As the call is going out for more participation in FriendSpeak, we thought several of you would enjoy hearing the experience of Bill and Sandy Williams with this program and the excitement they experienced building relationships and watching faith grow in their readers. If you’re still interested in this ministry, Julie Clinebell has readers ready to start when you are!
In January of 2010 Bill and I had the opportunity of meeting two Friend Speak readers from Korea, Yonghwan and his wife Hyun Joung. Bill decided he was ready to participate in Friend Speak, and I had been involved with Friend Speak for about 7 years.
When we started reading with Yonghwan and Hyun Joung, we had no idea that we would become so connected to this family and their two children Jeongah and Jeongju. We learned early on that the husband, Yonghwan was not a believer in Jesus Christ. Yonghwan and his wife had been married for close to 20 years and Yonghwan had only been to church one or two times. Hyun Joung was a believer and had attended church some while living in Korea. When they came to the US, the family was encouraged to attend a Korean Presbyterian church where they would be able to connect with other Korean families.
As we began reading with our Friend Speak readers on Wednesday night, we began to connect with them as friends. They came to our home and we went to theirs. Last Thanksgiving they were on a Florida trip while we were in Jacksonville and we were able to share a Thanksgiving dinner together with my family, which they seemed to thoroughly enjoy. At Christmas they came to our house and helped us decorate our tree, and we all had a meal together.
At the end of April, Bill’s reader said he believed in Jesus and wanted to be baptized. His daughters also wanted to be baptized. They are 12 and 14 and his wife said she had not understood about baptism as a child and she wanted to be baptized as well. There were about 35 people at the building on Thursday night when the entire family made the commitment to make Jesus the Lord of their lives.
When Yonghwan Kim and his family were saying goodbye on their last Sunday in July, Yonghwan said that his greatest treasure from being in the US was the Dvd that Charlie Roberts has given him of their family’s baptism. He was looking forward to going back to Korea to share the good news of Jesus with his family who are not Christians.
Bill and I both were so encouraged by this family, their love for the Lord and for us. We experienced an amazing relationship with them and, through them, Bill and I drew closer to one another as we saw the power off God working in this family’s life. The family had to leave in July to go back to Korea; we miss them, but we are staying in touch through email.