Next Tuesday, I’m leaving Houston for a four-week trip to Korea and Indonesia. Originally, it was meant to be a two-week trip to lead house church seminars, but several events made it necessary to lengthen it.
First, the House Church Conference for Shepherds, originally held in Houston in early August, will hold another session in Korea. It will have exactly the same format and speakers as in Houston. As one of the speakers at the first conference, I had to attend. (Starting next year, I won’t have to go.)
Also, Brother Ha Ho Sung, the regional director for House Church Ministries International in Indonesia, emailed me saying that he wanted to sponsor the annual conference for Korean Baptist missionaries working in Southeast Asia. He wanted to make the house church the theme for the conference to help his fellow missionaries plant house churches in their mission fields, and invited me to be the main speaker. I accepted the invitation because it will help promote house churches in the mission fields.
I also accepted invitations to speak at two churches that will play a vital role in the house church movement, extending my trip to four weeks.
Another important event is scheduled for this trip: the prestigious Christian journal “Pastoring And Theology” invited me to give a special lecture on the house church and participate in a forum on the subject. When the content of the forum is published, hopefully many misunderstandings about house churches will disappear, reducing the antagonism some church leaders feel towards the house church movement. At the very least, it will restrain some people from making reckless and groundless accusations against house churches. The participants in the forum will be Dr. Euiwon Kim, former president of Chong Sin Theological Seminary (one of the top seminaries in Korea), Pastor Moon Sik Lee, the senior pastor of Sanwool Church in Sanbon, and myself.
After I return, I have to leave for Korea again two weeks later. This trip is unavoidable, because they are house church seminars and conferences that have regularly been held in October.
I’ve decided to take the two weeks between trips to Korea off as vacation.
Quite a few missionaries have said that they would like to have an English translation of my books on the house church because it’s difficult for them to translate my book into their indigenous languages. If an English version were available, translation would be much easier because many indigenous people can read English. So I plan to spend these two weeks writing a book in English on the house church. If I can decide on what to put in the book and make a rough outline, I may be able to finish the book during my flights when I travel. Of course, there is no guarantee that I will find a publisher to publish my manuscript.
I feel guilty for vacating the pulpit for 4 weeks. But our church members are firm believers of house churches and appreciate my efforts to promote them. And it will be better for Pastor Soo Kwan Lee to preach for 2 months straight, rather than have his sermon series be interrupted by my occasional preaching.
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