by Rob Campbell
Joel’s posts have been highlighting the powerful connection between the cell and missions. In simple terms, the ministry initiatives of a cell church flow through the cells. This is true for missions as well.
Today, I experienced something I’ve never experienced before. Let me explain. In July 2003, my church family sent six individuals to begin a cell church in Suji, South Korea (a suburb of Seoul with about 600,000 people). We were asked by a ministry in Korea to begin an English speaking church and so Cypress Creek Church, Korea was birthed (www.cypresscreekchurchkorea.com).
Back to my first time experience. My family and I waited with Pastor Donnie Tyson (Pastor of CCCK) while his wife, Shannon, was having brain surgery. This is her second brain surgery in less than two months. She has also had back surgery whilel here in Korea. Thankfully, today’s surgery was successful and she is in recovery. We are praying and hoping for complete healing.
Have you ever heard the phrase “God uses ordinary people for his extraordinary purposes?” Of course you have. Let me tell you– the Tyson’s are a beautiful picture of this reality. When I invited individuals to consider going to Korea to start a church, God definitely “called” the Tyson’s. I will not soon forget watching them sell everything…and I mean everything at a garage sale at their house. They left their nice, cozy life in Wimberley Texas and came to Korea with just a few suitcases.
As I sat with Donnie today, my wife spent some time with Shannon post-surgery. While Shannon was in ICU, she was receiving visitors from their church family. She was asking them specific questions about how they were doing…if life was going well for them…yes, ministering to THEM. She had just gone through brain surgery! My wife stated, “The attending nurses were warmly greeted by Shannon and she smiled and talked with them as they were helping.”
I am most captivated by the Tyson’s bravery, courage and determination to make a difference for Christ in this country. The top two reasons that people leave foreign ministry fields and return home are family problems and health concerns. This couple has persevered through these trevails in an incredible manner. I have watched them being carried by the hand of God.
In closing, let me mention three things that I learned about missions at the Seoul National University Hospital in Bundang, South Korea.
First, I was reminded of the value of relationships. My family and I “connect” with the Tyson’s. Our love for each other is mutual. We have great respect for each other and believe in each other.
Next, I so appreciate sacrifice that you can see with your own eyes. The Tyson’s don’t have to be here. They could choose to go home! One lady from the Tyson’s church family was present for many hours today attending to Shannon and Donnie. She said to me, “I must be here. Shannon is my spiritual mother. Now, it’s my time to give back to her.” You see, others have seen their unselfish sacrifice.
Finally, their life in South Korea began in a cell in Wimberley, Texas. Once, they were simply two members in a really good cell group. They heard stories of God’s activity around the world. They became curious about what life might be like a different country. Eventually, they began to lead a cell and were exposed to more and more life changing stories from around the world. The time came for them to leave it “all” behind and come to South Korea. Their multiplication did not, however, occur within city limits. It was an international multiplication.
Your prayers are appreciated for Shannon and Donnie during her recovery.
Remember, the launching pad for missions around the world begins in the cell.