1974 Annual Report Sarah Barry
University Bible Fellowship and Personal Report
The scripture passage with which I began 1974 was Isaiah 54:1-3 – especially verse 2: “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitation be stretched out; hold not back, lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.”During 1974 I have continued to work with the staff and students of the University Bible Fellowship. Evangelization of college students, training student leaders to witness through evangelistic Bible study on campus and in society, and helping Christian students to become involved in world evangelization is the aim of the University Bible Fellowship. We seek to accomplish this aim primarily through studying and teaching Bible. U.B.F. is directed by Mr. Chang Woo Lee and there are 27 full time staff members (including staff interns) working in Korea. I am the only staff member who is not supported by contributions of students and graduates. There are 8 student centers in Seoul and 7 Centers in the major educational centers of the provinces. One staff member works full time in publication work; 2 others train lay missionaries; 3 work with graduates and the rest work directly with students. I work in the Chong No Center. The main “mission field” of the Chong No Center for the 9 years has been Seoul National University. 7 of our full time staff are graduates of S.N.U. now. The national headquarters, intern training program (for staff) and lay missionary training program are also located in Chong No Center.
I. Student Evangelism – planting the Bible in Korea
This has been a very difficult year for students in Korea, for during both the spring and fall terms the campus atmosphere has been oppressive. The University has been closed more than it has been open, especially during the fall term. Even though there has been strict government surveillance of everything that students do, the government has not in any way limited or interfered with student Bible studies or evangelistic efforts. During the spring term one of our girl students was among many individual students arrested and held for questioning for four to six weeks. This caused a black cloud of fear to spread over the campus – and we in U.B.F. were very deeply aware of it. We prayed very much and studied the Servant Jesus in the Gospel of Mark and challenged students to overcome fear by faith. In the summer, Mr. C.W. Lee went to Europe. He represented U.B.F. at the International Congress on World Evangelization in Laussane [Lausanne]. While he was gone his responsibilities were divided among the staff, with final decisions that nobody else could make left to me. We had previously decided to have area summer conferences instead of one national conference. In Seoul we divided into 2 areas and had 2 conferences at the same time on the east coast. For the conference in which I participated, I wrote 4 basic study lectures from Isaiah 1-12 and worked with the 4 young graduates – a doctor, a banker, a judge, and an architect – who gave the lectures. The Students prayed very much for these lay Bible teachers. Their lectures were far more incisive and practical than the ones I had originally written. A number of students and graduates made first decisions and new decisions to follow Christ. In the fall term students hardly studied at all. Early in the term students demonstrated and the college doors closed. When the college opened again students boycotted classes. During this time we did not encourage our students to demonstrate. Instead we concentrated our efforts on person to person study and teaching of the Bible. In the Chong No Center alone some 200 “Genesis teachers” taught around 400 “Students,” one by one. The staff also joined in person to person Bible study. I am grateful to the Lord for his gracious work in the lives of two girls whom I taught, Youn Sook Lee and Chee Nam In. Youn Sook, an S.N.U. Law College senior, had been in touch with U.B.F. students since her sophomore year – unknown to me. She had been much-prayed-for. She came to my morning English Bible classes, but she didn’t seem to understand very much English. So I asked her to study Genesis with me in Korean. She accepted the Lord during the course of our 7 classes, and I later learned that this was a decision not to commit suicide. She is now studying Mark with one of senior girls and teaching Genesis to another student. She is still a very new Christian who needs much prayer. Chee Nam is a doctor, a first year resident in a University Hospital. She became a Christian through the patient and loving witness of fellow students during her student days. But during her intern year she was away from Christian friends and she drifted away from the Fellowship, and did not affiliate with the church. When I went to see her in the hospital one night, I found that though she had gotten everything she thought she wanted, she was miserable. We studied Genesis and continued to study once a week all fall. She returned to an active role in the Fellowship and has begun studying and praying with an intern in her hospital. It was at first very hard for our Christian student leaders to overcome the fear and hopelessness that dominated the campus and their own hearts. But when each one began in faith to prayerfully share God’s word and God’s love with one other person, both teacher and student began to discover that God is alive and working, even in the dark.
II. World Mission vision
When Mr. Lee went to Europe last summer he not only attended the International Congress, he also spent nearly 3 months visiting out-of-the-way places in Germany and Switzerland where our 40 lay missionary nurses are working. In September, he and over 150 co-workers in West Germany and Switzerland (mostly nurses) met for the first U.B.F. world conference, in a beautiful spot in Switzerland. During the time he was in Germany he wrote detailed reports to the students describing the work of the gospel among Korean nurses in Germany and the beginning of their witness to German nationals as well. Since his return students have written thousands of letters to lay missionaries in Germany, Switzerland, U.S.A. and Bangladesh. At Christmas time students gave money for relief of the hungry and diseased in Bangladesh and wrote over 4000 letters to lay missionaries serving abroad. Taking responsibility as stewards in Gods world and having personal contact with lay missionaries abroad is a window which opens the world to students who would otherwise be shut into a narrow and closed society. How God will use the Korean Church in his great world mission plan, I don’t know, but planting vision for world mission in this student generation is a small but important first step.
III. Personal Note
I had hoped to be in the U.S. by late fall – certainly in time for the itinerating season in January and February. But the Lord evidently had a different plan, for I have been prevented from coming to the U.S. in a totally unexpected way. When I had my annual physical just before I was to leave, the doctor recommended that I have an operation. It seemed best to have it here in the Jesus Hospital in Chungju. Dr. Dave Seol agreed to operate and his skill and graciousness and the fine facilities of the Jesus Hospital assure a speedy recovery.
This is a prototype for all life testimonies that UBF has members do.