Near to Here

(The Forge Newsletter_October_2023)


2023 10_naamanNow the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman's wife. She said to her mistress, “Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” (2 Kings 5:2-3)


1. Near doesn’t mean here
Sometimes when we are very close to what we look for, sadly our wrong expectations or impatience make us turn away from there. Near doesn’t mean here. When God called Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, they said, “Here I am(הִנֵּֽנִי׃).” They didn’t say, “Near I am.” Near sounds like here and it’s very close, but it’s not. If we don’t get there where we are supposed to be, we will miss what God has prepared for us. Interestingly, God told Moses, “Do not come near,” when he met God at the burning bush. If God calls us to come to Him, we need to take off our sandals, protection, and our titles, positions, etc.. (Genesis 22:1, 11, Exodus 3:4, 5, Isaiah 6:8)


2. The solution comes from an unexpected one
There is no man who has no problem. However, no man knew that the slave girl knew the solution, except her mistress. Most people disregarded her because she was little, low and insignificant. But Naaman’s wife listened to her, and Naaman did, because they were desperate.


3. Desperation takes us beyond our boundaries
Naaman put aside all of his position and power, hatred and animosity to go down to Israel because of his desperation. If we think that we have no problem, we normally stay in our comfort zone, like a guinea-pig's wheel. The problems or crises in our lives take us beyond our limit.


4. Leprosy leads us to the solutions or turns us around from the solutions
Naaman went down to Israel and arrived at the prophet Elisha’s house. However, he wanted to go back to his own country with indignation because Elisha didn’t come out to greet him, nor pray for him. In other words, he expected certain things but it didn’t happen as he had expected. So he was furious, showing his pride. Physical leprosy encourages us to go down to find the solution, but spiritual leprosy stirs us up to turn away from the solution.


5. Naaman was a valiant soldier but now he became a worshipper
When Naaman was healthy, he was invading, looting, destroying and killing people in Israel. But now the leper Naaman came to Israel with peace and gifts. God is not interested in receiving our gifts, but in taking away our leprosy. Naaman not only got healed but also became a worshiper of God of Israel. Also he took two mule-loads of soil to build an altar to worship the God of Israel in Syria.


6. The answer is in me
Isaac asked his father where the ram was. He didn’t know that the answer was himself. He who is in me is the ultimate answer of all. Often I look around to find solutions but the solutions can be found in me. The reason why God allows us to struggle and suffer is to change us. When I am broken and changed, the solution may be manifested. Likewise, Naaman’s pride blocked him from following Elisha’s instruction to get healed. Often I see my visual problems but not the spiritual leprosy. God wants to heal both, but the spiritual healing first. It is humility to listen to those who are supposed to listen to me. Naaman listened to his servants. Then God can open the door of the solution through humility. 



[ Prayer & Intercession ]

1. The answer of God is not far but near and here
Last summer we had a visitor whose baby was suffering from a sever eczema. The condition and situation shook her life. In the desperation, she came to Wales. Our God was amazing. It so happened at the same time that Bridget and Seungae were praying and planning to hold the first Ladies’ Forge School around July. She ended up joining this Forge School with two other mums who were staying with us from Korea and USA. God touched her significantly during the Forge School through insignificant people. The answer of God is not far but near to here. I pray that she would become a worshiper of God and spread out the Good news of Jesus.


2. Israel at war
The Hamas terrorists were living very close but no one expected that they were coming to their Kibutz and their homes to kill and destroy. On 4th October, Egyptian Intelligence informed the Israeli authorities that Hamas would attack massively, but the Israeli authorities dismissed it. That was Israel’s pride I think. Jesus is near although he is not here yet. Also the last days’ harvest is very near and here already. So, we have to get prepared.

(1) War changes our daily life
I2023 10_hamas_attack2n mid September, my two biological sisters visited our family in Wales. We travelled to Auschwitz in Poland, Herrnhut in Germany, Scotland and Egypt. In fact, we had planned to visit Israel as well, but our flights were cancelled just a day before we were supposed to fly out. So we stayed five days longer in Egypt and we had to book another flight to return to London. Even though we had to change the rest of our schedules, God made it all together for good.

(2) The evil face of Islam has been exposed
While we were in Egypt, I had been meditating on this brutal massacre by Hamas, I met an Egyptian MBB(Moslem Background Believer). She told me that she has been horrified by her family and other ordinary Moslems who have been celebrating this massacre and so happy. She told me that she had never seen before this kind of evil face of Islam. Islam is not a religion of peace but a religion of fighting. I am not saying that all Muslims are violent people. I am referring to the teaching and history of the religion. (read more…)

(3) God allows or creates His absence
The God of Israel doesn’t slumber nor sleep, and protects them, but where was God when Hamas infiltrated and murdered about 1400 people in His land and took 233 hostages? Did God allow this incident? Or didn’t God know? Was he too busy to protect his people at that time? (Psalms 121:3) I heard from the released 85 year old hostage, “Why didn’t Shin Bet and Mossad know when the Hamas attacked us?” Another victim said, “Where were the Israeli soldiers while I was hiding myself for 8 hours?” (click here….)

2023 10_hamas_attack(4) God cannot tolerate sin
God gave us opportunities to return to God in Noah’s time, Lot’s time, Rahab’s time, Jonah’s time, etc..But not many people responded. God grants grace to the humble, but fights against the proud. God warned Samaria and Jerusalem through his prophets, but they didn’t listen. So Samaria collapsed when the Assyrians invaded in 722 BC and Judah was conquered by the Babylonians in 568 BC. Even though the Jews were returned to Jerusalem after 70 years captivity, they were destroyed and dispersed by the Romans in 70 AD. God allowed Jerusalem to be destroyed because of their sins, so that they might be returned to God. However, the Babylonians arrogantly went beyond God's punishment of Judah, so God destroyed them. (Jeremiah 50-51)

(5) Men are not reliable and corrupted
Israel has been known for the world’s best intelligence unit and missile defence system, such as Mossad, Shin Bet and the Iron Dome. This time people realise that they cannot rely on Mossad or Shin Bet and their technology is not invulnerable. Human’s are not omniscient, nor omnipotent, nor omnipresent, but the God of Israel is. Sometimes he creates his absence for us to get near to find Him.

2023 10_hamas_attack3(6) God uses the enemy’s attacks
Somehow Israel, which has had prolonged political divisions, religious differences, and different moral stances, with lots of demonstrations, are now one because of Hamas’ brutal attack. Although it’s a terrible massacre, they are now united to fight against Hamas the terror organisation. Even Moslem Bedouin Israeli soldiers said that they should fight against Hamas with one heart. However, if they are not united in the God of Israel, they might build another Tower of Babel.

(7) Man’s helps might disrupt or interrupt God’s help
The leaders of the US, the UK, Germany, France, the Czech republic, and Austria have visited Israel since the massacre took place. They have assured that they are standing with Israel. It’s really comforting and strengthening Israel. But I have a niggling sense, so I pray that Israelis may seek the God of Israel rather than man’s power. I am sure that this a great opportunity to find the God of Israel again, even though it is a terribly painful time. Naaman found the God of Israel while he was suffering from physical and spiritual leprosy.

(8) I am not on the side of man but of the God of Israel
When Joshua was by Jericho, he saw a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our foes?” And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.” God has his own side. We cannot persuade him to be on my side. We’d better be on his side, because he has already won the battle through the cross. The battle belongs to him. (Joshua 5:13-15)



[ News Update ]


1. Two Families Visit
2023 10_forge.familyAbout ten years ago, two single, young ladies came to Wales and lived at the Forge for a couple of years, but now they are wives and have children. They came this summer and stayed about two months. It was an amazing and challenging time too. They wanted to spend time together here in Wales and to celebrate my special (60th) birthday. They brought a lot of Korean food and presents, but their presence was a special present for me.


2. God has answered the nine seater van
Last December God told me that people were coming, so he wanted us to get a 9 seater van. Although we prayed for it, it was impossible for us. But I made a list of the van I wanted: VW, 2016, diesel engine, manual, 9 seater, etc. Someone donated a large some of money and we were able to buy a much newer van before starting Celebration for the Nations. During this worship celebration time, I served people with this van many many times.


3. The Ladies’ Forge School
Seungae and I had dreamed of a special Forge for ladies, and wanted to include the 2 mums who were visiting with their families this summer, so we managed to squeeze it in from Monday 17th to Thursday 20th July. As well as the 2 mums, we had 1 more (mentioned above) from the USA and several local dear friends joined us 1, 2 or 3 of the days. We had daily worship, mediation and sharing from 1 John, chapter 1, and Seungae led us in some healing art workshops. I (Bridget) shared on Knowing God and Knowing Ourselves. We were priveleged to hear people share their deep struggles, doubts and desire to know God more and it was lovely to be together. The husbands served by taking the children out each morning and allowing the ladies to have precious time for themselves. We are planning another one in June 2024, so look out for the flyers.


4. Celebration for the Nations
There was a worship celebration on 31st July - 5th August 2023. About 200 Koreans came from Korea, UK and Europe. There was average 300 people attended each meeting. I was in charge of World Horizons accommodation to help 85 Koreans, and Bridget and team served each day breakfast and lunch for 12 days. It was a lovely and powerful worship celebration for six days. Hundreds of Koreans paid thousands of pounds to come to bless the Lord, like Mary poured her perfume on Jesus’ feet. Also the leadership have agreed that the next summer worship celebration will be held in Wales again.



2023 10_forge.school5. The Forge School of Faith

29th Jan - 10th Feb 2024 (Wales) / £500

12th Feb - 24th Feb 2024 (The Middle East; optional) / £500


Spiritual Growth, Bible Meditation, Prayer and Worship, Transformative teaching, Faith Exposure Trip, and Community Living

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(+44) 7870 653157

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2023 10_seven_arce6. Seven Acre land and decent buildings

While I and Owen have been working on carpentry and gardening, I sensed that we really need land and decent buildings in order to disciple people in spiritual and practical realms. So we have been praying and looking for 7 acres land that has decent buildings.



2023 06_mathewvivien7. Mathew Toller’s book & Vivien Firth’s book have been published

(1) Rabbi Mathew has published a powerful testimonial book: “Grace Undone” on Amazon. (click here)

(2) Vivien’s a testimonial faith journey book: “A Living Legacy” on Amazon. (click here)

* Qday Music Album: “Tomorrow Never Comes!”2019 09_tmrwnvrcm
1. Tomorrow Never Comes!
2. The Only Way
3. Beginning & End
4. Enough
5. The Most Beautiful Thing
6. Set Free
7. Let Your Kingdom Come
8. Like A Rock


Shalom Shalom!

Qday LEE

(+44) 7870 653157

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