SILVER SPRING, Md. – Korean-American Christians from 37 churches across Maryland and Virginia gathered at Global Mission Church of Greater Washington in Silver Spring, Md., as part of a series of five celebrations aimed at deploying 1,000 new Korean-American missionaries overseas.
The September celebration bore 128 new recruits to the mission. Among them, T.J. Woo, expressed how she learned to turn her desire to obey God into action.
"To serve without question is the main thing the Lord has given me to do," said Woo. "I didn't know how international missions worked, and then they explained it to me."
The attendants to the forth missions-expansion celebration enjoyed worship, small group sessions with International Mission Board leaders and missionaries and heard a messaged delivered by IMB President Jerry Rankin.
IMB President Jerry Rankin challenged participants to lay their lives on the altar and obey God's leadership.
"God may want you here [in the United States], but you can never be sure until you're willing to go wherever He leads," he said.
One of the main goals of the gathering, according to the Global Mission Church host pastor Man Poong Kim, is to connect the local Korean-American churches with the resources and opportunities offered by the IMB.
"If they stay as they are now, their fruits will be limited," he said. "If they get involved with the Cooperative Program and International Mission Board, God will use them more effectively," said Kim.
Church planter Dan Moon, who was involved with starting Asian American churches for more than three decades expressed the need for Koreans to return the blessings they’ve received through the years.
"For the past 25 years Koreans have been tremendously blessed by the Lord,” he said. “It is our turn to go out and do mission work."
The first international Korean American Southern Baptist Missionaries, Jacob Suktae and Poong Ja Shin, also participated in the celebration. They served the IMB from 1989 to 2001; the Shins are now working as a consultant for language churches with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. While glad to see more Korean-Americans interested in global missions, they encouraged congregations to catch a greater, God-fueled vision, a passion for loving God and their neighbors.
To date, a total of 439 individuals made commitments to global missions. The final celebration will be held Feb. 28-29 at First Baptist Church in Tacoma, Wash.