Kim Da Young

The Vision of God's Kingdom through the Book of Acts

Last Saturday, 1st April, I participated in a Bible reading class through Zoom. It was late in the evening in Korea, but I was curious about what this course was about, and I wanted to find out. We read the book of Acts together with Missionary Jean Kim, with the classmates taking turns in reading the book.

Lately I've been really weak, tired, exhausted, and lethargic. It’s very difficult for me to get up in the morning, and there were many days when I missed the bus to go to work, ending up taking a taxi. Could I continue to hold on like this? I felt that I was experiencing a burnout. There were many days when I seriously thought about leaving the job.

I came to Wonju in 2019 and started working. The only people I knew in Wonju were the shepherds of the Wonju UBF Church. It was not easy to meet friends, and working for a Korean company after a long period of living abroad was not easy for me. I didn't seem to be able to adapt well at the company or at my church. There were many difficult and incomprehensible situations, but I was able to bear them only through the word of God and the care of the shepherds for the last four years. I've endured so far, but since the beginning of this year, I felt really tired and had no strength. So I often wondered if I could continue to stay here like this, or how I could continue to hold on.

In the midst of this situation, I happened to notice Vision Academy's e-mail, and there were still seats available. So I applied for the Bible reading class. It was late in Korean time, so I wondered if I could participate. But thankfully I had the opportunity on the last day, so I participated. I participated without much thought, but the Bible reading was really good. Until now, I had been studying the word of God 1:1, eating daily bread, and receiving the word in other various ways at UBF Church, but this Bible reading was different.

During the reading, I was very immersed in the word of God itself, and it energized me inside. When I'm tired, I sometimes go to the pharmacy and buy a fatigue reliever, and the word of God seemed to reenergize me in a similar way. And as I read with others alternately, we seemed to become one, united through the word of God. Also, the grace of God that each of us received was different even though we read the same passage, and it was good to share what we received together after the reading.

I had been rather lethargic when I started the class, but I felt like I was getting more and more energetic, and even though it was late at night and physically tired, I wanted to read more. Before I knew it, we read the last chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, and when we finished, it was almost 2:00 a.m. However, I didn't even realize it was so late. Actually, we have been studying the Acts of the Apostles at Wonju UBF and as I read the parts we had learned over the past few weeks, I vividly pictured those scenes in my head as if I was watching a drama. And as I read it consecutively, the words came to me more clearly.

This experience with the Bible reading in small group was very special to me, even addictive. I really liked it, so much that I wanted to share the experience with someone by reading the Bible together. So the next day after the Sunday worship service, I shared my experience at Wonju UBF, and now we started reading the Bible every Tuesday evening after work. And that evening I had dinner with my grandmother, and afterwards we read Acts together. The next day at work, I had lunch with the head of our team, and I wanted to do Bible reading with him. But he said he wasn’t comfortable with it because he had no faith, so we couldn't read it together in the end. Anyway, I really liked the Bible reading class, and I feel like I want others to know about it as well.

지난주 토요일 줌을 통해 바이블리딩을 참여했습니다. 한국시간으로는 늦은 시간이었지만 바이블리딩이 무엇인지 궁금했고, 한번은 해보고 싶어서 참여하게 되었습니다. 김요한 선교사님과 사도행전을 함께 읽었고, 이후 다른 분들이 참석해서 함께 읽었습니다.

최근에 저는 정말 힘이 없고, 피곤하고, 지치고, 무기력합니다. 아침에 일어나는 것도 너무 힘들고, 출근버스를 놓쳐서 택시 타고 가는 날도 많습니다. 이대로 계속 버틸 수 있을까, 번아웃이 온 건가, 진심으로 퇴사를 고민하는 날들이 많습니다.

저는 19년도에 원주에 와서 직장생활을 시작했는데, 원주에 아는 분들은 원주UBF 센터 목자님들 뿐이었고, 친구들도 만나기 쉽지 않고, 오랜 기간의 해외생활 후 한국회사에서의 생활은 저에게 정말 쉽지 않았습니다. 회사에서도, 센터에서도, 저는 그 어느 곳에서도 잘 적응을 하지 못하는 것 같았습니다. 힘들고 이해가 되지 않는 상황들이 많았지만 말씀을 통해, 또 목자님들의 섬김을 통해 버티며 벌써 4년이 지났습니다. 지금까지는 버텨왔지만 올해초부터는 정말 지치고 힘이 나지 않아서 이대로 계속 여기에 있을 수 있을까, 계속 버틸 수 있을까 라는 생각이 자주 듭니다.

이런 상황 가운데, 우연히 비전아카데미 이메일을 보게 되었고, 자리가 남아있어서 바이블 리딩을 신청 해봤습니다. 한국 시간으로는 늦어서 참여할 수 있을까 싶었는데 감사하게 마지막 날에 기회가 생겨서 참여를 하게 되었습니다. 별 생각없이 참여했는데 바이블 리딩은 정말 좋았습니다. 지금까지 UBF에서 1:1 말씀공부도 하고, 양식도 먹고, 다양한 방법으로 말씀을 공급받고 있었는데 바이블 리딩은 또 달랐습니다.

리딩을 하는 동안 굉장히 말씀 자체에 몰입이 되었고, 제 내면에 활력을 불어넣어 주었습니다. 피곤하면 가끔 약국에 가서 피로회복제를 사 먹는데, 마치 그런 역할을 해주는 것 같았습니다. 그리고 다른 분들과 번갈아 함께 읽다 보니, 말씀을 통해 하나가 되고 연합되는 것 같았습니다. 또 같은 말씀을 읽어도 받는 은혜가 다르다 보니, 리딩을 하고 함께 은혜를 나누는 것도 좋았습니다.

그래서 시작할 때는 오히려 무기력했는데 하다 보니 에너지가 점점 생기는 것 같았고, 늦은 시간이었지만 피곤하기보다, 더 읽고 싶었습니다. 어느새 사도행전 마지막장까지 읽게 되었고, 마쳤을 때는 한국시간으로 거의 새벽 2시였던 것 같습니다. 그런데 정말 시간 가는지 몰랐고, 원주UBF에서도 사도행전을 나아가고 있었는데 지난 몇주간 배웠던 부분을 연속으로 이어서 읽으니 리딩을 하는 동안 마치 드라마를 보는 것처럼 그 장면들이 머릿속에서 생생하게 그려졌습니다. 그리고 연속으로 읽으니, 그 가운데에서 다가오는 말씀들이 더욱 선명하게 다가왔습니다.

바이블 리딩을 하고나서 정말 중독성이 있었습니다. 한번 해보니까 너무 좋아서 저는 누구라도 붙들고 바이블 리딩을 하고 싶어 졌습니다. 그래서 다음날 주일예배를 마치고 원주UBF 분들께도 말씀드렸고 저희 센터에서도 매주 바이블 리딩을 시작하게 되었습니다. 그리고 그날 저녁 센터에 계신 할머니와 함께 저녁식사를 했는데 할머니와도 사도행전 리딩을 했습니다. 다음날 회사에서는 저희팀 주임님과 점심을 먹었는데 주임님과도 바이블리딩을 하고 싶어서 해봤지만 주임님은 신앙이 없으셔서 이상하다고 해서 결국 함께 읽지는 못했습니다. 아무튼 바이블 리딩이 저는 너무 좋았고, 다른 사람들도 알았으면 좋겠다는 마음이 듭니다.

Yerin Cho

The Vision of God's Kingdom through the Book of Acts

I joined this group Bible reading session with missionary Jean last year. My motivation was to grow my spiritual maturity. Even though I always studied the bible and listened to the Sunday messages, it was hard to read the Bible on my own and continuously because of my lack of patience, and difficulty in following the scripture. So reading it together was great for me. Because we read together out loud, I could concentrate on it without any distractions and I started to understand the context of events, figures, and teachings better.

While reading the Bible for more than 40 minutes in a row, I witnessed so many valuable truths coming from it. Especially through the book of Acts, I was greatly moved by God’s vision for Apostle Paul, who converted from a persecutor of the church to a new creation living a new life as an instrument of God. I was stimulated by Paul’s sincere heart to spread the word of truth to both believers and non-believers and the boldness of faith that rules over the tough circumstances.

The dynamic journeys and actions of Jesus’s disciples in the book of Acts were truly evoking my identity as a child of God and encouraged me to follow their examples.

At the end of every reading session, we shared our personal reflections and prayers. This sharing time also was precious because by listening to others, I could experience the grace of God working differently in each person’s life, and sometimes could empathize with their struggles. It made me reflect on my own daily thoughts and behaviors and repent of my sins. Reading the Bible encouraged me to spread the word of truth and God to my surroundings. I got full of grace reading Acts with this group and I see the impact this reading session could bring to others’ life who haven’t experienced it yet. I’m convinced to continue this session and invite other friends who need it.