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Vol. XVIII No. 16
17 January 2021

AFRICAN MISSIONS REPORT

Rev Dr Park Seung Kyu

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. May the Lord remember and bless our co-workers for East African Missions.

I always remember and thank God for the prayers and support of co-workers. Even today, I ask the Lord to fill our co-workers with peace, thanksgiving, and riches from heaven. At the end of the year 2020, we will give a brief missions report.

During this year, there were many difficulties in ministry due to the COVID-19, but I was able to experience the abundant grace of the Lord even during those difficulties. 2020 was a precious time to experience God’s grace.

Bible College of East Africa

Thankfully, we were able to finish one semester from January to April safely. I taught the sixth course of Old Testament historical books (Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther) and the book of Revelation. After that, I went to Rwanda to render a lecture, but after hearing the news that the border was soon to be closed because of COVID-19, I quickly returned to Tanzania. And just before the border between Tanzania and Kenya was blocked, I was able to leave Tanzania and enter Kenya: Furthermore, I could reach Singapore just before her border closed. I confess that all these dramatic processes could be made only by the grace of God.

For the fall semester starting in August, we were unable to open because of the coronavirus. However, even though the college is still closed, all the salaries of the local lecturers and staff of the college have been paid as usual. Now, the new semester will start on the 4th of January 2021. Please pray for the enrolled students to return to the college in a timely manner and for God to send new students again.

In addition, to solve the water supply problem on campus, we had initially tried to dig a well within the premises of the college, but the digging could not proceed because of the soil condition. Instead, I decided to dig a well in another missionary’s compound with the corresponding expenses, and it was successful.

Chemchem Kindergarten

Even after the outbreak of the COVID-19, Tanzania still has freedom of assembly. Her President has declared that the country was free of COVID-19. For safety reasons, we tried to close the kindergarten for a while, but since there was no regulation other than ours, we decided to reopen the kindergarten. It was difficult to ignore the demands of teachers and parents who desperately wanted to resume kindergarten operations. Thankfully, there have been no COVID-19 cases so far in the kindergarten. We give thanks for God’s protecting hand.

On the 20th of November, 21 children graduated. Please pray for the recruitment of new students. We are aiming for 25 new children. In the new year, the number of students is expected to be about 70.

Glory Bible-Presbyterian Church

In Tanzania, as usual, worship is held every Lord’s day. Like the kindergarten, there was a strong appeal from many local church members who were spiritually hungry and wanted to be fed. Although Africa is really vulnerable in many ways, the spiritual despair of the church members cannot be ignored. Worship services have been and will be held continuously despite the dangers. With the grace and protection of God, the church has not yet encountered any COVID-19 problems. Please keep praying for the safety of our African brethren.

COVID-19 made life more and more difficult for the church members. Nonetheless, there have been special helping hands abroad that have allowed them to distribute food. This food sharing took place once more during the Christmas season. But what is more important than sharing food is the sharing of spiritual food for the soul. We will also distribute the Word of God to the church members, the Kiswahili Bible. Please pray that the gospel of salvation be always proclaimed in the church.

Sabbatical in Singapore

I came to Singapore as soon as the spring semester was over to attend my wife’s graduation. By God’s grace, I was able to arrive in Singapore and met my family just before the borders of Africa and Singapore were closed. While in Singapore, I was able to teach at Far Eastern Bible College (FEBC), my alma mater. I taught “The History of Fundamentalism” and “Intertestamental History”, and preached at FEBC’s 45th Graduation Service on the theme “Theological Education in a Disintegrating World” from 2 Timothy 4:1–2, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”.

My original plan was to go back to Korea after teaching at the Daily Vacation Bible College (DVBC) and after my wife’s graduation in May 2020. But due to the COVID-19 circumstances, my wife’s graduation ceremony was postponed to November. So I did not go to Korea but stayed longer in Singapore which became my forced sabbatical year.

I have also been ministering to Korean members of True Life Bible-Presbyterian Church, my mother church in Singapore. Since this church is worshipping in English and Chinese, it is difficult for Korean members to find opportunities to hear Korean sermons or study the Bible in Korean. Thus, I have been translating English sermons into Korean every Lord’s day and have also led in Bible Study every Wednesday. COVID-19 has enabled fellowship among brethren from more countries via the online platform; we will take advantage of the online system to help them as much as possible when we are in Africa. Please pray for them to be well rooted in this church and to continue to grow spiritually in the Word of God.

Family News

My wife, Dr Ra Chae-Won, graduated in November after completing her Master of Divinity (MDiv) at FEBC. Her graduation thesis was on the Verbal Plenary Preservation of God’s Word and the need to study the original Greek text. The title of her thesis is “A Study on the Law of Inalterability in the Bible: Verbal Plenary Preservation and Human Responsibility.” This graduation thesis will be published soon by the Old Paths Publications in the United States.

My eldest daughter, Park JongHwi (Angela), has now completed the fourth year of the Bachelor of Theology (BTh) program at FEBC. She is now only 19 years old, and thank God she seems to have been doing well thus far. Now, as needed, she is writing her thesis that criticizes the heretical doctrine of Darakbang, one of the main heresies in Korea. My youngest daughter, Park JongEun (Joyce), has also been adjusting well at FEBC. She is now 16 years old. So please pray that her faith will continue to grow in the knowledge of God.

Prayer Requests

  1. For the ministry of the Bible College of East Africa (Tanzania, Kenya & Rwanda), especially for professors, current students, and new students.
  2. For the teachers and students of Chemchem Kindergarten.
  3. For Glory Bible-Presbyterian Church, the campus church.
  4. For the studies and health of the family, in Africa and in Singapore as well.

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