I left for Korea through a midnight flight on January 2, arriving in the morning of January 4. Before I left Korea to come back to New York via an evening flight on Friday, January 9, my schedule was pretty hectic, but very productive.
My short trip started on Monday with meetings with Shinhan Bank's top executive officers, including Shinhan Bank CEO Mr. Shin, Shinhan Financial Group CEO Mr. Lee, and Shinhan Financial Group Chairman Mr. Rha. Monday evening, I had a meeting with my old friends of Agape Club, a Christian club to which I belonged at Yonsei University in Korea. More than a dozen old friends came, including three pastors, two professors, one lawyer, three businessmen, two musicians, and their spouses. We worshiped the faithful God with praise. An enthusiastic discussion ensued after my presentation until almost midnight and we all prayed for God's merciful guidance on our new journey. How grateful and blessed I was!
On Tuesday, I had a meeting with the CEO of Compassion Korea, Rev. Justin Suh. He is an old ministry friend to the youth when we were attending and fellowshiping at the Oriental Mission Church in Los Angeles, CA. He is a wonderful godly man and a great preacher. We prayed for each other with substantial encouragement. Compassion has a ministry in Rwanda and we agreed to work together on possible opportunities. I had lunch with CEOs of Interserv Korea, Matthew Chung, and Global Mission Fellowship (GMF), Dong Hwa Kim. We are involved together in Integral Mission Alliance and they all are great leaders on the mission frontiers. We shared how God is working in our lives and were all encouraged. I also met a few old friends in the afternoon and over dinner for blessed fellowship. What a wonderful time we had!
On Wednesday, I had an interview with eFM, a new division of TBS for 24-hour English radio broadcasting service, which started on December 1, 2008 to promote English competency for the citizens. I thought it was interesting to have an English interview in Korea while I had a Korean interview in New York. The discussion was about our relocation to Rwanda for the new ministry. Whenever there is an opportunity, I wanted to witness how God has been preparing our lives for this ministry. I had a meeting with the Head of Hangyorae Economic Research Institute on social enterprises and social enterpreneurship. It is a division of one of the popular Korean newspapers and is on the frontier on this issue. What a blasting time we had while sharing the same faith and the same calling on the issue!
[Matthew Chung (left) and Dong Hwa Kim (right)]
On Thursday, I also had a meeting with the CEO of Social Solidarity Bank, the largest microfinance institution in Korea with a 85% marketshare. Its operation is quite different from the ones in underdeveloped countries, but we agreed to cooperate on any opportunities of mutual interest.
[Kyoung-sik Kim, SVP of Operations (left) and Jong-soo Lee, President (right) of Social Solidarity Bank in Korea]
Thursday evening and Friday until I left back for the states, I spent time with my parents and my siblings. Family is an institution that God himself directly established and it is a great blessing to have both parents not only still living but also healthy and active. Praise the Lord!
After I arrived back in New York late Friday, I had to do packing for the moving out of my New York apartment where I have lived for the past four and half years. Kristin did the most of the work for the past three days, but I had to my little share.
On Saturday, we separated my household stuff into four parts: the first part to bring with us to Rwanda, second to take home to Colorado, third to take to Joyce in Philadelphia next weekend, and the last to store in a mini-storage for Amanda to take with her when she gets a station assignment after training. So it was pretty complicated, but under Kristin's well organized packing and instructions, all things went well, despite the snow that kept falling the whole day. Praise the Lord! Five of my ex-colleagues came with a U-Haul truck to help us with the moving. How blessed we are to have people like them and to have their assistance when we need it!
Now I am sitting on a couch in my mother-in-law's apartment, taking a break. Physically tired with the body aching, but we are spiritually high with great relief for the fact that another item on the to-do list has been crossed out. Thank you, Lord! This place will be our temporary shelter in New York for the time being until we leave on January 30. A cup of herbal tea that I am sipping smells good and is good enough for now for my little break.
Please pray that:
* the good Lord will keep us healthy with His grace during our transition time;
* the good Lord will put the right words of truth into my mouth as I will speak to the young adults of New York Presbyterian Church tomorrow;
* the good Lord will help us lead the process of establishing the Urwego Opportunity Bank's Mission, Vision, Core Values, and Transformation Plans with the bank's executive officers.
God is good... all the time! Amen! - Jeffrey