shamanism and Buddhism, I talked about the problems with reincarnation. I hope I planted seeds in the hearts of students. Please pray that I would have more opportunities to share my testimony with non-Christians.
Spring 2011. Guitar Class is Growing.
…pray for more guitars and more opportunities to share my faith. The Lord has given me the privilege to work in his harvest field and bring in some fruit! I lead someone to the Lord last week! What a joy…thank you, Father for your salvation!
When I Survey
When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died;
my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, save in the death of Christ, my God;
all the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood.
See, from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown.
Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were an offering far too small;
love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.
Lead Sunday School and Praise Team this week at church. It is fun to be getting in the swing of things.
Bought some boots for the kids; I wanted to find a raccoon skin hat, but didn’t. Excited because we could ask what the price was in -M-n and understand the answer. One incident of attempted theft from Rox’s backpack, but she caught it in time. Thanks be to God for His protection and provision!
I am giving free guitar lessons to both -mis-aries at MU and MU Students. I have two to four students coming every week. Please pray that they would come back and I would have opportunity to share gospel with them.
Thank you for supporting our ministries through your prayers and financial supports.
If God gives you a heart to join the financial support team for our ministries, please see the “Contact and Partnership Info.
My class started.
I have 25 students from Afgh-ist@n, Rssia, -M- and K0rea in my calculus class.
I also have 13 Student Care Program students.
Roxanne started home schooling, and need a lot of prayer for that!!
If you want to pray for us, please click the ‘pray with us’ tab on the side.
Fall 2010. Appointees to -M-
By the grace of God, Rox and I were accepted as appointees. On the way back to Ohio on Friday afternoon, we experience the providence of God once again which I will share that in the “our journey” section.
We do not have VISAs yet. But we are supposed to pick them up while we are in K. Please pray for this.
Thank God, and thank you for your prayers. We sold our both cars. The transaction is not completed yet, so continue to pray for us.
If you would like to receive prayer letters and updates but you are not on our distribution list, please send us email to Jroxlee@gmail.com. You can also send your prayer request to us.
We will go to M. The school faculty orientation starts on August 23rd, which give us only a few days to find an apartment, buy things and figure out how to live in M.
Please pray for us that we will experience God’s hands during this hectic transitional time.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
God has called the Lee family to -M- to further advance the gospel. So, Jay Lee and his family is moving to -M- in August to teach at a MU. We are very excited to see how God is going to use us for His kingdom. We created this blog to share our stories of our journey to M -mis- works.
Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62