Saturday, October 16, 2021
Saturday, July 14, 2018
(CLICK ON THE ABOVE PHOTO TO OPEN PHOTO NEWSLETTER ...IT'S A LOT NICER TO LOOK AT)
It’s really encouraging to look back on the last year, then the last several years and to see God’s faithfulness in leading and his perfect timeline.
We first sensed the call on our family 6 years ago. Our family’s work is equipping young people for global missions and a radical, obedient lifestyle after Christ. 4 years ago God opened up the door for our family to move to an entirely new city and to work with a missions base to support the Korean DTS in Salem, OR. This has been a season of preparation and growth for our family, in preparation for our big move back to Asia.
Now, God has finally kicked us off of the plane, no parachute, just strapped to Jesus while he laughs joyfully! We freefall into Korea this Fall!
Yes, we’re finally moving to Korea!
Bora and I have cherished this season of preparation in Salem. We moved here with a two year commitment to the base and it’s turned into a four year friendship. Our work with the KDTS, ESL and worship has been a great primer for what we see God lining up for us in Korea. Our invitations are to serve in the areas of bilingual discipleship ministry, worship, and teaching English.
Our short-term plan:
We will live in Gwangju, Korea for the first year of transitioning our family back into international life. Gwangju is a city of 1.5 million people. Salem has a little more than 500 Koreans, I’m not great at math but most likely there will be a lot more Koreans in Gwangju. Our goals for this first year will be to live with Bora’s parents and get the kids and myself more fluent in Korean. Jubilee and Jinha will go into public school and will be fully immersed, as well as have their Korean grandparents to learn from. I have found a language institute nearby that I’ll be taking Korean language classes with, plus living with my parents will be a big help.
Second on the agenda will be continuing my online Biblical Studies degree, which I hope to finish within the first year. I’ll also be tutoring English, both to earn some extra income and also to add one on one tutoring experience to my TESOL certificate. Since earning the certificate a year ago, I’ve been leading a weekly English class here in Salem under the oversight of a fantastic instructor with Mid Valley. Rounding out my classroom experience with private tutoring will be really valuable experience and can help us greater serve in YWAM and building its international bilingual program.
Our long-term plan:
We will spend the transition year meeting with various bases in locations all around Korea to discuss and pray into how our family can best serve YWAM Korea. We have a lot of friendships and budding networking possibilities, but ultimately will need to spend time with leadership in Korea to determine where our family can best be plugged in to serve.
We know that God is calling us to work in discipleship training and to be a bridge between Korea and the nations for the advancement of the gospel in global missions. We are ready to serve in whatever ways we can help YWAM Korea in developing their bi-lingual curriculum and international communities. This has been the need we’ve been working to develop for the past 7+ years in multiple missions bases. A big part of out time in Salem has been to develop more tools for our tool belts, to be able to meet whatever needs arise, be it ESL, bi-lingual worship, DTS staff, administration, ect.
There is a call on my life to teach, and I believe that church planting is in our families’ future. My biblical studies for me are working towards this future goal. An immediate need for me will be to plug into an English speaking Christian community for my own health and to help against loneliness and isolation. There is a large English speaking ministry at a local church in Gwangju, the only one in the whole city. We are thankful that God saw this need for me and has already allowed us to scope the place out last Christmas when we visited. Please pray that God would lead our family in how we plug in, both with the local church and also with the expat and migrant community. God knows our every need and we have confidence that we will not be ‘strangers’ in Gwangju.
Our support is currently about 1/3 of what it was 4 years ago, and we are spending the summer support raising to bring up our committed financial gifts. We will be making a lot of requests of individuals and hosting a lot of dinners and get-togethers to cast vision for our families’ work in missions, but please don’t hesitate to reach out to us first! We are in need of one-time gifts, too…especially for moving costs like airfare and resettling, and no gift is too small. Please prayerfully consider supporting the work the Lord has called our family to do.· Rent - $1000 (Ballpark, doesn't include the large security deposit)
· Utilities - $200
· Insurance - $100
· 2 phone plan - $150
· Food - $700
· Transportation - $150
· Education (Language + Biblical Studies) - $300
· Jinha's education - $200
Basic Essentials = $2800 monthly
One time needs include: Airfare ($2500-2800), One-time household set up items ($400)
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
(CLICK ON THE ABOVE PHOTO TO OPEN PHOTO NEWSLETTER ...IT'S A LOT NICER TO LOOK AT)
Where our last update left off we were gearing up for a short . Bora hasn’t been home in nearly 6 years and Grandma and Grandpa were missing the kiddos. A lot has happened this past year, and it’s usually rare that I get to look back and say “Yeah we planned for that!”. Amazingly, this has been one of those years. We asked for prayer for our Tokyo/Korea trip and for the TESOL certification course following in WA, and God was faithful in providing everything we’d need to do both!
- Our family had the pleasure of traveling with our KDTS outreach team to the start of their outreach to Japan on a , without the responsibilities of actually leading the team. Those trips are the best! Our amazing KDTS colleagues planned a great outreach that took our students through Japan and ended in Thailand with the other half of our school. We were only in Tokyo for several days after getting over the first day of jetlag and sickness, but we went with our team on outreach caroling in Ikebukuro District and also joined YWAM Tokyo in worship. Every Friday the YWAM Tokyo staff has worship at Ikebukuro West Gate Park with open air praise and worship, prayer for anyone, and this week we had Santa handing out candy canes with the Christmas story. Jubilee was Santa’s helper and they both drew a crowd.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
- This December we’re planning a trip to Korea. Short explanation is that Bora hasn’t been home in almost 6 years, and we’re way overdue. Bora and I have spent many prayer sessions asking the Lord for the details of this trip and we both believe we heard “2 months”. Of course we didn’t know where we’d stay for two months, but a week later Bora’s parents called and told us that they just moved into a new apartment that could fit us all. In prayer God spoke and “commanded” that they move “now” and in three days they were moved into a new place! Radical obedience…so grateful for both sets of parents God has given Bora and I!
So our main prayer request is for finances to cover the costs of travel. We know there will be other expenses, we know, but airfare is the big urgent expense. Right now tickets range from $600 to $800 but we expect flights to be in the $800-900 per person by the time we can afford to purchase.
In Korea we will be visiting with supporters and family. We will visit with leaders within our organization as well as multiple training facilities in Gwang Ju, Seoul, Jeju, ect. We plan to visit several other churches and ministries as well, in Gwang Ju and Seoul. Bora and I will be discussing our future role of continuing to serve Koreans who are called to radical discipleship and missions. Also, I (Noah) will be visiting international and bilingual churches and services around the few cities we’ll be spending most of our time. I know because I’ve experienced isolation living in East Asia and especially in Korea, that fellowship with other English speakers will be vital to my spiritual and emotional health.
We are planning a pastoral visit to our outreach teams during these two months. Our current Korean school is splitting into two teams: One to Japan then Thailand, and the other to Ch1n@ then Thailand. It will likely be for a couple weeks. Depending on many factors still being planned and prayed through, we will either visit half of our team in Japan or Ch1n@ over the holidays at the front end, or our entire team in Thailand near the end of our travels.
We are in need of one time gifts to make this trip happen in December, in addition to our normal support. Would you please share our needs with your friends and family? We’re not insisting to be a burden on our existing monthly supporters, but do ask that they bring our financial needs to the Lord as well as share with their churches and networks. You guys are amazing and we’ve been so blessed to be able to operate here in Salem these past two years because of your giving. But Bora especially really needs to be home, and the kids to see family, and for me to eat lots of Korean food.
- TESOL = Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Our second big happening is that Bora and I will be taking the TESOL certification course in 2017. We have a couple options. Our hope is to each study for five weeks together in Washington, both becoming certified. We have been given a fantastic rate for us as a couple in ministry and this would happen in April. Cost would be $1650 for both of us, plus monthly usual expenses similar to what we're paying to live in Oregon. If we're not able to break away from our work here, or if we cannot find appropriate childcare, I will pursue TESOL online, though this is not ideal. We know that teaching English is a invaluable ministry tool to have in many regions including Asia, and being certified instructors, along with our experience in bilingual work and especially Bora's translation skills will open up many doors to serve. There is a great need here in Salem for an ESL program in the Spring/Summer quarter when our Korean discipleship program isn't running, as well as interest from countries like Brazil. Our organization in Korea is also in need of an ESL and bilingual program.
The costs for the trip flights this December and the training course next Spring will cost around an additional $5000. We know this is no great thing for God! If you would like to invest in our family as we continue to work to see the kingdom expand in Korea, we'd be grateful and humbled to receive your help. We need prayer warriors! We need generous donations! We need your friendship and would love to hear from you! (I stink at initiating, but I treasure the friendly emails, Skypes and phone calls)
Lots of Love,
Noah, Bora, Jubilee and Jinha Willson
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Salem has blessed our family so much these past two years. We know that what the Lord is doing here in this community of disciple makers is precious, and a part of the transformation of Salem for God’s glory.
Gospel Guy is engaging the people of Salem daily on street corners and is uniting the local church for the purposes of evangelism and engaging a city together. Now in it’s first quarter, Outward Apologetics School is in full swing, being the natural progression of Gospel Guy’s ministry here and the first ever apologetics course offered by YWAM! The Foundations of Counseling School is training leaders to operate in Spirit led wisdom and biblical principles to bring healing to a hurting world. In fact they just finished up two months of ministry and training in Brazil, running training and seminars to equip and strengthen the body of Christ there. Our Discipleship schools have been stirring up vision and destinies in Christ for young people and unleashing them on Turkey, France, Thailand and beyond as bright lights burning with the Gospel and pointing whole villages and refugee communities to Jesus. Salem will be part of a joint outreach to refugees in the Mediterranean with several other discipleship schools as a part of our Fall program. God is doing the great work, and I just get to break the news!
Our Korean DTS is now in week two with our good friends Namwoong and Hanbi at the helm. They’ve asked our family to continue to help both with the fall schools but also to continuing fostering international community and to work as a bridge for the growing Korean ministry here. Daniel, one of our students from last year is now leading the 40+ youth in his Korean-America church near Portland. His sister Jinkyung just graduated from her DTS a couple weeks ago and is reentering Oregon life after three months outreach in Thailand. Our base just the other week housed and fed Daniel and his churches’ 40 teens for a weeklong Mission Adventure camp where they learned about God’s heart for missions and immediately engaged Salem with street outreach and evangelism. Getting to journey with people, and seeing the affect that one DTS graduate can have on his family, church and the nations is a constant reminder of why YWAM is precious to the Lord and how the DTS is still an invaluable instrument in the hand of our Father God
I was able to complete a Chronological Bible Core Course this past spring. It was a three month trek through the entire story of Scripture, using the inductive method of study. It was exhausting, I’m a really bad student and trying to focus with kids screaming in the next room was difficult, but it was such an important time for me. Tracing God’s lovingkindness from Genesis to Revelation, and seeing his desire for joyful worshipers and His care for the sojourners and marginalized has ignited something in my spirit. I’m still processing much of what the Spirit taught me on those three months.
Bora got her driver’s license and is now both able to do errand with ease but also is using her new freedom and nobility to extend hospitality to the many single and carless staff on campus. Sure, she doesn’t know how to pick quality ice cream, but her being able to grocery shop without me frees me up for important activities like playing Xbox.
We celebrated out 10th Anniversary this summer with an awesome weekend in Seattle. God has used Bora to grow me in more areas than I thought possible, and she is still my best friend and beautiful treasure. Maybe in another 10 years she’ll have me almost presentable. God is good and full of grace and passion, and that is displayed through a marriage rooted in grace and truth. Thank you Bora for your beauty, your faith, and your fire.
Jinha continues in his obsession with anything truck and airplane related. He loves Bob the Builder and Chuck the Truck, and also sings a lot. He is more spontaneous with his lyrics than his sister, which gives me so much joy…even if his gruff little voice isn’t the most graceful sound! I think he’s going to be an artist, a creator, not sure how this will manifest but I sure hope he’s more handy than I am! He is quick to apologize, to forgive, and is such a graceful little kid. He is his sister’s shadow, but he no longer let’s her walk all over him J He trolls her for a rise and it’s hilarious to hear.
Jubilee will likely be the President, or at least president of something. She draws all the time, and has a gifting in administration. She plans everything, draws maps and makes checklists and loves to collect data. She’ll make surveys of yes/no questions and walk around the cafeteria surveying people on whether they have brothers or sisters, ect. She plans on marrying a boy from Sunday School, and she wants to be a rockstar. She always says she loves me and mom and loves Jesus best. She’s very sensitive, which makes criticism and conflict often lead to hurt feelings and an attitude, but I also see her empathy and care for people and situations around her. She has insight beyond her years, she will obliterate plans of the enemy and advance the Kingdom of God.
Growing in closeness and involvement with our local church has been a necessary joy. Our growing relationships at Outward have been crucial to our success here in Salem, and I’m so thankful for the individual members of the worship team especially. Recently Bora and I had the opportunity to lead worship at the annual Christian Game Developer’s Conference along with two worship leaders from Outward and it was a monumental time for the event and for me personally. I’m more and more inspired to lead worship and play music outside of the 4 walls of our church and our YWAM campus, and this summer I’ve had a couple opportunities through Outward to do so, including a set for the Walk for Hope. I’m praying and brainstorming with the Lord as to how my schedule can allow for more local outreaches in and around Oregon. At the same time our friendships with our YWAM team are growing and our abilities to flow and be spontaneous and Spirit led at Monday Morning worship has led to very significant times of corporate worship and ministry. I’m trying to be more intentional in widening the circle of prophet musicians, and I’m excited to see the Lord start to bring more songwriters to YWAM Salem. Bora wrote her first song this past Spring, and Jacob our worship department leader just wrote a song on outreach. There’s a growing desire to be creative and sing new songs, both in YWAM and at Outward, and it’ll be exciting to see where this desire takes us. My fellow New Englander Ryan and I have been leading instrumentally on Thursdays for our hour of intercessory prayer, and the combination of prayer and music has been dynamic. Just another example of the growing creativity and desire to create that’s happening here in Salem.
What’s immediately next? We’re negotiating with our campus about being released for 6 weeks in 2017 to both become TESOL certified English instructors. This will make us more useful here in Salem with a growing international community, and give us more tools and experience for our journey back to Asia to serve Koreans. We are also excited to announce our plans for a trip to Korea this December! We have gotten together and sought the Lord twice specifically for this trip, and we’re really anticipating on making some really important contacts for our ministry and calling to disciple Koreans young people. Also, Bora hasn’t been home in over six years, and I really miss sweet potato pizza. We will spend 2+ weeks in another East Asian Country along with our DTS students involved with ministry and performing pastoral care for the team.
· Please pray for Jubilee’s kindergarten class and her developing personality and identity in Christ. It’s been a good practice to talk about what she’s learning, and it’s led to many good conversations about being made in the image of God and the Gospel.
· Pray for our family to be able to determine in the Spirit what opportunities and ministries to say no to and what to prioritize while in this preparation season in Salem. Pray for me to learn more Korean. Seriously it’s embarrassing, Jubilee speaks more than me…and I don’t want her and Jinha to have a secret, covert language that I can’t understand.
· Bora and I are are feeling drained physically these days…a combination of busyness, having kids, needing exercise and needing more time on our faces in worship with Jesus. Leading worship all the times can be taxing, especially when you realize that you’ve mostly been leading others and haven’t had enough time being led into ministry yourselves.
Please bring our needs to the Father in prayer, and to your local churches and circles of fellowship. We covet your prayers. Thank you for being a part of our lives, we couldn’t serve in this capacity without the gifts and monthly support of so many of you. Blessings
Visiting Maine in Feb was really refreshing, especially for my relationships. Having drinks with bros from four different churches in this pic! I love unity in the Body of Christ!
Our therapy...this cheap Wal-Mart fire pit has brought countless hours of refreshing fellowship and prayer and food. When it's not rainy, Oregon weather generally favors gathering around a fire :)
Ministry time in CBCC, praying for breakthrough
Had a precious visit with my Dad, need more photos like this!
Summertime backyard fun!
February 2016 marked a huge transition for my amazing sister Sarah....she moved to Salem!
New Years 2016 at Disneyland with the family! Everyone loved Jinha's Pooh Bear costume
In the off-season when we're not involved with training schools Bora and I serve in different roles around campus. These jobs include kitchen, facilities, transportation, ect.
Our friends Nick and John from Outward Church joined us for a worship event for the Christian Game Developer's Conference in Portland! In 15 years it was the first worship service they've hosted, and we had the honor of putting it together! We were told it was a highlight for many of the attendees. Excited to lead worship again in 2017!
Jinha Waiting for his big sister at the school bus stop. He's enjoying the exclusive daddy time this quarter while I'm home and Bora translates full time.
Bora translating for our 11 new Korean international students at a corporate gathering for the campus.
The newest member of the Willson Musical Family...an Alex Acuna cajon! I was drawn to it's beautiful craftsmanship and high-quality sound, and recently found out it was created by a worshiper who played with Phil Keaggy and led worship in California during the Jesus Movement! Built for worship!
First time having both sets of parents together since our wedding 10 years ago! Added bonus having Sarah and Grandma Willson with us, too! Standing under the waterfall of the Father's love!
Wonderful time around the fire with my folks. Still waiting for them to move to the
west coast best coast.
Unofficial campus field trip to see For Today bring the good news and the mosh to Portland. \m/
I (Noah) celebrated my 30th birthday with friends from campus and church with an epic paintball match!