‘Moslem Mission’ team returns to Senegal
Captain Fred Kim (r) listens as a young man instructs a group of youngsters.
Returning to the West African nation of Senegal for the fourth consecutive year, Captain Fred Kim of the Santa Clara Grace Korean Corps in California and his “Moslem Mission” team, including members from the Anchorage Korean Corps, witnessed the continued spiritual growth of our Senegalese comrades in Christ. This year, by invitation, the team also expanded its movement to the tiny neighboring nation of Guinea Bissau, arriving during their annual Carnival.
Captain Kim’s commitment to this yearly endeavor is remarkable—the mission provides an anchor to the growing Christian minority in the rough environment of a predominantly Muslim region of Africa.
Also notable is, unlike the Salvation Army mission teams that travel to other Army units to offer service, the Moslem Mission team travels to an area where the Army is not active, reaching out to the Christians there—offering service and training in the name of Jesus and through the power of his Holy Spirit.
Captain Kim’s report, below, shows how significant change can come about from those hearing God’s call and taking action.
Seminars: “From Suffering to Rejoicing”
When we arrived in Ziguinchor—the southernmost city in Senegal, where we hold our main seminar—the pastors greeted us warmly. Since it is our fourth visit, the rapport and feelings of brotherly love are strong. We prayed together for the seminars; this year’s theme is “From Suffering to Rejoicing,” with three parts: why suffering happens, who and what gives suffering, and how we can prepare for suffering.
When we started the Moslem Mission in 2003, we focused on the leadership of the pastors in Senegal, teaching them how to organize these events. This year they put together the program, and everything worked perfectly! From day one and the first session, the grace of God poured into us. About 70 pastors and Christian leaders participated.
Captain James Lee of the Anchorage Korean Corps gave his testimony, which was well received.
During the seminar, I challenged the participants to face suffering—to overcome it instead of fleeing it, because they are indeed living with it, surrounded by Moslems, poverty, persecution, disease, underdevelopment, etc. Although it was a heavy topic, they accepted it. I take delight in their spiritual growth. As we had hoped, most are repeat delegates. Our primary goal is to equip the leaders and let them evangelize and reach out to the people here.
At the next day’s seminar, soldier and prospective candidate Yi Hoon Park gave his testimony and performed mime about the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. I continued to speak about suffering, an eye-opening topic to them. They said that so far nobody had explained this concept, even though many had talked about blessings and miracles.
In the evening, we had a foot washing ceremony and candlelight service. We washed the feet of the African pastors as Jesus did for his disciples. It touched their hearts, many of them crying. During the candlelight service, we all made the commitment to be the light of the world again. We sang and shouted, “We are the light of the world!” It boosted morale, and one pastor said that it would help them to overcome persecution from Moslems and Animists.
The next day we concluded the seminar and held a prayer and testimony session. Many had risked their lives to become a Christian. One man, who was stabbed by a rebel soldier, survived without injury, and then was shot by the same soldier—again surviving without injury and causing the soldier to marvel and to release him.
All acknowledged learning the true meaning of suffering, which will make them stronger Christians.
Afterwards we delivered medicines and medical supplies. We were able to bring a lot of antibiotics—life-saving here in Africa.
On Sunday I preached at the largest church here. Three years ago, the attendance was 80; this year, the count was 160. It doubled! In a Moslem country, this is not easy. The biggest church in Senegal has about 250 people, in Dakar. This could be the third or fourth largest church in the country. Teamwork has brought about this growth. In fact, the region of Casamance, where we hold the seminar, had about 500 Christians three years ago when we started the mission. But with our training, education, and evangecube seminar, the Christian population of Casamance has also doubled to 1,000—praise God!
In the afternoon, we screened the movie Passion of Christ in Portuguese. About 400 people came, including many Moslems. At the end, 14 Moslems received Christ. They were introduced to local pastors, giving their names and addresses. None had attended the church before. In the Moslem world, that is a huge, life-changing decision.
The next day we departed for the bordering country of Guinea Bissau, a tiny country south of Senegal. Since one pastor from Guinea Bissau had attended the seminar last year and liked it, he asked us to come and do the same in his country. This is one of the poorest nations in the world. Compared to it, Senegal seems wealthy.
We arrived during Carnival, just like Mardi Gras or Samba Carnival in Brazil. We could feel Satan moving around as people milled about wearing masks. We held a spiritual revival. Those attending were truly the treasure of Guinea Bissau, because virtually all the people were participating in the Carnival, which was packed with sexuality, immorality, idolatry, and crime—even murder. Miraculously, we met a Korean missionary couple here; we prayed together and comforted each other. We also gave them medical supplies.
The next day we conducted a youth revival meeting. The pastor of the host church planned it for this day—the final day of Carnival—to keep the youth safe. In the streets it looked like everybody was crazy. We demonstrated the evangecube, and challenged and comforted them. About 100 young people came, fleeing from the sinful Carnival. They accepted the message and committed to saving Guinea Bissau with fervent prayer.
Now that we have witnessed the situation in this country, we are obligated to intercede for them with our prayers, too.
The “end-of-the-world” churches
Before leaving Africa, we visited three “end-of-the-world” churches. They are living in the stone age—no power, no water and no civilization! But still, a servant of God founded the church. They say 50 children come regularly on Sundays. The pastor here has seven children and the youngest has malnutrition and so cannot walk even though he is 3-years-old. We gave them children’s vitamins and hot chocolate powder. We shared some emotional moments praying with the pastors who run these churches at the uttermost reaches of the world. And we realized how blessed we are living in America.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Rom. 8:28)