Vowe News Letter #77
"The righteous shall live by his faith” Habakkuk 2:4b
Prophet Habakkuk poses two problems before God. He asks, “O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you ‘Violence!’ and you will not save?” (1:2). then he also cries out to God, saying, “Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise” (1:3).
Two questions form Habakkuk is 1) why does the Lord permit the evil to thrive and 2) how long do we need to wait? And for both problems, God answers as such: I am working in my own time in my own ways. Not everything is visible to your eyes.
The righteous shall live by faith, trusting in the Lord who is sovereign over all the world, working out all the problems even when it seems to tarry. “The righteous shall live by his faith” (2:4b) and the way to live by faith is to be patient and wait upon the Lord. “If it seems slow, wait for it” (2:3b).
As Habakkuk hears the Words of God Himself, he offers up a song and prayer of thanksgiving and praise to God. “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places.” (3:17-19). The way to live by faith is to depend on the Lord in all circumstances, rejoicing and giving thanks.
There is a sense of despair and pain because all things have halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. I almost feel an urge to run, screaming at the top of my lungs until I would pass out. Even to me, God spoke through Habakkuk, particularly through the verse that says “the righteous shall live by faith,” strengthening me again.
He gives me the boldness to run freely to our King, who is the rock of my salvation and the King of all kings. I am able to shake off my yoke, finger-pointing, and hopelessness, and am able to relax in the joy that is only reserved for those that are fully obedient to God’s Word.
He gives me hope that enables me to press on without looking back. “but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls” (Hebrews 10:38-39) God tells us to pray by faith, to wait by faith, and to start afresh by faith, and He strengthens us yet again.
1)Let us pray by faith.
The biggest pain from the coronavirus pandemic was that we cannot gather together to pray. On March 21st (Sat) evening, my wife and I gathered together in the empty living room and cried a lot. I realized that even gathering together to pray is not something that we can control, it does not take place easily.
We repented for taking things for granted, and we also prayed that we would be able to gather together to pray together. God has prepared ways such as Zoom or Livetalk so that we could hold prayer meetings for months of April and May. Moreover, God has used the younger members of our prayer ministry to expand the boundaries of our prayer meetings. Coronavirus has also stranded some of our partners and caused others to leave their field of ministry.
We continued to strive through prayer, knowing that we only came thus far through the power of prayer. God has used such prayer to open up the doors to a new ministry, and He has also formed new relationships through His grace. To our naked eyes, all doors have been closed, but as we look to the Lord, the doors of prayer are wide open.
2)Let us wait by faith.
The coronavirus pandemic has humbled all of us. Even the people, nations, and regulations that seemed to be so large, strong, and daunting are all at the mercy of this invisible virus, which causes us to see the limits of human beings and chuckle.
Moreover, the pandemic also reminded me of how I used to be fearful in front of these people, nations, and regulations, yet again reminding me to kneel and pray before our sovereign and loving God, who hears our prayers. “O LORD, what is man that you regard him, or the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow” (Psalm 144:3-4).
I am nobody, but God has regarded me and thought of me thus far, and hence I have come this far.
Ministry of Vowe is all by the grace of God, who has called, protected, guided, taught, and sustained this little one. Even though I know that I cannot live without this grace of God, it is always easy for me to complain rather than pray when things go sour.
I would always whine to God, asking for more, even when He has made our ministry fruitful. Rather than being humble and patient in prayer, I would always ask for more and faster. This coronavirus pandemic has made me realize of my limitations yet again, and it has renewed my faith to wait for our God’s will, His timing, and His ways.
3)Let us start afresh by faith.
The coronavirus pandemic has also taught me to look beyond what is visible and renewed my faith to look only to our God. We crumble under the hardships that are visible, and we panic because of the obstacles in our eyes.
But coronavirus has taught us that the invisible things are more important than the visible things, and hence, we should look to the Lord who is sovereign over all the visible and the invisible. “But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him” (Habakkuk 2:20).
Coronavirus has made us realize again that what we have been striving to gain are all meaningless, and it has strengthened our faith to depend on and follow after God alone. If we stand in the field of ministry through such faith, then we can sing like Habakkuk, “yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer's; he makes me tread on my high places”(Habakkuk 3:18-19) even though I have nothing to boast of myself.
Food Distribution / Clinic Ministry Updates (1): Moses was able to talk on the phone with the North Korean official who is in charge of kindergarten/daycare and hospital/clinic ministry over Najin Sonbong, and wrapped up the first half of 2020 with the following results.
1) We will provide 5 extra tons of rice to secure food through the month of June,
2) we will wrap up coal purchase during the month of June, hence to send the first installment on May 25th, and pay two more installments as the coal arrives in the kindergartens and the clinics. (A partner organization in Germany has paid for coal this year.)
3) For the Bupori Clinic #2, we will wait until the border opens, so our ministry team can enter the field and work together.
Food Distribution / Clinic Ministry Updates (2): Many co-laborers are held up in different countries of China, US, Korea, and North Korea, going through times of pain. Some are separated from their families for a long time, others are suffering financially, and yet others are worried about the ministry that they left behind.
But even though these difficulties, God has provided people in advance, so that food distribution and clinic ministry are able to continue without much trouble. We give thanks to our God of provision.
Please pray for our children and their family, the teachers and villagers, and also pray for the family and health of all co-laborers dedicated to this ministry.
Co-laborer Updates: A daughter named Sowon has been born into the family of Sunny&Kenny, please congratulate them. But she has a heart issue from birth, which is causing this family to pray fervently. The doctors say that she needs to receive heart surgery once she gets older; please pray for this family.
Grace needs to go back to her home in Singapore, but she is unable to travel. Mike has been suffering financially, but he has recovered due to help from co-laborers.
Gary&Holly want to go back to their field of ministry in China, but due to flights being cut off, they are stuck in Korea; yet during this time, they became pregnant with their third child. Please pray for these precious co-laborers.
Orphanage Ministry Updates: We heard back from the North Korean official who is in charge of the orphanage ministry last week. Travel has been restricted, but it was lifted at the end of April, so he was finally able to travel to the orphanages that we supported in the latter half of 2019.
He sent back ministry reports and pictures from Onchon (3 pictures), Pyungsung (6), and Hwangju (3) orphanages. On this newsletter, we have posted these 12 photos and also 4 photos from 2015, when we supported Shineuju and Dongrim orphanages. On the cover, there is a photo of Onchon orphanage from 2013, when we first began orphanage ministry.
Updates from China Vowe and New Century: As the border between China and North Korea has been shut, Paul, Moon, Jonathan, Gilbert, and Joseph are having a difficult time.
They are active and busy, but since their ministry is restricted, they have been very stressed. But thankfully, they are able to stay together with and serve their family, which is a great gift from God, and God has also led them to fellowship with friends who are stranded due to coronavirus pandemic.
Prayer Meeting Updates: The United prayer meeting on March 21st (Sat) was canceled due to the pandemic. Joint prayer meeting between Las Vegas and Victorville, which took place on April 16th (Thurs) 11 AM via Kakaotalk Livetalk, was attended by 25 people.
Young Vowe prayer meeting which happened on April 18th (Sat) 6 PM via Livetalk had an attendance of 41. May 21st (Thurs) 11 AM Victorville Prayer Meeting (also via Livetalk) was attended by 12, and the Las Vegas prayer meeting (same day at 7PM) was attended by 16.
Sunshine prayer meeting, which met via Zoom on May 16th (Thurs) at 5 PM had an attendance of 6, and the united prayer meeting on May 23rd (Sat) 6 PM had an attendance of 37.
During the month of June, we plan to start the Huntsville prayer meeting via Livetalk, and we are planning to expand our avenues of prayer meetings via Zoom or Livetalk.
Hollywood Bowl Picnic Updates: Our picnic that happens every July 4th has been canceled due to the pandemic. Usually, we would gather mostly Young Vowe members, and invite a ministry family to hear their ministry report and testimony, pray for them, and fellowship by listening to concert and watching fireworks together.
This year’s picnic was canceled, but please pray that this ministry would grow to be an even more edifying event.
1. Pray for Repairer & Restorer’s Club, 200 Businessmen’s Club, Gospel Runner’s Club.
2. Pray that God would use coronavirus to raise up those that need to be raised up, and bring down who needs to be brought down, all according to His will.
3. Pray for children, families, teachers, and residents at food distribution/clinic ministry.
4. Pray for the orphanage vocational training ministry, for the orphans and the ministers dedicated to this ministry.
5. Pray for the co-laborers stranded in the US, Korea, China, and North Korea due to coronavirus pandemic.
6. Pray for the partnering churches to overcome the pandemic and have a new beginning.
7. Pray for God to stop the pandemic quickly so that we can gather to pray together and to fellowship with one another.
Next Prayer Meeting
1) 74thVictorville Vowe Meeting 6/25/2020(Thu), 10:30 am, at Keumja Kim’s House
2) 131st Las Vegas Vowe Meeting 6/25/2020(Thu), 6 pm, at Young Min Chi’s House
3) 96th Young Vowe Meeting 6/27/2020(Sat), 6 pm, at Hun Jung’s house