W ORLD HOW TO BE FREE IN CHRIST
OCTOBER 2012 | ISSUE 6
LEARNING FROM THE NORTH KOREAN UNDERGROUND CHURCH AND THE PERSECUTED CHURCH AROUN D T H E
RADI CAL DISCIPLESHIP LESSONS TEN
FROM THE PERSECUTED CHURCH I N N O R T H KO R E A A N D A RO U N D THE WORLD
Inside Learn how the North Korean underground church worships in These are the Generations—the newest book in Seoul USA’s persecuted church discipleship series!
martyr [mahr-ter] “a witness who testifies to a fact of which he has knowledge from personal observation.”
From the Editor Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Those are the words of the Apostle Paul
to study the Scriptural basis of each of these principles and learn more about how you can put them into practice in your own church. You’ll also find two free bonus chapters on church finance and mission work the underground church way. So gather your kids, neighbors, and fellow
to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:12. They remind us
church members. It’s time to sit at the feet of the
that we should not feel sorry for persecuted
best teachers in Christianity: the brothers and
Christians. Instead, we should imitate them.
sisters from the underground church in North
That’s why this issue is devoted to ten radical discipleship lessons from the underground church in North Korea and around the world. We’ve learned a lot about how to do church from North Korean
Korea and around the world. Let’s imitate them as they imitate Christ by practicing ten radical discipleship principles that can turn our churches upside down!
Christians, and now underground churches around the world are inviting us to come and
P RO DU CE D
SE O U L
teach them what we know. So this year we traveled to lead training events in Eritrea, Russia, Mongolia, and Sri Lanka. At every training event, we also learned new discipleship strategies from our students. We’re pleased to share this hardwon wisdom with you here in the pages of our Seoul USA newsletter. If you’d like to learn more about these ten principles, visit the Resource page on our Seoul USA website and order the book Church is for
Amateurs for $5 plus shipping. You’ll be able
U.S. Office 14960 Woodcarver Road Colorado Springs, CO 80921 Phone: 719-481-4408 Seoul Office 236-1, Duck Seong Building 1st Floor Mapo-Dong Mapo-Gu Seoul, Korea Phone : 02-2065-0703
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what Hippolytus, an early church father, wrote about how the church dealt with seekers in the generations shortly after the apostles. “Let those who will be brought newly to the faith to hear the Word be brought first to the teachers before the people arrive. And let them be asked the reason why they have given their assent to the faith. And let those who have brought them bear witness as to whether they are able to hear the Word. And let them be asked about their life: What sort is it?” Paul F. Bradshaw, Maxwell E. Johnson, and L. Edward Phillips, The Apostolic Tradition: A Commentary (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress Publishers, 2002), p. 82.
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• Leadership moves from person to person each day (or night), kids included. • Sing the same song each day for the week, memorizing the lyrics and learning to sing it without any instruments helping you out. • The leader for the night shares from memory the Scripture that’s assigned for the week. Everyone else has their Bibles open and keeps the leader on track. • In prayer time, each person prays out loud, with the leader closing by leading everyone in the Lord’s Prayer and inviting everyone to share the peace of Christ.
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It’s simple to hold daily worship in your own home just like the persecuted church!
Pastor Foley’s The Whole Life Offering from amazon.com and learn a plan you can follow to ensure that you’re growing in each area of loving God and neighbor throughout the year.
Rec Pas eive, R sO eme “For n w hat m are I
Begin the year with a month of preparation, reacquainting ourselves with the Bible’s overall plan and provision for growing to fullness in Christ.
Focus on one practice of loving your neighbor each month. The Whole Life Offering trains you in ten practices, from doing good to your enemies to sharing your bread to opening your home.
Ground each practice of loving your neighbor in seven ways of growing in love for God. Search the Scripture to determine how Christ performs this work of neighbor-love on you. Learn how the church has undertaken this work across the ages. Spend time working through practices of prayer, worship, and self-denial related to that act of neighbor-love before ending the month serving and giving in this way to others.
re fro a re m the ceived as Ip A the on the postle assed Pau o Lord und ergr l in 1 n to yo ’s Pr man u” ou ay Co d to g ments er, the nd chu rinthia —thos , ew N ro rc n a Chr wing i nd the icene C h hold s 15:3. ords ist Th nd s Lo re them . When ividua rd’s Su ed, the on tigh ere’s tl l w p T and deeply e ensu believe per: Th en Com y to re th ey’r , alo r s to the e n s a we ens ongs o g with t each fullnes crucial Ch si th of o ure th f the chu e stori ristian n rtho at w e rc le d s e ditc h of oxy rat ’re wad h acros of scri arns p her s per i ture ng the son t al p han en into th ages, e refe d renc ing up stream e. in th e
new release, These are the Generations, is now available through amazon.com! These are the Generations is the story of Mr. Bae, a North Korean underground Christian. Order the book today to learn how for three generations they received and passed on the good news—through wars, persecutions, and prisons—in the darkest place on earth. Here’s an excerpt:
Some stories of faith are so surprising that you can hardly wait to hear how they end. That’s the way I have always felt about my grandfather’s stories. As a eleven-year-old boy in North Korea grieving his death, I would beg my grandmother to whisper his stories to me again and again in the dark winter nights, even though we both knew that to retell or even listen to such stories was an act of treason that endangered our whole family. Years later, when I sat on the cold floor of a North Korean prison in one position each day from morning until 10:00 p.m. for more than a year, I’d turn over the smallest detail of one of those stories in my mind for literally days on end. And these days, as I work at the car wash in South Korea in obedience to God’s call that I am to raise my daughter as a healer for our broken, divided nation, it is his stories that come to me as my mind drifts heavenward. I wish you could have known my grandfather. In fact, when I start telling you the story of my grandfather’s life—how God would speak to him in a voice so loud that he would nearly go deaf… how, by God’s grace, he saved his village time and time again by obeying God’s puzzling commands (each more puzzling than the last)… and how he evangelized robbers and invading armies as he sacrificed his body to prevent a church building from being burnt down (while the pastor hid safely out of sight)—I think you will feel tempted to skip to the end of the chapter so you can read how it all turns out. So I will save you from that temptation by beginning with the end of my grandfather’s story: And so my grandfather burned all the Bibles just as God had commanded him, and thus the North Korean authorities were outsmarted.
And the Gospel continued to spread. Excerpted from These are the Generations by Eric Foley. Copyright © 2012 by .W Publishing. All rights reserved. Order today from amazon.com.
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sw hat r bo f th the idea of church equals a building. While I love ergr Und usinesse d work. T ation o rented o perfect m b r e old cathedrals, does this model make sense and y live an transfo w. If they ssing th rkplaces d i o e o a h if it is the building that causes persecution w m n e t k alr ed on ady hey’d be mes and e s r l u a instead of the Gospel? In Sri Lanka, buildings t o foc s they eet, eir h h m t e o c y can be a source of conflict, inciting people ctif pla re. es t plac ty to san nter the w e against Christian churches. Although there i n rtun se who e o p p is a persecution by the Buddhist population o o all th and against Christians, the building themselves represent an
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offense that is unrelated to proclaiming the Gospel. The insistence to build in a community that has few Christians is seen as an offensive move against the local village. It isn’t representative of loving your neighbor and instead feels like an unwelcome outsider pushing in on the families and communities and insisting they change long-held family beliefs. Fortunately, this isn’t the model of all Sri Lankan church planters. Unlike many Sri Lankan pastors, this underground pastor is getting along well with his neighbors because he holds church on his farm. He isn’t trying to build a building. Instead, he’s trying to build his congregation to fullness in Christ. He knows the best way to do that is to live, work, eat, and play together. A farm is the perfect place for him to disciple his family and church members. And though his Buddhist neighbors would prefer that he leave, they observe closely how he and his family live and act—something they would never see if the church was tucked inside a building. You can read more about the conflicts facing Sri Lankan pastors at www.seoulusa.org/srilanka.
At a one week intensive discipleship training for Eritrean underground church leaders in Africa this summer, a member of the Seoul USA teaching team was stunned to see Eritreans acting as living hymnals everywhere they went—including the zoo! Here’s a page from her training notebook. Hear her tell “the zoo story” and “the gospel message” at www.seoulusa.org/eritrea.
How would you tithe if you knew that it would immediately tip off the secret police that you were a Christian? In Pastor Foley’s latest book, These are the Generations hem does t the d n a e (available through amazon.com), Mrs. f min . And ords o on the rock at on w e s Bae shares how North Korean undere e e b th hears uilt his hous s blew and ed on o h w ground Christians are faithful to tithe as nd en nd ob the wi oes one th en fou an wh “Every ke a wise m s came, and se it had be f mine and d e they go about doing the word: li th d o au will be and the floo ot fall, bec hese words is house on ll, w th st dn Let me tell you how we tithed. No church rain fe se, but it di e who hear n who buil e winds ble t.” a i u h n t f o m o o y d h l h r l n t s e i a a a l f v e, th exists in North Korea. There is no place or oo he de ds cam like a f t was t ck. An , the ro hem will be and the floo ll, and grea d pastor we can offer our tithe to. But my roun t ll, t fe nderg al. The not do d the rain fe ouse, and i u p i mother-in-law emphasized the importance h s n th st wor are continu e u sand. A t against tha m s of tithing. So even though we did not know a n th tion stian and be e Chri s of persecu to build it o r e h how to offer our tithe, we always did—by w nd is wind ntries a t u d s o n c a o t , . n I e using it to help others. ds od ’s hous n, floo d of G the rai the church of the wor ay ng When the poor could not pay for medionly w and the doi g n i r cine or treatment, we just took care of hea them. We gave them medicine even if we suffered a loss. We bought rice for the hungry people, and we let them pay us back later. We gave our extra clothes to others. When we bought groceries, we did not receive any change from old ladies or mothers with children. When they weighed vegetables on the scales, we just trusted Think it’s them. We did not question it. imp
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Excerpted from These are the Generations by Eric Foley. Copyright © 2012 by .W Publishing. All rights reserved. Order today from amazon.com.
After Action Review. Army soldiers often do what is called an “After Action Review” every time they return from a mission. They ask themselves four simple questions in order to make sure they pay attention to what they learned. You can use these same questions every time your family does any kind of ministry project or volunteer opportunity together. Just like your underground brothers and sisters, take the time to examine how the Holy Spirit used that opportunity to help you grow in Christ. Ask yourselves: • •
What was the intent of this “mission”? What happened? Why? What are the implications for our growth in Christ? What lessons did we learn? Now what? Where is God leading us next?
Cute (But Powerful) Church Videos! Check out www.seoulusa.org/ kids to see how Seoul USA team members are using these persecuted church strategies to train their children to memorize scripture and song. Hear one of the Korean dads being imitated by his three and five year old sons in their family worship time as theylearn the song assigned for the week. Watch one of our youngest American children prove that you’re never too young to memorize straight from the text of the real live adult Bible!
Leave the with You WKids in the Room hen You’re Doing Chu rch
Persecuted Christians k now that im colorful Su itation, not nday Schoo giant play a l curriculum ture comm reas or , is the key ends for dis method th cipling chil church usu e S d cripren. That’s w ally worship hy the pers s all togeth how their p ecuted er in the sa arents act a me room. K s Christians. and stories ids see They learn their paren the same so ts learn, at same way. ngs the same ti As they get me, in the older, they younger bro te ach their thers and si sters to do same thing the .
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urch around the world not depend on The underground ch ys of worship that do wa rn lea to d ha s ha d household history Fathers, mothers, an rs. sto pa ch ur ch l ca full-time lo churches that met natural overseers of leaders became the not replace--the it, they supplement-vis rs sto pa If . es m hood lay in ho ily head or neighbor m fa e th of ht sig er ov pastoral leader.
In Eritrea, women have been drafted into important positions of church leadership. That’s because the Eritrean government imprisoned many of the pastors and drafted most of the men into long-term military and civil service. What would happen in your church if today the pastor was imprisoned and the men were forced to serve away from home as soldiers and government workers, receiving no pay? That’s the situation the church faces today in Eritrea. When Seoul USA conducted a one-week intensive discipleship training program this summer for Eritrean church leaders, we were initially surprised to learn that all but one of the trainees were women…but we were even more surprised to observe how well trained these women were! Several had faced interrogation. Others were under constant surveillance. All of them knew that being Christian leaders meant that their children might become orphaned. Yet there they were in class each day before we arrived, singing songs, studying the material, and planning how they would share what they learned with other church members when they returned home!
In 1907 the Great Pyongyang Revival brought an explosion of Christianity to the Korean peninsula in what missionary William Blair called “great oceans of prayer beating against the throne of God.” A mere fifty years later, Pyongyang—and all of North Korea—plummeted into the most oppressive darkness Christians have ever encountered in world history. In the midst of the near total extinction of believers on North Korean soil, the great oceans of prayer have been parched. But a tiny stream has continued to trickle down through Christian history, on into the present day: a single North Korean family continues their faithful struggle to receive and pass on the gospel from generation to generation, through labor camps, prisons, interrogations, and the greatest challenge of all—everyday life in North Korea.
These are the Generations By Pastor Eric Foley with Mr. and Mrs. Bae, third generation underground North Korean Christians
The Voice of the Martyrs Korea, a Ministry of Seoul USA Seoul USA serves as a bridge between the Korean church (both North and South) and the church in the rest of the world. We bring the gifts of the Korean church to the church in the West and the gifts of the church in the West to the Korean church. We have a particular focus on mobilizing the church around the world to support the underground church of North Korea through our Voice of the Martyrs Korea ministry. We are members of the International Christian Association, composed of over 30 independently operated Voice of the Martyrs ministries actively working to support persecuted Christians in 52 countries. Want to Get Involved? If would like to receive this newsletter regularly, volunteer with Seoul USA, learn more about books and DVDs like
the ones described in this issue, or donate financially, please contact us at: In Korea: 236-1 Duck Seong Building 1 Floor, Mapo-dong Mapo-Gu, Seoul Korea Telephone: 02-2065-0703 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.vomkorea.co.kr and www.seoulusa.co.kr To support this work financially from Korea: Hana Bank 223-910003-98705 Account Holder: VOM Korea In the US: Phone: 719-481-2296 E-mail: email@example.com, Web: www.seoulusa.org