BOEM Activity Reports
The BOEM community has frequent fellowship activities and trips. These reports are for 2013-2015. BOEM has had many more events since its establishment in August 2002.
These reports are expansions on items posted in BOEM's Latest News.
Spring trip (upcoming)
Farewell Party for Longtime Member
Welcoming for New Praise Team Leader
Lunar New Year Feast
Christmas at BOEM
Thanksgiving Party [Click]
Sri Lanka Guest Pastor [Click]
The Second Trip to Jecheon [Click]
Housewarming Party for Member's Hagwon [Click]
(First) Trip to Jecheon [Click]
Children's Ministry Outreach Trip [Coming]
Trip to Gangwon Province [Click]
Bowling Bash at BOEM [Click]
BOEM Goes to the Pool Hall [Click]
Onnuri's Summer Bazaar [Click]
Outdoor Worship at the Yellow Sea Coast [Click]
Indian Guest Pastor and Indian Dinner [Click]
Evangelism in Sang Dong [Coming]
Camping Trip [Coming]
Trip to Missionary Cemetery [Click]
Thanksgiving Feast 2014 at BOEM / Nov. 2014 / [See news #1, #2]
This Thanksgiving may have been BOEM's best in many years -- That was the consensus after our successful Thanksgiving party on November 30th.
Oh, what a great time it was! Around forty BOEM members, guests, and friends enjoyed a traditional American-style Thanksgiving meal after our usual worship service on Sunday November 30th. It was a lively atmosphere from beginning to end.
The food was delicious and plentiful, both of which are good things. It was a true taste of home for BOEM's foreigners, especially the Americans. Those Korean members who had never tried turkey before enjoyed the chance to try it. Not to mention the mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry, and much else, including deliciously thick gravy. With the arrival of gravy, the tables had suddenly turned: Just as foreigners in Korea don't understand what to do with the kimchi at meals (at first), few of the Koreans understood what to do with the gravy at our BOEM Thanksgiving feast. They were given helpful advice in this by the American members. The advice was something like this: Put it on everything except cranberry (and ice cream, if any).
Everyone ate well and enjoyed fellowship in this joyful party atmosphere. We got to know each other better. It felt like a true homestyle holiday party, it did. This, my dear friends, is the core of what BOEM is all about. A worship community "home away from home" for Bucheon's English-speaking foreigners.
One of our worship team leaders, Michael added to the holiday feel even more by giving out special antioxidant water bottles to us all.
After the first rounds of enthusiastic eating, people settled into conversations, meeting new people, and lively reminiscing about BOEM's past days. Soon enough, more rounds of eating came. (In fact, some of us enjoyed the food so much that we "may have" lost count of the number of plates-full of delicious Thanksgiving food we ate.) After a while, the drums and guitars started making noise again. An impromptu concert began, led by the remaining praise team members and a very tall Korean-American from Texas. In time, tired from eating and all the fun, those remaining sat back and basked in the glory of it all. Glory to God! We won't soon forget our many blessings, including such a great Thanksgiving.
Take a look at pictures from our Thanksgiving party. Warning: They may make you hungry!
Sri Lanka Guest Pastor / Nov. 2014 / [See news: #1; #2]
A guest pastor visited BOEM and preached the sermon on November 2nd, in lieu of Pastor Jenna. The young man, Yehoshua, was new to BOEM but preached passionately. He is a native of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and current seminary student. He gave us a lot of fascinating information about himself and his country, as well as preaching on the theme of "Restoration". He is of the Anglican denomination and went to university in India.
He reported that Protestant Christians are a small minority in Sri Lanka, and the country's Tamil ethnic minority, to which our guest belongs, underwent the trauma of total military defeat in 2009 in a long-running war of independence. This defeat, he said, animates his chosen sermon of "Restoration, Through God". This applies both to the individual and to a nation itself, as in the Tamil sub-nation of Sri Lanka. There are easy comparisons to make to Korea, which also had a civil war, of course, as Yehoshua pointed out.
After the service, we enjoyed refreshments and discussion with him. He will be in Korea until late 2015. We hope to meet him again!
BOEM's Glorious Return to Jecheon / Nov. 2014
[News Items: #1, #2] (BOEM went on an all-day trip on Saturday November 1st, 2014. Below is a report on this trip, divided into chronological sections.)
By the Light of Dawn, BOEM Gathers
It was a bit before 7 AM when this writer arrived. Four or five sleepy BOEM people were already there, waiting around in front of the main church. They admired a mini-bus in front of them, which BOEM had requisitioned for the trip. The church, usually very busy with activity on Sundays, was quiet. The world was asleep! Not us. Soon, our reliable Deacon Park and his wife arrived, carrying bags of breakfast in hand! The trip began with a delicious start. They'd also prepared snack bags for all of us. Yes, BOEM travels in style.
The BOEM Bus Rolls Along: "How Can You Sleep at a Time Like this?"
The minibus passengers that day somehow spontaneously divided themselves into three sections. The back of the bus was energetic (games were played; stories, jokes, nonstop lively conversation). The front of the bus was mellow. Then there was the middle of the bus, where everyone slept!
We in the back of the bus were amazed at how these middle people could sleep through all the noise (err, all the fun) behind them. Later we learned that three members of the "sleeping section" had not really gone to sleep the night before! These were the sisters S.A. and S.B., as well as H.J.
Before moving on, let's take this opportunity to create an award, "Most BOEM Bus Seats Used for Sleeping by One Person". The winner is clear: Deacon Kim. At one time, he lay across four of them! We have the pictures to prove it.
Foreigners Tumble Out of a Bus, Local Children Puzzled
In time, we arrived. The town of Jecheon was quiet on this morning (and probably on every other morning, too). We poured out of the bus. Some local children were wandering around nearby and began to carefully observe us. About this time, our friend, and "Honorary Lifetime BOEM Member" J.A. showed up, looking well rested and ready to "roll". (We'd been rolling three hours already.)
As it turned out, the curious children were J.A.'s students! Okay, put yourself in our shoes in this situation. What's the best thing to do? Yes, that's right: Of course we invited the observers, the local children, to be photographed together with us. The kids happily did it, then wandered away.
About this time, our group finished using the small next-door gas station's bathrooms. So what next? Deacon Park was organizing this trip, and was doing it magnificently, as usual. We had a firm schedule and kept it.
Lunch Feast: Stroll In, Waddle Out
After picking up J.A. and two of his local friends, we all got back in the bus, which was now at its full capacity. Our destination was a traditional restaurant, for a meal that turned out to be a multi-course feast. The writer of this report lost count of the number of courses. It was least four, but may really have been five or six, plus side dishes. American BOEM member M.P. sat amongst Koreans and dazzled the Koreans with his linguistic skill.
Everyone ate his or her fill. It was a big meal, alright. If you'd been watching the door at the time of our exit, you'd have seen us waddle out, none the thinner. When I say "waddled", understand why: This was a sit-on-the-floor restaurant! Sore legs from sitting on the floor were stretched briefly before we were back in the bus, onward to the next adventure.
Boat Cruise: "If it Had Been a Race, We'd Have Won"
It seems there is a large lake near Jecheon, created some years ago by a dam. We are grateful to our local contacts (J.A.'s friends) who helped us organize a boat cruise along this lake.
The mini-bus ride to the lake was through scenery worthy of a John Denver song, and one BOEM member, P., may have been heard singing "Country roads, take me home...". I don't recall if there is a John Denver song about a super-speedy boat cruise, but that it what came next. Those who'd expected a slow cruise were in for a surprise.
For an hour, we cruised at a high speed on this sturdy old boat, as we circled around the bends of the lake. There was spectacular scenery, rock formations, alongside the lake. We took lots of pictures.
By the grace of God, nobody dropped a camera in the water. Y.H. did lose her "camera stick" and didn't even realize it until a half an hour later. How sad! But, no, soon she found it attached...to a life preserver. Those orange devices are meant to save human lives, but in this case one saved a camera accessory('s "life"). An hour after getting on, we got off, dazzled but dizzy.
Into the Folk Village
On much higher ground overlooking the boat cruise terminal, there was a Korean traditional folk village, our next stop. It included some traditional buildings moved from sites that were flooded in the dam project.
Once inside the folk village walls, BOEM disintegrated into smaller groups and went off in all directions. Some admired the trees' fall colors; others looked at the exhibits of traditional life; a few immediately set out to climb to the highest point in the folk village. Soon, one small group in particular located a site labelled "No Entry Allowed Now" and spent a long time trying to get a peek inside. To each his own!
Some spectacular photos were taken by BOEM members in the folk village, and like many other photos taken on this day, were shared via KakaoTalk. (Some of these will be uploaded to this website soon.)
A Goodbye to Our Friend
After a while, it was time to go back to Jecheon. We dropped off our friend J.A., took final pictures, and were back on the bus, bound for Bucheon. We'd spent only six full hours in J.A.'s company but we'd packed in a lot in that time.
Round Five (Or So): Dinner and Singing Our Way Back to Bucheon
Back driving along the highway. The sun was setting. Unlike the morning's ride, there was not much sleeping but also less energy in general, after a long day already.
This changed after dinner at a highway rest area (which included jajang noodles, pork cutlet, kimbap). The back of the bus' energy roared back into life after the meal, and karaoke began. Yes, you read it right. Karaoke. Singing. People began playing songs on their smartphones and singing to them. N.R. and H.J. in particular distinguished themselves in this activity.
BOEM's second Jecheon trip lasted from 7 AM to 9 PM on Saturday November 1st and was a great success. Each of the seventeen participants enjoyed it, and BOEM proved itself again to be a strong community in faith and fellowship. See you next time!
Study Room Opening Party / Oct. 2014 / [See news: #1, #2]
BOEM crowded into one of our longtime member (M.)'s newly-opened study room (gong-bu bang) in south Bucheon. The party was held right after our worship service, and there were plenty of refreshments. The neighborhood around the new study room is quiet and peaceful. Other friends of M. also joined, and the party lasted almost an hour. BOEM members jointly prayed for the success of the new business. Thanks for the sandwiches!
(First) Trip to Jecheon / September 2014 / [See news item]
Eight BOEM members participated in a trip to Jecheon, by car, to visit a former longtime member and friend. A lot of the sites around Jecheon were explored and enjoyed together. [More details coming soon]
Trip to Gangwon Province / July 2014 / [See news item]
Our trip to a beautiful spot along a lazy little river in Gangwon Province was a great success. It was on Saturday July 12th with around 14 BOEM people and a guest from Japan who is currently studying Korean language to study at a seminary in Seoul.
What did we do? Tents were set up, lots of food cooked, some of which we caught (fish caught in nets), and plenty of meat we brought along, of course. Swimming and splashing around in the water was enjoyed by many. Some people were happy to just relax near the tents we set up and chat. Even the people in the water got the idea to take advantage of the lazy summer day to nap, but they did in unique style: At least two people took naps taken while floating on inflatable rafts (Deacon Kim and M.P.)!
Go ahead and take a look at the pictures of this trip at the BOEM Pictures page on this website to see some small pieces of our summer fellowship trip.
BOEM Bowls / July 2014 / [See news entry]
The joy of BOEM "rolls on"! Yes, we went bowling. Last week it was pool, but bowling really did "strike" us as a good idea. Sorry. Sorry! God's gift of puns.
So, yes. The bowling. In summary: Spirits were high and scores were low. But, as we all know (somewhere deep within our minds), when it comes to bowling it's not whether you win or lose, is it? It's whether or not you drop a ball on your foot. I am glad to report that not even one BOEM member dropepd a ball on his or her foot! For that we can say, "Thanks be to God".
Actually, one BOEMer got a great 176 score, despite bowling in socks! (He had to bowl in socks due to lack of proper-fitting shoes.) We thank him for showing us that a high score is humanly possible. But mostly we have to thank Amy, here, one of the longtime stalwart BOEM Korean members. She found a Bucheon bowling alley that fits our needs.
Watch this space for a report on our next great BOEM event! Next time, we will try to "spare" you from so many puns.
BOEM Goes to the Pool Hall / June 2014 / [See news entry]
Several BOEM members played pool on the afternoon of June 29th after our worship service. Fun was had by all. Our Deacon Kim played very well, but the biggest winner was our Bible Study leader, James. One after another, each one of the other five BOEM members in attendance was clobbered by James. One BOEM member joked that James should get a new job as a "pool shark". James laughed menacingly. As of this writing, James has stuck with his day job. His success has, likewise, not gone to his head: He remains our humble Bible Study leader.
There is a lesson: If you ever play pool with BOEM, "beware of the sharks"!
Onnuri Bazaar / June 2014 / [See news entry]
It was Daniel (one of the most likely of BOEM members to be seen smiling) who got the word out. An Onnuri Bazaar! Up to ten BOEM members eventually showed up with interest for it at midday on Sunday June 20th. Excitement was promised, and excitement was delivered. It was surely the most frantic church event this writer has ever beheld, and as such the Onnuri Bazaaar will not soon be forgotten by this writer. One BOEM member thought that it had the atmosphere of a graduation party. (It is that time of year, err, in the USA, although not here). And why not? It was run, it seems, by the Onnuri Youth Ministry (the Korean side) to raise money for its own upcoming activities. A lot of food was being sold, including the scary-seeming pig intestines (best dipped in salt), sugar-coated potatoes (best not dipped in salt), a delectable soup, and a sweet rice drink called Shik-hye. Wonderful.
Outdoor Worship at the Yellow Sea / May 2014 / [See news entry]
Around thirty BOEM members and friends spent the best part of Sunday May 25th, 2014, on the west coast of Yeoyu Island (the "airport island", though many kilometers away from any airplanes).
We were there to hold an outdoor worship service. We held service as normal, with our praise team leaders leading songs and Pastor Jenna giving a brief sermon. It was a great service. But there was much more to this trip:
To begin with, we ate. Did we ever! The food started coming and didn't stop. This writer ate enough meat to win some sort of contest, he is sure. Meat was grilled. Potatoes, fruit, rice, vegetables including (but not limited to) kimchi, and more were to be had. Marshmallows even materialized, from parts unknown. Several full watermelons kept everyone happy for dessert.
Several hours of fellowship were enjoyed, games, hiking, chatting, laughing, running away from the rising tide, and generally lounging around. A nap or two was had, and rocks were climbed by those brave enough. One group investigated the nearby seemingly-abandoned army fortification.
Credit is due to here Deacon Kim and Deacon Park, and their wives, for organizing another great BOEM event! It was proposed enthusiastically by Deacon Kim at the dinner last week at the Indian restaurant.
What an amazing day for BOEM. The excitement of a trip to the beach, an invigorating outdoor worship, a fellowship feast. Just as "a rising tide lifts all boats", a successful BOEM trip lifts all our members' spirits. Glory!
Indian Guest Pastor; Curry Dinner / May 2014 / [See news entry]
BOEM is blessed to have enjoyed, over the years of our ministry, many special events and guests from all around the world.
Add one more to the list: Pastor Jenna graciously invited Mr. Timothy Stephen of India to preach May 18th. BOEM members were impressed.
A little about Mr. Stephen's background: Born in an Indian village, he rose to became a software engineer. He has recently been called to preach the Word of God and he is thus currently a Master's of Divinity (M.Div) candidate at Trinity Torch Seminary in Seoul. He plans to return to India to lead a church.
Mr. Stephen delivered a powerful sermon entitled "Turn to God". He was accompanied by another Indian M.Div candidate who took some video footage of his sermon, a small clip of which is available at the bottom of this website's Picture page. He then spoke to us about the current political situation in India. He says that an anti-Christian political party has won the recent election.
In honor of our special guests, the magnanimous Deacon Park treated all interested members to dinner at a nice Indian restaurant in Sopoong Shopping Center! BOEM members were grateful to Deacon Park, (Future) Pastor Stephen, and Pastor Jenna for organizing it all!
Trip to Seoul Missionary Cemetary / July 2013 /
BOEM went on a trip to the Yanghwajin Missionary Cemetery in Seoul. Many early Evangelical Christian missionaries to Korea are buried here, including Homer Hulbert, Henry Appenzeller (Methodist), and many members of the missionary family of Horace Grant Underwood (Presbyterian). Underwood himself is buried in this cemetery, in a place of honor.
Underwood is renowned for many reasons, maybe most especially as the founder of Yonsei University and a founder of Severance Hospital. Hulbert, too, is famous among Koreans, as a tireless champion of the Korean nation and language and one of the first Westerners to master the language. He and others promoted Hangul, and many say they are responsible for its success in the 20th century. These were among the facts that we learned on this trip.
About twelve ten members and guests participated in the tour of the cemetery and the adjacent museum, followed by dinner.