Exciting Announcement about the Dr. Billy Kim International Center

Dr. Billy Kim, is a world-wide advocate for Belhaven University and has been a very special personal friend for many years.  After three years of working together on this project, I’m thrilled to tell you that we are now ready to begin construction of our new International Center named in honor of this most influential leader in the modern era of the global Church.

Last week the Board of Trustees unanimously voted for us to begin construction.  Crews will start the work in May, and it will take a year to complete the project.  Dale Partners Architects P.A. designed the building and Mike Harrell of Probity Contracting Group will be the builder. This is the same team that did Fitzhugh Hall and the University Village.

Dr. Kim has raised millions of dollars for this project, and our gratitude to him is enormous.

The 16,000 square foot building will be located in the center of campus. The top level of the building will open onto the brick sidewalk shared with Helen White Hall. And the lower floor will open onto the pavilion that serves as a gateway to the University Village.

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The Dr. Billy Kim International Center will house a conference and meeting center unlike any space we now have on campus.  The conference center will seat over 400 people in a lecture setting, or over 250 people for a banquet. The room can also be divided with a soundproof flexible wall so that two smaller gatherings can take place simultaneously.  This floor will also include a large lobby with a wonderful display recognizing the ministry of Dr. Kim.  The banquet preparation kitchen in the building will be named in honor of his wife Trudy, who has a remarkable reach in Korea through her café that has become a significant ministry center for the Christian school founded by their son Joseph.

On the lower level of the International Center, we will have three large classrooms seating about 35-40 people and six seminar rooms that can each seat a 10-15 people. This level will also include a Korean style prayer room and offices for our ESL and International Studies faculty, as well as an office for Cliff McArdle who will serve as Director of the International Center.

I hope you will join with me in expressing appreciation to Cliff who has done a outstanding job working with so many Korean and American friends throughout this entire fund raising process.

When completed, Dr. Kim is bringing to Jackson his ENTIRE staff of 350 people, plus his board of 50 leaders for the dedication of the new International Center.  In addition, he is bringing two children’s choirs (50 children plus parents) to join in this celebration.

You won’t want to miss this special dedication weekend a year from now, June 25 and 26, 2016.  We will have a big celebration event on Saturday, and the dedication of the building on Sunday afternoon.  On Sunday evening the children’s choirs will be presenting a full concert, and Dr. Kim will be preaching in the Concert Hall of the Center for the Arts.

The day before they come to Jackson the entire Korean delegation will be in New York City.  Dr. Kim and Far East Broadcasting Company are bringing eleven children’s Children’s choirs from Korea to perform together at Carnegie Hall in a tribute to the United States for protecting the Korean people during the Korean War – during which Dr. Kim was a houseboy for the US troops, and was befriended by a GI who sent Billy to the USA to for education.

Dr. Kim’s life story was just published by Moody Press.  The first printing sold out quickly, but we will have copies in the bookstore soon.  His subtitle “From Houseboy to World Evangelist” is a snapshot of the life of this amazing leader, and I couldn’t be more proud that Belhaven will be the only University in America with a building named in his honor.
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Appointment of New Leader for the Lausanne Movement

I have served for many years on the board of Lausanne, and also as an officer of the movement, serving as Treasurer.

Doug Birdsall, who has led Lausanne, will begin a new ministry role as president of the American Bible Society.  Doug is a long time personal friend, and is a friend of Belhaven having been our commencement speaker and receiving an honorary doctorate from us.  He has done an outstanding  job leading the movement.

I was privilaged to serve as chair of the search committee to find Doug’s replacement and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome God has brought together for us all in the evangelical world.

Below is the announcement, including my quote about another great friend of Belhaven Dr. Michal Oh, who will be our new Lausanne Executive Director / CEO.

LAUSANNE MOVEMENT APPOINTS MICHAEL OH AS NEW CEO
Selection of Younger Leader Hands The Leadership Baton To The Next Generation

LONDON, 5 February 2013 – The Lausanne Movement announced today it has appointed Dr. Michael Oh, a 41-year-old Korean-American, serving in Japan, as its new Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, effective 1 March.

“Michael is a cross-cultural bridge-builder, from East to West and across generations; he knows the overall Movement well and understands the complexity of this leadership calling,” said Ram Gidoomal, Chair of The Lausanne Movement Board of Directors, regarding the unanimous selection confirmed last week by the Board. “He will be able to build on the firm foundation that Doug Birdsall and the global leadership of Lausanne have established, to the glory of God.”

Oh is president and founder of Christ Bible Seminary in Nagoya, Japan, a vibrant and growing seminary in Japan, which is making an impact among young Christians seeking a renewed vision for the next generation of Christianity in Japan. He has been involved in Lausanne since 2004, serving as keynote speaker and part of the planning team for Lausanne’s Younger Leaders Gathering in 2006, and as a member of the Lausanne Board since 2007. He will be formally installed at The Lausanne Global Leadership Forum in South Asia in June.

Oh succeeds outgoing CEO Rev. S. Douglas (Doug) Birdsall, who becomes the president of American Bible Society on 1 March.

“Michael is an exceptionally gifted younger leader who will serve the Movement with vision and passion in the years to come,” Birdsall said. “As a reflective practitioner, he embodies the essence of the ‘spirit’ of Lausanne – humility, friendship, study, prayer, partnership, and hope.”

Birdsall further indicated that he believes Oh understands the value of Lausanne’s rich history, and as a younger leader has demonstrated the ability to inspire and enlist a new generation of men and women around the globe who share Lausanne’s commitment to “the whole church taking the whole gospel to the whole world”.

“Lausanne is in good hands, and the future is filled with promise,” Birdsall added. After passing the baton of leadership to Oh, Birdsall will continue to serve in leadership with Lausanne as an Honorary Chair.

“I am humbled by this appointment as I follow in the footsteps of the legacy that God started in the Movement through godly leaders like Billy Graham, Leighton Ford, Gottfried Osei-Mensah, Paul Cedar, and my predecessor, and friend, Doug Birdsall,” Oh said. “My own development as a leader, along with countless other younger leaders within Lausanne, has been significantly impacted by the mentorship of Doug, the Lausanne Board, and other Lausanne leaders. Lausanne is getting younger, stronger, and more representative of the rich diversity and depth of the global church. Mobilizing and connecting global younger leaders for world evangelization will be a great joy and priority as I take the leadership of Lausanne.”

Oh’s appointment was welcomed by leaders in Japan who expressed pleasure that Oh will live in Japan while serving Lausanne. “We are committed to expanding the network of support and prayer among churches in Japan for Michael. As a board member of the Japan Evangelical Association, I know that General Secretary Kenichi Shinagawa has shared a longtime friendship with Michael. I am strongly encouraged that, upon hearing the news of his friend’s new appointment, Rev. Shinagawa has indicated his willingness to lead the Japanese Church in our serving together for the advancement of the kingdom of God,” stated Rev. Dr. Satoru Kanemoto, Chair of the Japan Lausanne Committee.

The Search Committee that recommended Oh was chaired by Dr. Roger Parrott, president of Belhaven University, who said the Committee was very impressed by the overall quality of candidates it considered, indicating how much Lausanne has grown in global breadth and depth. “I found in Michael a penetrating vision for world evangelization, a richness in his understanding of the complexities of our world both globally and locally, and a godly humility in service and passion for Christ that is contagious,” stated Parrott. Rev. Esme Bowers, Chair of African Enterprise of South Africa, and a member of the Search Committee, said, “Michael’s appointment is part of Lausanne’s ongoing commitment to identify and equip new and younger leaders in mission and evangelization around the world.”

Dr. Lindsay Brown, Lausanne International Director, is encouraged about the future because of Oh’s selection. “I look forward to working in partnership with Michael with the goal that ‘all the earth may hear His Voice,'” Brown said. Brown has committed to continue serving as International Director until 2015 to assist in the leadership transition.

Educational and Family Information
Oh has a Doctor of Philosophy with a specialization in Cultural Anthropology and Education (University of Pennsylvania), a Master’s Degree of Arts with a concentration in East Asian Studies (Harvard University), a Master’s Degree of Divinity with an emphasis on Missions (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) and a Master’s Degree of Science (University of Pennsylvania).

Michael and his wife, Pearl, have been married 18 years and have five children.

Movement Background
Lausanne is a global Movement that mobilizes evangelical leaders to collaborate for world evangelization. It grew out of the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization convened in Lausanne, Switzerland by Rev. Billy Graham and Bishop Jack Dain. The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization (October 2010) in Cape Town, South Africa brought together 4200 Christian leaders, representing 198 countries. The resulting Cape Town Commitment (www.lausanne.org/ctcommitment) serves as the blueprint for the Movement’s activities. Lausanne is convening four to five Consultations each year around the issues articulated in The Cape Town Commitment. More information is available at www.lausanne.org.

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For further information, please contact Naomi Frizzell, nfrizzell@lausanne.org, +1.904.262.5202.

First Hand Report from Egypt

One of my longtime friends is president of the Bible Society of Egypt.  Ramez Atallah sent this email today, and it will give you an inside look into the turmoil in Egypt.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Dear friends,

Thank you so much for the quick responses and promises of prayers which you sent in response to my request for prayer yesterday.

I do believe that many of your prayers were answered.

Having never participated in a demonstration before and knowing that previous ones had been violent I was a bit apprehensive. I had seen on television that there were barricades around the Presidential Palace and that people were not allowed to get close.  But as I walked towards the Palace I suddenly found hundreds of people running towards me exclaiming that the Police was using tear gas from which they were escaping.  Shortly after that the crowds were able to penetrate the barriers and the Police mysteriously disappeared.  We were all grateful that there was no violence which was remarkable when so many angry people congregate in such a small place.

The crowds around me were friendly and though they may have been angry, they were certainly not hateful.  This was a peaceful demonstration and everyone was being courteous to their neighbors. It felt like a big party, people were excited, chatting with each other, getting to know others, commenting freely about what they believed and enjoying being able to walk on the streets which were usually jam-packed with cars!

Two veiled woman and a man standing beside me said to me, “this is Egypt, veiled and unveiled women, Christians and Muslims, we are all Egyptians and that is the way we want to be!”  I had tears in my eyes as I heard these words and as I saw the reality of their statements reflected in the camaraderie and closeness of people who obviously did not know each other but enjoyed being together and enjoyed being fellow Egyptians.  While I noticed a large number of unveiled women whom I presumed to be Christians, there were still a significant number of partially and completely veiled Muslim women indicating that the majority of people around me were Muslims and that they were certainly not happy with what their Islamist President and his party were doing.

Right in front of the Presidential Palace the crowds were so thick that I had to push my way through to move along. I wanted to see how far the crowds went and was able to find the perimeters of the crowds on both sides of the Presidential Palace.  There were definitely an incredibly large number of people certainly in the hundreds of thousands and maybe more.

These people represent the best of Egyptian Society.  Many of them courageously protested against the Mubarak regime during the January 25th, 2011 Revolution at great risk to themselves at that time.

Now again they came out in large numbers to make sure that the price they paid to gain democracy would not have been in vain.

Will the Government respond? Will the President make any concessions?  I doubt it.  The present rulers of Egypt are extremely stubborn and do not value a pluralistic society.  Some of the Government controlled Media indicated that the crowds around the Palace were only a few thousand and insignificant in terms of Egypt’s many millions.  We have just heard that the Muslim Brotherhood have said that they will demonstrate in the same place tonight and there is real fear of clashes between them and the opposition.

What the President cannot understand is that his claim to be the President of all Egyptians means that he needs to listen to all sides and cannot simply impose a particular view on people who reject it.  I believe we are in for a long period of struggle in Egypt, but last night I had a sense of hope, believing that these wonderful people who came out and demonstrated would not allow any Government to take away from them the new found freedom they had recently achieved.

The immediate future for Egypt is bleak.  On December 15th there will be a referendum on the new constitution.  If the constitution is passed it will give the President unprecedented and uncontested powers without Judiciary oversight.  If the referendum is not passed the President will continue using the unprecedented powers he has taken onto himself which precipitated the present protests.  So for many moderate Muslims and Christians we seemed to be faced with a lose lose situation.  Because of this some have called for the boycott of the referendum but this will certainly mean that it will pass.  There is a very slight chance that if the referendum is not rigged a majority may vote against the new constitution. But as I said if this happens we will still be left with a President who has taken unto himself unprecedented powers.  Please pray for God’s overruling in this politically complex situation.

Thanks for your prayers and support for us during this time. Please pray that as a Bible Society we may know how to help Christians with messages from the Scriptures which will encourage and challenge them during these turbulent days.

Sincerely,

Ramez Atallah
General Director
The Bible Society of Egypt

Dr. John Stott

Dr. John Stott, Honorary Chairman of The Lausanne Movement, went home to be with the Lord on 27 July 2011.  With the tributes that have been published in the past few days, we have a growing sense of appreciation for all that he contributed to the work of the gospel over the course of his lifetime.

He was the principal architect of The Lausanne Covenant, the historic statement from 1974 that theologically defined evangelicalism.

If you’re not familiar with Dr. John, this 8 minute video from Lausanne will give you a wonderful overview of his life, and the importance of his message.

Board Member Dolphus Weary Battles Malaria

It is rare that Board of Trustees member Dolphus Weary is absent for a meeting. His schedule demands travel all over the country, and around the world, but he always makes attending our meetings a priority.

But this April we missed him at the meeting because he had been to Africa and “had a touch of malaria” we were told.

As typical with Dolphus’ humble spirit, he didn’t share the full story, but does now in order to bring encouragement to others – which has been the core of Dolphus’ life . . . encouraging reconciliation, encouraging partnership in ministry, and encouraging moving forward in Christ.

The article from The Clarion Ledger tells of his malaria and his ministry.  (Thanks to alumna Denise G. Pamudj for helping me learn how to best  share an article in my blog.  I really appreciated her guidance.)

It started with the chills on March 28.

The Rev. Dolphus Weary, a longtime activist for racial reconciliation, had returned encouraged from a nearly 10-day mission trip to Liberia in mid-March.

But on March 29, despite receiving all the proper immunizations, doctors discovered that he had contracted malaria through an unlucky mosquito bite.

Weary eventually spent nearly two weeks in the hospital over two different stays, his last release just over a week ago.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

Medal of Freedom to Christian Martyr

Our nation’s highest award given to a civilian, The Medal of Freedom, was awarded today to Dr. Tom Little, posthumously.  Tom was martyred in Afghanistan in August.  His widow, Libby Little, accepted the honor on Tom’s behalf today in a ceremony at the White House.
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Libby spoke to the Lausanne Congress in Cape Town this past October, just three months after Tom was killed – it was her first time to speak publicly after Tom’s death.

She used Tom’s blood stained notes from his final sermon as the substance of her remarks, urging Christians to “go spread the aroma of Christ in hard places.”

We praise God for the impact of Tom’s remarkable life and for the way it has been honored today by President Obama.

Here is the story from the New York Daily News following Tom’s death

New York optometrist, Tom Little, 62, one of six American aid workers killed in Afghanistan

Tom Little, a 62-year-old optometrist from Delmar, NY was one of six Americans shot to death in Afghanistan this week.

In the remote rural villages of Afghanistan, the big-hearted New Yorker was known simply as Mr. Tom.

For more than three decades, opthamologist Tom Little made his home and did his work in the war-torn nation, raising three daughters while treating thousands of needy patients each year.

Little, who survived the 1979 war with the Russians and exile by the Taliban in 2001, was shot to death while heading home after a humanitarian mission in northern Afghanistan.

Little, 62, typically traveled with his wife, Libby, who was likely spared by her decision to stay at their upstate residence in Delmar, N.Y. Friends and supporters of the couple’s efforts were devastated.

“He was well-known and deeply loved,” said Lawrence Roff, senior pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Schenectady.

The second-generation eye doctor had long moved easily through his adopted nation, learning the local language and customs while developing a needed knack for tact and diplomacy.

“I never saw Tom lose his cool,” said David Evans of the Loudonville Community Church. “He was a remarkable man.”

Evans joined Little on a 5,231-mile trip to bring Land Rovers from England to Kabul six years ago – typical of the late doctor’s determination.

Little was familiar with the dangers of Afghanistan. In a 2004 interview, he recounted family picnics that ended with attempted Taliban kidnappings.

The threats never deterred Little from his work with the National Organization for Ophthalmic Rehabilitation, bringing eye care to millions of Afghans.

He oversaw three 40-bed hospitals in three large cities, and three 10-bed facilities in smaller outposts.

In 2003, NOOR operations treated 234,570 patients and performed more than 14,000 surgeries.