We are entering into a new season! We are excited for what’s to come, but are also extremely grateful for what God did this past summer. We believe there is power in testimony! Testimonies not only give praise to God and highlight what He has done, but it also creates a sense of expectancy for Him to do it again and to do it even greater. That’s what it means when the Bible says that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10)! Testimonies prophesy into what He is able and willing to do in our lives. We overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11)! With that being said, here are some testimonies from the ministries we visited and partnered with in the summer of 2017. Thank you to these leaders for taking time to share with us, and to everyone who partnered with us in prayer! ALL GLORY TO GOD!
“We were blessed to have Pastor Sam as our guest speaker for the summer retreat. He delivered God’s messages and His heart for our youth with clarity, profound insights, and affection. I didn’t know what to expect because I didn’t know him personally and had not heard his sermons prior to the retreat. But from the first message I could sense that God was speaking to me as well as our students. He tried to serve them as best as he could, and he really poured out his heart on our students as he spent time with them and talked during meals and free time. Our students got blessed not only through the messages, but also through his prayer ministry and encouraging words.” — Pastor Yoonjung Na (KFPCC, Charlotte, NC)
“There are very few speakers I know who are able to speak to both youths and adults without watering down Scripture or going over their heads. Sam is truly an anointed speaker who is sensitive to how the Spirit is moving. He’s also an excellent communicator. The Lord is doing a unique thing with NYSC and as I prayed, asking the Lord what our theme should be and then who should speak on it, the Holy Spirit brought up Sam’s name first. It brought our youth program into the same atmosphere as the College & Career. We need to invite him back to speak to the College & Career group!” — Ellen Hwang (English Coordinator of NYSC)
“The presence of God and the power of God was experienced as the youths were guided by Pastor Sam and his mentee, Danny, to pray and intercede for one another. Some of them were physically healed and many were blessed by the words preached and the works of the Spirit in healing and interceding for one another in a heartfelt way.” — Pastor Joseph Yoon (Senior Pastor of RCC)
“We really enjoyed having Pastor Sam speak at the 2017 Lord’s Church of Austin Youth Retreat. He speaks with clarity, focus, and reliance from the Holy Spirit. His messages are Gospel centered, and he finds joy in declaring truth over the students. You can tell that he is in love with the Lord, through the way he speaks about His Heavenly Father and the way he loves on the youth students and staff. Pastor Sam is genuine and authentic in his speech and relationships. Even the moments I got to speak with him, he spoke with confidence and security from the Lord. Pastor Sam is truly gifted and we enjoyed having him as our speaker this year!” — Pastor Sung Hyun (Ben) Hur (Senior Pastor of Lord’s Church of Austin)
“Our church, Restore Fellowship PCNJ, had the privilege of having Pastor Sam with us for our annual summer retreat. The past few months have been challenging for the church, as we enter our ninth month without a lead pastor. Many had been anxious to see this period over, while others are speculating what lies ahead. Yet we were grateful to continue regular events like the retreat, and even more grateful to have had Sam Won joining us.
In our time together, the Lord released a liberating presence through Sam and Danny – refreshing our fatigue. In the church as a whole, as well as in many personal lives, it was as if the entire congregation was offered a pause, and the Word was a compass to navigate where we had been, and where God is leading us to go.
While we can grow restless to skip unpleasant chapters in our story, God reminded us not to ignore His best work in this season of waiting. There are things that God can only do with us in our weakness, that we would otherwise refuse at our fullest strength. It was reassuring to know this season is not a curse, but the process that would mature us going forward – one that enables us to cast off encumbrances and set full sails, ready for His next move.
But more precious than the allure of what is ahead is what He has available for us now. And more than any other time, these trials allows us to acquaint with the hardship of the Suffering Servant. Perhaps the best thing we can say after our trials have finished is not “I’m finally out!” But instead, “I know Jesus more because of what we just went through.” As Paul would write: I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings,becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:10-11).
The very next Sunday there was a markedly different atmosphere in our services, as if something had been lifted off. Those who I know were struggling before have themselves talked about their renewed hope. And most notably, people did not hesitate to give their all to each other, because of they had a complete trust that God knows what we need.” — Pastor Hubert Shon (Worship Director of Restore Fellowship)
“As I was preparing for our 2017 CLAY summer youth retreat, I felt very comfortable in how things were arranged and set up. We had a vibrant, young Harvesters praise team that was on fire and ready to lead worship. We had Pastor Sam Won giving the messages during each session and his mentee Danny to support with prayer throughout the message and retreat. The youth officers were prepared with games, small groups, ice breakers, etc. The parents had all the snacks and other requisite retreat items prepared. The youth retreat pamphlets were designed and printed and the schedule was locked in, ready to go. The graduated seniors/rising freshmen were ready to go off to college and this retreat would be the last one with the youth group so I had to make sure all the details were covered and no stone left unturned. The equipment was all set up and we were all set.
But a funny thing happened as we began our summer retreat…nothing happened. The kids were all closed off like this was the first time we’ve ever been to a retreat. Sure they listened to the messages attentively. They all enjoyed it. And they praised with the Harvesters and enjoyed hanging out with one another but they weren’t sharing or opening up during small groups and discussions. They were just going through the motions as if this was the first time they met each other. It was like pulling teeth getting them to open up or to pray for each other. And this was after we just got back from an amazing summer urban mission trip where all we did was share and pray for each other. I just didn’t get and it was really bothering me as we were done with session 1 and 2. We only had one more session left and I was confused. So I went to my friend who is my brother in Christ and a pastor who was leading worship for the adult retreat. I told him of my situation and he counseled that I should talk with everyone before the last session to share what’s going on and seek help for everyone’s purpose was there to help.
So before the final session we all met. Teachers, praise team, P Sam and Danny all gathered together. I shared my concerns, thoughts and confusion. I felt overwhelmed and lost that this retreat was not what I expected and how these kids deserved so much more than this. I shared how these kids have been through the fire multiple times dealing with multiple youth pastors and that they’re still healing but they always stick together. I shared that even through it all, they still had a heart and love of Christ. So Pastor Sam suggested that all of us pray together right now. We pray now opening up our hearts to God and we pray in unity coming together in one body in Christ. We pray seeking comfort and healing but mostly we pray that the Holy Spirit would come down to this last session. Our prayers were answered. That last session was on FIRE! Whether it was Danny’s prayer and charge or the Harvesters praise team songs and responses or Pastor Sam’s message and prayer, it was all on fire. We prayed, we cried, we healed, we taught, we experienced, we laughed and we loved. We experienced the Holy Spirit among us.
In my prayers, I realized that I was placing the kids first amongst everything else and that was incorrect. No matter what I do and how much I plan or organize, if I don’t put God first, then nothing else matters. I hope this testimony would remind anyone leading any ministries the absolute power of prayer. The power of prayer will always remind us to keep God first.” — Deacon Jae Woo (Riverside Community Church)