Transcribed & Translated by Eunji Kim
“We will have a special song from the Board before the message today.
Missionary Josefina Kim will share her ministry in Israel. Please welcome her.”
It’s so good to see everyone in a year and it feels like coming home. Let me pray first.
How was your year?
Did you have a year full of joy and peace?
I wish I could say that but I had a year full of hardships but it was also a time of grace and experiencing God working through me.
I got disappointed at myself at times, but it also showed me how much God wants to keep making me and building me up. So all I can say now, is Thank you Lord, thank you for covering me with your grace.
When I came last time I shared about my ministry but I had been praying about something specific and wondering if I should keep doing this.
I realized that I had become a “Martha” when I had normally been a “Mary”.
I never imagined I would be in this place and situations as these. One day I realized how hard it was and I reflected on myself and saw that I had become a busy Martha in Israel.
The hole that wasn’t being filled because I wasn’t spending time with the Lord was getting bigger and bigger. And when I started confessing this, I started spending more intimate time with God but because there was a lot of work I was still going hard.
And my body started to fail me and I was tired. Spiritually as well. God, I’ve become a Martha, but this isn’t how it should be. So as I prayed, I made the decision that I couldn’t keep going on like this.
Work is not first, walking with God is. So I said I could stop this ministry and just live faithfully serving a church, a quiet life. But God had still called me to Israel and I started joyfully in the beginning.
We have a really great spot and I am always thankful for that. But as I wasn’t spending that intimate time with God, I kept feeling like this wasn’t right.
I knew God sent me there, and I was there in obedience, but I was praying about when was the timing to leave. I needed to discern whether this was my will or God’s will so I prayed for many more months.
And when the time came, I was able to come out of that ministry and center.
The ministry is going on healthily but I stepped out. The center was always busy with people and visitors and it was hard to have quiet time with the Lord.
Martha is important, so important. She was the one who invited Jesus to her house. But without Mary and that intimacy with the Lord it was so hard. But I realized how gracious God was, no matter how I complained and how flawed I was, he always filled me with the best.
I wanted to share this even though it’s a shameful part of me, I can share this with a peaceful heart because of the Father I have. And I can share who he is. When we’re so busy, it’s easy to forget about this relationship.
And we can lose sight of our priorities. And we can say it’s God’s work but a lot of the times it’s easy for us to just keep working hard without God in the center. But God was always able to do what he needed whether or not I was able or not.
What else could I do? So I decided to go back to the Word. And I looked at the passage with Mary and Martha. Luke 10:38-42
When I faced this word head on I was shocked. We hear sermons about this a lot.
Am I Mary? I’ve become Martha. The character of Martha is a very unfamiliar one to me as I always pursued the character of Mary and sitting at his feet. The verse about, it’s ok to do a few or even just one thing really hit me.
I had so many things going on that I couldn’t count with my fingers. The word convicted me that I was missing that one thing, the good thing, amidst all of those other things.
So I started to wake up earlier, but I was still so busy that it was so hard getting up in the morning. Of course, I read the word in the morning every day, it had become a routine.
And I meditated on the word but it was hard to go in deeply. And even my prayer was just a busy one of me talking one way. I realized these aspects of me. I had to drive around a lot so I started to pray during that time, and asked God what I had to do to restore that one thing.
But because I was still busy, my mind kept going back to my own thoughts. So I had to make the decision to put down my ministry in May. And I had no plans after that. But as I was praying before God had given me a heart for the capital of Israel, Telaviv.
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The Jews living there are all secular Jews and it hosts the biggest gay parade. And when I heard about that, it really broke my heart. I hadn’t gone to Telaviv a lot, but when I saw it on the news and heard that they wanted to even bring that parade all the way to Jerusalem I was very sad.
I didn’t even consider going and visiting Telaviv but by God’s guidance with a few others, we decided to move to Telaviv. The houses were expensive so we kept going farther and farther out but we ended up being in a very central location among many cities.
I struggled many months with this, but now looking back, all I could say was “God, thank you.” Even though it was hard, I realized how much God had been calling me to the place of Mary and I started to see the balance between Mary and Martha.
I meditated on this passage over and over again. And as I saw God working, I saw that he kept sharing with me and putting me where I could shine, and I could experience who he was in a new way again.
I can’t go into all the details, but I had a lot of shameful appearances and things that I struggled with. I want to challenge you as we are in December, God guided us and protected us to this point, but ask God honestly what your percentage of Mary and Martha is.
My conclusion is that we are always lacking but even then God still loves us and makes us. So I want to challenge you to really take the time to see whether you’ve been like Martha and Mary.
I really worked diligently but in the end what really matters is what my relationship with God is? We think a lot about this and try hard as we hear sermons like this, but we find ourselves being like Martha again.
Everyone is susceptible to this. And I realized this acutely this time. When the environment is right, then it might be easy to be like Mary. But I found myself not being able to control myself when I was put in harder situations. So I want to encourage you to talk with God, and reflect on whether you have that one thing.
So we moved to Telaviv from Israel. And in that process, I really experienced God who hears our groans and even our passing fleeting thoughts. I never imagined I would go there, but through those thoughts and that heart that I got about Telaviv, God used that.
It felt like the Old Testament where Israel kept rebelling was happening all over again. So I prayed a lot but I never thought of actually moving there.
But through God’s guidance and confirmation like finding the house we ended up going there. Roshahain is the village name which means the source of the river/water.
The atmosphere was completely opposite of Jerusalem, it was quiet. And when we prayed about it, God told us to not worry and go.
There are no Korean missionaries there, no Koreans or even foreigners. And we started to learn more and more about that area.
There were a lot of Arabs who got along well with the Jews there because they didn’t care that much about being religious. And there was a market that was open on the Sabbath, whereas all markets close on Sunday. And I was able to learn a lot when I went there.
And I learned how they perceived the Koreans and this elderly woman told me how they thought of Koreans as the lost tribe of Israel because there were a lot of similarities like having a short temper.
There was a synagogue and on Yom Kippur all the streets did close, but they didn’t fast and the mood was so different from Jerusalem. We ended up in a very secular area and our street name was Giveton which is the promised land to the tribe of Dan.
There is a river in the middle that is only full when it is the rainy season. And then it dries up again. Our prayer is that the spring of living water, Jesus, will become present in this area. When we went first, God told us to not worry, that people and other things were prepared. We thought it was going to be a hard start, but like God told us, so many things were prepared and we met the right people.
We met an elderly woman who is a somewhat secular Jew but she does a lot of volunteer work and we shared with her what we were doing, and she introduced us to a community center for Holocaust survivors. And we were able to do a class with them. Most of them are very elderly because it’s been 70 years.
Most of them are in their 80s or 90s. So she connected us and we started serving them right away. I’m not that good at Hebrew but the other pastor is good at Hebrew and I was able to serve them with others who could speak English.
They pour so much love on us and are so concerned about us. How do you make your living? And they worry about us more than we worry about ourselves. And we decided to go to a
Messianic Jew Church and we visited many of them in that area and by God’s grace we were able to find a healthy church. The pastor was preaching that the church members have to give offering and the church must be able to stand independently and not rely on outside sources and help.
Whereas a lot of other pastors do not preach about that. And he also had much interest in missions as well as working with single moms, which was my coworker’s area of interest. There are a lot of foreign workers in Telaviv from India and Bangladesh and as a part of his interest in missions he built a church for them in Telaviv.
Telaviv is a pretty modern city in Israel but when I visited the church I was surprised. There were a lot of illegal immigrants and a Chinese market.
I’ve met a lot of Messianic Pastors but he was very unique. As India was my first missions field, it has a special place in my heart and I was able to go with him to serve the Indian church.
The area was pretty run down, and there were no lights so it was pitch dark and it didn’t seem like there was a church there. But it was the right place and I was able to see that this was something God was giving me to work with him in.
In Jerusalem, we couldn’t go out and evangelize unless someone asked us about our work and then we could share but we couldn’t tell them to believe in Jesus so that was always a burden in our hearts.
But in Telaviv we were able to freely evangelize so we have been going every Friday and finding areas and the Pastor was actually already doing that as well as homeless feeding ministry and I was amazed once again at God’s attention to details and how he helped us meet the right people.
It’s exciting to see how God makes things work out. I wanted to just move on cleanly from Jerusalem, but God kept telling me to find a connecting point between the two ministries and areas. So I realized I couldn’t completely leave Jerusalem and I am going between two cities.
Since I went through those hard times now I am able to really try to find the balance between Martha and Mary.
And to start with a new heart and refocus. God has already started this. It started with me saying, “God, it’s hard. I want to just go before your feet.”
But all that has happened really happened by God and not by my strength or plans. We were able to experience that God is the one who works and allows us to work along side him.
And he’s started to open my eyes to see what I can do, walking with God. And I’m sure there will be another deeper level. There are deeper levels but God’s nature is unchanging and wherever God calls us, he is the one who does everything and gives us the right things to do.
<텔아비브를 끼고 있는 욥바 항구>
<시몬 피장의 집이 있는 욥바>
We have work, school, church ministry… we’re all busy. And we often say, “24 hours is not enough.” But when God gave us 24 hours he gave us enough time for the day. When we pray, I hope we won’t go ahead or behind God, or get distracted to the side, but walk right by him and you will see that 24 hours is enough. So I want to take some time to pray. We’ve run hard this past year, but how has this been before God’s view?
God connected me with a pastor and his wife from Korea and we were able to start this ministry of A Watered Garden.
Based on Isaiah 58 we wanted to be a stepping stone for others in the missions field and support the ministers. And also to fill their real needs of the local community. So that the gospel of Jesus can be spread in that area.
We moved to a new area called RoshHein where we have started prayer walks and to find ways to connect with the people there.
This picture is of the Holocaust community center. We made new classes that they can do as they are elderly. We are praying for more workers as the three of us is not enough for the help that is need at the center.
Also many people have shown interest in learning Korea and some high schoolers are learning Korean at our house and we are planning on making it a class.
There are a lot of inquiries so we are praying about doing a Korean cultural center and praying for a location where people can gather. There is a lot of interest in Korean wave in Israel and in Korean food. But because we don’t have a location it’s hard to connect with all of those people.
So we are praying to open a center. The man in the bottom picture is a Ethiopian who has become a Christian after we met him and evangelized which is a very rare case in Israel.
Fellow workers: long term and short term. Curriculum development.
And support with helping with the family care.
Funding and prayer support. God gave us the word of Gideon’s 300 warriors so we are praying for this army of prayer warriors and to prepare the torch.
And we’re praying for the visa status for the pastor as he is still on a student visa so that he can use his time more freely.