Search

Home > News > Presidential Report
About our churchdotPresidential Report

2020 NSD ANNUAL COUNCIL - NSD President's Report

1. Introduction
Throughout this year God has guided the Northern Asia-Pacific Division and blessed our mission work every step of the way. I praise God and give glory to Him for the dedicated work of our unions, conferences, and mission, and our institutions, and schools. Pastors and lay leaders worked hard on the frontlines. They devoted themselves to expanding the kingdom of God while working faithfully for the mission He has entrusted to us. I would also like to express my special thanks to General Conference President, Elder Ted Wilson, and the GC officers for always guiding and supporting the NSD’s mission work.

 

2. “I Will Go” Mission Initiative—10/40 with Christ
The General Conference has launched the I Will Go mission strategy for the quinquennial year 2021-2025. “This initiative involves all church members in reaching the world, inspiring, and equipping them to use their God-given spiritual gifts in witness and service for Christ. It is a rallying cry to Total Member Involvement. At its core, I Will Go is about every Adventist believer—members in local churches, institutions, missions, conferences, unions, divisions, the General Conference—partnering to share the Gospel with our communities and even to the ends of the earth.” (Iwillgo2020.org)
The I Will Go strategic plan outlines ten objectives, divided into the categories of Mission, Spiritual Growth, and Leadership. Aligning to this, the Northern Asia-Pacific Division has set up two major mission goals through the I Will Go Strategic Planning Committee with the theme: 10/40 with Christ. The first goal is to increase church attendance to 100,000 every Sabbath. The second is to bring 40,000 new members baptized into the church. We believe this goal can be reached if all the churches, institutions, school leaders, pastors, and lay members work together with a united spirit. “Evangelism, the very heart of Christianity, is the theme of primary importance to those called to herald God's last warning to a doomed world. We are in time's closing hours, and the Advent message must swell to a loud cry reaching the uttermost parts of the earth” (Evangelism, 5). Mission is not optional for a follower of Jesus. It is not a choice. The Great Commission is the God-given mandate. Therefore, all of us should arise and go forward to reach the people around us, saying, “I Will Go.”

 

3. COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic spread to almost all countries around the world in 2020, causing huge impacts and changes in politics, economics, education, social environments, and much more. Above all, it brought difficulties in missionary work. Sabbath services at church stopped due to the demand for social distancing. The fellowship of meeting with people, which is the foundation of mission work, was at risk.
The 2020 General Conference Session, which was originally scheduled from June 25 to July 4, was also postponed to May 2021. Various mission events and programs were canceled or postponed as well as all NSD-related travel for officers and departmental directors.
But even the COVID-19 pandemic could not stop the mission work. It continued through various digital devices and social media which allowed contact to people in many different ways. Creative and initiative mission activities such as online evangelism, small group Bible study, counseling on faith, and development of materials for the online mission work continued under union and conference leadership. I would like to extend a special thanks to pastors and lay leaders in the local fields for their creative mission enthusiasm, as well as union and conference leaders and our NSD directors. Each has worked tirelessly forging new methods during this restrictive time.
Of the countries under the NSD territory, Taiwan has been the country least affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although almost every country around the world suffered from COVID-19, Taiwan was allowed to continue Sabbath services and has not been restricted in their mission work. Rather they held Agape Fule Cup and Revival Meeting from October 9-11, having over 2,000 members and seekers attending the mission festival. I thank God for blessing Taiwan’s churches and for the Taiwan Conference leaders’ heartfelt work and big mission vision.

 

4. Tithes and Offerings
In March and April of 2020, there was a concern about the reduction of tithes and offerings due to the COVID-19 restrictions on church gatherings, and economic reductions nationwide. The 2020 financial report as of March showed a 20-30 percent decrease compared to 2019. As a result, NSD and KUC made the difficult decision to reduce the salaries of officers and directors, including local pastors. However, through the faithful sacrifice and dedication of church members and God’s watch-care, we were able to restore the tithe to the level of the previous year. And we thank church members for their steadfast commitment and spirit of stewardship in doing this. As of August, the total tithe was minus three percent compared to last year’s. Other offerings decreased twenty-four percent. May God continue to protect His people and pour out great blessings in their livelihoods.

 

5. Evangelism, Post COVID-19
COVID-19 became an unprecedented pandemic shutting down church mission activities as well as worship services in church buildings. And most countries have instructed their citizens to comply with travel bans, social distancing, and the wearing of face masks in public places. Due to such restrictions, church members have been prohibited from physically gathering at their places of worship. These constraints brought about new ways to connect through digital meetings from inside homes via social media and platforms such as Zoom or YouTube.
It has been said that our lives will never be the same after COVID-19. New modes of lifestyle are emerging, forcing us to adjust to the new situation for survival. Fear of more outbreaks of unidentified viruses in the future is prevalent, leading to concerns about health, especially the body’s immune system. Our church also needs a new paradigm in times of crisis to reach out to people in society while avoiding a plateau.
In this situation, each NSD department, union, conference, and all local churches, institutions, and schools should develop new mission strategies through creative programs in order to continue their mission work. We should take a more active interest in online prayer meetings for revival, digital mission, and evangelism, Hope Channel broadcasts, SNS small group activities, community services, NEWSTART—Health Message, adoption of the E-offering system, as well as other digital ministries. All of these promote mission activities suitable for this Post COVID-19 era.

 

6. Eum Project and Public Campus Ministry
One of the major challenges we are facing in almost all countries in the NSD territory is the drastic drop in the birth rate combined with an accelerating aging society. This is a serious concern in the church. We must help the church grow younger by thoroughly educating our children in the faith, and adopting active youth programs, which encourage our youth to remain effective in the church.

 

1) KUC Eum Project
Thank you Korean Union Conference for successfully initiating and launching the Eum project in 2019. It is a mission project where parents of newly born children dedicate those children to God so they can grow up with a spirit of mission. Moreover, when they become youth, they will have the opportunity to volunteer in the mission field for more than a year. As of October 2020, 141 children are participating in this program. As the participating children increase to 1,000 and even beyond 10,000, the church will have a bright future. I have great expectations for this program, and I hope this project can be launched in all other conferences and unions as well.

 

2) Public Campus Ministry (PCM)
In 2019, there were 14 missionaries participating in PCM, which is supervised by the NSD youth department. By 2020, 24 were participating. This ministry is a college campus mission movement where young adults serve full-time on campus for one year to spread the Gospel through various group activities. As of now, 10 PCM missionaries are serving in five universities. Despite the challenging situation due to the pandemic, 46 students are having Bible studies, 77 students were led to the church, and a total of 41 people accepted Christ and were baptized.
Where youth evangelism is difficult, the PCM is proving to be an excellent mission tool for college student mission. May God’s special blessings be with PCM missionaries who are working hard on the frontline of mission.

 

7. Moving to the new NSD office location
During last year's NSD Annual Council, the opening ceremony for the new NSD building was held in the presence of Elder Ted Wilson, GC president. By the grace of God, on July 8, we received a building license from Paju City and moved to the new building on July 27, 2020. We give glory and praise to God for allowing us to move into the new building. The new building is not merely a new office. I hope that many parts of the building can be used as Centers of Influence for community services and maximized for God’s mission. The new location is also very close to the border of North Korea. We expect the doors of North Korea will open soon. When that time comes, I believe the spaces in this building will play an important role as a center for the North Korean mission.

 

8. Conclusion
This year 2020 has been a challenging year mission-wise because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I would like to express my deepest appreciation to the leaders of unions, conferences, institutions, schools, including the lay leaders, for your hard work in overcoming obstacles from the pandemic and continuing mission work through various creative mission strategies.
“Man's extremity is God's opportunity. {2SM 373.1}” “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth"(Acts 1:8).
May we all accomplish His entrusted Gospel Commission and soon meet in the glorious Second Coming of Jesus. Maranatha!!