Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 1 Peter 5:7
Dear co-laborers in Christ, we greet you all in the blessed name of our Lord!
On The Way to Normality
We recall how we were worried about the year 2021. Although we trusted God, we felt on the other hand that foreign missions would be greatly challenged. Perhaps, we worried that traditional mission work could not be carried out. There was a time that we also thought we should prepare ourselves to return to the homeland due to the chaotic outbreak. We even feared the college ministry would not be restored, and that we may need to look for another mission work. Many pastors in Africa were concerned that their church ministries would not be the same anymore. Indeed, this pandemic brought so many thoughts of confusion and fear, especially, for the uncertainty of the future.
Now, as we are finishing 2021 and looking back, we have realized that we were wrong. Beyond man’s understanding, God has been working in the world. In a time of restrictions, the Lord sent and used His people to accomplish His work. It was just amazing to hear the testimonies of students who had numerous opportunities to share the Word of God in their local communities while official religious gatherings were prohibited. Also, church members were sending us prayer requests through mobile phones; there has been a prayer network within the church. Mobile banking became a convenient tool to support pastors and church members. And more changes have been brought about, resulting in better and more effective outcomes when compared to the pre-COVID time. We are excited about the future of missions because there are indeed more responsibilities and more to harvest.
Also, as things are returning to normal, we have seen spiritual changes. When we gathered after the lockdown, there was a real hunger and joy for the Word of God and His worship. The church members have more so appreciated the Word and fellowship. In addition, even the attitude of some students has changed as they realized how blessed and privileged they were to study the Word of God after their long COVID “vacation”. Yes, much was lost because of the pandemic, but we have also learned many things through His grace during the season. We are looking forward to going back to normality next year. There will be blessings and testimonies through church members, alumni, churches, and schools.
Unique Academic Year of 2021
Due to the COVID-19, the college lost two terms in 2020. Catching up the lost terms, the academic year of 2021 became the most unique year in BCEA history. As you may remember from the previous prayer letter, the college had its 1st term this year with few students in January and had delayed the 2nd term until May. Catching up the rest of the term, the administration had to squeeze the curriculum as much as possible. Then from May to July, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th-year students studied. Then, certificate students and 1st, 3rd, and 4th-year students were on the campus from July to October. Currently, we have certificates, 1st and 2nd-year students from October; this term will be ended in the 2nd week of December. There was no break for teachers; 3rd term began following the week of the exam of 2nd term and 4th term was likewise. It may sound confusing, but by God’s grace it has gone very well. Thank God for the tireless commitment of the lecturers.
The college has planned two graduation services. The first one was done on October 8th with students who were enrolled for “advanced diploma” and “diploma” courses. The second part of the 50th graduation of BCEA will be held on December10th; the graduation will be particularly for those who are in the certificate class.
About Our MK’s
The Lord has blessed the Yoon family with three children. We have Haeun, which means “grace of God”, Hajin, “truth of God”, and Hahyun, “the manifestation of God.” The names were given with the desire that the grace and truth of God may be manifested through our family. As we look back on our lives from 2005, indeed, we have experienced so much of His grace and truth in the mission field and we are really thankful for the testimony He has given to us. The Lord has especially provided, protected, and nourished us to this very day. We are truly humbled by His care for us all.
We would like to request a special prayer for our firstborn, Haeun. She came to Kenya when she was 16 month old and has spent most of her life here. She is a senior in high school now and planning for college. While living here in Kenya, it has been very difficult to look for an institution for her, as there are financial, cultural, and spiritual challenges. Therefore, will you pray for God’s wisdom so that she will know God’s will? Also, pray for our remaining family in Kenya. It will be our first time to send her away, and learning how to be separated will be another challenge for us to soon face.
One more piece of news about our MK’s. In May, Hajin was promoted from middle school to high school and Hahyun from elementary school to middle school; our children are growing quickly. We thank God that we are finally done with elementary school. But on the other hand, we will miss their innocent lives in elementary school. Continually pray for those two boys as they grow up here in Kenya.
Mission Field Prayer Requests
- Pray for Kenya (even for Africa in general) for the COVID situation. Restrictions have been lightened and the curfew was recently lifted. However, wearing masks and social distancing are still basic rules. There are also some regulations for religious gatherings.
- Pray for a peaceful electoral campaign and the election which will be held in August 2022.
- Pray for the BCEA (Bible College of East Africa) Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. Remember the graduates who are mostly in the ministry, the ongoing 4th term, the 2nd part of the 50th graduation (Dec. 10, 2021), and the opening in January, 2022. Pray for the new students, the foreign students (traveling into Kenya has become very complicated for them). Pray for safety in the college compound, wisdom and strength for teachers.
- Pray for Eben as he teaches. He has taught Systematic Theology (3rd and 4th year students), the Book of Revelation, Calvinism, the Intertestamental History, and the Homiletic practice for the last two terms. Currently, he is teaching the Tabernacle and Westminster Shorter Catechism. Please do pray for God’s wisdom with these duties.
- Pray for the BCEA campus church and its regular (outside) worship services. Remember also to pray for the return to normalcy as visitation and fellowships are still suspended, along with the special music from the English and Kiswahili choirs. Pray for the church members, many of whom are going through difficult times physically and financially.
- Pray for the Yoon family and God’s continued provision and protection, and the children’s studies. Pray for Eben and Mijung for spiritual and physical strength.
Our family visited Korea this past summer, mostly because our parents kept asking about the safety of their grandchildren. Mijung and the kids went in June and had to stay 14 days in quarantine. According to the children, the experience was not an easy one. However, unlike the family members who arrived earlier, Eben did not have to be in quarantine since he was fully vaccinated in Kenya. However, when he arrived in Korea, the government raised the COVID restriction to level 4 (most social and religious gatherings were prohibited). So, Eben could not visit churches and was not able to meet many of his friends for three weeks. The several mission presentations he prepared had to be done online while he was in Korea. On the other hand, it was not all bad as we spent a lot of time with our parents, which we were not able to do in our previous visit.
When we visited home we thought we would be relieved from the tension and stress of the mission field. However, there was no peace at home. We were actually foolish to look for peace that way. As an old hymn says, “Where Jesus is, ‘tis heaven there.” Indeed, we felt more peaceful when we returned to Kenya. There is no peace outside of the will of God; yet, there is joy and peace in the place where He wants us to be. We want to testify that we are very thankful and joyful to be in the mission field today.
Lastly, we want to thank God for His calling for our family. We thank Him for His protection and provision. We also thank you for your prayers. In a time like this, we really need spiritual support from our co-laborers. Also, we are thankful for your financial support. Every day, we are experiencing His provision through His people. Continually pray for us as we carry the task the Lord wants us to carry in this time of the pandemic. God bless.
Eben, Mijung, Haeun, Hajin, & Hahyun