In 1989 a group of Korean believers who had been worshipping in a family home approached me about their vision for a Korean Church in Cambridge. Could they possibly use our church premises as their base as they reached out to Korean speakers in the city. I remember those early days of wondering if sharing our premises could work out and, more than that,whether we might develop a meaningful partnership. I am aware of churches sharing buildings whose only link is bricks and mortar. Might we belong together?
As the church agreed to give them a spiritual home I met with their pastor and other leaders. We ate together (they brought their own food even though Carol had cooked some!) prayed together and began a journey of friendship. Every so often I would preach, preparing a full script so that accurate simultaneous translation could occur. We would join for the occasional feast when odours of their favourites of kimchi and the rest would fill the church premises. And for special occasions such as the main Christmas service and our TV service they would participate in our worship.
In my blog posts 'A Cambridge God Adventure' I told the story of the Korean church member who having returned to live near Seoul remembered I was attending a Baptist World Alliance Congress in the city. He remembered the date and traipsed around delegate hotels until he found mine and then patiently waited until I returned there. I shall never forget his welcome and kindness.
This Sunday I am preaching there again for their 29th anniversary. It will be easy to lead their rejoicing that God has blessed the vision of 1989 as they continue to flourish, though I am having to provide a full script again...not my 'preaching without notes' norm!