The retreat held in Mumbai, India, from last May 19th for 4 days, at a place away from the heat of the city and on high hills with Pastor Jae Sung Kim from Jangyu as guest speaker was a blessed time for both soul and body.
Pastor Jae Sung Kim preached about “true spiritual life” saying, “the most important thing in spiritual life is listening” and “[the Scriptures saying] ‘not listening’ means listening makes you have faith and you will change. Because people cannot hear the Words, they try to change by themselves. Whoever listens will change.”
The camp schedule went according to the planned schedule as brothers and sisters from churches in Mumbai, Pune, Miraj, Bhiwandi etc. along with new people stood in line and left early in the morning. The performances prepared from each church in harmony with the Words created a mid-summer grand banquet and opened everyone’s hearts. Over 50 new people who came did not feel awkward but enjoyed together with joy.
During the short 3 nights and 4 days, IYF World Camp programs were added, unlike the retreats until now, for all the participants to listen to the Words and enjoy the retreat. We don’t know why but we were very happy to see that all the programs prepared for the brothers and sisters attending the retreat in order to experience the IYF were blessed and both the saints and new people were joyous. We seemed to have experienced the meaning of Pastor Park’s saying, “Everyone, try living for someone else. When others are happy, you will never guess how happy your hearts will also be.”
During the group fellowship time when everyone becomes closer to the Words by sharing each other’s hearts, it was such a thankful and happy moment as we could listen to the testimonies from the hearts of the saints.
“Before the retreat or seminar, I always had complaints in my heart. We had to pay the participation fee and invite people but this retreat was great. We could listen to the gospel, do bible quizzes altogether, and have a talents show and it was so fun. I’m very happy” – Sister Smita / Pune
“I left church in December. I was burdened by constantly being told to testify. I was told there was a retreat but I didn’t have the participation fee. I hadn’t received my paycheck yet. My husband said that we should sell our rings and necklaces to go. I was very angry. On the first day of the retreat, I sat in the most back. And I am surprised to see myself coming forward as time passed and even giving testimonies. I don’t feel anything was a waste. I am very happy. I should also invite my relatives even if I must pay for their fees.” – Sister Rani / Miraj
“I have been sick for 38 years, unable to lie down properly or even urinate. But I have heard the gospel so my illness has been healed and I am very thankful to Jesus” – Sister Rahta / Bhiwandi
God gives us beautiful and happy things through the church at the right time. Through these retreats especially, the weak brothers and sisters are able to immerse themselves in the Words and say things they could not have before. It was like the story of Zacchaeus, the Samaritan woman, and the man with infirmity for 38 years.
“I met with the Good News Mission 5 years ago. But, I was unable to receive salvation back then. No matter how much I tried to receive salvation, I could not, so I left church. And coincidently, two days before the summer retreat, I met with pastor’s wife, Indira and she gladly welcomed me. I had thought everyone in church had forgotten me but everyone remembered me and I was so thankful. Also, I had no participation fee for this retreat but God prepared the money for me and I was able to come. I spent such happy time during the 3 nights and 4 days and received salvation. I really thank God and everyone.” – Sister Gita
Maharashtra, where big cities such as Mumbai, Pune, etc. belong to, is the second largest state in India. Moreover, it is where Hinduism is strong so we had thought it wouldn’t be easy to preach the gospel. But, God broke such thoughts as we saw the Scriptures where God left Elijah, who thought he was alone, with 7,000 prophets that would not kneel to Baal. The pastor also mentioned that every soul is tied down by something and can never come out of it alone, but Jesus told the disciples to loosen the colt and bring it to him. Likewise, Jesus is also telling us to loosen them and bring them. Although it was a short time, we could see the brothers and sisters inviting people by travelling in pairs on motorbikes with pastors or by train under the sweltering heat through belief in the Words. And it was amazing to see how God worked according to His Words and those Words became great strength to us that helped us invite many family members and new people. As much as all the brothers and sisters say they have never been as joyful and happy as this retreat, it was a happy retreat filled with the grace and joy of God.