Sunday, April 15, 2007

Malawi Connection?

This year is a sabbatical year from Drew to focus on my Malawi Mission with CitiHope International. In some ways, my trip to Korea was a distraction from my primary mission. But somehow I felt that a Malawi connection would be made, or rather, that there was a providential connection between Korea and Malawi that would become evident during the trip. Sure enough, it happened first at Elim House on Friday night and later with Rev. and Mrs. Kim at the Sky View Restaurant on Sunday night.

After dinner on the third day of the pastors’ retreat at Elim House, I was taking a nap in our room. Rebecca walked, woke me up, and announced that one of the Methodist pastors, Rev. Kwon, wanted to give me $1000 for the CitiHope Malawi Mission. I responded that I would wake up for that. I went out to the lounge area to speak with Rev. and Mrs. Kwon about why they wanted to support the mission. He explained through our interpreter that God had clearly spoken to him during their prayer time today, and that he was supposed to give me this amount to help feed the orphans in Malawi that I had spoken about at our dinner table the night before. Of course, I was deeply moved and delighted by his spiritual conviction and generosity, and we made arrangements to transfer his donation to CitiHope. Rev. Kwon is pastor of …… and he said his church may want to support the Malawi Mission monthly in some way. Thank you, Lord, for speaking clearly to Pastor Kwon, encouraging me that others want to join me in this mission, and confirming in my own heart that I am moving in the flow of my gifts and calling to help save the lives of 1,000 AIDS orphans in Malawi.

It happened again over dinner with Rev. and Mrs. Jong Soo Kim. Before the first of several courses were served, high above the city, overlooking the skyline of Seoul at the setting of the sun, Rev. Kim said to me, quite unexpectedly and without prior discussion: “Tell me about your ministry in Malawi and how we might help you there.” It doesn’t take much encouragement to get me started. If someone cracks a window, I’ll proceed to open it all the way. So, I told him and Mrs. Kim about what CitiHope was doing in Malawi to feed 12,000 orphans in seven care centers, providing nutrition and medicine to 38 medical clinics, hospitals and schools, and how we were working with pastors and churches in dealing with the many issues around HIV/AIDS in the congregations. He seemed interested in possibly planting a church in Malawi, and we agreed to pray about what God might have in mind for us, not only in Malawi, but in Nepal and India and other needy places of the world where the Seshin Church as mission projects.

Similar, providential, conversations occurred in the course of our trip to Korea, and I cannot help but believe that there will be a strong spiritual connection between Korean churches and Malawian churches, and joint mission projects in the months and years ahead.