What a finish for the 4th day!!! Seoul Olympic Stadium was absolutely full tonight -- even though the rain poured throughout the entire evening! In front of tens of thousands of Koreans, GCOWE delegates were paraded onto the field like Olympic athletes and were even made to walk the track, wave at the crowd, then were seated in a special section of honor, like heroes! (The real heroes, however, were the Koreans who sat there the whole soggy night through!) 100,000 Korean young men and women were there! And at the end, when the call went out for workers to reach the unreached peoples of the world, =everyone= stood up!
They called it Student Mission 2000. The purpose was to try to recruit 100,000 volunteers for service. The plan was to host a huge sports festival and soccer game starting at 4:00, but, alas, the field was so soggy that the game had to be canceled. (Imagine having prepared for this event for literally months and months, only to have the weather rain you out!) There was to be a Scott Wesly Brown concert -- but again, rain made it very unlikely. But by 6pm, the stadium was packed to hear the three sermons (Sun-Do Kim, George Verwer, and Jung-Kil Hong) and the concert of prayer (would this be the largest concert of prayer in the history of the church???). When the whole thing ended, the 100,000 students said,
"2000 years after the birth of Christ, we are here in the Seoul Olympic Main Stadium to dedicate ourselves to Global Evangelism and form a Service Corp for [the] unification of Korea. We are grateful to God for His special blessing upon the Korean Church and the Missionaries who came to bring us the Gospel 110 years ago. We are also grateful to our forefathers for their faith.
We have a Mission for [the] Unification of Korea and Global Evangelization. With the 4,662 church leaders from 215 countries who have come here for GCOWE '95, along with many Korean church leaders and the Mothers' Prayer Crusade who has supported us with their prayers, we will dedicate ourselves to the following:
We are looking forward to bringing Global Evangelization in our generation. We are praying that just like the Student Volunteer Movement (SVM), consisting of 100,000 students of the past, according to God's will, that the second SVM will happen before the year 2000. For this, we are suggesting the Student Mission Conference in the year 2000 all Christian students all over the world and all the leaders of the Student Missions will gather for "SM2000". Through these declarations and activities, we anticipate by faith that the Scripture found in Revelation 7:9-10 will be fulfilled and realized in our generation.
"After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands -- and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."
May 20, 1995 [end of Seoul Student Declaration]
Wow. God was honored this evening.
So what else happened today? Well, by morning there were signs posted telling delegates where and when to catch buses for the various venues. Although it seemed at first chaotic, all the "country meetings" seemed to come together. Once again, the format was "presentation, report/case study, small group follow-up or prayer." Some country meetings apparently tried to get into formation of national strategies, but one consultant reported that it was difficult, at best. "These delegates are coming from all different levels of Christian maturity," reported the consultant. "Some are ready for strategy questions, whereas others are experiencing missions and world evangelism themes for the first time in their Christian lives! In some ways, talking with such a mixed group about national strategies to reach the unreached is, well, frankly, a waste of time!" Maybe it takes a day or two to warm up the groups. The Tracks, the Country meetings, (and regional meetings) will all meet again next week. The jury's still out on whether anything tangible will come of those sessions. But from the anecdotal reports we've heard so far, the meetings until now are somewhat of a disappointment.
However, with tonight's tremendous (though soggy) finish on another long day, everyone is charged up for worship tomorrow (Sunday). Many are said to be planning to attend the Pastor Cho's Full Gospel Church, said to be the largest congregation in the world. (Lord willing, that's where I hope to go.) Believe it or not, I don't think anything is scheduled for the afternoon. However, Korean arrangements committees have matched many foreign delegations with a "sister church" who will be hosting that delegation for worship, lunch, and (I'm sure), fellowship. So it could still be a long afternoon for many. There is a plenary worship tomorrow evening back at Torch Center. Did I mention the Queen of Lesotho is here as a delegate??? Queen Tabitha Mamohato. I guess I should start a "Did You Know" section??? [grin]
DID YOU KNOW...
...The Queen of Lesotho is here as a delegate? (What's that? Old news, eh?)
(Well what about this?)... the _GCOWE Journal_ (the daily "newspaper" being distributed here to delegates) is being led by none other than David Aikman, whose stories have been carried throughout the past few years by _Time_ and other magazines. He covered (for _Time_) Israel's occupation of Lebanon, the war in Vietnam, the massacres in Cambodia, Tiananmen Square (he was an eyewitness to the slaughter), and the Persian Gulf War! And here he is doing volunteer work, editing the GCOWE Journal! As they become available, we'll try to place GCOWE Journal articles in the file area here on Brigada-pubs-gcowenews. (You probably caught the announcement earlier about the file names just placed there today (by my partner, Dave), but if you'd like to see a fresh list just send email to email@example.com with only the following line in the body of the text: filelist brigada-pubs-gcowenews
And speaking of the _GCOWE Journal_, tonight's edition carried an entire =page= of information about Brigada (the newspaper is printed on =huge= newsprint pages -- so a full page is a =lot=!). They literally profiled each and every Brigada conference and gave full instructions as to how to subscribe. Gulp. Yikes. Anyone out there willing to help moderate???? [grin] We still need moderators for the following conferences: brigada-prayer-mobilizers, brigada-projects-security, brigada-cities, brigada-peoples, brigada-ukraine-crimea. If you have a basic willingness to consider it, but want more information about what would be involved, write DougLucas@xc.org for info. and suggest which conference you might consider helping. Thanks!
Thanks to those who caught my prayer request yesterday ("By the way, pray for me as I try to discern how I should or could be involved in advocating for a couple of "minimum toolbox outcomes.") This morning, I happened to see Luis Bush for the first time in the hall outside the press room (heading to a TV interview). Mr. Bush is the International Director of the AD2000 & Beyond movement. I don't think it was a coincidence that this was the first time I had seen him off the main stage! He took time to listen to my concerns about how to strategize and track people group "adoptions" and let me know that it was a very high priority on his mind. (Good thing; he has written that the success of the AD2000 & Beyond movement will be judged by whether or not it is successful in planting new church movements among the some 2500 unreached peoples in the PIN "Key List of Priority Least Evangelized Peoples for the AD 2000 & Beyond Movement", published here (by PIN) for the first time.) Mr. Bush made a couple of very key suggestions, which we hope to follow up on in meetings tomorrow with key leaders at 4pm and again at 5pm local time (Sunday). Would you join me in praying that those meetings will go well and that God's will would be done? Further details should probably wait on outcomes from those meetings.
So, the sun has set on another day in Seoul. (Actually, I don't we ever even =saw= the sun today!) As the day draws to its close (it's nearly midnight here, Sat. evening), we're once again mindful of the 1000 Korean young adults who have volunteered for service to make this convention possible. They once again have shown their energy and fortitude in magnificent ways (standing out in the rain tonight). It seems their smiles and warmth are endless. They truly have been a highlight to this experience thus far. Tonight, here in our hotel room, my room-mates and I thanked the Lord for those angels in "yellow flack jackets" -- may God bless them mightily with energy now, rest afterward, and blessings forever!
at GCOWE '95 in Seoul