Twenty-six Korean Christian Reformed Church pastors from southern California recently gathered at a mission center in Mexico to study Scripture, discuss a book by author Tim Keller, and take time to rest and relax from the challenges of ministry.
The Just Show Up Korean Pastors Retreat met at the Nueva Vida Mission Center, which works among the people of Rosarito, Mexico. The center is owned and operated by the Cerritos Mission Church in Cerritos, Calif. About three hours south of San Diego, Rosarito is located on the Baja California peninsula on Mexico’s Pacific coast.
“We had a wonderful time together for fellowship and mutual encouragement,” said David Kong, pastor of Hope Community Church in Santa Clara, Calif. He also serves with Resonate Global Mission helping to develop leadership among other Korean pastors.
During the three days they spent together, the pastors went to the beach, ate at restaurants and, especially, worshiped together and prayed for one another, said Kong.
They also took time to learn how to use the Drama Bible, an audio version of the Bible, to minister among church members. And they experienced the Just Show Up book reading program, which offers a variety of audio books.
“For example,” said Kong, “we heard a few chapters and shared our thoughts about Tim Keller’s book Generous Justice. The book challenges us to apply justice in our own church and our own community.”
Charles Kim, Korean ministry director for Resonate, said the 26 Korean pastors and their spouses participated from four CRC classes in southern California.
The Korean ministry has run this type of retreat in several regions throughout the years, including Seattle, New York, New Jersey, Toronto, Dallas, and northern California.
“It provides a time of renewal and prayer and growth for the pastors,” said Kim.
He explained that the Just Show Up audio book club and Public Reading of Scripture initiatives have been provided for the past three years in partnership with the Grace and Mercy Foundation based in New York City.
“We help churches and train leaders about the importance and the value of gathering a community around listening to Scripture and learning from Scripture,” he said.
“We have had hundreds of group that have started, and they have received support through this partnership.”
Sam Pang, pastor of Cerritos Mission Church, is new to the CRC. He appreciated the chance to meet and get to know other Korean ministers.
“I learned about how other Korean churches work together and shared some important wisdom in ministry,” he said. “I really enjoyed the fellowship dynamics that were different from those of other Korean denominational fellowships. Most of the pastors come from a small church where the financial situation is tight. Therefore this kind of fellowship really encourages them.”
He said he was grateful for the opportunity to offer their church facility in Mexico for the retreat.
Theodore Lim, pastor of Global Vision Church in Los Angles, especially appreciated the chance to take a break from his work.
“Above all,” he said, “I was able to experience a beautiful time to put down the heavy burden of the ministry and find my own identity as a son of God through a deep and genuine meeting with the Lord.”