IIT UBF - University Bible Fellowship at IIT


Rwanda Short Term Mission Report

Date: Jun. 26, 2017

Author: Daniel Yang

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…"
-Matthew 28:19a and 20a

Jesus gave us the above Great Commission. And this word is one of UBF’s key verses and is written in our Bylaws. Earlier this year, P. Abraham and P. Mark VC appointed me to serve STM. In order to learn and experience STM better, I and M. Deborah decided to attend the East Regional African Conference in Kenya. By God’s grace, both of us were blessed to share our life testimonies at the conference. According to African native leaders, M. Deborah’s life testimony inspired them powerfully, with a great challenge.  At the conference, I struggled with the noisy Kenyan mosquitos. So I stayed up late or got up early to prepare Bible studies deeply. Luke 15:13 said, “…the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.” One of the Bible questions asked me, “What wealth have I received and squandered?” I realized that God has given me great wealth: the grace of forgiveness of all my sins, years of Bible study in UBF, great family, sufficient retirement income and a lot of time!” But I painfully realized that I was squandering this precious wealth. I have been serving only 2 sheep by 1:1, and I have given my attention to other things, such as to the politics or Tennis. So in my Bible testimony, I sincerely prayed, “Father, I have sinned against you. I will go back to campus for 1:1 Bible study and discipleship ministry!” After the conference, we visited Uganda and Rwanda. Our Uganda coworkers began praying for the pioneering of Rwanda 5 years ago. Once a month, M. David Lu and another shepherd visited Rwanda and had weekend group Bible study and SWS. They planted the seed of the gospel like A. Paul. But these Rwandan students prayed for a full time missionary who can water them just like Apollos. Seven Rwandan students attended the Kenya Conference taking a 23 hour bus ride.

As you know, the country Rwanda suffered from the 1994 genocide which cost nearly one million lives out of 12 million people, due to tribal conflict. Many Rwandans turned to God. The country had been colonized by Belgium, so they speak French. But 7 years ago the country switched her official language to English. So most professors and college students speak and write broken English. Until the genocide, 95% of people were Catholics, but now around 40% are Protestants, Pentecostal, Anglican or the Seventh Day Adventist. etc. Most students offer fasting prayers one or two days a week. Their frequent fasting was partly because they love to pray and sing, and partly because they cannot afford even 2 meals a day with their monthly allowance of $30 which they have to pay back to the Government after graduation. The waist size of most male students is less than 25 inches, although they are tall.

When Dr. Luke Lim of Uganda, M Deborah and I visited the University of Rwanda campus in Kigali, the Capital, about 7 students were waiting for us. I humbly served them with John 21:17 which had deeply moved our hearts at the Kenya Conference. Jesus asked and said to Peter, “Do you love me? Feed my sheep!” When asked to share one word, each student expressed genuine and deep thanksgiving for the word of Jesus and our visiting. This touched my heart. Also the Spirit of God instill a sense of spiritual urgency in my heart, when I noticed that all the 7 who attended Kenya C. and all of the 7 law students in front of my eyes were seniors who will graduate in less than 2 months, leaving no students. Normally it takes a long time for me to make a major decision. But that moment, God worked in my heart and enabled me to decide. It was Saturday morning. I said to them, “I will meet you right here next Friday.” I was supposed to leave the country in two days after a brief spiritual spying out. God helped me to cancel all my return trip schedule. Msn Deborah had to go back home since she has to serve my Mother in Chicago.

Now I will share what God has done through a person who is a very unlikely spiritual man. It was because I have been serving UBF finance from when Dr. Samuel Lee was GD and was retired as a bank Vice President. As King David said in 2 Sa 7:18, “Who am I, Lord God! …You have brought me this far!” I felt same way when God called me to serve his flock in Rwanda.

First, “Therefore Go…”

The word “go” is a very short verb, but its impact is great, especially, when we obey God’s word. In Genesis 12:1, the Lord said to Abram, “Go…to the land I will show you.” Heb. 11:8 says, “By faith Abraham, when called to go, …. obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” His obedience by faith made Abram the father of faith. Even though I went to Rwanda for a super short two day spying out trip, God Himself, started to do a great and beautiful work these last two months! A couple times God sent me to visit the medical school and led me to invite 3 students. One of them, Patrick has been very faithful to 1:1 Bible study and SWS. All the students from other colleges, except medical school, went home for their long 4 month summer vacation. So God led me to start Bible study with key leaders, S. Hodal and James. On June 5th, we studied Jesus’ Great Commission, Mt 28:19-20. We decided to obey his word, “Therefore go” immediately. Three of us were walking up the hill of medical school and unexpectedly we met Sister Kevine, a Freshman at the medical school. With her courageous suggestion, we got into 4 different classrooms and introduced our 1:1 Bible study and SWS. God moved the hearts of 25 students who wrote their names and correct phone numbers. We were overjoyed by God’s miraculous blessing through our simple obedience to his word, “Go.” Two days later, Msn Francis Choi (2nd Gen. Missionary to Uganda from Chicago), joined us for another outreach at the classrooms. That day God granted us another 20 students. Since then we prayed for these students for 1:1 and SWS. Last Sunday, out of 15 SWS attendants, 11 of them were medical students even though their finals start the next day. So far 16 medical students have 1:1 Bible studies or attended our SWS. And 8 medical students signed up for 1:1 Bible study with me via a SNS (WhatsApp) while I stay in US. Other students could not sign up since they do not have smart phones. (We are praying for used smart phones for these students.)   

Second, Make Disciples of all Nations, teaching them to obey…

Many Rwandan students seem to be better Christians than I, in terms of fasting prayers. So one day I seriously asked several key leaders. “Do the Rwandan students need my help? In what way, can our UBF contribute something which local churches cannot?” They sincerely said, “Rwandan churches have no 1:1 personal Bible study or discipleship ministry.” As someone expressed, the faith of these students seem to be miles wide, but their Bible knowledge seems to be an inch deep. Maybe that is why the students are eager for 1:1 Bible studies. Patrick moved my heart when he usually walks 45 minutes for each 1:1 and then walks back home 45 minutes. Thank and praise God for Rwandan students’ longing for the words of God through personal 1:1 Bible study. During the SWS, these students share their Bible testimonies on last Sunday message. My lifetime prayer topic was to raise 12 disciples of Jesus through 1:1 Bible study. Only once in my life, I had 12 1:1s. It was when I was laid off for several months. Gracious God has led me to serve 20 to 28 students with 1:1 Bible study, consecutively recent 6 weeks, even despite final exams. Some days like having 7 1:1s, I hardly could open my mouth, but I experienced unspeakable joy and thanksgiving in my heart! Also I deeply thank God that he heard our prayers and has sent us so many non-senior students in last 6 weeks, making more than 70% of 1:1 or SWS attendants are non-senior students. We are praying and preparing for fishing Freshmen when school opens in Sept or Oct.

I also deeply thank God for calling S. Hodal to decide to become an Intern Shepherd to serve Rwandan campus mission. He is one of the most brilliant and handsome young men. Most students, except medical school graduates, cannot get a professional job easily. But Hodal has received several job offers with high salary. But he decided to serve Rwanda campus mission without being paid (after studying about St Paul’s self-supporting ministry), until he is invited by UBF Internship Program in US or accepted to a Ph. D program in US. Also I thank God for S. Etienne, David and James (Kenya Seven) and growing student shepherds, Sister Kevine (Phar. 3), Felicien (Civil Engr. 3) and Patrick (Med 3). God may help me to serve all these 7 leaders with weekly 1:1 Bible study via WhatsApp during my visit in US!

I always start the first 1:1 with new sheep, sharing Mt 4:4, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” I encourage students to live by the word of God in the campus. Now I realize that our many not- so-young missionaries or shepherds shall not live on North American bread alone, but on God’s mission of 1:1 Bible study and discipleship ministry, anywhere but North America and Korea! For example, in Africa, even Asians like me are welcomed and loved as “White which means not Black.” Even if some of us are not-so-rich or not-ready-for-retirement financially, we will be like millionaires in Africa ($3,000 monthly income in US is 100 times of Rwandan students $30)! Unlike our children, our English is poor, but our English will be still far better than that of Africans. But of course, those who speak fluent English can serve them as excellent Bible teachers and English teachers. So I have a conviction that young or old, poor or rich, and fluent or poor English speaking, all people can “Go and make disciples of all nations through 1:1 Bible studies!”

One Word: “Go and make disciples of all nations”

Daily Bread

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

John 14:15-31

Key Verse: 14:16,17a

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,

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Intro Daily