Every sabbath day Aaron shall set them in order before the LORD regularly as a commitment of the people of Israel, as a covenant forever. (Leviticus 24:8 NRSV)

Sang Kyoo Lee and his wife, Young Gum, visited Bishop Richard Wilke at his office one day. Sang Kyoo wanted to start a new church for Koreans. "We have been praying for one hundred nights--one, two hours every night--asking God to give us power and victory," Sang Kyoo began.

"Yes," Young Gum seconded, "every night, faithfully for one hundred nights. We have been praying before coming to see you."

"We believe God wants us to begin new work with Koreans in Arkansas," said Sang Kyoo. "And we need much power."

Bishop Wilke sensed their dedication and commitment. But he also knew of their struggle to learn English, as well as their financial problems in completing seminary.

"We don't have many Koreans in Central Arkansas, do we?" the bishop asked. "Oh yes," Sang Kyoo replied. "We think as many as three or four hundred. We can travel fifty miles in every direction and make class meetings in different towns." Next, Wilke asked if the Arkansas Koreans were Christians. "No, not most," they answered enthusiastically, "but we must lead them to Christ. We will hold Sunday afternoon worship in First Church, Jacksonville. Also, Friday night prayers and Saturday Bible Study."

"Their spirit was contagious," Wilke writes, "I kept thinking of practical things, like a refrigerator and clothes for the children and automobile tires." He asked them, "Is there anything at all I can do to help you?"

"Oh, yes, there is," this young couple answered in unison. "Would you pray for us? We will need much power." The three of them held hands and prayed together.

A few months later this young couple once again visited Bishop Wilke. "We have twenty converts," Sang Kyoo said. "We are growing. People are coming from fifty miles away. God is answering our prayers."

Bishop Wilke concludes with these words of hope: "As they spoke, I felt the mighty hand of God in the church." The reason Bishop Wilke felt the mighty hand of God was not this couple's level of sophistication, but their level of commitment.

Lord Jesus, help me to be truly committed to you. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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