Dear co-laborers in Christ, we greet you all in the blessed name of our Lord!
Our Family Status
First of all, we thank God for His protection and for your prayers. Kenya recently had a third wave of the pandemic. In the first and second waves, we did not face too many difficulties, as most of us had been isolated. However, in the third wave, many of our friends here were infected. In fact, one of the teachers at BCEA was in ICU for many days; he was the only one who walked out alive from the ward! Some students and missionaries tested positive for the coronavirus, and were on oxygen for many days. Even the school where our children were studying had a dozen cases. Haeun, the firstborn, and Hahyun, the last one, were first contacts and had to be tested. Eben also had gone through several PCR tests since he was the first contact. Thank God, all results were negative. Thank you for your prayers.
Other than life with COVID-restrictions, by God’s grace we are doing well. Like you, many things have been minimized. We don’t travel much outside of Nairobi as we used to do. Even going to the market or eating out is done only when necessary. On the other hand, we have more time as a family; we have more time to talk, read our Bibles, and pray together. Our three children are also doing well, although most of their classes have been done online. They are now excited since their school will open May 17th for in-person learning. Do pray for them as they enter this school term. By the way, we thank God that next term Hajin, the second-born, will be in high school, and Hahyun will be in middle school. The time really goes so fast, yet thanks is always given to our God for His hand in raising our children, in His grace.
Worship Now Open
From August 2020 until the end of March 2021, we had been worshipping outside. To comply with the regulations of social distancing within the building, outside service saw limited attendance. Then, there was a lockdown at the end of March, 2021, so we could not have a physical worship service for five weeks. However, we thank God that our May 2nd worship service finally allowed us to worship together as the lockdown was removed. Still, we are not able to do visitations unless it is really necessary. Also there is still no fellowship, choir practice, etc. All that is permitted is only one hour for the worship service. Still, we are so thankful for this time of gathering and the praises that are given to God every Lord’s Day. Would you remember these church members in prayer, as they face various challenges.
The college opened in January, 2021, for first-year students, and for those who missed the first term last year. There were 37 enrolled. Eben had taught a class on the biblical perspective of prayer. After the 1st term, the college had scheduled to open for the 2nd through 4th year students in March. However, a lockdown happened! It was unexpected. The whole curriculum needed to be readjusted! Now, as it was mentioned above, the lockdown has been removed. Still, there are many things that have to be accommodated. Yet, we are thankful that we can continue our main mission ministry as the college will open on May 17th. By the time you receive this letter, classes will probably have already started. We are really excited, yet obvious concerns remain about the current situation. Your prayer will be of great strength to us all as we face the coronavirus challenges in the coming term.
Here are prayer requests for the mission field.
Pray for Africa:
For its people, the lack of vaccines and sufficient medical facilities.
For safety and security.
Pray for the BCEA (Bible College of East Africa):
For the colleges in Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania.
For students who are away due to the pandemic.
For the graduates who are mostly in the ministry.
For the May 17th reopening in Nairobi.
For safety on the college compound.
For our teachers, for wisdom and strength.
For students, especially those who are coming from long distances.
Pray for the BCEA Campus Church:
For the church members, many of whom are going through physical and financial hardships.
For the Lord’s Day worship services, with restrictions.
Pray for the Yoon’s family:
For their protection
For the children’s studies, especially for Haeun in making decisions for college.
For Eben and Mijung, that they may stand strong spiritually and physically.
For patience from the Lord, so that we may endure this time in the foreign land.
A fellow missionary in Kenya passed away a month ago. Most people said that his life could have been spared if he was back in his homeland. Eben was able to help the process at both the hospital and for his funeral. Getting documents and permits was very challenging due to the COVID restrictions. Still, we thank God for the Christ-honoring funeral service. Although only a few were able to attend, the family showed a very godly testimony. The hospital bill was really high. But, what made the trouble for the Korean missionary community here, was the lack of trust in the medical support. In fact, some missionaries left the country during the third wave.
Brethren, we are happy for the privilege that we are on the mission field during this pandemic. We are glad that we have seen and experienced, together, the challenges, sufferings, and victories. It is such a difficult time. We are not saying that we are free from any fear of the situation. But we thank God for His calling and His grace. We don’t know what the mission field will be like in the future. As the old hymn says “Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand”. Things may be better at the end of the year or perhaps worse in a few months. However, we still believe that this is the right place to be as the Lord has brought us here for His purpose. As the song finishes, “But I know who holds tomorrow, and I know who holds my hand”. We do not regret that there has been some sacrifice of our time and labor. We are still looking forward to see the new opportunities there will be from our Lord. Therefore, please, continually minister with us through prayer, so that we can fulfill the mission our Lord wants us to accomplish.
May the Lord bless and keep us all, especially in the time of this pandemic.
Eben, Mijung, Haeun, Hajin, & Hahyun