Two Years in God’s Grace

It is hard to believe that it has already been two years since I left my home, family, and friends in New York to Namibia.  So much has happened in those two years, many adjustments and change filled with much joy and difficulties.  I thank the Lord for God’s grace has sustained me through all of this.

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Namibia is a country in  Africa with an estimated population of 2.5 million and 32 people groups and 30 languages, with English being the official language. Namibia is a country with one of the highest gaps between the rich and the poor, which has left many Namibians living in poverty with very high unemployment rates. 89.9% of people are reported to be professing Christians, but Christianity there is plagued by the watering down of the gospel due to syncretism with tribal religions and the health wealth and prosperity gospel.

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This is the Havana informal settlement where much of our ministry is done. As you can see, most of the kids live in poverty, in homes like this with no electricity or running water. However, poverty goes deeper than just lacking material possessions, many of these kids live with very little hope for a future coming out of a destructive cycle of broken families with no fathers. Here, sexual promiscuity, stealing, lying, and violence are the climate in which these kids grow up.

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Agape Youth was founded in 2015 by WLAF in collaboration with New Hope due to a need that was apparent when King’s Kids started growing up and needed more in-depth teaching and discipleship. Although another youth group existed at the time in Windhoek, it was targeting the rich kids, which left very little outreach to the poor youth in Windhoek. Therefore, Agape Youth was born to reach the poorest of the youth in Windhoek and Namibia, so that God would show Himself to be great by spreading the gospel through them.

Regular worship services are held at Max with attendance of around 90 to 100 members.

First Step 2005

We continue with a new year of First Step 2005 meets on Saturdays and is a ministry targeting the youngest kids in Agape Youth with the goal of building into them foundational truths through the New City Catechism and times of praise.

Koinonia Groups

This year another Koinonia Group was added to AY, they meet for members to gather together for Bible reading and prayer. Currently, there are three Koinonia Groups that are meeting weekly. It is our hope that these groups would someday grow into care groups where kids could meet to encourage one another.

The Purity Seminar

The Purity Seminar happens once a year and is a time for Agape Youth to be trained on the biblical view of sexuality, marriage, and for the kids to commit themselves to follow the Purity Code.

 

Students who complete the program make this promise of purity and are presented a ring/neck chain.

This year 36 students completed the program.

Agape Ministry Apprenticeship (AMA)

We are super excited about this new program in Agape Youth, Agape Ministry Apprenticeship. After four years of growth as a ministry, it became clear that there was a need to raise up pastors and leaders from within Agape Youth in order for the expansion and sustainability of this ministry. Therefore, the vision for Agape Ministry Apprenticeship was born. Vision: Agape Ministry Apprenticeship (AMA) aims to disciple young Christians to become leaders in the church by equipping them to live out faithful Christian lives, accurately interpret the Bible, and minister to others fully reliant upon the Lord in prayer.

  • Qualified students are selected to complete this program
  • Namibian Evangelical Theological Seminary (NETS) certificate course book studies.  Must be completed within 3 years.
  • Includes ministry internships
  • Candidates are paired with mentors for discipleship and teaching
  • New candidates will be added every 6 months. d892OHyKSfmCmmjVkJhhIQFirst to start the apprenticeship is Angeline and Dericks.

Vocational Carpentry Ministry

A new ministry started this year is Vocational Carpentry ministry, youth are selected for discipleship and vocational training.

The training includes computer studies, carpentry skills, and business, beginning each day with prayer and Bible meditation

The Annual Agape Youth Bible Camp

The Annual Agape Youth Bible Camp has been a critical component to the growth of Agape Youth since the beginning. New Hope has been the main driver of this annual camp. Short-term missionaries from New Hope come every year and run the Agape Youth Bible Camp, ministering to the kids and giving them the personal attention and love that they need. For these four days, Agape Youth kids not only hear but feel the love of God from their family from New York. The fact that they come every year, reaffirms the love and message that we share with them.

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We are thankful mainly to the Lord who gives us the grace to be able to be part of His movement amongst youth in Namibia. We know this is the work of the Lord because lives are being changed with the gospel of Christ. We know that it is God’s ministry and God’s movement and that He is the one who has sent us and put it into your hearts to support this ministry. God is the one who loves these kids. God is the one who is most glorified in their lives.

Prayer Request

1. Pray for the Lord to pour out His Spirit among the youth in revival.
2. Pray for many of the young kids who have joined this year and others who have been around on the fringe may be genuinely saved and indwelt by the Spirit.
3. Pray for many kids to experience the healing power of Christ from pain, abuse, neglect, poverty, hopelessness, and bondage to sin.
4. Pray for many kids to be given a purpose in their lives to surrender all and serve the Lord in the gospel.
5. Pray for God to raise faithful and humble leaders from within Agape Youth.
6. Pray that God would clarify and intensify our vision for the Agape Youth Movement. Pray that WLAF would be led by the Lord with a clear vision into the future.
7. Pray that God would convict the hearts of some New Hope and others to commit their lives to join this ministry full time.
8. Pray for unity among short-term missionaries, long-term missionaries, and student leaders.
9. Pray that we would learn how to serve Agape Youth in wisdom without hurting them in the long-run, especially in the area of giving.
9. Pray that we would serve in the strength God supplies so that God would receive all glory.

 

 

 

 

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Update from Namibia

Greetings from Namibia!!

Yes, I am still here, I am so ashamed that I have neglected the updates of the newsletter.  With passing time, it became hard to start writing.  I became convicted that I have been neglectful to my supporter as they deserve more from me. Please forgive me!!   With that I have started again with renewed conviction to be faithful to those back home.

I has been over a year since I’ve come to Namibia,  and God have been so gracious to me in all aspect of my life and ministry here.  It gives me such pleasure and joy in serving and teaching the amazing youths of Havana area.  I have continued ministering to the youths of Agape Youth with Steve and Seoyeon Hong and the Korean missionaries of We Love Africa Foundation.

Here are some updates, end of last year, after my dental licensing exam in December 2017, my family had informed me that my mom was diagnosed with colon cancer and was scheduled for surgery day after Christmas.  This was shocking and distressing news,  this was one of my greatest fear I had to resolve and surrender before God when He called me to Namibia.  By God’s grace,  my heart found a surprising peace that surpasses all understanding.  Graciously, my home church, New Hope Fellowship, offered to pay for a plane ticket home so that I can be there for my mom during this ordeal.  Thank you New Hope for your amazing gift.  Even with a little complication, my mom is cured of cancer with no radiation or chemotherapy!  Praise to God for His loving kindness. and goodness.

I returned to Namibia in early January  2018, to continue ministering to the youths of Agape Youth.  I was also informed that I have failed the licensing exam, and I have been waiting for another exam date.  Every Sunday,  we gather together as Max, which was recently expanded and renovated by the generous donors for Sunday Worship.  Every week we are joined by 80-100 youths coming from all parts of Havana area.

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Every week, I get together with the youngest members of AY for First Step 2004.  Those who are able, meet with me every Saturday morning to go over “New City Catechism”, answering the basic questions of our faith and doctrine.

 

 

Every Friday, I get together with the older ladies of AY.  “Virtuous Woman” stems for the Proverbs 31 woman, we get together to study the book  “A Woman After God’s Own Heart” by Elizabeth George.  We study the Word of God to be a women after God’s heart.  As the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 was skillful with her hands to create for her home and friends, we learn to crotchet to create crafts for the home as well.  Recently, as we have completed  the study, but I continue  to connect with them and build on the relationship.

 

 

During the week, we had a student led “Koinoia groups” in three different locations.  They get together to read the Bible and pray together.  In the upcoming year, we are thinking of reorganizing the groups.  Instead of being student led, I will be leading the groups,  great opportunity for connecting with the youth and discipleship.  Please pray for guidance and wisdom.

Once a month, as a group, the Agape Youth members go out to their neighborhood for Outreach/Evangelism.  They find other youth in the area to share the gospel and invite them to come to Sunday service.   We are so encouraged by their joy and boldness in sharing the gospel to others.

But the highlight of the year has to be the Agape Youth Bible Camp 2018 in August.  This is our 4th camp, every year we are joined by a team from my home church New Hope Fellowship in New York.  What made this year more interesting is that Steve and Seoyeon were not with us for camp.  Due to change in Steven’s work, the Hongs were back in States for months, April to August, we were hoping their return would be before the camp time, but that was not what God wanted for us this year.  It was definitely a challenge for me to continue the ministry on a daily bases and prepare for the camp by myself.  God was so gracious, even with all my inadequacy  and weaknesses, He allowed us to have a great camp with attendance of 130 youths and 26 team members from New Hope Fellowship that have blessed our youths again this year!

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As I reflect on my time here in Namibia this past year, my heart is filled with humility and gratitude.  God has always been here for me through the struggles and the joys and there were many of both.  To God be all glory and honor in all my joys and weaknesses, for opportunities He has open for serving his precious children in Namibia, also  to work along side with wonderful servants of God from both US and Korea.  God has always provided for me, but I praise God for providing the means for me to stay here in Namibia, He has allowed me to receive a work permit recently.  This will allow me to work and stay in Namibia for next two years!!  This will also allow me to travel back and forth from New York with no worry of re-entry into Namibia.  By the time you receive this newsletter,  I will be in New York area for the holidays and my parents birthday.  I hope to connect with you while I’m in the States.

Prayer Request:

Please pray for unity within our team in We Love Africa Foundation, that there will be no miscommunication of languages and culture.

Please pray for faithfulness to God of the Agape Youth members and my own faithfulness to God as we seek Him and worship Him everyday.  May God produce many disciples that will honor Him and continue His kingdom work.

Please pray for continued ministry here in Namibia,  we invest and plan for upcoming year, but God is the one that transform hearts and lives.  May His will be done in all things.

On a personal note, please continue to pray for health of my parents, especially my mom.  We will be celebrating their 80th birthday this year and we are hoping that they could come visit me in Namibia next year, pending my mom’s health. The recovery from the surgery have been slow.

Please pray for my personal walk with God.  I face much isolation and loneliness  here.  I pray and ask for your prayers that in those times of hardship and struggle that it is Him that I seek for purpose, significance and strength.

Pray that I will be faithful in reaching out to my supporters with timely updates.

Three Months Already…Update from Namibia

It is hard to believe that it has been now 3 months since my arrival in Namibia.  My time MTI program in Colorado Springs informed and prepared me of the challenges of the transition times in the mission field, and by the grace and protection of God the overall transition to Namibia have been smooth.  I am so grateful to all the people that God placed here in my life.  Steve and Seoyeon have been my anchor, I am so thankful to them for support and friendship. I am so humbled by the dedication of the Korean missionaries here, they have so graciously accepted me into their community.

In some ways, last three months to me have gone so fast, there were weeks and days when I was so overwhelmed with logistical things I needed to do to get settled here. The ordeal and process were stressful and hectic; from getting bank accounts, finding and renting a place, finding and buying a car to renewing my working visa and applying for a work permit. In each event, I was reminded of the differences and challenges of living in Africa.  So many paperworks and timing of meeting the right people at the right time and the frustration of understanding, that what they said was not what they really meant are few of the realities that I’m not in America anymore.

But in other ways, last three month have been the longest three months of my life.  In each event and ordeal came with the challenge of “waiting”, everything in Namibia takes so much time.  It is the balance of being patient and waiting for things to happen verses calling then over and over again for the answer.  I still have not quite mastered the balance yet.  In each event, I’ve received many advices and assistances from my team (Steve, Seoyeon and Korean missionaries) here, without them and their support I would not have survived the last three months.  Everyday, I am reminded of God’s amazing grace and His Sovereign reign in my life…not one thing can happen without His hand and mercy.  God always provide everything I need and them some.  My constant dependence on others and most completely and definitely on God is humbling state that I come to cherish. I am so grateful to all the people who have prayed and supported me,  I thank God for your giving heart and pray for your continuous partnership in this mission for God’s glory and kingdom.

God’s Ministry in Namibia

As an new member (intern) of the We Love Africa Foundation, I have been observing and participating in the various ministries of the WLAF.

King’s Kids and Smart Kid’s

Every Sunday, each Korean missionary team, has service for “King’s Kids” in three different locations in the Havana Region, and during the week, the three locations also has kindergarten school “Smart Kids” for the kids in each locations.  The local teachers are hired and trained by the Korean missionaries.  These are on going ministries for WLAF.

Child – Sponsorship Program (미소나눔)

Another ministry of WLAF is child-sponsorship program.  Similar to the World Vision organization, the missionaries contacted and set up sponsorships with Korean donors who would regularly support a child in need in Havana.  Every month, on one Saturday, the missionary would provide to each sponsored child food and supply like sack of rice, pasta, oil, maze (corn meal) and soap.  This provide for them a month supply of livelihood for this child and family.

Agape Youth

When the kids get older and graduates from the “King’s Kids” , they are strongly encouraged to join Agape Youth Group for Sunday Service.  Every Sunday, our brother Steve Hong provide the message for the youth and we (some of the missionaries and I), serve as small group leaders to teach and minister to the members more personally.

Agape Youth Praise Team and Discipleship

Every Saturday Steve leads, selected members of the Agape Youth praise team and discipleship to study the Word and practice. Here they are challenged to study and memorize the Scripture and live their faith everyday. We pray that God will grow future leaders from this group.

Agape Youth First Step

Since my arrival to join the team, recently, I started the “Agape Youth First Step”. As Steve provide discipleship and training for older faithful members, AYFS is for the youngest members of Agape Youth.  I gather kids that just came up from the King’s Kids to give them extra support and foundational teaching of the gospel and Scripture.  This way the kids would be able to better understand the messages given by Steve every Sunday.  I pray that these young people will be encouraged and  grow, to organically transitioned into Agape Youth Praise team and discipleship.  These are some of the members of my group:

Koinonia Groups

During the week, few members of the youth group wanted to meet for prayer and Bible reading together “koinonia groups”. There are three different groups meeting together in the area near where they live.  Starting next week, as I get familiar with driving to the areas, I will be joining them, not as a leader, for they are lead by their own member, but as a supervisor/supporter of each group.

Outreach and Evangelism

Once a month, as a group, the members of the AY go out for outreach, evangelizing to other youths in the area, sharing the gospel and inviting them to come to the youth service. I was so encouraged by these kids, for their courage and dedication.

Looking Forward to New Hope Team and Youth Camp!!

I am so excited to have the team from New Hope join us in August.  It will be so wonderful to see familiar faces and reconnect with my family.  I’m so excited to see what God will do this year with the members of Agape Youth as we partner together for the camp.  Can’t wait to see you guys!!

Prayer Request:

Please continue to pray for the various ministries of We Love Africa Foundation.

Please continue to pray for the upcoming NHF team and preparation for the camp.

Please pray that God will prepare the hearts of the AY members to receive the message God has prepared for them.

Please continue to pray for the team here in Namibia for unity in mission for God.

Updates from Namibia

Slowly getting settled in Namibia

One of the first thing I did when I had some down time was to submit my application/registration for dental licensure.  I provided all the necessary documents and paid the fee required for the registration.  I was told that they would contact me for an pre-registry oral examination, an evaluation to qualify.  When I inquired about the content of the exam, the registrar said it can be anything in dentistry with slide projections for several hours.   The processing in Africa takes a long time, especially for foreigners.  I have to be very patient and wait for the notification.
 I definitely need prayers from our prayer warriors:
  • Please pray for clarification of the exam and it’s content.  
  • Please pray for my preparation, as I have no textbooks here and the last time I had exam of this level was almost 20 yrs ago.

 

Praise God for Housing

I signed the contract to move in June 1st to a townhouse located in the same complex with Steve and Seoyeon.  I was so amazed to find one available and the price range.  Thank God for His provision!!  Many trips to the mall to shop for EVERYTHING! Remember, I came here with three suitcases ONLY!
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The car is not mine! But after June 1, the unit will be my home.  Still looking for a car, I have to be patient! Just like the house, I know God will provide the right car for me.

 

Prayer  Request:

Recently, I received news from home that my mom was not doing well.  She has hypertension but usually under control.  Her blood pressure was really high so her doctor sent her to the cardiologist, and he said that it look like she has had minor heart attacks, her heart muscles were slightly damaged. He scheduled her for a full work up in three weeks.  The fact that he felt she can wait for three week assures me that her condition is not severe and urgent.
  • Please pray that test results would be non-significant and needing to only adjust her medication.  I’m sure my departure, added to her stress level and was conducive to her condition.
  • Please pray that God would lead and clarify my ministry here in Namibia with WLAF and with the Korean missionaries.
  • Please pray that God would lead me to a good Christian church and community here.

Visitors from Korea to drill for water up North

Pastors and Elders from Korea to support the drilling for water in Opuwo.

On May 5, eight visitors came from Korea, (3 pastors, 1 pastor’s wife, 3 elders, and 1 elder’s daughter), to tour parts of South Africa and Namibia and participate in the celebrations of the drilling for water in north, Opuwo (733.96 km/455.06 miles) from Windhoek.  We drove around 7hrs. to get there. The Korean visitors financially supported the drilling efforts. This area, extremely dry and parched, is the region of Himba and Hero tribes.

The Drilling was a Success!! Praise the Lord!

The water produced by this drilling with provide ample water for the people in this region to survive, grow and live in health.  There are plans underway to build a library, school, and church in this area.  

1st Week in Namibia

King’s Kids Winter Bible Camp

The day after I arrived in Namibia as the start of a major event The King’s Kids Winter Bible Camp (April 28th – April 30th).  To jump right in,  I was informed that I am scheduled to give a sermon on Saturday April 29th, and lead the Bible Question Sessions. The camp was filled with praise time, sermons, many games and activities.  In attendance there about 250 kids from different regions ranging from 1st graders to 5th graders.  All the children were able to have times of great worship and message, also team completion of games, activities, food and fun.

We praise God for the event and very thankful that so many children were able to come to have fun and hear the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The efforts of the Pastor and all the missionaries were very evident, praise God for their serving heart and joyful giving. Please continue to pray for the spiritual growth of the kids of Namibia.

Arrived in Windhoek, Namibia!!

April 26, 2017

Welcome to Namibia! Thank you to everyone for all their prayers. after 20 hours of traveling, I finally made it to Windhoek, Namibia. I was greeted by fellow missionaries. My heart is filled with much joy and gratefulness as I reflect on the journey that has led me to this place.

I Chronicles 16:24 “Declare his glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.”

My Journey to Namibia goes back to the very beginning, when Jesus chose me to save me from my sin and brought me into his family. Early in my walk with Jesus, He had put in my heart many verses like the one above to call me to go into the nations to share the gospel. This had led me to many short term missions trips to many countries all over the world. I believed in my heart, that Him would show me when and where He would want me to go as a full term missionary. He did not do so till early last year. My good friends Steve and Seoyeon Hong came for a visit from Namibia. Steve, understanding my heart for missions, he said, “when the time is right, God will bring all the puzzles together to show you His plan.” Sure enough after their visit, all the pieces started to fit. I have been my parents caretaker for many years, I felt I could not just leave them by themselves. But God spoke to my parents individually, they approached me, saying that I should go to Namibia now not later. “God loves us much more then you do, He will take care of us.” “You cannot do missions as a retirement, you must give God your best, and work when your young and able”unnamed (7)

God’s confirmation for going to Namibia came through my parents and family. When I shared my calling with the elders at my church, New Hope Fellowship, they wholehearted accepted with joy the position as the sending church for the mission. The love and support of my church family have been overwhelming. Words can not express the blessings and gratitude in my heart for their support. In addition to the prayer and financial support, my church very graciously sent me to a missions training program in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Mission Training International: Compass Program

A month of missions training has led me to the Compass Program by MTI in Colorado Springs, Colorado. God introduced me to amazing instructors, coaches, and trainers, all who are previous missionaries, have richly poured into my life their wisdom and experience. God also put in my life 29 strangers that became like family to me. Praise God for my fellow missionaries God has called all over the world.

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Upon returning from Colorado, I began preparation for departure. Thank you so much to all the friends and family that have supported me. I am so blessed to be able to share and partner with so many brothers and sisters in the Lord in support of the ministry in Namibia.

Commissioning Service April 23, 2017

In the morning, My parent’s church DONGSAN KOREAN REFORMED CHURCH in Yonkers New York, prayed commissioned me to Namibia. I was very blessed by the support and prayer of the church.

unnamedIn the afternoon, I was commissioned by my home church, NEW HOPE FELLOWSHIP in Tarrytown New York. My heart is overwhelmed by the love and support of my church family, words cannot express the gratitude and affection I have for them.

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In the evening, I was blessed by my fellow sisters of my church for time of food, fellowship and prayer. I truly love this ladies and I will miss times like this together. Thank you for your love.

Departure for Namibia April 25, 2017

Early Tuesday morning, April 25, 2017, my parents drove me to JFK airport for final departure for Namibia. Final good byes were difficult but no tears were shed for we all know that this is all for the glory and kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Pastor Rob came out to the airport to pray for me and see me off to Namibia.

I love you mom and dad, thank you for everything!! Thank you Pastor Rob!

Prayer Praise & Request

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Thank you so much for the love and prayers support. We are in this together friends!

Your Sister in Christ,

Jen