Korean Youth Group
I have been working with a Korean church in Budapest as a youth leader for about a year and a half now. Generally what happens is after the main service, we all get together, sing, talk, and discuss the message. We also do events and had a two day retreat last year. It’s been really great, but I also see that most of the kids only have a very basic Biblical understanding. A couple of students who attend GGIS are like spiritual giants, though.
Recently, the two ladies who help with the youth group were both sick so it was just me. We had about 15 kids and we divided up into groups. I had two students lead groups to discuss questions that I wrote down and I led another group. I realized there might be some confusion with one of my questions so I regrouped everyone and asked if they had questions.
Then it happened! The moment I’ve been waiting for a year and a half! They had questions! We spent the next hour talking about some really big, theological questions they had. It was awesome. I won’t say all of them were in tune, but most were.
Question after question. It was incredible. “How does God measure faith?” “Can you explain eternal security?” “What are some verses that go with that?” “What do I do when I’m slumping spiritually?” “What is hell like and who goes there?”
Time and Trust
These questions were so good! I was ecstatic as I left. Please pray this continues! These kids are amazing and are longing to have these deep questions answered. It takes time, I’ve realized, for teenagers to open up. It reminds me of Proverbs 20:5. There has to be a drawing out of the questions and thoughts, but it takes time, you have to build trust before it can happen. I have built that trust at GGIS to the point where every free block I have in my day I have a student in my room talking to me, and now I am so happy that I am starting to build that trust with the Korean church!
Since I have this Korean connection, I am the go to guy when we divide our high school by language for Bible class on Fridays about once a month. I don’t speak Korean, but I can read it. I look forward to these times that I can spend with the small group of Koreans that we have in the high school. This past Friday I had one of the students lead us in worship and then I spoke about our value. I have found that this is such an important topic in the Asian community. So often identity can be tied into what you do- grades, work, extracurricular activities, but people can forget that we are valuable because God says we are.
Walk With God
We looked at Micah 6:8 which asks the question, “What does the Lord require of you?” There are three things listed there, but the last one is the one I focused on: walk with God. If I walk with God, it doesn’t matter what I “become” in life. I could end up with the least desirable job ever, but if I walk with God in it, it’s the most valuable thing I could be doing. I think that the students understood what I was saying. God’s will is so much greater than my plans. He wants me to have the best, but His best may not be what I have mapped out for my future.
As I write this, I am looking forward to Eurocon, a conference of many Greater Grace churches in Europe, in a couple days. This is the first time since I’ve lived here that it hasn’t been in Budapest. I think it will be good. Having it in Budapest is a bit distracting for me since it’s my home and I always find something to do here. Now that it’s in Poland and I know nothing about Poland, I think it will help direct my focus more, if that makes sense. I feel a little like I did when I first came to Eurocon in 2012. I am excited and looking forward to what God is going to do! – Jon Cook