Kim HyunMin (Ryno), NSD Associate Secretary
On Nov. 3-7, 2022, the Yearend Meetings of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD) took place in NSD Mission Headquarters located in Paju, South Korea. It was a special yearend in many aspects but most of all, it was the first-ever yearend held in Paju NSD building. Also, it was meaningful since the meetings were held onsite rather than via Zoom. There was excitement in the air as leaders from various parts of the world gathered and enjoyed fellowship, worship, reports from organizations/institutions, and business sessions.
Pre-meetings were held prior to the yearend for two days on Nov. 1-2. During this time, officers’ councils and department/institution interviews were conducted with leaders from Japan Union Conference (JUC), Korean Union Conference (KUC), Taiwan Conference (TWC), and Mongolia Mission (MM). It was a great opportunity for the dept. directors to meet face to face with the officers of four organizations.
Including two leaders from the General Conference (GC Vice President: Audrey Andersson, GC Assistant to the Treasurer: Brent Burdick), 42 delegates and 25 invitees were present. What was more special was that directors from KUC and theology students from Sahmyook University participated as observers. Despite the COVID-19 situation, God had worked many miracles to allow almost all those who were invited to join the 2022 NSD Yearend Meetings.
“Mission Refocus” was the keyword throughout the Yearend Meetings of NSD this year. From beginning to the end, all programs and testimonies were geared towards Mission Refocus. The whole morning of the first day of meetings was designated for Mission Refocus program with testimonies and music from JUC, KUC, TWC, and MM. A special prayer meeting was also held for North Korea and it reminded the participants that representation of one flag was missing in the auditorium. Mission Refocus brought together a sense of urgency and importance in carrying out NSD’s mission: “Evangelism, the very heart of Christianity, is the theme of primary importance. The Advent message must swell to a loud cry reaching the uttermost parts of the earth” (Evangelism, 5).
Every morning was a blessing to start the day with worship. Special items from JUC, KUC, TWC, and MM brought joy and thankfulness to all. The messages were prepared by Kim SunHwan, Hiroshi Yamaji, Kim YoHan, Ginger Ketting-Weller, Audrey Andersson, and Brent Burdick. Each day was special but it was truly a great blessing that all the messages were connected, challenged the participants to be one in carrying out God’s work, and most of all led to the love of Christ.
In addition to the reports by NSD Officers, organizations and institutions, there were some agendas that were voted by the GC in its Session and during the Annual Council. Among them were “Resolution on the Holy Bible,” “Statement of Confidence in the Writings of Ellen G White,” and “God’s Promised Gift: An Urgent Appeal for Revival, Reformation, Discipleship, and Evangelism.” These statements were voted to accept and to share with Unions, Conferences/Missions, and Institutions. Also, amendments of General Conference Constitution and Bylaws were introduced by Hiroshi Yamaji, NSD Executive Secretary, and amendments of Church Manual were presented by Kim HyunMin, NSD Associate Secretary.
There were some nominations during this Yearend Meeting. The Nominating Committee voted to recommend Kim TaeSeung to the GC Executive Committee to serve as the NSD treasurer. Edgard Leonel Luz was voted to serve as the NSD Education director. The officers of Mongolia Mission were voted to serve for the next three years: Han SukHee for president, Adiyakhuu Oktyabri for secretary, and Kim YoungSik for Treasurer.
On top of hosting the first yearend at Paju NSD Mission Headquarters, various special activities and events were prepared for the delegates. A prayer room was setup just outside the auditorium and open to anyone at any time to pray for three specific areas: Healing Prayer, Salt and Light Prayer, and Seed Prayer. Also, a profile picture booth was setup in the media center and health checkup station in the library. The participants enjoyed taking professional profile pictures and getting health checkups. On Sabbath morning, dedication service of five Pioneer Mission Movement (PMM) Missionaries and a Public Campus Ministries missionary were held. It was a momentous time since PMM commemorated its 20th anniversary this year. On Sabbath afternoon, the delegates visited Institutions such as Adventist Language School, Sahmyook Seoul Hospital, and Sahmyook Health University. They spent time listening to mission reports and dedicating a special prayer time for each respective Institutions.
There were five flags printed on the huge banner of the Yearend Meetings. Sadly, representation from one flag was not present onsite. We all knew who they were. Our brothers and sisters from North Korea. So, on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 6th, the EXCOM members and invitees had a unique opportunity to have a glimpse into the special mission field in the NSD territory. Separated by a river and more than half a century long ceasefire are South and North Korea. At the narrowest point, less than 500m (around 0.3 mile) gap stands between the two. Yet, the longing for the reunion with loved ones and yearning to visit their hometown continue. There were quite a few paintings of churches in North Korea in Odusan Observatory, which leads us to hope that despite the long period of darkness, the flame of the Gospel has survived. It is our hope and prayer that the doors would open soon and when they do, we will be ready to share the Eternal Hope with our brethren in the north.
Often times we think that mission is an activity to revive the church. However, mission is the result of God’s love for humanity and His desire for restoration. It is God’s Mission and He has chosen us to join Him in this journey. Through the seven days meetings, Northern Asia-Pacific Division has made a resolution to put God’s mission first and also to refocus on God’s mission. Of course, we cannot do it alone. We praise the Lord for providing wisdom and guidance of the General Conference leadership. We are excited in partnering with JUC, KUC, TWC, MM, and many institutions in NSD territory. Most of all, NSD officers, directors, and supporting staff are “Together in Mission.” May God receive all the glory as we thrive to finish the work!