A Full Day in Indonesia

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

We got up in the morning and headed out for the 11AM service at the International English Service, one of the handful of international churches out here in Jakarta. The preacher spoke on Acts 2:42-47, the classic passage on community and the early church. They were trying to promote their small groups. It reminded me that even though churches are different various ways, it will always have the same biblical elements.

Then after the service we met up with Dave Kenney, the lead pastor of the IES church. It was great sitting down with him and hearing his story as well as asking him a ton of questions. There were a lot of things that said really confirmed everything that we have been thinking about and praying about in regards to starting an international church in the future. One thing he said was that one of the growing group of people that are not being reached in Jakarta are those people who have studied aboard and no longer go to church after coming back.

It is just refreshing to meet people with a Kingdom vision and Kingdom mindset. I did not sense a spirit of territorialism even as we shared about the possibility of starting an international church in the future. In fact, he quoted what Rick Warren once said – churches that fight over territory or people are like ants fighting over who is going to eat the elephant. In essence, the needs are so great and the harvest is so huge, especially in Jakarta where over 8.5 million people live. Hmm… that is an elephant and I feel like an ant.

It was cool finding out that he personally knows Gordon Fee and sat under his teachings as some of his classical commentaries were written.

Then we had lunch with a brother named Omega. As he shared his testimony, it was quite moving as he was a Muslim convert. He was brought up in Holland but during his college years he began to ask some serious philosophical questions about life. It is interesting that a lot of Muslims who convert to Christianity get some kind of revelation or they experience some kind of theophany when they come to Christ. It was a powerful testimony of God’s revelation about His love and truth. He has never looked back and now he is having online discussions with other Muslims to challenge them to think about the validity of Christ’s claims.

We then just walked around the market. It was a different sector of society but God spoke to me about the importance of reaching out to “all peoples” for His name sake. We finished off the day with some time talking with some business people in the area. It was so refreshing.

Here are people who are in their late 20’s and early 30’s who have made realizations that people in their 40’s and 50’s make as they go through mid-life crisis. They know that no matter how much money they make, it will never bring them happiness. The thing that is motivating them to do what they do is because they want to make a lasting impact for Christ. They are truly entrepreneurs who want to use their gifts and talents in the business world to bring lasting impact in the country of Indonesia. This is the “C” or the whole Transformasphere Movement in action. I can spend time with these kinds of guys all day.
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Omega (2nd from right) who is a Muslim convert blessed us with his testimony and reminded us that it has to be the power of God when it comes to in salvation
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In the background on the left is the oldest cathedral and in the middle is the largest mosque and then on the right is Monas, the national mounment

Alumni Around the World

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

Today in the morning, Stephen, Moses and I headed towards the Singapore National Library. It is an awesome 16-story library complex which reflects the beauty of Singaporean architecture. We also had the opportunity to just walk around in the common area where young people were gathered today playing various sports. It was fun randomly talking with the youth of Singapore. I realized that the best way to start a church is to be where the people are and just start striking up a conversation.

Then for lunch, I was able to meet up with some of the former HMCC members. I think the earliest person to graduate from UM in the group was in the year of 2002. It was awesome to hear what some of them were up to in this part of the world. Afterwards, we just hung out at a café and chatted.

I have been encouraged to see the alumni wanting to bless Moses and me with all the meals and coffee. I guess all those stewardship messages is now bearing fruit :-) It is always uplifting to see people who are willing to sacrifice in order to bless someone.

We then rushed off to the airport to travel to Jakarta. When we arrived in Jakarta, I ran into some problems with the visa because my passport was completely full. I was trying to convince them that there was one page left to put the visa sticker. But they said that it was for amendments and other stamps, but not for visas. After giving them a “love offering” (donation for their cigarette and coffee funds), they “decided” that it was OK… HA!

We headed out to a restaurant where we ate some authentic Indonesia food. There I reconnected with some more alumni. I also had the privilege of meeting up with some business people who were doing human resourcing for various places around the world. It was encouraging to hear the vision of wanting to use business to bring greater transformation to villages, cities, and nations.

Tomorrow is going to be a full day. I am excited to visit an international church here in Jakarta. Then afterwards, I am going to meet up with the pastor and try to pick his brain about how the international church got started. Then we will have some more meal appointments with different people in this area.
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Singapore is still growing with all the construction – it is one of the most beautiful cities
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Youths gathered around an open complex to play ultimate frisbee
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I had an opportunity to talk with some of the youths who were playing “floor ball”
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Enjoying our time with the HMCC alumni of Singapore!

A Stop Over in Singapore

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

After 20+ hours of travel, we finally arrived in Singapore and met up with Stephen Suyro, who is another former member of HMCC. It has been fascinating connecting the dots on this trip. Both Dave and Stephen came to know the Lord through their time in HMCC. There is something powerful about having people discover a personal relationship with Christ under our ministry. There is a strong spiritual connection.

The great thing about talking with Stephen is that he is an Indonesian. Therefore, I was able to ask him questions about his time in Jakarta, especially during the 1998 riots when the country was in chaos. Times are truly changing in Indonesia. It is a great opportunity for the Church to make a difference.

Tomorrow, we are going to meet up with some more HMCC alumni for lunch. Then, I think afterwards we are going to visit various places in the city. Singapore is a great international city – you cannot beat the diversity of people, the food, and the culture. I am looking forward to experiencing some of it tomorrow before we head out to Indonesia.
We couldn’t resist the smell of noodles when we got out of the cab, so we…

Hong Kong Stop

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

I am always amazed how God orchestrates things for His glory and our good. As I have mentioned earlier, I had no idea that there was a stopover in Hong Kong when we originally purchased the plane tickets. Therefore, we had no time to plan for our time in Hong Kong, even though it was only for 3 hours.

But at the last minute I was able to e-mail Dave Ng, one of our former members who now lives in Hong Kong. When he greeted us at the airport terminal, he mentioned that it was truly the Sovereignty of God. Dave mentioned that surprisingly all of his meetings got canceled today and even his planned trip out of town did not work out. I want to believe that things turned out this way because God wanted us to reconnect together :-)

Even though our time was short, we had an awesome time together catching up on life, as well as talking about what God is doing in China. In fact, as we were talking a lot of the things that Dave is doing now and even planning for the future falls in line with the whole Transformasphere Movement and even the Destiny Campaign.

We talked about politics, commerce, community development, educational funding, the arts and media, domestic issues dealing with the roles of fathers in the family, healthcare and hospitals and international churches. It was pretty much the whole Transformasphere Movement… wow!

This reminded me once again how the 7 spheres (CHARGED) inevitably are connected with one another; and if we are serious about transforming societies and nations, we need to get involved in bringing the Gospel to these spheres.
After grabbing a quick bite to eat, we went upstairs in the airport for some coffee

In Transit to Indonesia

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

We are at a long layover here at Chicago in ORD (O’Hare Airport). I was tempted to step out and grab some good Chicago food (i.e. hotdogs, gyros, or deep dish pizza) while we are waiting, but we decided to just stay here and work on things and just talk.

We just found out that we have one stop over in Hong Kong. This was never stated that there was a layover when we purchased the tickets. But today when we printed out the tickets it mentioned Hong Kong. When we talked with a customer service agent, they said that since it is the same flight number the computers did not necessary mention this! I was like… are you serious?! Oh the joys of travel.

But the good thing is that there is a possibility of meeting up with a former HMCC member who lives in Hong Kong. He came to accept Christ in our church and got discipled and trained before he went back to his home country. I am e-mailing him now. Hopefully, we will be able to connect at the Hong Kong airport even though it is only for a short time.
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This is what happens when you don’t have internet access on a computer. Moses has a suspicious look on this face :-)

Quick Trip to Indonesia

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Visits

I am about to head out to the airport soon. I will be heading out to Jakarta via Singapore for a really quick 7 day trip. The first stop will be in Singapore to meet up with some of the HMCC alumni there. Then I will be heading into Jakarta to lay down some ground work for a future international church plant.

One of the hard things about short trips is that each day and even every hour is packed with meetings and purposeful visits to various places. It is going to be good to meeting up with some HMCC alumni in Jakarta, as well as some new contacts. There are some business people who are heavily invested in Indonesia.

I am going to meet up with different people to learn from their experience and their vault of wisdom that they have gained over the years. It is always fun going to a place with my “learner cap” on. I am pretty sure I will be asking a lot of questions.

The Hannah Montana Craze

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

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As I shared in my Easter Celebration message, the Hannah Montana craze is getting out of hand. The problem is not so much the young kids, but the parents. It is amazing to see what lengths some parents would do to get tickets to a Hannah Montana’s concert. Just Google “Priscilla Ceballos” and there are close to 80,000 pages on the mother who made her daughter lie about her father dying in the Iraqi War in order to get free Hannah Montana tickets.

Today, I read an article about a father who ran a 40-yard dash in high heels in order to win Hannah Montana ticket. But the problem is that he lied to his company and is now charged with workers compensation fraud.

The parent’s heart always wants to give things to their children because it is an expression of love, but when is it too much? The sad fact is that many parents will go to extreme measures at the expense of violating important principles and reinforcing negative character traits.

Day 23 of Destiny

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

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It is hard to believe we have passed the half way point for our 40-Days to Destiny campaign. It has been encouraging to see many people in our church follow the reading plan. Even as we have been journaling some of our thoughts on the reading, it is awesome to see that the focus is constantly on the importance of spiritual growth throughout these 40 days.

As we are looking forward to the April 13th service, where we will take a Miracle Sunday Offering and participate in a 2-year pledge, I am praying that there will be a great response from the people of God.

A lesson that God has been teaching me over and over again is that we are always willing to give when we are blessed and spiritual growing. God placed this phrase in my heart this morning as I was praying, “We give when we are grateful, growing in grace and grasping more of His glory.” If we are experiencing these things, why can’t we reach our target? Nothing will be impossible.

The Kingdom Expanded

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various, Victories

It is humbling to think that God always gives us the privilege to participate with Him in the great work of salvation. After finding out the number of people who have made decisions to make Christ their Lord and Savior from this past weekend, it brought tremendous joy to the hearts of the staff.

It was not only the first time commitments but we were a bit humbled to see the number of people who rededicated their lives to Christ as well as the number of people who committed themselves to still seeking the truth. For some reason, all the hard work and the time that went into the preparation for the Easter Celebration was all worth it.

In these moments, it reminds me why we do what we do.

Now, the hard work of follow up will have to happen. We are excited about the strategy to help many people to start off in their spiritual journey with Christ. We are praying that God will continue to transform lives and transform the world.

Easter Weekend

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

What an awesome weekend! I am still trying to process through everything. We are going to have a staff meeting tomorrow morning; so hopefully we will be able to evaluate and spend some time in praise to God.

I was reminded once again that when everyone contributes and does their part, it becomes a powerful avenue for God to do His work. It was humbling to see many people respond to God’s nudging.

Now we have to carry the momentum all the way through into the Spring and Summer term, but more urgently through the rest of the 40-Day to Destiny Campaign. Let’s continue to make more room for people to come and experience God’s love.

2008 Easter at the Theater

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

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I am looking forward to having our Easter Celebration at the Michigan Theater again. Last year’s celebration was a blessing as we were able to use one of the historic theaters in Ann Arbor. By God’s grace we were able to pack out the place last year; and we are praying that God will do the same this coming year.

Our Easter celebration is always a treat for our family because we are able to worship all together. It is going to be great to see everyone in our church together, from the oldest to the youngest.

This week as people were sharing about how they were going to invite their friends and family members to this celebration, I felt a greater burden to pray and prepare for the service. It is always a privilege and an honor to host friends and family of people in our church. Every time I think about the trust they have in our church and in what God can do in a service like an Easter celebration, it reminds me of the great responsibility we have this coming Sunday. Just to think that people’s eternal destiny might be determined on this day makes me depend on God that much more.

We are praying for a great turn out and the power of the Holy Spirit to work, along with God’s Presence to come and visit us. We are starting our new series called, “Phenomenon” with Part 1: Death to Life. The great phenomenon is not only the resurrection of Jesus Christ but the lives that He is transforming in our church.

See you at the theater!
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The kids and I took a picture in front of our poster advertisement right in front of the movie theater

2008 Good Friday

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Various

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For some reason, more than previous years, I am growing a greater appreciation for the cross. Maybe it is because as a person gets older, they are realizing more of their weaknesses and shortcomings. This causes a person to see more of their need for forgiveness, mercy and grace.

George Croly said, “At the foot of the cross, in all humility and in all adoration, we have learned at once the depth and the height of human nature.”

I am wondering if in our hustle and bustle lifestyle, we might have to park ourselves at the foot of the cross and just sit there in amazement. As we have been on the 40-Days to Destiny journey, it has been great to just focus on Christ through the daily Bible readings, as well as the prayer times.

As we are coming to the close of the Lenten season, I am humbled by the suffering and shame that Christ went through for me. May this translate into a life of sacrifice and obedience.

Heroes in the Family

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Values

The last several days I have been trying to play Mr. Mom because Christina came down with the flu. She was immobilized with a fever and body aches. This has caused me to put a hold on my regular routine of life to help out more around the home.

After a couple of days, I have realized that when the father is sick, life in the home continues on. But when the mom is sick chaos reigns. This shows who the real hero is in the Kim household. I am amazed how much Christina does throughout the day, week, month and year. It is easy to take things for granted, especially the small things that are not easily noticeable.

This whole situation has brought a renewed sense of appreciation for Christina and how much she does for our family.

Through this whole experience, God has been teaching our kids about praying for healing. It has been a blessing to see the kids pray for their mommy by laying their hands on her. It is no wonder that God loves to honor the prayers of children, since they pray with faith and sincerity.

Lessons on Terrelle Pryor

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

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There were shouts of joy in Columbus and shouts of anger in Ann Arbor when Terrelle Pryor, the nation’s number one ranked high school recruit from Jeannette High School in Pennsylvania decided to go to Ohio State University. The University of Michigan was one of his top choices and Rich Rodriguez, the new UM football coach was trying to recruit him heavily.

It was interesting watching some of the video clips of his reasons and explanations for going to OSU. I think overall he will do well at OSU and we, at Michigan will have face him for at least several years – it might be painful.

But there are some lessons to be learned from this situation:

1) Past success does not necessary determine future success. With each new level, it is imperative that a person continue to train and stay focus. History tells us that not all highly recruited players do well in the next level, whether it is on the college level or the professional level.

2) Football is a team sport and one player cannot be the savior. It is hard to see a good quarterback or a running back when they have a terrible offensive line. Also, teams with a good offensive do not necessary excel without a good defensive and vice versa.

3) The transition is always easier when you have seasoned people to help you. One of the major reasons why Terrelle Pryor chose OSU was because of the veteran like Todd Boeckman, the starting QB. This is how University of Florida won in 2006 with Chris Leak (the veteran) and Tim Tebow (rookie). Then in 2007 as the starter, Tebow became the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.

For every high school student who will be coming to University of Michigan, Northwestern University, University of Texas and University of Illinois-Chicago take note. No matter how well you did spiritually in high school, in the next level (college), you will quickly realize that you will have to step it up.

It is imperative that you do not depend on your past spirituality to carry you through college. You have to keep on growing and not be comfortable with your past experiences.

Remember that you will need to be a part of community because this Christian life cannot be journeyed alone. You will quickly realize that you will excel when you are part of a team. There are people who will sharpen you and help you.

Lastly, remember to get discipled. There are seasoned “veterans” who will be able to guide you through the ups and downs during college life. The more you learn from those that have gone before you, the more you will shine. In fact, God might open up doors for transformation like never before.

It is going to be a great year.