[US] North America Online Winter Retreat, Beginning of a New Hope

2020 was a year that had us give glory to God with overwhelming joy and gratitude. In particular, the Gracias Choir Christmas Concert was broadcast more than 700 times in the entire North America through around 360 stations including 4 major stations, CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX, in December of last year. It reached from big cities to rural areas, delivering the choir’s beautiful music and Pastor Ock Soo Park’s message of hope.

While the year 2021 started with the new hope of the gospel through the New Year’s message by Pastor Ock Soo Park, the Winter Retreat that was annually held in Dallas at the end of the year opened up online for four days from 21 (Thursday) to 24 (Sunday).

Around 2,300 brothers and sisters registered to attend the retreat this time through zoom, and there were some who never registered listening to the sermons via YouTube live and Facebook live.

You can even say the country “US” is a smaller rendition of the world. Each sermon was translated into seven languages including English, Spanish, Korean, French, Burmese, Karen, etc. Gospel classes and other group fellowships were held in each of their languages.

The first evening of the Winter Retreat began with Pastor Sang Rok Ryou of the Atlanta Church’s MC, and Pastor Ock Soo Park’s documentary “Mission of Life”, which was recently produced/broadcasted in Rede Brazil TV in Brazil, was broadcasted every evening in English and Spanish.

Through the documentary, the beginning of the history of the great work of the gospel that is being manifested through Pastor Ock Soo Park right now was nothing else but his heart. We were able to see that through trials and poverty of his young days, the heart to hold Jesus inside was created. The simple and beautiful scenery of the Korean countryside, Pastor Ock Soo Park’s youth and early days of ministry that we’ve only heard from his sermons, and the vivid testimonies of people around him deeply resonated and impressed everyone including our church members and those who attended the Winter Camp for the first time,

“While praying for the retreat, I wanted to see the New Year’s message working. I prayed every day to invite Young Sook Kim and I felt that God is going to work. Yesterday was the first day of the retreat, and Young Sook Kim watched Pastor’s documentary and opened her heart widely. She said he is an excellent pastor and that the spiritual life sounds easy when listening to Pastor’s sermons. When I saw her listening to the words on Romans chapter 23 and 24 by saying “Amen, Amen,” I was very thankful to God.” – Sister Younghee Kim, Anchorage

In the early morning and morning hours, there were various testimonies and sermons of missionaries from continents sharing how God worked amazingly within our mission regardless of the pandemics last year. In the afternoon, academies with different topics were prepared for church members’ life of faith.