Thursday, December 23, 2010

on hiatus - i'll be @ tumblr.


i'll be at leoham.tumblr.com

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

debriefing testimony

It has been exactly a month since I came back from my 11-week trip to Colombia. To you, as partners in this journey I want to provide a concise testimony that we might rejoice together in God’s work.

Before leaving, I remember having an oozing excitement that I was going to be part of God’s redeeming work in Colombia. However, hidden within my deceiving heart, the excitement was mostly being fueled by my own pride and glory. With the fa├žade of Jesus’ kingdom, I was seeking to usurp His work with my own. I was expecting a wave of revival while (because) I was there. My thought was that this trip would be a waste if I don’t get to be part of crazy changes.

My first journal entry clearly reflects this tension between my self-glorifying worries and the peace that comes from humbly submitting to God. I wrote:
“Are you willing to face the crowds even if ‘nothing’ happens in this trip? Don’t worry and trust in God’s sovereignty and control in this mission trip, just submit to His will and He will work.”

During the first 2 months, I struggled to reconcile the lack of perceivable fruit within the Korean community. I blamed it on the church, on the pastor, on the community. Everyone was wrong and I was right: “If you just understood like I do! ARGH!” I blamed it on myself: “Leo! You’re not doing enough.”

God could have left me in my corrupt condition filled with bitterness, disappointment and selfishness. But God is so good: “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:13-14).” Always, when I look back on how God has been with me, I am humbled at His creative teaching. He is perfectly wise and sovereign, yet He isn’t forceful with you; instead He guides and molds your heart, irresistibly with firm subtlety and unforeseen sneaky-ness. Unbeknownst to me, God was smothering my pride.

I was walking down the street after Saturday Dental Clinic, when I passed by Juan Carlos, the homeless man with badly-burnt body and blind eyes (Jan. 8th). Usually, when encountering a homeless man, I would simply pray for him and walk past. But after taking 10 steps I stopped: “This would be a great story, that I talked to a homeless man.” HAHA, I still laugh at the egregious selfishness of my heart. Still I went back and sat next to Juan Carlos and began to talk to him. It was Jesus glorifying goodness: Juan Carlos loves Jesus.

Oh man, how I wish I could be a better writer to share with you how God ministered to my heart at that moment. How Jesus redeems all, even our misguided motivations!

I had told God that I would be humble and obedient within my own terms. But God was opening doors to serve Him in totally unexpected ways. Through all my experiences I was learning that all I had was 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and it was only God who could make them food. It wasn’t up to me, it didn’t matter whether I was in Colombia or not, but God was going to do what He does in His own time to His utmost glory. Like a blacksmith using hammer and anvil to sharpen a sword, God used His Word to sear and cut through my heart:            
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country."
Exodus 6:1

The Korean church members :)

I thank God for all the opportunities to do outreach and minister to the lost, the least and the last. Jesus calls us to love the broken, and it is amazing how He was molding my heart to His own. Bosa, Amazon, Dental Clinic, SIBA, homeless, taxi, and my aunt were all unexpected ministries that convincingly broke down my headstrong stubbornness and shortsightedness.

More of Him and less of me.
I thank God that I was given opportunities to serve the Colombian people. I thank God that it is not up to me to change people hearts. I thank God that God’s work is not up to me. I thank God that nothing went my way.

Brothers (and sisters) thank you for joining me in this trip, through your prayer and passion for Jesus’ Great Commission and His Kingdom to come. Your concern and affection expressed through phone calls, letters, Polaroids, messages, comments and wall-posts were an invaluable encouragement in the midst of spiritual loneliness and confusion. Know that God used your love to strengthen and straighten. Continue in your love for God, His renown and the advancement of the gospel.

Jesus, You won’t abandon your people in Colombia.
Your work is being done even in the midst of unseen fruit.
Although we fail You and we are unworthy, thank You for calling us to join in Your redeeming work.
Even now, I ask that I would anguish over the darkness in Colombia.
We can’t wait to see Your kingdom come.


at the airport before leaving

I would love to share with you in person the questions that still linger in my heart, as my written prose is unclear and vague at best.

Because of Him
For His glory,

Your brother and partner in grace,

Leo Ham

Saturday, February 27, 2010

COMING BACK TO LA

hello!
i'm writing to you as i wait for my flight at the airport.

i can't believe my time is colombia is over.
it has been an unexpected experience, where much of what i thought of and planned did not happen and ended up serving in totally new ways.
i'm sad to leave so soon, and i have that unavoidable feeling of: "i could've done more".
still i know that GOD has worked and is working for HIS glory in colombia.
it strangely feels like the right time to go back home.

i am so thankful that GOD, in HIS sovereignty has used me for HIS kingdom work in colombia and i hope that i don't forget the many things HE has revealed to me about Himself and about my heart.

there is much to debrief about and let things percolate in my head and heart.

:( sorry i didnt update often but i would love to share about GOD's work in colombia with you in person.

break...security check.

back.

brothers and sisters, i can't thank you enough for being part of God's work in colombia through prayer and support. it was an invaluable encouragement and spirit strengthening when i was reminded of God's people joining together for HIS kingdom. although many a times i felt alone in this trip, i will never forget those precious moments when i remembered that you are here with me.

GOD's work does not end! HIS kingdom is spreading through out the world!
i just want to direct you to two friends that are overseas and swinging hard in obedience to GOD for His glory and kingdom.

cambodia
eugene sheldon lee
http://eugenecambodia.blogspot.com/


zimbabwe
eurri choi
http://eurri-zimbabwe.blogspot.com/

see you soon!


Monday, February 1, 2010

the month.

hello!
it has been a really long time since i've updated.
whoa. it has been a month!

i'm happy that i finally can get a chance to update you!

whoa this one's a doozy.

JANUARY
week 1
january began with a trip to beautiful MELGAR with my 2nd (3rd?) cousins.

rain + heat = awesome

week 2
teaching english in bosa

i remember struggling in wanting to serve in bosa to teach english.
but, it was such a blessing!
during those 4 days, i was loved like none other in the community and the church.


pupils and teachers

they love GOD.
truly they hold fast to HIM as their only hope.
and GOD has been ever faithful.

an encouragement from a lady named olga:
she was telling me a story.
how she had a bitter and angry co-worker.
she began to pray: "LORD, how can i minister to this little lamb of yours?"
out of nowhere, she said to the bitter lady: "has anyone told you how beautiful your eyes are?"
bitter lady: "what?!"
olga: "yea, let's go to the bathroom and check for yourself"
after the bitter lady looked at herself in the mirror, tears started flowing down her eyes.
and she just started opening up to olga.
olga was able to share the gospel to her.
and bitter lady, amazed at the good news, accepted CHRIST as her LORD and Savior.

oh man, we only have 5 bread and 2 fish. i mean, all olga said was: "your eyes are beautiful"
but GOD turned it into a miracle.
dang, simply ask and trust GOD to use you.

the story of the stolen camera
after the last day of classes, we were invited for lunch at the house of one of the church members.
we had walked about 15 minutes, when i realized that i had left my dodgers hat in the park.
i truthfully had no hope of getting back. however, one of the kids, airon, volunteered to bike to the park and check.

when we arrived to the house, i lent my camera to one of the girls to play with.
i was then asked to accompany augusto, the man of the house, to buy some meat.

on our way back from the butcher, we caught a glimpse of airon, who had the hat with him!
nobody had taken it!
"GOD, i don't need that hat, but why are you so good to me?"

as i was internally rejoicing, we saw janet, augusto's wife, running out from the house chasing a young man. they jumped over the adjacent sewer, and on the other side, a mob of neighbors talked the young man and started beating him up.



one of the last pictures taken 
before the camera was stolen

all i could hear in the commotion was: "la camara, la camara!"
the young man had snatched my camera from the girl i lent it to and attempted to run away with it.

when i reached the other side of the sewer, i found him against the ground as a man was sitting on top of him. the neighbors were yelling at each other: "we have to kill scum like this" vs. "he's a human being, treat him like one!"

haha someone was asking if the young man could breathe, so i sat next to him and started asking him if he could breathe.

i reclaimed my camera.

the cops came, and they placed, freddy, the 17-year-old pilfering young man, in the patrol car.
to my surprise, the told me and janet to sit in the back with him.

"GOD, what do i say to him?"
i began to just talk to him.
about his deed, about sin, about justice.
that i forgave him about the camera,
that he should ask forgiveness from the family and the girl.
that his sin wasn't against me but against GOD.
that he didn't deserve to be beaten up.
that justice needed to be served as he was arrested.

"GOD, how do i lead him to you?"
he is addicted to drugs and when he saw the camera, he'd seen another puff.
with teary eyes, he was admitting that he hated what he was becoming.
he wanted freedom.
we began to talk about CHRIST.
suddenly we stopped in front of a large brick-walled building.
unbeknownst to us, the cops took us to the prosecutor's office, where we would spend the next 6 hours.

the cops had reclaimed the camera, and knowing their reputation i was worried that i'd be a vicim of theft twice in one day. fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. haha. they didn't steal the camera after all.

for 2 hrs, freddy was being questioned by the prosecutor and the cops.
for the next 2 hrs, he was taken to the medical office for his bruises.
for the next hour, we were reunited, waiting for the prosecutor.
it was crazy.
as we were sitting next to each other, he was listening intently to what CHRIST had done at the cross, of HIS love for us and HIS promise to those that submit to HIM.
our last hour together, we continued talking about restoring his life through JESUS.
we chit-chatted about his future plans, ironically, as a prison guard.
how he now wanted to live with his christian sister.

our hope was that he would return to the neighborhood and visit janet's church.
last time i heard, he hasn't showed :(
please pray for freddy.
let's hope that he's being ministered to by someone. maybe he went to his sister's!

but isn't GOD so crazy?
what a truly unexpected opportunity to preach the gospel!
freddy and i would've never, ever crossed paths.
man. i hope i see him in heaven.

haha, i was left with a little thought at the end.

"GOD, i don't need that camera, but why are you so good to me?"

week 3
dental ministry at amazon

we were able to visit 3 countries in one day!
we couldn't land because it was too stormy.
so after circling the city for and hour and a half, we went to iquitos, peru to refuel.

leticia, the colombian city, is directly adjacent to tabatinga, a brazilian town.
the church in leticia was only a block away from brazil.

peru, brazil, colombia = tres fronteras!

ministry was mostly focused on dental treatment.
however, they were many that came to the church that were not christians and we got to share a little with them.

dang. missionaries are awesome.

pictures:

leticia - airport


the team


one of the first victims


weird flower at the hotel


to the native village!


on the boat


incredible how they were able to set
up at a native village


to the left is missionary julio.
he's been working up and down the amazon
planting churches and bringing many to CHRIST
to the right is ronaldo.
he is the GOD-fearing son of the local pastor


lunch time!


lunch


go, go, go


our neighborhood


sleep time!


the waiting room, UNDERNEATH the church
the stilts are there because the amazon river can grow
up to 2 meters above current levels!

the dentists, the helpers and the pastors

week 4
grad school applications

this last week i've been stuck at home working on grad school applications.
they were due feb. 1st!
i should've worked on it earlier.

thanks to all the avatars and surrogates that helped me remind the professors for grad letters. all received!

PRAYER REQUESTS!
ministries:
- bosa santafe presbyterian church: that GOD would continue to capture the hearts of the people in the community. that His gospel truth would be sown into the hearts of the youth, and bring transformation to their lives. please pray for pastor carlos cadena.
- missionary julio and "ministerio de misiones": for pastors and leaders in the amazon region. many native communities can't be reached because there isn't anyone to shepherd a local church at the many villages. please pray for seminario tres fronteras, which is the only seminary in the area. also, there is talk of building a new seminary, so for wisdom in that.
missionary julio also has a church in tabatinga, brazil and his son has a church in leticia. for their churches to be lights in the area, and that HIS truth alone would be preached.
- united church of bogota: this is the only english speaking church in bogota. please pray that the church would reach the many english-speaking people in bogota. also for their thursday fellowship that is transforming into a young adults ministry.

family:
- the cousins i went to melgar with: although we didn't get to share much. we had few conversations about GOD. that they wouldn't be discouraged by the hurt they've received at church. that they'd come to see GOD and not the people at church.
- my uncle: i've had opportunities to talk with him. he has a bad perception of church. he only sees sinners in it. he claims that he hasn't swindled anyone, and that he hasn't done anything deserving of hell. please pray that he'd not focus on others but on his own heart. 
i was distraught at his quick answer when i asked him: "what is gonna make you happy?" "MONEY!" he is in bondage over money, and JESUS you are freedom.
- my aunt: after hearing the gospel for the first time, she's been on fire. that GOD would continue to reveal Himself to her, and that she'd find a church ASAP!

church:
- church: to be truly set apart from this world. that the thought of "living life is hard, its impossible to not be dirtied by it" would not be an excuse. no compromise as the bride of Jesus.
love, love, love. that the church would love each other completely, so that others outside would see CHRIST!
also, love between the 2 korean churches and not competitive animosity.
worship in reverence, in spirit and truth.
restoration and reconciliation within and outside the church.
- pastors: strength and perseverance to continue in the preaching of the gospel, even in the midst of fruitless seasons. also, for accountability for them.
- adults: control of the tongue. wholehearted devotion to CHRIST. weaning from the world, business and money.
- young adults: that they'd come to know GOD and love HIM. GOD is more satisfying than the world.
- youth: that they wouldn't fall into the temptation of being "cool". that GOD would provide opportunities for them to learn of HIM clearly.

school friends: their total evangelization.

country:
- homeless: for the many homeless in the city. juan carlos was an exception in his hope in Christ. many are jaded, and broken. that they'd find rest in HIM.
- taxi drivers: that they would truly seek the truth. that they wouldn't believe in a god created by society but the true and living GOD.
- culture: many grow up within a religious atmosphere and develop a god of their own. "i think god should be like this and like that." that TRUTH would be proclaimed and preached.

me: to be led completely by HIM.
- diligence and perseverance: to do my utmost to bring as many to CHRIST. take every opportunity and not fall into slumber. watchful prayer and a healthy diet of the WORD.
- future: what after colombia? grad school isnt for sure.
- patience and humility: in personal relationships especially. also, that i'd always remember i am a wretched sinner, undeserving of anything good. everything has been revealed to me by the Holy Spirit and not because of anything I've done.
- accountability and community: it has been a gift to be able to share with some of you through AIM but please pray that i'd find a brother i can share with here. also that i'd come to love the churches here.
- ministry: "that GOD may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ...that I make it clear, which is how i ought to speak (col 4:3-4). " please pray that i'd always be ready to preach the gospel. the passage also encourages to continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving (v.2), to walk in wisdom towards outsiders, making the best use of the time and to let speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person (v.5-6). so that's my prayer for my time here.

there's only one month left.
time is so short.
please pray that i'd go ALL OUT for HIM.

also, please join me in fasting for colombia on thursday, feb. 11!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

AMAZON BOUND









Hello!

We are leaving for the Amazon today for dental ministry.
Please pray for the dentists, the pastor, and everyone going.
For the people we'll be meeting. That we would preach the gospel powerfully.
For safety and unity.

AH!
Thank you brothers!

Friday, January 8, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I havn't updated in a while!
HAPPY NEW YEAR. Can you believe it is already 2010?!
Here's a picture of New Year's Eve at church:











Thanks for praying for Colombia! :)

PRAYER UPDATES
Church/Pastors:
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes" (Rom 1:16)
- Gospel-centered churches
- That the pastors would be encouraged to know that the gospel is the power of God. That they would preach the WORD of GOD and not be tempted to simply offer behavioral challenges.
- Worship in spirit and truth. Reverence and awe.
- Spirit-filled, light-emitting, life-pointing churches.
- Servants!

Adults:
The longest distance in the world is from the head to the heart.
- Many have been church-members for a long time, and know of God. Please pray that they would come to know Him and LOVE Him. That the gospel would not be a concept but a personal reality.
- That they would lead this community in love.
- Control of the tongue. Small community and everyone wants to know about everyone else.
- My extended family:
-- My aunt: She is genuinely excited to learn more of God and about Jesus' life. That God would provide for her a community of believers and teachers. That God would continue to work in her heart and reveal His irresistible self to her.
-- Uncles and cousins: Their salvation. That GOD would use my aunts to be a light to them.

Young Adults:
- For those that don't know God and the good news: That GOD woud reveal HIS truth, the condition of their hearts and the ultimate hope in Jesus. For their salvation! :)
- For those that do know God: That we would go ALL OUT for GOD, fully trusting in His love and goodness. That GOD would raise leaders and servants.

Youth:
- For clear Word-centered teaching.
- That as they learn more of GOD, they would come to love GOD.
- That they would come to love the Church.

The Country:
- Being "green" seems to be a great movement here, which is not necessarily bad. But that it wouldn't become a GOD=Earth paradigm.
- That Colombians would see beyond our life now, and look unto what is eternal
- Courage to read the Word.
- Especially, that they would see the wretchedness of sin (even little pecadillos) so that grace would be amazing grace for them.

- Gregorio and Mayerli: They have a degenerative illness that makes their bodies less and less controllable and more rigid. They are about our age. Oh man, they are crazy, because in the midst of all their struggles they find joy. However, that they ultimate joy and hope would be in Christ and life eternal with HIM. I don't know if they are saved. Please pray for them.

- Juan Carlos: He is a man that was burned at the factory he worked. Then he was hit by a car and now he is completely blind. He has to support a family of 3 kids and wife, and because he is unable to work, he's been forced to ask for money on the streets. Oh man, the only encouragement that I could give him was that compared to eternity our lives are like a vapor, and his struggles on earth will fade if he holds to the hope of Christ. He loves Jesus, but please pray that God would send people to minister to Him in the Word so that his love and hope would grow and be assured.

Missionaries:
- And their families, especially the kids.

Me:
- Accountability: it's been tough to find someone to share struggles and point me to Christ.
- Humility: always look unto my own sin and inability produce any good fruit without abiding in Him.
- Patience: regarding ministry and personal relationships
- Laziness: many a times i've been lazy = tv, computer. man. every hour, every moment LORD i long to be your servant. take advantage of every open door to bring as many to Christ.
- Ministry: Bosa English Teaching, Every conversation, Working with the pastors and at church, Random opportunities (like talking with cab drivers)
- More opportunities to preach the gospel!
- After Colombia??

As you join me in prayer here in Colombia, I also wanted to ask and encourage people to fast also for His name and His renown here in Colombia within the Korean community and the nation as a whole.
Why fast?
Hallowing his name, seeking his kingdom, and doing his will
"The prayer that Jesus just taught us to pray in Matthew 6:9–13 begins with three main longings: that God's name be hallowed or revered, that his kingdom come, that his will be done on earth the way it's done in heaven. That is the main reward God gives for our fasting. We fast out of longing for God's name to be known and cherished and honored, and longing for his rule to be extended and then consummated in history, and longing for his will to hold sway everywhere with the same devotion and energy that the inexhaustible angels show sleeplessly in heaven forever and ever."
We can even have a group fast day...how about Tuesday the 12th?
How can I pray for you!?

ALRIGHT PICTURE TIME:
To the hills of Monserrate!














We went up a "cable car" to the top of Monserrate, where there was a bunch of Christmas lights. All over the mountain.











Our quest to the Church of Monserrate.
Is it Magic Mountain?















La Mazorca
Feast








New Years Day
The Power Rangers - Bike Adventure







We all bought the same bike but with different colors.
Spent New Years Day riding around Bogota :)

I was the white bike.
I never liked white ranger though :(















OH! ALMOST FORGOT
LAMB DOG:















For His Glory,
- Leo