Astounding Event Proves Impact of Western Missions
Huge All-Korean Mission Congress÷in USA÷ Takes Over Wheaton College Campus
by Darrell Dorr with Ralph Winter
What could amount to proof that missionaries from the Western world have had any real impact overseas? What kind of an event would certify the true effect of mission?
It might be "reports" of great success. It might be that in Southern California the 280 English-speaking Presbyterian churches are now outnumbered by 300 Korean-speaking Presbyterian churches (plus 200 non-Presbyterian Korean-speaking churches).
Yes, these would indicate the power of the Gospel. But Korean World Mission '88 (KWM '88), a conference held July 25-30 on the campus of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, not only reflected phenomenal church growth in Korea, it indicated the crucial fact that the missionary spirit itself has taken hold, and that what is one of Asia's most vibrant church movements is already far along in joining Western churches in helping to fulfill the Great Commission!
KWM '88 reflected new cooperation among Korean-American church leaders and national church leaders in Korea. Co-sponsored by the Billy Graham Center, the conference attracted more than 1400 delegates, including 200 pastors, 160 cross-cultural Korean missionaries serving on six continents, 150 church leaders from Korea, 250 college students and seminarians, and 100 high school students.
Major buildings on the Wheaton campus sported names written in Korean. Not a word of English could be found in the program materials. There was only a token representation of non-Korean speakers, no doubt as a courtesy more than a necessity. Among them: Thomas Wang, international director, Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization; David Howard, general secretary, World Evangelical Fellowship; Ralph Winter, general director, U. S. Center for World Mission; Chuck Smith, senior pastor, Calvary Chapel, Southern California, and Archer Torrey, an Episcopalian missionary to Korea.
Prayer meetings and plenary sessions filled each morning, and workshops and seminars were conducted each afternoon. Evenings featured world mission rallies with news updates from various regions of the world, multi-media presentations, missionary reports, and messages from non-Korean mission leaders.
A declaration issued during the final rally acknowledged the need to "work together in a more cooperative manner for mobilizing the resources of the Korean church" for world evangelization, made a commitment to "cooperate with all evangelical mission organizations in the task of world evangelization," and stated the intent to convene similar conferences every four years.