In April I had the privilege and joy to visit a few of the assemblies of God in S. Korea. Brother Earl Ritchie of Richmond B.C. used to live in Seoul. Since returning to Canada he has faithfully visited and ministered to that work. He kindly introduced me to several of the assemblies where we conducted ministry meetings nightly.
Most of the assemblies in Seoul area are composed of saints numbering from fifty to 100. Some are larger. The country assemblies generally have smaller numbers in fellowship. Often, more than two hundred were in attendance at the ministry meetings. Brother Joseph Chung of New York City translated for me. There are large numbers of young men and women and it was encouraging to see their diligence in making notes and asking questions. Overseers expressed appreciation for truth taught and desire the assemblies to be conducted in godly order.
It was a joy to sit with the saints in the circle to remember the Lord Jesus. While I could not understand the language, the tunes were the same as those to which we are accustomed. The saints sing heartily (they have some professional singers amongst them) and the word of God was read by a few brethren pertaining to the sufferings of the Lord Jesus. Their custom is to sit crossed-legged on the floor but they kindly supplied a chair for the “old American” (as I was called). When a brother prayed, all bowed upon their knees. The reverence, wholesome singing, and hearty “amens” were moving. I could not help but think of the glory being brought to the Lord Jesus Christ. In varied cultures across the world saints gather in the Lord’s name praising and extolling the Lord in the same order and doctrine.
Gospel work is carried on mostly through personal conduct. Some of their responsible brethren are anxious to arrange gospel series of public preaching. This is scriptural and also will help develop ability amongst the younger generation. Two women professed to be saved during the time there as brother Chung visited with them after meeting. There is complete liberty to evangelize in S. Korea and God has abundantly blessed the gospel work.
A great desire for teaching is apparent amongst the saints as well as a hearty spirit of praise and reverence. I deeply appreciated the kindness of brother Ritchie in introducing me to the believers, their culture and and the order of their testimony to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. They requested our prayers that the Lord’s name and testimony may be preserved from evil and that it might prosper to the glory of God.
Before returning home, brother Ritchie and I visited believers in Beijing, China. I thank the Lord for the privilege to have sat around a kitchen table to remember the Lord in the breaking of bread. Saints there meet privately in apartments of the believers. Public gatherings are considered uprisings and thus forbidden. The state church meets publicly but is monitored. Brother Steven Vance and Ross Van Stone were present that Lord’s Day also. Brother Vance was visiting contacts he had from relatives in Toronto where he has been working amongst the Chinese. Brother Ritchie speaks some Chinese and booklets he offered to taxi drivers were readily received. May the Lord bring many souls into the kingdom of His dear Son from that land of darkness!