The visit with Onnuri Church with Jim Wilder, Ed Khouri and Karl Lehman
Onnuri is one of the 25 megachurches in South Korea with a weekly attendance over 40,000 people. We were invited to present their annual recovery conference and launch the publication of Living From The Heart Jesus Gave You in Korea. In spite of the attempts to keep the conference small, the attendance was 1,200 and the pastors were amazed that the attendance did not drop as the conference went on as it has in previous Fall recovery conferences. The entire event was recorded for broadcast later on CGNTV over both satellite and internet. Jim had the opportunity to train over 300 staff earlier in the year, and the church is developing a core of skilled leaders who will be able to bring THRIVE relational skill training to Korea. The head pastor announced to the group that he was eager for members to experience the Life Model based changes in their church.
Visit to Busan with Ed Khouri, Kitty and Jim Wilder
Our second event was in Busan where Ed, Kitty and I consulted with an evangelism team that works with whole cities and their churches to reach high school students. In a recent city event over 3,000 youth began relationships with Christ.
We had visitors from several churches who arrived expecting to provide training while we were expecting to be consulting with the team rather than training. One church was a small local group while another came from a megachurch in one of Korea’s largest cities that was preparing for an outreach to high school students.
With only minutes to prepare for this new situation, the three of us jumped in. Using Ed’s simplified Joy Starts Here presentation, some Joyful Journey exercises together with a very fun exercise where we use the people in the room to build a model brain we were able to address and train them in some basic Immanuel. By the second day, the comments were that Ed and I were Kung Fu masters for we had achieved so much change in the participants and said so little. We did a combination of teaching in the morning and consulting with the team in the afternoons.
Joy Starts Here has already been published in Korea through connections with the Onnuri Church, and some of the evangelism team had begun a study of the book. These team members pointed to how the book prepared them to understand the exercises we used in class. The visitors were transformed by the Joyful Journey and the appreciation exercises.
Ed and I also found a way to tie the material we taught and the exercises with worship singing – the only thing that all the participants had in common. After experiencing Immanuel’s presence, the whole group developed a strong interest in the way Immanuel experiences can bridge worship with healing relationships. Many saw their marriages and partners being restored right in the class.
The changes that were reported were profound, and many of the staff and visitors reported their lives transformed by the end of the week. The church representatives wanted to take home what they had learned. They cannot wait to see Immanuel taught in their churches.
Both the team and the big church in the city that will evangelize their high school students in 2016 are begging for us to send a trainer for several weeks of training.