Words from a Friend

A friend of mine left UBF a few years ago. He was a faithful and devout Christian, widely acknowledged as one who loved God and loved his neighbor. To this day, I don’t know anyone who loved Jesus and loved Scripture more absolutely. He was a longtime leader in UBF: Bible teacher, fellowship leader, group study leader, Sunday messenger, messenger trainer, UBF staff member and many more roles throughout UBF USA.

My friend was the logical choice to become the new director. However, even he was viewed as a threat to the power Korean missionaries had. The longstanding burdens he and his wife bore suddenly exploded and they left. Even to this day, they want nothing to do with UBF and don’t even want to discuss UBF in any way (and I don’t blame them).

Today the words this friend spoke to me suddenly came back to my mind. So I’m documenting them in this blog so that I don’t forget. Here are some words he spoke in the years before and during the time when his family was leaving UBF:

When I went to Detroit, knowing that my request for a pioneering committee had been denied, he formed a prayer team. He prayed for me to find one “Timothy” and one “Lydia” in Detroit. He prayed for me to have a “forehead of flint”, based on Ezekiel 3:8-10 “8 But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. 9 I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.”

When I visited Toledo and attended one of the last leader’s Bible studies my friend attended, he said to a Korean missionary “God help you if you turn against someone like Brian Karcher.”

My leaving UBF is for friends like this. To seek to restore lost relationships and strive for the greater unity in the body of Christ, rather than quickly make peace with one or two UBF people and move on in silence.

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