화창한 봄 날씨에 자연과 더불어 아시아 전도부인 선교사역을 위해 함께 걷는 날을 허락하신 하나님께 감사드립니다.
작년과 같은 장소인 Hessian Lake, Bear Mountain State Park에서 4월 30일, 토요일 아침에 모여서 제일 먼저 예배를 드렸습니다. 설교 말씀은 태국에서 선교하시는 김교묵 선교사님이 “증인 된 삷”이란 제목으로 해 주셨습니다. 예배 후에 간단한 운동을 하고, 2마일 거리인 Hessian Lak을 두바퀴 걷고, 뉴욕연회 한인여선교회 연합회 임원들이 준비한 맛있는 점심을 먹는 즐겁고 보람된 하루를 보냈습니다.
한마음과 한뜻으로 한 목표를 위해 함께 한다는 것은 축복이요, 더 나가서는 그 축복을 함께 누리는 것이 기쁨임을 알았습니다. 우리들이 함께 걷는 선교의 발걸음이 복된 소식을 전하며, 평화를 가져오고, 하나님의 구원과 통치하심을 선포하는데 참여하는 귀한 사역임을 또한 깨달았습니다. 13년째 되는 아시아 여성과 아동과 청소년들에게 더 나은 삶을 열어가시는 하나님의 초청에, 뉴욕에 사시는 많은 여선교회 회원들과 그들의 가정이 참여하시고,
또 여러 교회 목사님들과 두 분의 선교사님, 특히 뉴드림교회 목사님과 교인들이 처음으로 함께하셔서 더욱 뜻깊은 날이었습니다.
또한, 참석은 못하셨지만 선교 걷기를 위해 헌금을 보내오신 뉴욕 그레잇넥교회와 뉴욕 감리교회의 목사님과 교우님들께 감사를 드립니다.마지막으로 선교걷기를 위해 강순애 여선교회 회원께서 편집하시고 쓰신 시 한 편을 소개하겠습니다
아시아 여성들을 위해 오래전 한 꿈과 한 희망으로 시작된 머나먼 길,
이 길의 목적지는 선지자들이 보았던 신의 영광으로 가득 찬 풍요의 땅.
“보라, 내가 새 하늘과 새 땅을 창조하리라” (이사야 65)
그 꿈을 실현하려고 우리는 걷는다.
생명을 향하여 걷는다.
아시아의 자매들과 그들의 자녀들을 위해 우리는 걷는다.
함께 걷자고 부르시는 주님이 계심으로.
정의롭게 살라고 부르심을 받은 우리
너그럽게 사랑하라고 부르심을 받은 우리
절망 속에 있는 이들에게 소망이 되라고
서로를 섬기며 겸손하게 주님과 함께 걸으라고 부름 받았기에
(글: 김순덕 집사, 뉴욕 연회 한인여선교회 연합회 회장, Port Washington UMC)
"Walk For Mission: My Experience as a Young United Methodist Woman
Today is nothing short of beautiful. The clouds have parted to reveal calm blue skies. The sweet, fresh fragrance of the mountains took part in each breath I took. I look up to the sky to meet the spring sun’s welcoming warmth of the early day. Thank you Lord, for yet another beautiful day you have given!
Today is the 30th of May, and Bear Mountain State Park is as radiant as ever. All though I had woken up tired and groggy, the great outdoors have gingerly dissolved the sleepiness from within me and replaced it with a sense of fresh renewal that comes with this joyous season of spring. When my mother invited me to the Walk for Mission at Hessian Lake, I only had a vague idea of what this event would entail. I imagined dozens of United Methodist Women overtaking the park with bright colored sneakers and great big hats, all walking together in a big pack. What I witnessed this Saturday included this expectation, but succeeded it in so many ways. The Walk for Mission was a great gathering of the church that exemplified the essence of community and outreach.
From the start, I was able to witness the joy God has given us by taking part in fellowship with one another, as Korean United Methodist women. As each group arrived to the site, many hugs were shared, along with great big smiles. It appeared that everyone knew each other! Even though this was not the case, the sense of community was so heartwarming that even though I did not know many people, I felt a sense of familiarity; despite the number of unknown faces. The sense of community could be felt especially as we opened the day with worship. Singing hymns together as a united body was nothing short of meaningful. Worshiping the Lord in unison was empowering. As I looked around, I saw young women and older women- women each with a different upbringing and generation, united in this moment, praising the Father. For we are all united as His daughters, making us all sisters in Christ. The coming together as sisters in Christ was truly uplifting, joyous, blessed, and inspiring.
Following the worship service, we walked around the beautiful lake, in which I took the time to take in the vibrant scenery. Sharing the experience of nature with my fellow United Methodist Women was a joy in itself. What better way to spend time than conversing and immersing yourself with your sisters and nature? Two of God’s sweetest creations! Right after a lovely walk around the lake, we all sat together to share a delicious meal. How could we hike without the presence of Korean food?
At this time, Mrs. Myungrae Kim as an executive director of National Network Korean UMW introduced me to someone she had just met, a young woman who was having a picnic with her family at the park, not far from where we were. I soon found out that she is a junior in high school who moved from Uzbekistan, and happens to take great interest in the Korean language and culture. We invited her to join us and try some rice, kimchi, and Korean style chicken. From getting to know each other, I learned that she loves Korean dramas and culture, and she spoke a few Korean words quite well! I was inspired by her willingness to learn Korean, and it encouraged me to share my own Korean identity. In exchange I met her family and tried some Uzbek food. In reflection of our exchange of cultures, I am grateful for having this opportune moment for us two young women, who grew up in different backgrounds and countries, to share a meal together in a open, loving environment. It was such a God given opportunity to welcome someone in our smaller KUMW community with such warmth and love.
Meeting the young Uzbek student and her family represented, on a wider scale, the epitome of the KUMW in Mission. The love that we share with each other which brightly showed among our joyous fellowship with one another is through the love we share in Christ. This love we have received and share is too large for us to have only among our community. As children of God we are compelled to share the love with those around us. It is this love of Jesus that exceeds all boundaries, whether it is racial, economical, sexual, and any other line that divides us from another. That is why we as sisters in Christ aim to cross boundaries in order to be radical agents of love. It is because of this mission, we are united as daughters of the one God whose love is even so strongly evident in today’s "Walk for Mission." From the gift of this beautiful day to such precious fellowship, may we continue to share God’s grace in every walk that we have in life.
(Written: Bomin Choi, NY Conference KUMW Young Woman)