Vowe News Letter #83
"The surpassing power belongs to God and not to us ” 2 Corinthians 4:7-12
About 1,000 orphans aged 13 to 17 and 100 caretakers live together at Hwangju Youth Orphanage. Vowe began the ministry of vocational training for the orphans in May 2018, supporting them to hold driving, sewing, and band classes.
Once covid pandemic broke out, we could not hear from them for over a year, but last April we heard back from them, saying that everyone is doing well, and they also asked to help with renovating bathrooms and bedrooms for the orphans.
It was so good to hear that they are doing well, and it was also good to receive their request to help with their living quarters. However, the problem was that there was no way for us to act upon this request. Covid pandemic has closed off the border completely from either foot or supply traffic, and thus, we had no other option but to simply pray for them.
Paul Park from China Vowe was able to constantly communicate with the orphanage official via e-mail, and they sought to find a solution, but they agreed that the best thing to do is simply wait until the border opens up. During a time of difficulty, often the poor and the powerless (such as these orphans) are affected even more; therefore, today is the day for us to come to the Lord with even more desperation, lifting them up to the Lord in prayer.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” As I was struggling with the fact that there was nothing I can do for these orphans, and as I was feeling powerless, this was the verse that God gave me lovingly.
This verse tells me that even though I am weak, poor, and powerless, God gave me this valuable mission, with a promise that He holds the surpassing power. If this ministry depended on me, I am bound to fall, lose heart, and fail, but our God tells us that we can carry on, because He is with us. He reminds us that we should not feel struck down by the outward circumstances, but to look to our God who is always with us.
He tells us to lay everything down at the foot of the cross, remembering that Jesus left his heavenly throne to come down to this earth and live as a jar of clay just like us. He tells us to pay close attention to the loving invitation of Christ who overcame death and was resurrected, as He calls us,
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Let us hear from our Lord and renew our heart of ministry.
1) Let us give thanks in all circumstances.
Because we were not able to communicate with them for such a long time, I was overjoyed when I heard their request for support. Therefore, I sent the news over to all Vowe members and asked to pray together. The circumstances kept us from carrying out the request, but we gave prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord, for that He helped us to pray more in detail as we wrestle in prayer.
This heart of thanksgiving also was communicated to the North Korean officials, when we told them, “We are so thankful for this opportunity that you gave us to help the orphans even during this difficult time. We will do our best to joyfully prepare how we can help, and now the issue is finding out how we can deliver what we prepare.
We are so thankful that everyone is doing well even during this pandemic, and thank you so much for taking care of the orphans. Thank you so much for working hard to improve their living conditions.” We delivered this message of thanksgiving whenever we got to communicate with them; and at the end of our communication, we arrived at a conclusion that we just have to wait until the border opens up again.
But what astonished us was that the North Korean officials shared same words of thanksgiving when they communicated back to us. Normally, they are not used to saying words of thanksgiving; at their request, the only thing we could do was to thank them, yet this bore the greater fruit than any other support request, as they were able to give thanks.
As we are simply jars of clay, the one things we must do is to give thanks to our God and to acknowledge that our God of surpassing powers can accomplish the work.
2) Let us pray without ceasing.
Moses Choi was able to talk with the North Korean official in charge of food distribution and clinic ministry, and they decided to re-start food serving ministry in June. Moreover, God led us so that we can feed more children in addition to the kindergarten children that we already had.
We were also able to connect with the businessmen in China and North Korea, so that we can discuss details of how we can send support. The cost of rice doubled within the North Korea, which makes things difficult, but we have unused funds from budget for 2nd half of 2020 and 1st half 2021, and thus, everything should run smoothly, all thanks to God.
Food distribution ministry was hit the hardest when we had to close everything down with covid pandemic, and we couldn’t do anything except to pray; so we prayed fervently and continuously. There was a young mom who just gave birth, who attended a prayer meeting without any makeup, and her husband who was holding their newborn infant.
God heard such ceaseless prayer, He saw how we did not lose heart in prayer, and as a result, He answered in the best way.
3) Let us be faithful in small things.
The family of Matt&Rachel had to suddenly leave everything behind when they left their field of ministry. Their time of difficulty did not end there; after moving multiple times, they settled in Changwon, where Rachel’s sister was recovering from a brain surgery.
It has not been easy for them to care for a family member who was suffering from obsession and memory loss, yet they considered it their calling from the Lord. While in Changwon, they are taking some Korean classes and teaching some English classes, and they are also serving a small church near their home.
God blessed their heart of service, and thus they were able to start a prayer meeting called HNK (Heart for North Korea). Other ministers such as Valerie were able to join together, so that they could build a community of fervent prayer.
As we are all but simple jars of clay, we are powerless to end the covid pandemic or open up the border. But when the broken jars gather together to care for one another, God of surpassing powers enables this brokenness to shine even brighter.
Updates and Announcements
Orphanage Ministry Updates: Orphanage ministry began when we renovated bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen at Onchon Orphange in 2011.
From then on, we were able to renovate living quarters for Mirim Orphanage, Hesan Orphanage, Haeju Orphanage, Sariwon Orpahanage, Shineuju and Dongrim Orpahanages and also support them with food, daily necessities and medicine.
In 2013, we were able to begin vocational training at Pyungsung, Wonsan, Hwangju, and Heechun Youth Orphanages, as well at three middle schools.
On the cover, there is a photo of Hwangju orphanage building from May 2018, and in the photos section, there are 4 photos of the orphans from then, as well as 12 photos that the North Korean officials sent in April 2021.
Food Distribution/Clinic Updates: Moses Choi and North Korean official in charge of food distribution were able to communicate, so that we can re-start food distribution for the children from month of June.
We are finally able to support the children again, and we also have more children than before, for all of which we give thanks to the Lord. Please pray that God would open up the border, so that our ministry team can visit the land to meet the children, care for them and feed them.
Please pray for family and health of Moses&Rannie, Kenny&Sunny, Gary&Holly, David&Abigail, Tommy &Grace, and David&Joanne, who have dedicated to this ministry.
Hiz Café Updates: D Ku has arrived safely in China on 04/27, then completed his 4 weeks of quarantine to begin ministry again. Please pray for his ministry and his visa extension in China, and also pray for his family and church left behind in the US.
Family of Steve&Joy are working to publish a book remembering the 14 years of their life and ministry in the North Korea; please pray for family and ministry of Steve, as well as others staying with them. Also pray for Josh Cho and Paul Lee, whose families are separated between Korea and China.
2nd Generation Minister Mobilization Ministry Updates: Family of Jerome&Alissa have completed their ministry in the US, and they are putting all their effort into ministry at the village of Daesungdong, within DMZ in Korea.
Please pray for the family and ministry of Jerome&Alissa, E&J, Justin&Eunice, Sean&Mina, Matt&Rachel, and Joy&Gabe, as they dedicated themselves to the ministry of prayer, service, and raising up new generation of ministers.
Monroe CenterUpdates: Family of John&Helen will be completing their 3-month long DTS training on 06/04, and then they will be doing outreach training in Tacoma and Alaska for 7 weeks. Please pray for their family and ministry.
Also pray for family of David&Grace, who have dedicated themselves to the ministry of Monroe Center, and for Peter Yang and other staff members at Monroe Center.
Good Samaritan Ministry Updates: As covid pandemic lengthens, many of us are going through very difficult times. Yet in this pandemic, God has opened up our eyes and hearts so that we can take care of the neighbors who has been suffering.
This ministry began with just a few pastors, but many of Vowe members heard of this and decided to give as much as they could, so that they are all binding, caring, and restoring their neighbors who had been struck down by a robber. Let us all encourage and bless one another as we pray together
Vowe Prayer Meeting Reports: Victorville prayer meeting, held on 05/13 Thursday 11AM via Kakaotalk Livetalk, was attended by 7. Las Vegas prayer meeting, held on the same day at 7PM via Zoom, was attended by 16. United prayer meeting, held on 05/15 Saturday 3PM via Zoom, was attended by 19.
Sunshine prayer meeting, held on 05/22 Saturday 3PM via Zoom, was attended by 8. We give thanks to our God who allowed us to meet and pray together even in difficult times, and we also give thanks for those that were in charge of different aspects of our prayer meetings.
1)Pray for Repairer & Restorer’s Club, 200 Businessmen’s Club, Gospel Runner’s Club.
2)Please pray for three visions of Vowe Ministry: restoration of true worship in North Korea, raising up the children to become gospel warriors, and unification of the North and South Koreas through the gospel.
3)Please pray for the ministries of food distribution and clinic, orphanage vocational training, and 2nd generation mobilization ministry to bear good fruits in the helping hands of our God.
4)Please pray for D Ku’s itinerary in China, for his visa extension, for his ministry in the field and the ministers there. Also pray for his family staying behind in the US.
5)Family of Steve&Joy will be publishing a book, sharing about their ministry in the North. Please pray for family and ministry of Steve, and also pray for family of Josh Cho & Paul Lee as their families are separated in Korea and China. Please pray for Valerie and other ministers.
6)Family of Jerome&Alissa have wrapped up their ministry in the US, so that they can focus on the ministry of Daesungdong in Korea. Family of E&J are handling their ministry well, too. Many ministers who left China are gathering in Korea to start a new prayer movement; please pray for all the ministers, and their ministry of 2nd generation minister mobilization.
7)Please pray for e all partner churches and prayer meetings, as well as ministry of Monroe Center and Good Samaritan Ministry.
Next Payer Meeting
1) 86thVictorville Vowe Prayer Meeting, 6/10/2021(Thu), 11:00 am, via Kakaotalk Livetalk
2) 143rd Las Vegas Vowe Prayer Meeting, 6/10/2021(Thu), 7 pm, via Zoom
3) 102nd You g Vowe Prayer Meeting, 6/12/2021(Sat), 5 pm, via Zoom