Dispatch from London, U.K.
November 28, 2012
Truly, man may have many thoughts and plans, but it is God who directs his ways. Thus, as David praised the Lord in I Chronicles 16:27, “Glory and honour are in His presence…”
Since early this year, we were planning to extend our U.K. working visa, and the leaders of the church made all the necessary plans for it. It is because the church must do its own part to enable us to apply for visa extension. Who could possibly know that the Home Office had a different plan? The certificate of sponsorship had to be issued by the Home Office first, and only then we could apply for the visa extension with the certificate number. The normal process to obtain the certificate usually took two weeks; but it took ten weeks against everybody’s expectation! It delayed the whole process of applying for the visa extension, and our departure date for Adelaide was coming nearer and nearer, and finally passed the date, and we still do not have our passports and necessary documents for traveling yet. Tim sent letters to the Home Office and requested a quicker process. But as usual and expected, we have not heard anything from them yet and we are still waiting. Such delay made everything change. Hope Church is left without a preacher for the next three weeks, and New Life London does not need Tim to preach for the next four weeks because he had made all the necessary arrangements for pulpit duties in November. After all, we are not supposed to be in London now – but we are still here!
There are some interesting thoughts and events related to this unexpected delay. The foremost experience is that it reminds us again that we are not in control. At the same time, this reminder did not come upon us either by surprise or in frustration. It came to us with a real blessing, which has enabled us to submit ourselves to Him fully and unconditionally. We cannot say that we are happy because we could not leave on time, but we are content because we submit ourselves to His control. Though we had planned for some extra family activities during our visit to Australia and Korea, this trip is full of ministerial opportunities for Tim. This trip is mainly for his work. There are many preaching and teaching invitations that he has accepted, and he has been working hard on preparations to fulfill his duties. Now we have to tell the churches that we are not sure whether we can keep the promises to come to them.
God knows His people and His churches, and He obviously knows our plans, but we are still in London. We praise the Lord for His wisdom and providence unknown to us before now. Believing and trusting in the sovereign God has given us perfect peace without any anxiety. We hope and pray that our sharing may be an encouragement to some of our friends living in the eastern part of America that was hit by Hurricane Sandy. We saw some video footage from the devastated areas and felt really sad for the victims. By the time you receive this letter, we hope that you have received electricity back.
The Lord has been gracious to us throughout this year. Ladies Fellowship has been strengthened and praying for missionaries regularly. The ladies in church are serious about the Lord’s work and have collected gifts for missionaries. We are thankful that they spend time together in prayer. Young people are growing in the Lord and diligent and faithful to the Lord’s work. Two young ladies are teaching in the Sunday School week after week. Most of the weeks, they have one student each, and you probably know that it is not easy to have just one student in your class. When there was an opportunity, one teacher even used Skype to add one more “distant” student to her class. It was an interesting way to expand the ministry.
Finally we had all three new-born babies together last Lord’s Day. Was it noisy during the services? The answer is negative. All three babies behaved very well. We praise the Lord for their parents. We also had a baptismal service on October 21. By the way, Tim is supposed to baptize some people in Adelaide in November, but because of the delay of his trip, the baptism service also will have to be postponed. Wednesday’s Basic Bible Knowledge Class goes very well. There are two ladies coming regularly, and a third lady comes whenever she is able. A fine young lady is leading the class and has been doing a very good work. We hope to see that a few more people will be trained to lead this particular class. Saturday Bible Study is turning into a new stage after this coming Saturday (November 3). Tim is going to finish the study of eschatology by this Saturday, and when we come back from overseas, he will begin with a new book study. Though the doctrinal study on eschatology went on for ten months, people were faithfully attending to study. Some people have expressed their spiritual hunger and thirst to know more about the Scriptures. We thank the Lord for them.
Last Lord’s Day was particularly good. We had some visitors to our services, and more people came than other weeks. One gentleman came and said that he would come again whenever possible. However, one brother we have been praying for did not come last week, which concerns us. Hopefully, we will be able to give you a report that we finally got our traveling documents back in the near future.
We thank you for your prayers, friendship, and faithful support over the years. We wish you a blessed Thanksgiving.
May the Lord bless you according to His might!
With lots of thanks,
– Tim and Myung Ki