Author: Ron Graham
Ron Graham’s Report
This page holds the report on my voluntary ministry activities —for the information of those who take a special interest in my work.
Dear Brethren... This report covers the first quarter of 2010.
Lessons at Bundaberg
- I taught or preached on 38 occasions at Bundaberg during January, February, and March —three engagements per week on average.
- The preaching and teaching comprised 26 different lessons —requiring the preparation of two lessons per week on average.
- Of these lessons, 13 were made into tracts —one tract per week on average.
From mid December until the end of January, I took a break from attending the midweek services, but kept up the Sunday work right through Christmas and New Year. There were 9 Korean services. Korean services were held either on Sunday afternoons, Sunday evenings, or not at all, depending on the ability of Koreans to attend.
As to subject matter of the lessons, midweek concentrated on the new covenant, who it was for, how it was instituted, why it was needed, and why it is a "better covenant". Sunday Bible class concentrated on Heroes of Faith in the Old Testament —selecting of them all Abraham and his family, Moses, David, John the Baptist. For the Sunday sermons there was a variety of lessons including "New Year's Revolutions", "A Mansion for You", "Why Be Baptized?", "The “Apostles' Creed”", "Is Satan Equal to God?", and a three part mini series, "The Arrows of God".
The Korean services described in my last two reports, and which began in September 2009, continued through until March 2010. In all, 26 services were held —9 of them in this first quarter of 2010. It has been a marvelous opportunity to teach the gospel and provide an undenominational worship opportunity to people "not our own".
Many of the Koreans were very attentive to the word and have taken home to their country some important lessons from God's word. We also constantly encouraged them to use simplybible.com to continue their Bible study. Anywhere from six to 25 Korean young people attended the services —we estimate about 40-50 different individuals.
This work was enjoyable, but not without its problems. I was unable to preach two of my lessons, one on "baby baptism" mentioning original sin, and another on "The Apostles' Creed" and creeds in general. The translator was unwilling to translate these lessons. Not only was there this disagreement with the teaching, but certain Koreans wished to introduce the recitation of the creed and the "Lord's Prayer" and to use instrumental music in worship. Of course we were unwilling to assist in these things.
At the time this occurred, there had been a great deal of rain, so much as to affect the market gardening and thus to reduce the number of Koreans employed. As a consequence, the numbers coming to the meeting came down to around 8. It was that small group who made the decision to discontinue the services and to meet on their own. We had to accept that decision, which they communicated to us in person. Our parting was amicable. In this decision, there may possibly have been some influence from a Korean church in Sydney.
The disappointing element was the unwillingness to study the Bible together on these matters of difference. Certain Koreans felt that such discussion of the Bible was for "pastors" and not for ordinary folk who cannot understand the Bible (they thought). It seems that, in this point, certain Koreans were not Bereans (Acts 17:10-11). We told the Koreans that the door is always open and they are always welcome. We are very thankful to the Lord for the opportunity and privelege to serve him in the Korean work.
The simplybible.com Website
Work on the website took the major part of my time during the quarter. Regular statistics from the internet provider were only available spasmodically through much of the quarter. They seemed to have some trouble with the analyzer. However what figures there were showed page requests over 2000 daily, and some days even as high as 3500. I temporarily joined an online web stastics service which shows about 1000 visitors (as distinct from page requests) per 24 hours.
The website now has over 1000 study pages, as well as all the information and index pages. I added only four new study pages, because my focus during the quarter was to continue the work described in my last report. This involves a new level of organization of lessons, namely presenting the lessons in parts and making available a "print-friendly" version.
The task is now complete except maybe for the odd tweak here and there. Future editing of the site can take great advantage of this addition. There was another main job done on the site: re-designing the lesson listings, both the manual ones and those generated by the simplybibleFinder search engine.
Till next time God willing —again to those who take a personal interest in my work and pray for me, a big thank you and may God bless you. Your servant and Christ's,