The last month has been a third-world whirlwind. I am sitting in the crowded airport in Johannesburg, South Africa waiting to board a plane for home. A few hours ago I was walking down the main street of Harare, Zimbabwe listening to Christmas music coming from the many stores. There was even a Santa Claus with a tattered red outfit and a lopsided white cotton beard. Just three weeks before, Gloria and I were among the sick, the poor and the wounded in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Dreams come in many forms in the third world. Right now I am dreaming of getting home to Gloria, since these last nine days are our longest time apart in 37 years of marriage. I am dreaming of having our kids and grandkids home for Christmas. While very important to me, this is insignificant compared to the desperate dreams of so many in Cambodia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Unemployment is rampant – over 40% in Harare. Real starvation faces 25% of Zimbabwe’s population. The AIDS epidemic is exploding in all three nations. Cambodia is the hardest hit in all of Asia. Thirty-two percent of Zimbabwe is HIV-positive. South Africa may lose a million people to the epidemic. I dream of a family reunited. Millions dream of a job, a full stomach and living to see another Christmas
Tag: Frank Kim
Nearly all the reporters who talk to me about the International Churches of Christ assume that we are primarily a campus movement, made up largely of students. I inform them that the facts show a very different picture. For instance, college students made up only 18 percent of the church in Los Angeles at the end of 1996. While these reporters would like to present us as a student organization so that they can dismiss us as some odd religious group that is not making inroads into all segments of society, it is time to look at where our campus ministries are headed.
In recent years there has been less and less emphasis given to campus evangelism in our churches. This trend has not been from a conscious decision to neglect the campus works. However, the way that we now build churches has produced this result. We have used our most talented ministry people to lead sectors and have included campus ministries within larger sectors of marrieds and singles. The result has been that the trained and talented leadership needed to convert college students has not been available, and disciples who are students have not had opportunities to be trained in public speaking, teaching and leadership skills.
Disciples converted on campus have profoundly affected God’s modern-day movement. Of the ten World Sector Leaders, five of them were converted as students! Even Kip and Elena McKean were reached while on campus. The book of Proverbs was written by Solomon to his son. From the above quotation, he says, “I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.” Disciples reached as students can be helped to avoid many of the mistakes and sins that have permanently scarred and crippled so many older people.
Superbowl XXX is history now. Yes, I am happy that Dallas won; I can’t shake my Texas heritage. On Superbowl Sunday I stood before our Church service with a challenge. I knew that in just a few hours we would all be yelling our heads off for our favorite team. Yet the audience was showing little more enthusiasm to be in an assembly with God and his angels than they would show at a funeral. Christianity is not meant to be passive. Take the Superbowl test. Are you as fired up in your daily Christian walk as the football crowd is at the game? Of course, we can hype ourselves and our assemblies without the energy coming from the heart, but then it is just hype, not the Spirit of God. As we grow in size and age as a movement, let us never become so sophisticated” that we lose our childlike excitement as we see God working.
Travelling the broad road (Matthew 7:13-14) is easy. It is Comfortable. Many people are going that way. the narrow road is a different story. It is difficult. It is hard to find, It is not heavily travelled.
As much as I enjoy getting a good night’s sleep, about the only positive thing that comes from it is the energy and alertness to have a productive day after I wake up. While we understand the need to get enough sleep, it is only when we are awake that our goals are accomplished. Spiritually speaking though, sleep is acceptable to God only in physical death; those who have physically died are said to be asleep (1 Corinthians 15:51).
Otherwise, one is in a very dangerous spiritual condition if he is described as being asleep (1 Thessalonians 5:6). Jesus’ very sobering call to the entire church in Sardis (Revelation3:2) was to wake up! They had fallen asleep.
We are saved to save others, not just a few others but a world of others. We have the authority in Matthew 28:18-20. We have the power from God. We have the message of the resurected Christ.