2007 NORTH YORK FALL BIBLE CONFERENCE REPORT
”WHAT IS YOUR NAME?”
“Jesus asked him, ‘What is you name?’ ‘Legion,’ he replied, because many demons had gone into him.” (30)
I thank and praise God for his on-going work in North York UBF. God blessed this Fall Bible Conference abundantly by sending 44 people to this conference. With the purpose of helping young Bible students, as well as the more mature servants of God, to identify themselves before God.
To open this 2-day conference, M. Paul Lee shared with us the Word of God of Jesus came to call sinners. This was the conference’s clear focus and prayer through this conference to hear Jesus calling us sinners.
Before hearing the message, everybody broke up into 5 groups and we got to study the passage Luke 8:26-39, the story of Jesus who heals a demon possessed man. Then S. Humble Joshua from Ottawa UBF gave us a very clear and wonderful message, displaying the compassion and love of Jesus for one demon possessed man. We are demon possessed when we become slaves to our sins. Many people are demon-possessed through their rebelliousness, people who just want their own freedom to sin, people who don’t want to follow the rules, like some people who fight for their own rights to do what they wish. This is often seen in young people who rebel against their parents and public authorities. By freely committing sin, this is how we become demon possessed and lose our identity and the image of God in us.
When Jesus saw this demon possessed man, he did not see Mr. Bigfoot (a hairy guy), but Jesus saw a precious person who was suffering under the torment of demons. This is where Jesus asked this man the question, “What is your name?” This purpose of this question is not for Jesus to know his name. It was to help the man to discover his real identity, to see that he was a sinner, and for him to confess his sin. In this way Jesus could help this man to restore his original identity as a precious child of God. He was so precious that Jesus even sacrificed millions of dollars worth of a pig business to save one soul. Jesus’ healing of this man all started with the question, “What is your name?” This question serves as a spiritual wake up call for us and Jesus offering to establish a personal relationship.
Based on this simple question, we wrote testimonies. Among those who wrote, Paul Han and Luke Hong got to share theirs with everyone. God sent six young, new sheep to this conference to call them to identify themselves before God with this question, “What is your name?” For some students it was their first ever testimony, including brother Kevin, a young engineering student from Seneca who studies the Bible with M. Hannah Han. The other new students were Stanley, Francisco, Katherine, Marunika and Nicole. Growing disciples who attended were Richard Field, Amanda Vance, and Kuba Gyda. Attendants were also graced to hear the life testimonies of Jonathan Lee (who came to visit our ministry with Paul and Andrew this past summer) and myself.
Another testimony of God’s great work in North York at this conference was the return of S. Luis Perdomo to the North York ministry. S. Luis gave the final message on Luke 19, the story of Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector. Jesus called out, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” Through S. Luis, God showed that the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” God was also calling us to make a clear decision to follow Jesus. We all had to learn from S. Luis who had to make a history-making decision before God to leave Venezuela. He testified about how he went to Venezuela to visit family, with the intention to be there for a week. S. Luis enjoyed being with this family and relatives. But S.Luis was also tempted because his family, being very wealthy, offered him anything he wanted (job, house, car, …) One week turned into months. But he felt life was quite empty and meaningless. And so after eight months of being there, he made the decision to return to North York UBF to serve as a campus shepherd. Praise Jesus who called S.Luis for campus mission.
I was moved to hear S. Luis decision of faith. Even through sharing my own life testimony, I could remember God’s grace in my life who called me to serve francophone and Quebecers. I felt that God helped me a lot to write this testimony as I felt it was one of the best one I wrote. And I really thank God for giving me this opportunity to share it because I could renew my heart and decision to challenge to serve francophone mission. For this I pray all the more for Sylvain to come to Bible study, a French speaking Concordia student.
Before closing and leaving the conference, God was asking us to make a decision to follow Jesus. May God bless all the young and new students who attended to identify themselves as God’s precious children and make a decision to follow Jesus.
– S. Philip Wong