“Who will be their neighbors?”
Yeong Cheol Yun
In Jordan, the sun was hot and the was wind dry. But my two and half years in the Middle East completely changed my life.
Before going to the Middle East, I heard a lot of stories about the region, and most of them weren’t good. I heard of terrorists and frequent conflicts, political unrest and refugees; in my mind, I could only picture hijabs and mosques. But the Middle East that I saw was not that much different from my life back home in Korea. The children were cute, the grown ups were fun, and the women were kind. They ate at McDonald's and wore Nikes. They even watched Korean dramas and knew more about Korean pop singers than I did. It was a mystical experience to share the culture with those living in the Bible land. I had become accustomed to their culture through the Bible and they had become familiar with my culture through television and the Internet.
However, cultural exchange did not mean that it was easy to do mission work there. Jordan Muslims were more tolerant of other religions than I thought. Some friends even sent me Christmas celebration texts. Although they did not believe in Christmas as the birthday of Jesus, I felt good for being respected. But there was a huge cultural system that blocked many Muslims from converting. It is a big event for an individual to change religion in a familial Muslim society. Therefore, seeking open conversions not only had a low success rate, but was a very provocative way to do mission work. The mission strategy in Muslim countries had to be different from that of other countries. I discovered that God was calling His people in a new and mysterious way.
While I was studying Arabic in Jordan, I met a student majoring in Architecture. I did not know her at all, but as she was writing a paper on Korean traditional architecture, she contacted me to ask for advice from a Korean person. I had been praying that God would lead me to a person with an open mind, so I was happy to meet her. She had considerable knowledge of Korean architecture and even appreciated it more than I did.
After spending a few weeks discussing architecture, she asked me what I thought about the situation in the Middle East. She was referring to the Iraq War and Syrian refugees. I was a little surprised by the unexpected question, but God gave me an answer. "I am really heartbroken about some tragic events in the Middle East and I want to help somehow, but as a believer in the Bible, I believe that there will be a day when these pain and tragedies will be substituted by justice and righteousness."
She began to sob and asked, “Do you really think so? I am really surprised to hear that from you. We too believe that God will do so, but we’ve been waiting for too long... "
We prayed, asking God to set up a peaceful nation for those who were suffering. It was a moment that confirmed that Jesus gave the same desire to both Muslims and the Adventists.
One Sabbath, I was preaching on behalf of a local pastor who was absent. I preached about the story of Joseph. The message was that Joseph's true success was not his wealth or status, but his forgiveness of his brothers' past act. I appealed that if they admired Joseph, Christians, Jews, and Muslims should all forgive each other's past and enter into a new relationship. I concluded that Jesus' death on the cross was also focused on forgiveness.
After preaching, an older gentleman approached me. He invited me to his cottage and asked to talk. It turned out that he was the principal of a Muslim school and attended the worship service by an invitation of a relative. He had been taught the Qur'an by Imam (a Muslim leader) all his life but it was the first time he had heard about Joseph this way. He was very touched. He told me that his students would like to hear this kind of message. This experience caused me to realize that there are spiritually open people among the Muslims who respond positively to the true messages of the Bible.
Jesus is calling His sheep out of the Muslim people. I believe a great revival will soon take place in the Middle East.
There are over 10 million Syrian refugees. In so much pain, they are crying out, “Where is Allah?” With hunger and trauma, anxiety for the future, and worries for their children, every day is hell. Every time I visited refugee families, God spoke to my heart, “Who will be their neighbors? Who will be their brothers and sisters and wipe their tears?” Many institutions and denominations are reaching out to help, but it is not enough. If our young people got involved in ministering to the Middle East, there would be a spiritual revival. There are reports from Muslims who have been directly evangelized by Jesus. Within Muslim communities, there are many people who are spiritually hungry, but the movement of Christian believers is slow, so Jesus is directly appearing to them in their dreams and giving them instructions. Shouldn’t we be their neighbors now?
God bless you (Allah youbarikum)!
Yeong Cheol Yun currently works with Go! Mission Movement. Check out their website here for more information on spreading the Gospel!
Heaven’s Healthy Kitchen
by Emmanuel Smith
It all started in one of the BBQ capitals of the world: Memphis, Tennessee. At the time, Memphis was known as one of the unhealthiest cities in America. I certainly contributed to that stereotype. I was very overweight, weighing in at 235 pounds. This was due to loss of family and stress. Over the years, I tried many diets and dietary changes, but nothing stuck.
One day, my children jokingly poked my belly and laughed. That was the moment I knew I had to make a change. I went to God and asked for help, knowing in my heart what His reply was going to be. God told me I had to change my diet and lifestyle. He also told me I had to follow His laws of health: trust in God, nutrition, exercise, proper rest, open air, lots of water, temperance and sunshine. My journey had begun.
The journey was not easy and it took praying without ceasing. When it came to certain food items and lifestyle changes, I had to come boldly before God, like Paul instructed us in Hebrews. I told God I didn't think I could stop eating certain foods like cheese and ice cream, two major culprits that hindered my journey to health. I told God He would have to take the taste out of my mouth.
God answered my prayers and took the taste of cheese and ice cream from me. Through prayer and fasting, I overcame. Within two weeks, I finished a juice and fruit fast. In those two weeks, I lost 25 pounds. Next, I stopped eating meat, dairy and fish. Within 6 months, I lost over 60 pounds. To this day, I have been able to maintain a weight between 180-183 pounds.
I turned to God again as I worked to embrace a vegan/plant-based diet. Foods I initially thought had simple ingredients actually had hard-to-pronounce ingredients that were damaging to the body. As I continued to pray, God told me to make my own substitutes for the unhealthy food items.
I have always loved to cook, and as a teenager, I even had aspirations of going to culinary school. It is truly an art to cook and prepare vegan/plant-based foods! I began to get back into cooking after I initially lost the weight. It was exciting to explore this new chapter of my life and revisit an old passion.
One day, I posted a picture on social media of my food on a plastic plate (nothing fancy at all), and people liked the picture. I posted another picture and people began pressuring me to start a business. I wasn’t so sure. The only thing I wanted to do was be healthy and make my own food! Again, I went before God and asked Him what He wanted me to do. He told me “Yes,” I should start a business and use it to share the health message.
In February, 2013, Heaven’s Healthy Kitchen (HHK) was born. HHK hosts annual health events, caters meals, offers health consultations, and sponsors cooking classes—all with an emphasis on health and wellness. The health initiative is a project we just started. It’s community driven and focuses on the health and wellness of the family. In the future, I plan to purchase a food truck to continue expanding HHK and the ultimate goal is to open a restaurant or kitchen. Learn more and keep up to date by following us on Facebook and Instagram.
VIDA Expansion Project
We here at VIDA Internacional have the unique privilege of being the only self-supporting Adventist ministry in the beautiful and needy country of Honduras. Through our bilingual elementary school, 100 students from the town of El Suyatal have the privilege of receiving a Christian education, while learning English at an extremely reasonable cost. Through our lifestyle center, we treat various diseases with natural remedies. Through our missionary training school, we train sons and daughters of God to be better-equipped missionaries.
Honduras is the second poorest country in Central America and one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere. This makes spreading the gospel to this underserved country even more critical.
One of the projects we are desiring to complete is the construction of a second story on an existing building. Having no more space on campus on which to build, we decided the only option was to build upon what already exists. The second story will contain four rooms for lifestyle guests, which will do much to relieve congestion in the three-room guest house and apartment rooms in another building on campus. We have done as much as our financial situation has permitted, and are now waiting for more financial resources to continue.
One way in which you, dear reader, could assist us in this project, is by organizing a mission trip with VIDA Internacional. Each mission trip group participates in a construction project while here, as well as in various church services. If your church or school is interested in serving abroad, please mention VIDA Internacional to a church leader or to the Board. If you would like more information, please email us or check out our website. We hope to hear from you soon!
Arecent action taken by the ASI Missions, Inc. Board will affect all future funding applicants.
For quite a while, the ASI and ASI Missions, Inc. Boards have been concerned that a significant number of ASI membership applicants, and applicants for ASI project funding, require a very small number of board members, and that these boards are often composed predominantly or exclusively of people who share familial relationships. We believe such arrangements lack the diversity and strength that a larger, more heterogeneous board could provide.
Therefore, the ASI Board (July 30, 2018) and the ASI Missions, Inc. Board (July 29, 2018) voted to require that applicants for Organizational Non-Profit membership, and applicants for ASI project funding, include in their corporate documents a clause which mandates a Board of Directors of no fewer than five members, three of whom are unrelated to each other by blood or marriage.
This requirement is not retroactive and does not apply to current members, unless they choose to apply for project funding.
If you intend to request 2019 funding and your current documents are not in compliance with this new requirement, we encourage you to begin the amendment process as soon as possible, so that you are prepared to submit your complete application by the December 31, 2018 deadline.
Have questions or need help? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.