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Korea Anabaptist Center finds stability in new home

   

Joint Mennonite Church Canada/Korea Anabaptist Center Release
For immediate release
Nov 2, 2004
-by Erv Wiens

 


Daniel Ahn chair of the KAC steering committee, presents dedication sermon on the opening of the Korea Anabaptist Center and its new English language institute, Connexus. Mennonite Church Canada Witness workers Marian and Erwin Wiens (front row) take in the event.

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(l-r) Cheryl Woelk (Zion MC, Swift Current, Sask.), Gina Loewen (Charleswood MC, Wpg, Man.), Rachel Vermeer (Lakeview Bible Church, Lethbridge, Alta.), Allison Pauls (Winkler Bergthaler MC, Man.), Jeremy Martens, (Steinbach MC, Man.) and Jae-young Lee, vice president, Connexus, are introduced to guests at the dedication service for Korea Anabaptist Center’s new office space. Loewen, Pauls, and Martens are Mennonite Church Canada Witness Interns. Jae-young Lee is a graduate of Canadian Mennonite Bible College (CMBC) and Eastern Mennonite University. While studying at CMBC, Lee was a part of Charleswood MC in Winnipeg. Woelk has recently transitioned from intern to full-time Witness worker.

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Seoul, South Korea — After having moved six times since opening in 2001, the Korea Anabaptist Center has finally found a measure of stability in a new office space.

On Saturday, October 16, approximately 75 enthusiastic supporters of the Korea Anabaptist Center gathered for the dedication service of their new office space and English language institute, Connexus.

In the mega-city of Seoul, space is at a premium and very expensive. Stability and a steady income source to fund KAC's growing programs have been also been ongoing concerns. Many have prayed for a more suitable facility from which to carry out the multiple ministries of this growing program.

One Sunday morning, as prayer was once again requested for KAC’s space needs at Jesus Village Church in Chun Cheon (a city northeast of Seoul), an entrepreneur in the congregation felt the Spirit prodding him to respond. Ahn Dong-min had some space in his office building in Seoul. Why not offer it to KAC for its office needs? After KAC moved into Ahn Dong-min’s building, the idea developed of opening an English language institute to generate income and extend KAC’s ministry.

The concept of a language institute quickly took hold. Mennonite Church Canada began to recruit teachers for the proposed school. However, when a zoning by-law would not permit the school in Ahn’s building, more prayers were offered. Ahn, together with a partner, found a suitable new building within blocks of his office where the zoning allowed for the operation of a school. The partners invested heavily to acquire enough space for a KAC office and library, a meeting room, a kitchen plus five bright and spacious class rooms.

In typically industrious Korean fashion, the facilities were completed in two months over the summer. The hope is that income from the institute will repay the investment and generate a steady income for KAC’s other ministries.

In his dedication sermon, Daniel Ahn, chair of the KAC steering committee, focused on the newly coined name of the institute, Connexus. The name expresses KAC’s desire to connect Koreans with each other and with God’s people around the globe. In the logo, the X in the name appears as a stylized cross, indicating the school’s desire to present the gospel of Christ in its ministry.

Tim Froese, Mennonite Church Canada Witness worker and director of the KAC said, “There are few such things as guarantees in Korea, however we have experienced God's goodness numerous times and trust Him to provide as He has done so well in the past. With the school [Connexus] and a program with a growing number of students, it is hoped that this office can expand our KAC's ministry while providing some stability in terms of office needs.”

KAC is grateful to God for all who prayed for this new and very adequate home base. The four new staff members have eagerly begun their work. May God continue to guide KAC’s ministries in this new program and in this new place.

Korea Anabaptist Center (KAC) is a program in Seoul, Korea, supported by Mennonite Church Canada Witness, Mennonite Mission Network, Mennonite Central Committee, Jesus Village Church and individuals in Korea. KAC’s mission is to facilitate the study and teaching of Anabaptist theology and practice in Korea. KAC/Connexus continues to seek more English teachers. Interested individuals should contact Gordon Janzen at Mennonite Church Canada Witness, 1-866-888-6785 (gjanzen@mennonitechurch.ca).