Gideon Shin on News

Prof. Gideon Shin on the local news at Springfield, MA.  discussing how the bridges are falling apart in MA.

From  WGGB

Jingjing and Eric's wedding

Thank God for his grace on this family.
Jingjing sent us a few pics.

[DrC Network] Some Recent News

Alex Foster writes us,

Portrait title: Love Never Felt So Good.

"Viktoriia and I are expecting a boy in July.
We praise God for his grace and mercy upon us, and we pray for his help, provision, and protection. I don't have any recent pictures of us, but here's one from our engagement in which we are looking to the future."

Mike Rora writes us,

Portrait title: Passport Photo

“As far as my life is concerned, I am doing well in the seminary. I will be finishing up Pre-Theology in May and have a Bachelor's of Philosophy degree to put next to my Bachelor's of Science from UIUC. God willing, (though more importantly faculty willing), I will beginning theology here at St. John's Seminary in the fall. This summer I am expected to study at the Institute for Priestly Formation on the campus of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and I look forward to being in the midwest again at least for the summer… Please keep me in your prayers, especially during this time of Lent and as I continue formation in the seminary. Be assured that I continue to keep the DRIC community in my prayers.”

For more information:

Dan Han writes us,

Portrait title: Jersey boys

“Some updates...I guess one fun fact is that John and I are in small group together at my church in NJ! It's been awesome seeing him weekly and getting to hear his thoughts. It takes me back to college days and Jayou days. Below is a picture of the group of men that meets every week to talk about God, our lives, and a slew of various issues that we try to take to the Lord. It's awesome to see DrC is doing well and is very active. I just read Jeremiah Park's Engagement testimony from the alumni website and was blown away by its depth, intentionality, and faith (as well as his fiancĂ©’s).”

Stephano Park (No picture available) writes us,

"I initially planned to go to the University of Georgia School of Law. For a while, it was the best option available to me. Although I liked the school, I was more interested in the schools that had put me on a waitlist. One of the schools was the University of Minnesota Law School, and I prayed every night that I would be accepted to one of the schools I was waitlisted. I started to feel more and more pessimistic as the first day of school drew near, but I did not stop praying. 

A day before I left Korea, I was notified that I was accepted to the University of Minnesota Law School along with generous scholarship. I am certain that God answered my prayer and showed mercy on me despite my numerous flaws in my application, including less than my expected GPA, test score, and accomplishments outside of school.

I had perhaps some of the busiest days and months of my life after coming to the law school. I was often overwhelmed workload demanded. Pastor Stephens and Missionary Peter knew what I was going through and encouraged me to keep praying to God and His promise. Missionary Peter spent his precious time every week giving me excellent bible teachings on Galatians, Matthew Gospels, and Genesis. A weekly bible study with Missionary Peter reminded me of God’s abundant love and blessings towards a sinner like me. I realized my faith in God has grown, and without it, I would have had much more turbulent time throughout the first semester of the law school. Pastor Stephen encouraged me to attend Christmas service that took place few days before my first law school final exam. He reminded me a verse Missionary Grace emphasized during my senior undergraduate year: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33). Although I do not yet know how I did on the final exams, I was relieved and grateful to God instantly after all the exams were over. God gave me strength to persevere during finals week and I am convinced that the strength was given through my faith in Him. 

I would not have been able to have an opportunity to continue bible study with the faithful from UBF had I gone to different law schools like the one in Athens, Georgia. God has given me more than I could have expected and asked for, and I am sure He will continue to listen to my prayers and guide me to a right path in the future."

[DrC Network] December Issue

December issue stars two up and coming holy saints. One dedicated his life to the Catholic priesthood and another (inferring from the lessons section) plans to become a servant of God.

Mike writes: "I find myself with a greater desire to do good works especially because they are no longer my own, but are being done entirely for Jesus so that His will can be done and not my own... It is easiest to explain to non-Catholic Christians that, just as I pray for you, or you pray for another, the heavenly host when asked can and will pray for us and there is no one more favored by God than she whom He chose out of all women to be the mother of His only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ."

Jin writes: "I am doing good. Dr. Sam taught me four things
1) If you don't eat the word, you starve and die
2) Who's your family? love brothers and sisters in Jesus
3) You need to learn to suffer more to be a pastor
4) Bring people to Jesus, not to a church

Also throughout my time at U of I & Parkland, I learned
1) God is present is present in both good and bad times
(God always brought right people at the right time)
2) God uses many unexpected people to bless his People (Always have hope for people)
3). Learn to read God's word & pray"

Praise be to God! May we also be encouraged in the new year to live as salt and light of this world in our respective communities.

[DrC Network] November Issue

Dear alums and friends,

The sweet November has come; but let's face it - it is just an ambiguous month when everyone decides to catch a cold so as to get better in time for Christmas festivities. But no worries. Our November issue has some good news to cheer you up: a pair seals the deal, another gets warmed up, while the rest of us (well mostly) stare blankly at the distant clouds and the deep blue sky. Empathy helps sometimes, you know.

Our friend, Alex Foster (B.A., Mathematics, Class of '08) sealed the deal with Vika from Russia on Oct 12. They called Abraham a cupid, but let no lie be told: Google Translate was the true cupid (By the way, Google was founded by an American, Larry Page, and a Russian, Sergei Brin). Alex, fully immersed in the honeymoon bliss, is now a vocal advocate of marriage:
"The wedding was amazingly blessed by God.  Every step of the way, God opened up the doors for us to be married.  It was difficult to plan, and there were many hurdles along the way, but God wanted our marriage to happen, and it happened.  We trusted God, and we relied on his perfect plan.  It was amazing to see how God was working.  We learned to trust God and to always rely on him.  I highly recommend that anyone who desires to marry to put their hope and trust in God.  Wait for his plan, and it will be perfect.
We've been blessed by God working in our life and by Jesus helping us every step of the way.  We've realized that it's important to focus on God first and foremost and then on the other person and then on everything else.  Priorities matter:  (1) Jesus, (2) Spouse, (3) Kids, (4) Ministry, (5) Everything Else.  It's very easy to invert this, and it is especially easy to become selfish and focus only on yourself.  We make it our priority to focus on the other person in the sight of God.  So far, so good.  But we know that it won't always be easy, but we're ready by the grace of God to trust in Jesus, and let him guide us and help us through every stage of our life together."

[Sigh. If only US and Russia could adore each other this much.]

Well, the warming up pair, is none other than our dictator, Jeremiah (Ph.D. candidate, Physics, Class of '15), and sweet Yaejin (Ph.D. candidate, Kinesiolgy, Class of '16). If you haven't already, read their engagement testimonies below. Here's my digest: Jeremiah invoked the legendary Sir Isaac Newton and Saint Paul as main excuses for his singleness. And in theory, his devotion to the ideology remains marrow-deep."I highly valued singleness. In fact I still do. Now I made a decision to marry, but if someone intends to pursue singleness I will always encourage and honor one’s decision, just as St.Paul did." But everything changed for him on one beautiful summer day when Yaejin cleaned up his apartment. He recalls to have felt 'affinity' then (One would think he is a Frankenstein or Wall-e). Let us say, he passed a small amendment for himself like a true dictator. Yaejin, doesn't beat around the bush: she expressed openly that she liked him ("I ha[d] a good impression [of] Jerry pretty much soon after I met him. I thought he was nice because of his innocent, kind and unique personality"). 'Affinity' made in heaven, period.

[A possible victim of Jeremiah's ideology poses unknowingly]

Then there's the rest of us. Most of us don't have much going on at the moment, but that's okay. God still loves us just as much as He loves those love birds. Our homeless friend, Abraham Song (B.S., Business Administration, Class of '11) reports to have finally turned off the air conditioner to conserve energy. His parents visited him again this year to be an encouragement but more so to flee the Russian cold. He and Patrick continue to meet daily to read the Bible and pray. The members are beginning to grow mellow with one another but more importantly, receptive to God's Word. They are currently preparing for a Christmas service which will be held on Dec 21, and they intend to outreach to their friends on campus. Pray for Joseph and Abraham who are applying to graduate schools at the moment.

[FYI, Cyprus is not in Africa]

We've also received pleasant news from charming Miriam (B.A., Music, Class of '11), who teaches people music. She is enjoying the time of her life, while not loosening on her strict spiritual regimen either:
"I am blessed and grateful for the job opportunity that was given to me to teach in Chicago. It is an amazing school full of students who love to learn. I teach a number of high school classes along with a few elementary school classes. I also teach about 10 private lessons of voice and piano after school and I conduct a youth choir as well. So far I have loved each day of work and I have been blessed with staff members and administrators that are extremely supportive and caring. I was able to bring my high school choir to Champaign two weeks ago. They had two master classes with my conducting professors and attended the Black Chorus concert. It was a great time! It is my prayer and passion to be an excellent teacher and role model for my students through music. 
I attend the Chicago main center for weekly Sunday service and study the bible one to one with Mother Sarah Barry. It has been a blessing to have a church community and to be able to grow with a family in Christ. I am living with one of my best friends Hayoung and we are having a wonder time together. She is like a sister to me and we are able to keep one another accountable and support each other each day.
Thank you to all those in Champaign that continue to pray for me. I will never forget my five years with Deeper Roots in Christ and everyone will always be like family to me. Time is already passing by quickly in my new season of life in Chicago. My prayer topic is to be fully devoted to the Lord each day in my spiritual, personal, and work life."

[No doubt the two teachers are well-qualified vocally but here, at least, more obvious is their superior sartorial taste]

* If you have some updates, please let me know for the next issue. And if you've spotted errors, good. If the errors are life-threatening, let me know.

John and Maria Peace in Kiev

Ten years ago, today, our children and I arrived in Kyiv, Ukraine. John was here 2 months earlier preparing a home for us. We came with nine luggages, one cello, a violin and a flute. It was all the possession we had after leaving America. We didn’t speak the language nor did we know the culture. The only thing we had was the promise of God: 

Genesis 12:1-3, "The LORD had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’”

Our children were at that time Maria Joy--14, Christy--12, Sarah--11 and Johnny--9. The move had been the hardest for them. There were many tears as we left America. We had to overcome many difficult obstacles. One winter we had no heat in our new house while the temperature plummeted to -30 C (-22 F). I didn’t know if we were going to wake up the next day. Then, we had the Orange revolution. We were learning Russian in the university, but after this revolution we thought the language of the country would change to Ukrainian, so we switched and began learning Ukrainian. It was God’s great providence because Ukraine is a bilingual-speaking country. Also the university that we are pioneering is in the Ukrainian and English language.

God blessed our ministry and our family. All our children finished their high school in Ukraine, and Maria Joy finished her university studies in Istanbul, Turkey. Christy studied two years in Istanbul as well. By God’s grace he provided all our children full scholarships to study in Chicago at UIC, NIU and KKC. Our children have been our closest coworkers in our church. Our girls all took a year off their studies to help us in Ukraine.

God also provided us a new chapter in Kyiv at the city center district called Podil. He granted us a beautiful Bible House with many coworkers, who help us do God’s work here. We thank God for Ambassador Joseph’s family who have been helping and supporting us. They joined our ministry at the beginning of our pioneering days. Their family has been a source of blessing and comfort to us. Though Misn. Joseph is the Korean Ambassador of Ukraine and Moldova; he is very modest and faithful. One time our family had a crisis and he helped us out. Misn. Josephine serves in our message rotation and leads our group Bible studies. Their children are music servants and Bible reader. We also want to thank God for Sasha and Olena Tiutenko who cowork with us to set up our English club, and who helped us find and buy our Bible house. God granted us wonderful Ukrainian coworkers like the Khmelevsky family and Lena Gerasymova; Canadian coworkers like Paul and Cynthia Bateman. Surely God had been with us these past 10 years. God in his great mercy, kept his promise and has blessed us and made us a blessing. 
In Christ,
Maria Peace

The Fosters

Alex and Vika married by God's grace on Oct 12, 2013,

Thank God.
Pray for them to look at Jesus, the founder and perfecter of their marriage.