Carry a wooden cross? Are you kidding? I have enough heavy crosses of my own!
That was the response of many participants when challenged to carry a wooden cross at Via Dolorosa, a ministry that was part of a peer learning group for Korean Christian Reformed pastors.
About 20 pastors from several denominations in the Los Angeles area took part in the May retreat at the Great Vision Christian Reformed Church's retreat center in Palmdale, Calif. The retreat included climbing up a desert mountain trail in the cold at night. Via Dolorosa means “Way of the Cross.”
The ministry is designed to encourage and comfort pastors as they experience the stress of immigrant ministries. Rev. Myung S. Lee of Great Vision CRC brought the ministry to the U.S. after experiencing comfort from a similar ministry a year ago in Korea. His church supports the ministry.
Pastors reported healing of emotional and physical pain. Rev. Dong H. Baek of Granada Hills Korean Presbyterian Church, said, “It was almost the first time I experienced a healing moment for my life and my ministry after graduating seminary almost 30 years ago.”
Organizers hope to hold the event two times per year for immigrant pastors and missionaries and their spouses.