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We, the delegates and observers for the 17th World Congress of the International Council of Christian Churches, have just had one need of sweet fellowship at the 21st Glory Youth Training Center, a 100-acre "prayer mountain" in exquisite rural setting, beautifully landscaped under the personal guidance over the last few years of Dr Kwang Jae Choi, Senior Pasor of Glory Bible-Presbyterian Church and President of the Council.

Under the Congress Theme of "Stand Fast & Strive Together" for the faith of the Gospel (Philippians 1:29) as set at the last Congress of the Council at Jerusalem in November 2000, several hundred of delegates and observers from some thirty nations in all continents gathered in the Hallelujah Auditorium for prayer, Bible studies (of the books of Philippians and Hebrews), messages on issues of the day confronting the Christian churches, adoption of statements declaring the ecclesiastical and doctrinal stand of the Council, reports on the Council's witness all over the world for the Word of God and Jesus Christ our Lord, and strengthening of the activities of the Council through its different Commissions on 1) Missions, 2) Evangelism, 3) Christian Relief and Social Concerns, 4) Christian Education, 5) Publications and Mass Media, 6) Youth (ICY), 7) Younger Generation Leaders (YGLs), 8) International Affairs, 9) Theological Education, 10) Medical and 11) Family Concerns.

Apart from our Congress sessions at the Youth Training Center, we have been able to take time off during the weekend and after the Congress by hospitability of our host Church, to see the beautiful countryside, the busy cosmopolitan city of Seoul and places historic interest. The visit to the War Memorial is a vivid reminder of the great sacrifice of the Allies gaining freedom from Communism for South Korea. And the neon-light of red crosses illuminating night sky of the city is a glorious and happy reminder of the advance of the Christianity in the country. The fact that South Korea is now the second largest missionary-sending nation, next to the USA, is and must be an inspiring example for all ICCC and other Bible-believing churches to follow in obedience to the carrying out of the Great Commission of Christ.

For the 18th World Congress of the Council, we have now planned, if the Lord tarries, to meet again in South Korea, June 8-14 (Tuesday to the following Monday). The hospitability of our host churches, the exquisite health-benefiting ambience of the 21st Century Youth Training Center as the venue of the Congress, with expanded accommodation facilities during the coming year, the opportunity of sharing with the Korean brethren in the City for specially arranged Gospel Rally, and the freedom of speech allowed, and the friendliness of the Korean people, are among the factors that have led us to the decision to ask our host Church, to let us come again to Korea for the next World Congress of our Council.

We have chosen Revelation 2:10 as the general theme of our next Congress: "Be Thou Faithful Unto Death". With the apostasy at this last age increasing at an alarmingly rapid pace, and with the day of Christ's return drawing even nearer, the battle for the preservation of the historic Christian Faith must necessarily be getting hotter and hotter.

All the more we must, as the risen Saviour exhorts the Church at Smyrna, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life. (Revelations 2:10)

We call upon all brethren in our ICCC family all over the world to pray for, and prepare to attend the ICCC 18th World Congress. To lighten the heavy financial burden of our host churches of the Korean Council of Christian Churches especially the Glory Bible-Presbyterian Church, we call upon all intending attendees, especially those from the less affluent countries, to start savings as soon as possible not only for airfares, but also for lodging during the Congress.

An "ICCC 18th World Congress Fund" account is also soon to be opened in Korea, and administered by our newly-elected ICCC Treasurer. The Fund will take in freewill offerings, ready for use to help our host churches meet the expected even heavier Congress expenditure five years from now.

To all our ICCC friends of like precious faith all over the world, we also extend an invitation to pray for, and join us, at the next ICCC World Congress. We are praying that you will be in such ecclesiastical relationship as will lead you to enter into membership with the Council. (Article IV, Section 2, ICCC Constitutes).

And when while we watch and look for the return soon of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we will all occupy, "faithfully unto death", till He returns (Luke 19:13) - Amen.
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