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Korea

The 13th Foreign Language Bible Preaching Contest

  • Nation | Korea
  • Date | August 27, 2017
ⓒ 2017 WATV
The means such as voice and character that communicate thoughts, feelings, knowledge or information is called language. Language is the basic tool for connecting people and communicating. The same is true of preaching the gospel. Much of preaching and teaching the truth of life, as God has commanded, is done through language. In order to preach the gospel and build Zion in other language speaking countries, it is absolutely necessary to learn the language.

On August 27, 2017, the 13th Foreign Language Bible Preaching Contest was held at the Okcheon Go&Come Training Institute. After the contest in March, this was the second one of the year; over 5,000 participants who were dreaming of overseas mission for the completion of preaching to seven billion people, including the pastoral staff members, attended to examine their foreign language skills, heating up their fervor.

Opening service began at noon. Mother prayed for the blessing of the Holy Spirit to be with them, pleased with the faith and vision of the participants who strive to keep their faith, display the glory of God, and save even utter strangers across the sea. Mother wanted them to shake off fears and worries concerning language barriers, saying, “It is important to know the language of all nations in order to deliver the message of salvation to all nations. But what is as important as language is confidence, courage, and faith. Let us put on the full armor of God to lead many souls to the truth and improve our language skills to preach the gospel to all nations.”

General Pastor Kim Joo-cheol encouraged the participants, saying, “Foreign languages are important means to teach all nations and to let them obey everything God has commanded. If you learn a foreign language and go to the world and dedicate yourselves to the gospel, amazing results will be followed” (2 Ti 4:1).

ⓒ 2017 WATV

“Now we begin the 13th Foreign Language Bible Preaching Contest!”

The contest started right after the opening declaration. Participants were divided into over 160 groups and demonstrated their ability of speaking foreign languages without reserve. At this contest, a total of 22 languages were spoken, which is twice the number of languages at the 12th contest in March. In addition to popular foreign languages such as English, French, and Japanese, many participants presented even in unfamiliar languages such as Slovak, Bulgarian, Indonesian, and Thai. Sister Yu Ha-yeon (from Seoul), who competed in the Myanmarese section, said, “In the situation where I had to learn a new language from scratch, it was not easy to get even a textbook. However, somebody has to preach the gospel in Myanmar, too, of which the population is similar to that of Korea, so I’ve prepared hard.”

The examiners commented that the participants’ language skills improved overall, com -pared with the 12th contest. The examiners of new languages also commented, “It’s been not long since they started studying the new languages, but to our surprise, they preached fluently with a solid foundation of language skills that they didn’t look like beginners. We could feel their fervor for overseas mission, listening to their preaching.”

ⓒ 2017 WATV

After the heated contest, the awards ceremony was held. The awards were given to 70 members who won excellent grades. Mother presented the award certificates to each winner and blessed them, consoling all other participants’ hard work and praying that everyone would enjoy the eternal heavenly reward as the main character of the gospel completion.

Brother Choi Won-seok (from Suwon, English section), who set the example of preaching as the representative of award winners in front of 5,000 participants, said, “The mission of saving souls motivates me as an English major. I will do my best with my major to save lives beyond building knowledge.” Sister Park Suk-jin (from Uijeongbu, award winner in Greek section), who studied Greek with an English textbook and a dictionary because she could not find any Greek textbook written in Korean while preaching in Greece, said, “I was so sad and frustrated when I could not express my heart. I want to complete the gospel in Europe with good faith and language ability enough to express God’s anxious heart.”

One of the plans that might fail in three days is studying a foreign language. However, the contestants expressed their willingness, “I will keep making efforts to give a helping hand to preaching to seven billion people with faith and love that God has planted in us.” The languages they prepared were different, but their mind was one just like the slogan of the day.

“Here we are. Send us! We will preach the gospel of the kingdom to all nations!”

ⓒ 2017 WATV

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