또 한 가지 우리가 간과할 수 없는 통계는, 한국이 미국 다음으로 선교사를 가장 많이 파송한 나라라는 것입니다. 미국은 약 12만 명 한국은 약 3 만 명의 선교사를 전 세계로 파송했습니다. 미국과 한국을 합한 파송 선교사 숫자는 타의 추종을 불허합니다. 가장 많은 선교사를 파송한 나라로 미국과 한국이 있고 이 가운데 특히 디아스포라 교회로서 미주 한인 교회인 베델 교회가 있다는 것은 부인할 수 없는 선교를 향한 하나님의 뜻이 라고 봅니다. 남가주에 있는 베델 교회와 한국에 흩어진 베델 성도들의 연합 모임, “베델 패밀리 인 코리아”는 그런 의미에서 선교적 메시지를 담고 있습니다. 베델에 주신 선교적 사명과 비전을 이루어 가는 일에 흩어진 베델 식구들이 선교의 동아줄이 되어 미국과 한국을 연결하고, 비전을 공유하는 교회와 연합하는 일에 촉매 역할을 하며 교회는 재정 및 교수진 을 제공하여 수많은 선교사들의 재교육과 재충전을 위한 미션 베이스를 만들어 가는 꿈이 생겼습니다. 보고 싶고 그리운 베델 식구들을 위한 만남의 장을 마련하려 시작된 베델 패밀리 인 코리아. 두 번째 모임을 마치며 희미하게나마 하나님이 주신 꿈을 꾸기 시작합니다
Dreaming of Mission Base
Rev. Bryan Kim
While visiting Korea, I heard a news report of arrest made on someone who was selling imported pork falsified as domestic product. Illegal profits were made from falsifying pork import from Europe as Korean product. This kind of news was unimaginable when I was living in Korea 40 years ago. There was a time when any foreign products were better than domestic products, whatever that may be. Foreign electronics and, of course automobiles, even pencils and pens were better. Because Korean pork is now the best, the perpetrator was selling imported pork from Europe falsified as domestic pork and was caught. There’s more like this story. All Korean products such as red pepper powder, cabbage, beef are considered the best and most expensive. There were outcries of concern from Korean housewives getting ready to make Gimjang kimchee (annual winter kimchee) from reports that harvest was ruined by multiple typhoons that passed through Korea in October, and cabbages would be imported from China. I don’t know when it all started but Korea became famous for some of the world’s #1 products. Koreans trust domestic products over foreign products. According to CNN report, among top 10 products, those from Korea that ranked #1 in the world are internet system, beauty products, ladies pro golfers, pro gamers, most courteous airline stewardesses, and plastic surgery. The more I think about this small Asian country that is geographically 109th in size in the world, this is nothing short of a miracle. It did not happen overnight that Korean brands are rising in popularity. Many young people from South Asia are dreaming of coming to Korea to study and make money. The fact that Made in Korea is more trustworthy than Made in USA is truly a leapfrog progress in status.
Another report that cannot be overlooked is that Korea has a high number of sending missionaries, second highest to US. US sent out approximately 120,000 missionaries and Korea sent close to 30,000 missionaries through out the world. When US and Korean missionaries are combined, the number is unmatched by all other countries. As a diaspora church in the US, on top of US and Korea being the countries that send most missionaries in the world, there’s no denying that missions is God’s will for Bethel Church. From this perspective, Bethel Family in Korea event, a gathering of Bethel Church in Southern California and our Bethel members living in Korea, contains a message of missions. To accomplish the missions vision, I dream of creating a Mission Base by connecting US and Korea. Our Bethel families abroad would take on a catalytic role of connecting and uniting with other churches. Churches will provide funds and professors for re-educating and to re-charging numerous missionaries. We started this gathering out of longing for Bethel and families that we missed in Korea. With this second gathering, although unclear, I began to dream of a godly vision.