From the 4th to the 7th of January, there was the ‘First Northeast Winter Retreat’ at the Nagaland church, India. In the northeast of India, there are a total of 7 regions and it is the most alienated and strange place in India with many Mongolians who live there. In the region of Assam and Nagaland in that area, churches within the Good News Mission are established. Because the churches in Korea sent many servants of God to have World Camps in all of the regions of India, many people during 2014 had received salvation. So, we decided to organise a retreat where the saved brothers and sisters could come together and hear the Word, learn about the church and nurture their faith. Although there were many burdens in terms of the materials or time, with the promise of the church, they overcame those burdens and, in total, one hundred brothers and sisters attended the Retreat from the Assam, Nagaland and Kolkata churches.Although there were many new faces, the saved, holy brothers and sisters were able to get close to one another.
In the early morning, there was a ‘Quiet Time’ and they listened to the Word. In the morning, they shared testimonies and also heard the Word. In the early morning, Missionary Hyunyong Choi of the Nagaland church spoke of the spiritual life with Jesus after escaping from ourselves. His sermon was based around the missionaries’ fellowship in that happened in Korea and it focused on the Word in Galatians 1, where Paul’s rebuke and counsel can help us to escape from ourselves.
In the Morning A session, Missionary Jihwan Cha of the Kalkota church testified about God who had led him until now through the church after having received salvation. He spoke about the grace of God which teaches us how weak and futile we are and therefore makes us to be one with Him.
In the afternoon, Missionary Samgwon Kim of Assam church preached the Word precisely about the life with Jesus after becoming a new creation through the cross. He also ran a ‘Gospel Class’ for those participants who have not yet received salvation.
In the Retreat, there were many activities such as table tennis, volleyball, badminton, film watching and dancing for the congregation to have a happy time through movement of the heart and body.
In the evening, there was a time to praise and applaud God with all their heart as they watched the dance, songs and skits prepared by each respective church.
Missionary Sooyun Kim of Orissa church, who was the main speaker of the Retreat, preached the Word in the mornings and evenings. As the congregation heard that the churches in the Northeast region of India was already inside of the servant of God’s heart and also about God’s great work in opening ways for the Good News Mission to come here, the participants were able to engrave in their hearts about the fact that they were standing on the sacrifices of those before them. “Everyone, as Jacob saw the ripped coat of many colours that had belonged to Joseph, he began to weep and having aching of the heart. Although it was true that the coat of many colours was torn apart, it was the thought that he had thinking that Joseph was dead, which made him act like that. That is not the truth. Satan, who is evil, may be able to tear the coat, but he cannot tear the promise and dream that God had given to Joseph! Everyone, be bold. Do not try to have faith looking at your circumstances but remember the promise that God had given us. Jesus has already disarmed the power and strength of Satan on the cross and has won! (Colossians 2:15) It is not that we must win, but it is that we are already victors and conquerors. Believe that all the circumstances that come our way are for the glory of God. In 2015, let us sing of the new song that he has given us. Like this, he preached that faith is not what we find from ourselves but from looking at ourselves through the Word.
As the participants listened to the Word, they were able to have great faith and thanks towards God who has made us victors. They had changed their perspectives from on their own weaknesses to the Word.
After the evening sermon, they shared their hearts in groups and they had time to have fellowship about the Word that they had heard.
On the last day of the Retreat, close to sixty brothers and sisters went to the river to recieve baptism. The northeast region is mostly Baptist, so those who live there receive baptism as though it is compulsory when they have school, work or marriage problems, even before they receive salvation. And to those people, baptism is considered very important in their spiritual life, so they believe that the church with baptism is where they belong. The brothers and sisters signed with their mouth that the baptism without salvation is not a Biblical baptism, and declaring that they have heard the true Gospel and are now a part of a holy church of God, the brothers and sisters received baptism and became a big happiness for the church.
God had called us, who cannot have any hope in ourselves and are as ‘good as dead’. To us, who are like that, God had given us a new song to sing and we praise Him, who has given us the year 2015, where countless people will be saved.