Jeju Island Study Trip Part 2: The Beauty of Jeju

This gallery contains 29 photos.

We are going to do this reflection on Jeju Island in four parts, I have decided; because I feel like I shouldn’t give you two Han-filled posts in a row. I will mix in some scenery before another sad story. You cannot help but feel something magical when you step onto Jeju Island. Mount Halla […]

Jeju Island Study Trip: Part 1

We take the YAVs on four big study trips/retreats during the one year they live with us in Daejeon. Our first trip was to Busan for the World Council of Churches Assembly. This time we went to Jeju Island. It is Korea’s largest island, and it hangs off the southern tip of the peninsula. It is known these days as a vacation/resort location, particularly for honeymoon couples. However, we went to learn about some of its darker history and some of the ways the islanders continue to deal with sufferings of the past. We spent 6 nights and 7 days there learning about the history of the island, it’s connection to the history of the mainland, and it’s unique culture that differs a bit from the mainland. I’ll cover different parts of our week there over the course of several posts.

Jeju April 3rd Peace Park (4/3 “Sah Sahm”)

jeju peace park group WEB

This memorial was created to remind us all of the massacre that began on April 4th, 1948 in response to an uprising against the US Military Government and the local leadership it set up in Jeju. Over the course of 7 years an estimated 20,000 to 30,00 people were killed or disappeared. Every single family on Jeju was affected by this massacre, and its ripples continue to influence lives today. I will try to give you a brief description of the context in this post. I will also direct you to other places where you can learn a bit more.

A Truth Commission to determine exactly what happened during those seven years was only created as recently as the year 2000 in the wake of a successful Korean Democracy Movement (1987) and did not conclude its efforts until 2009.

The Truth Commission found that the spark of particular unrest came from a March 1st, 1947 demonstration. The demonstration commemorated the March 1st Independence Movement that began under Japanese occupation. They also demonstrated on behalf of the hope for a unified country, thus in protest of the US Military Government plans to hold unilateral elections in southern Korea for a separate government. Korean National Police fired upon the demonstrators killing six and leaving six severely injured. Workers and farmers across the island responded with a general strike. The US Military Government and the Koreans they appointed in leadership on Jeju decided this was the work of Soviet/northern Korean communists so they moved to suppress the strikers. The group of islanders decided that only armed retaliation could break the suppression, so they attacked a police station on April 3rd, 1948. The US Military Government, it’s Korean appointees and the subsequent South Korean Government then began an operation that included brutal suppression of the entire island that lasted from 1948 until 1954; this suppression included torture, illegal imprisonment, mass executions, and disappearances. I will mark the most noteworthy aspects of those 7 years.

Jeju graves WEB

A statue at the grave site marking the 4,000 or so known victims whose bodies were never found.

  • Of all those killed or disappeared, the Truth Commission found that around 80% were attributed to government forces and only 12% were attributed to rebel groups.
  • The majority of the victims were between the ages 10 – 29 while 5.8% were under the age of 10 and 6.1% were over the age of 60.
  • The US Military Government and the Korean commanders it appointed approved a “scorched-earth” tactic, especially in the years of 1948-49. Before 1948 Jeju had somewhere over 400 villages. After 1949 almost 300 of those villages no longer existed having been burned to the ground.
  • The South Korean government revived an old law that the Joseon Dynasty had outlawed in the previous century: if you are convicted of a crime (especially against the government) then all of your relatives are shunned by the rest of the province shutting out job opportunities, land rental/ownership, and travel off of the island. Thus the entire island became wrapped into and affected by suppression of those struggling for democracy and others assumed to be associated. This public shunning continues to affect families today.
  • No evidence of a link to the Soviets or northern Korean forces were ever found, although that was the most common fear used to legitimate US Military Government and later South Korean government policy in Jeju.
Jeju mother statue

This statue commemorates a mother and daughter whose bodies were found in a snowbank having been gunned down by government forces.

Through all of this pain and sadness we get a sense of the 한 (han) of the people of Jeju. Han refers to a deep kind of unjust suffering and the scar it leaves on people. Nevertheless, the memorial also honored the bravery and the hope of those who finally came out to tell their story bringing the truth to light. We pray that their courage will give us the strength to struggle for peace and life in the face of death. The Island of Jeju has, since the end of the Truth Commission, been declared an Island of Peace for the future. May it be so.

Further reading:

Islanders Still Mourn April 3 Massacre – Article from the Jeju Weekly

Jeju April 3rd Peace Park website

Seeking Truth After 50 Years – A paper on the work of creating the Truth Commission

Advent Devotional: To You in Rome

Another devotion written for a friend. Thanks to Katie Snipes Lancaster for the images as well!

Romans 1:1-7 From Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for God’s good news. God promised this good news about his Son ahead of time through his prophets in the holy scriptures. His Son was descended from David. He was publicly identified as God’s Son with power through his resurrection from the dead, which was based on the Spirit of holiness.

This Son is Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we have received God’s grace and our appointment to be apostles. This was to bring all Gentiles to faithful obedience for his name’s sake. You who are called by Jesus Christ are also included among these Gentiles. To those in Rome who are dearly loved by God and called to be God’s people, Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

“To You In Rome”

Rome was a very long way away from Jerusalem and the center of the early church. For the early believers, this disconnect proved to be worrisome at times. Paul could not simply hop over to give advice for every conflict, nor could he comfort them in person as the powers that be worked to suppress their community. They wondered, “How can we continue to maintain the light of faith when all around us seems dark?” Paul responds to their fear in the opening greeting of his letter.

winter snow candlelight when all seems darkHe says, the promise that brought Jesus to us came from a long time ago through a great many people before us. You are also a part of that promise! You have received that call and that grace!

This reminds me of when Sirius Black is talking to Harry Potter about his deceased parents at the end of the Prisoner of Azkaban.

He tells Harry, “The ones that love us never really leave us. You can always find them.”

He points to Harry’s chest and explains, “In here.” That is also how Harry produced his stag patronus to drive off the dementors.

No matter how disconnected you might feel from God, how dark the world outside seems, Jesus’ love for us will never really leave us. Even now we are filled with his grace and his light. This gives us our patronus. This is what keeps us going, keeps us fighting for justice, keeps us raising the light in the midst of darkness.

Letter for Advent: WCC Assembly

Greetings to you in the name of Jesus the Christ! The seasons are progressing here in Daejeon, Korea as trees are changing color and the mountains surrounding our city are calling us to come and walk their paths. We are now also preparing our hearts and minds for advent season as you will probably read this after advent has begun.

WCC Group WEB

We recently took a break with our Young Adult Volunteers (YAVs) from our usual work of cultivating relationships with our partners in Daejeon and volunteering in Children’s Centers. We all took a trip down to Busan, South Korea to attend and observe the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC).

Opening worship was particularly powerful. Prayers were given in various languages from different regions of the world. Each prayer lifted up cries of lamentation while also celebrating hope of God working in their midst. These prayers lamented the rape of women, continuing conflict and war, responsibility for colonization and imperialism, and environmental destruction among other issues for today’s church in the world. Yet hope in the Spirit that brings Christians from all over the world to worship together was also affirmed. That Spirit is also bringing us together in peacemaking all over the world, as so many at the WCC assembly hope. The sermon was given by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians. We read the English translation of the Armenian sermon as he spoke. He powerfully and humbly expressed the need for unity among Christians of all nations and denominations to work for the healing of the world. We also had the pleasure of hearing traditional Korean melodies and instrumentation throughout the worship. Although many Korean Christians continue to prohibit their use in worship today in line with many Western missionaries throughout the past 100 years, they communicated the experience of God through Korean culture to Christians from all over the world that day. Poongmul WCC WEB

A common thread for this WCC assembly has been working for peace in the midst of conflict. With this assembly held in Korea, the delegates focused much attention on the continuing Korean War and absence of a peace treaty. Although open conflict has ceased through an armistice signed by a US general on behalf of the United Nations and by North Korea, no peace treaty has actually ended the war. This advent season, I ask you to consider the waiting and hoping for peace in the hearts of Koreans throughout the peninsula. Consider their groans as resources are diverted away from development of the peninsula toward defending from the threat of open conflict beginning again. As the story of Jesus’ birth gives hope to Christians everywhere, Koreans also look for the light of hope and peace. They find hope in the story of Germany’s reunification in the midst of the Cold War.

We heard a presentation at the WCC by an East German woman about some of the steps that led up to a reunification agreement. She noted that the boldness of networks continuing to communicate secretly across the border, sharing hope for peace and sharing aid, particularly helped to pave the way for reunification talks. We also heard of daring southern Koreans willing to cross the border despite the threat of imprisonment by their own South Korean government, such as the Rev. Moon Ik Hwan. He traveled to North Korea in 1989 on an unauthorized visit to hold conversations on reunification with then leader, Kim Il Sung. He was arrested when he returned to the South. When the government released Rev. Moon on parole, he spoke to fellow Christians and activists about his experience reaching across divisions of demonization despite the threat of re-imprisonment. He expressed his feelings of deep connection to North Koreans whom he still considered family literally and figuratively, sharing the desire for Korean independence. His courage and subsequent imprisonment inspire continued visits by denominations such as the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK) and the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK). These trips connect to the Korean Christian Federation of North Korea and focus on providing desperately needed food and medical aid. These trips continue today, along with trips led by the PC(USA) and other ecumenical partners concerned with Korean peace. They often involve worship with North Korean Christians and sharing hope for reunification.

 Tisha Peace Booth WEBWe also heard numerous presenters reiterate the need for the United States, as the most powerful player in this region, to lead the way for a peace treaty. How might you be able to encourage our government to take up a foreign policy that leads to a peace treaty and finally dispenses with the military option for peace in Northeast Asia? How might we honor the promise of life and peace of the birth of Jesus in the Korean context? One step you can take is to sign and mail in this petition urging the US government to sign a peace treaty.

We dearly thank all those who support us and our Korean partners’ work toward building peace on this peninsula. Our Young Adult Volunteers have particularly appreciated the prayers and packages from our partners in the US. If you would like to join us in this work of peacemaking, to learn with us about the Korean context and Korean hopes for peace, donate now! We are also looking for congregations to visit when we return to the US for a month in March and April. We would be happy to tell our story in your congregation. Send us a note if you would like to invite us.

Advent Devotional from Hyeyoung: Peace 평화

We wrote a couple of Advent devotionals for a friend’s series, so we are going to re-post them here for your enjoyment!

Psalm 122:6-9 Pray that Jerusalem has peace: Let those who love you have rest. Let there be peace on your walls; let there be rest on your fortifications. For the sake of my family and friends, I say, “Peace be with you, Jerusalem.” For the sake of the Lord our God’s house I will pray for your good.

As Christians, peace is a very familiar word for us. “Peace” is mentioned more than 400 times in the Bible. During the worship service, as part of the ritual we do a passing of the peace saying, “Peace be with you.” Peace is also one of the frequent topics for sermons and bible studies.

seek peace_FotorIf we look at today’s text, the main theme is peace. So, what does it mean by, peace, and why do we talk about peace so often in our lives? In Korean, peace is translated as 평화(Pyong Hwa). This word actually originated from Chinese charters 平和. If you look at the words separately, those are composed of three different words: equality, rice, and mouth. So, peace means every mouth is fed equally in Korean and Chinese. If we pay closer attention to this meaning, our society is not at peace because there are many people in the world who are dying from hunger. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), 842 million people in the world do not have enough to eat. Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five – 3.1 million children each year. To be at peace (so that every mouth is fed equally), there is much work to be done.

During the season of Advent as we are waiting for the God of peace, let us reflect on what peace means to us and how we, as Christians, can take responsibility for being active peace makers in the world.

God’s peace be with you all.

First Itineration Sermon

This is the text of the sermon Hyeyoung and I gave together on our itineration visits before we left the U.S. for Korea. It gives you a sense of our call story, and what we see as part of the purpose of our work in Korea. We gave this sermon as a team, so each section indicates who was speaking that part. We will soon be working on scheduling an itinerary for our visit to the U.S. in the spring. If you would like us to visit, or to hear an update of our work in a new sermon, please send us an email. We would love to talk about how you, your congregation, or you community can support our work in Korea with the Young Adult Volunteer Program.

1 Samuel 3: 1 – 10

(Kurt) – Who has ever been in a situation where you felt completely different from everyone else around you?

(Hyeyoung) – I have as well. When I was in my second year of college, I had the opportunity to live in the Philippines for one year, helping out Korean Christian missionaries connected to my home church. Up until that point I had never been to another country, besides growing up in Korea. And I had never felt before that I was so different from people around me. I was uncomfortable, and I felt frustrated, and I did not understand what people were saying, and they did not understand what I was saying.

Then, after graduating college, I came to the United States as an international student at McCormick Seminary. Despite my year in the Philippines, I still felt uncomfortable and frustrated again being with people who were different from me. I had a lot of questions about why people acted this way or that way. I’m sure other people also wondered about why I was acting this way or that way. Sometimes I felt isolated and alone when I thought that no one could understand me. One time in my ministry class, I burst out crying because it was my turn to talk about the subject and everyone was looking at me, but I did not know what to say or how to say it in English. It was a scary and embarrassing time for me.

(Kurt) – When I grew up in Texas, I stood out from the crowd a little bit. I looked a little different with even brighter red hair than I have now. Other youth came up with all sorts of names for me: carrot top, copper top, red headed step child. They let me know in subtle ways, and not so subtle ways that I did not really belong with any of the groups I was with at school. When I developed an eccentric sense of humor, or had thoughts that were more liberal than everyone else, they would point out how “strange” I was. I actually had someone come up to me and say, “You are strange,” and then walk away.

(Hyeyoung) – However, over the course of the year that I stayed in the Philippines, I was able to build a relationship with people who looked completely different from me. They slowly welcomed me. They wanted to know me and they even wanted to be friends with me. Then I realized that maybe it was me who was not opening my mind or my heart to them. Once I realized that, I became more comfortable and I was able to see aspects of life in the Philippines that I had missed up to that point. At McCormick as an intentional Christian community, students truly welcomed me and passed on the message to me that being different is not a bad thing. They even encouraged me to share my own thoughts and ideas, even when they were different from their own. They also encouraged me to celebrate my differences and helped me to value the uniqueness of my own perspective.

(Kurt) – I found a youth pastor at a local church, Rev. Mary Alice Lyman, who brought me in and showed me warmth, compassion, and nurtured my unique personality. Mary Alice and the youth group around me gave me a different message from everyone else, that the things that made me different actually made me beautiful, and the things that made me strange actually made me valuable. I belonged with them, and I belonged to God, not despite the fact I was different, but all the more because I was given unique gifts: to be able to sing to myself, to bask in sarcasm, and to fill others with energy and a passion for life. I stopped worrying about whether other kids were going to think I was cool enough, or whether some idea that came into my head would endanger my status with everyone at school. I learned to celebrate my own “Kurt-ness.”

(Hyeyoung) – I felt God’s presence through that group of friends and professors at McCormick. They were present when I was sad and lonely. They were present when I was happy and joyful. They were present to encourage me to become a better person. They were present when I was struggling with difficult questions. They were presents as agents of God to help me grow spiritually. So when I heard about the opportunity to serve in Korea as a mission co-worker last year, I felt that I had to respond to this call because I had received so much through my life, and it was time for me to give back as a servant of God to other young adults as they go through an experience of transformation.

(Kurt) – I began seeking out mentors in every step along my life. When I went to Austin College, a small Presbyterian college in Sherman, Texas, I met a campus minister, Rev. John Williams, who helped give form to what I began feeling as a call to ministry. He continued nurturing my differences as valuable. Then I realized that if I am going to reach out to people who are different from me and learn to value them, I need to learn more about people different from me. I need to put myself into situations where I am completely different from everyone else in the room. I decided to cross over an ocean and study in Scotland. There, I met the program directors taking care of students coming in internationally. They were kind and nurturing and eventually began to suggest that I also seemed pretty good at taking care of the people around me. After graduating college, I volunteered for the Young Adult Volunteer program, the YAV program, and went to England. There, my site coordinator, or supervisor, also showed me compassion and love. She nudged me in the direction of exploring my gifts for spiritual direction. In seminary, I went to study in Seoul, Korea for a year, and my colleagues began to say, “Kurt, I think God may be trying to tell you something.” I realized that all these mentors were beginning to play the role of Eli to me as Samuel. Samuel was hearing God’s voice, but not too sure of it, not ready to just follow the voice right away. So Eli helped him to discern that it was indeed God, that God definitely wanted him to do something. Well, I was a bit more stubborn than Samuel. I needed a whole bunch of different Eli’s over many years of my life to prepare me for when the PC(USA) national offices suggested that I apply with Hyeyoung to be YAV site coordinators and mission co-workers. Finally it was time for us to respond to the call…

(Hyeyoung) – Friends, we believe that you, too, are called. You may not receive your calls in the same way that Kurt and I received ours. Maybe there are friends and family around that can help you discern what God may be trying to tell you. We would definitely all like to receive calls from God as crystal clear! Even as clear as a text message stating specifically, “I want you to do this thing in this place.”

(Kurt) – Your call may not be to travel half way across the globe. Maybe your call is not about a job or a career or some other major life transition. Maybe you are going to receive a series of many calls throughout your life, and one of them is to walk across the room to a stranger you have never met before to say, “Hello! Welcome! I’m glad you are here. How are you doing?” and then to actually listen to their answer. Maybe one of your calls is simply to volunteer for a local organization on your free time. Perhaps you are already deeply involved in the work God wants you to do, but you have not yet understood it as a call from God. Discerning your call will never be easy. One suggestion to help is to seek out an Eli in your life, someone who will listen to your thoughts and your feelings about life and God. Find someone to help you see patterns in your experience without trying to define too clearly what they think you should do. Maybe an entire community can become your Eli, just as Hyeyoung’s group of friends became that for her. I also want to challenge you to be an Eli for someone else in your life.

(Hyeyoung) – A good sign that you are doing your call, is if you are passionate about what you are doing or if you get energy from what you are doing. For me, I am particularly excited about working with young adults who are looking for an opportunity to transform their lives. I can’t wait to be their conversation partner, their counselor, and mentor. I hope to be a spiritual guide for them as they struggle to figure out the next step in their lives and what God would like them to do. I am also excited about building meaningful relationships with global partners in Korea and PC(USA) World Mission, as well as Presbyterians in the U.S. just like you! It will be a joy to interpret the work happening in Korea to congregations back in the States, sharing with them God’s presence in our work, and encouraging congregations to recognize God calling them to become partners in Christ’s ministry there.

(Kurt) – I will particularly enjoy becoming a companion on the journey of these coming YAV’s as they cross over the boundaries of difference just like I did around my college years. I will get to introduce them to the intricacies of Korean culture and life. I will help them to learn the different ways that Koreans work to address the root causes of poverty, the ways they share the how Jesus Christ has transformed their lives, and the ways they work for reconciliation in a region of violent conflict. I get to help them understand that the things that make Koreans and Korean culture different are also the things that make them beautiful. The things that seem strange about the way Koreans live, also make them worthy of the love, compassion, and nurture of God. You see, the YAV program is different from a lot of other international volunteer programs because we are built to offer spiritual direction, helping young adults discern the way God is leading them through difficult and uncomfortable situations, when they are in a room where everyone else around them is completely different. This results in transformed PC(USA) young adults who come back to the U.S. and become amazing leaders in the church, thus transforming our denominations and our congregations! There are so many wonderful things to come out of the future of this ministry. That is the call as we have come to understand it in this stage of our lives: that we might become an Eli to young adults coming over to volunteer for a year in Korea.

(Hyeyoung) – Look around and see who might be an Eli in your life, and listen carefully for all the ways that God might pass on a message to you, be it through text message or through long conversations with dear friends. And don’t forget that you can be an Eli for someone else close to you, helping them discern the voice of God in their lives.

Amen.

Not Something to Be Exploited

Greetings in the name of Jesus, the Transformer! Hyeyoung, Sahn, and I are finally settling down into something of a rhythm in our life and work in Daejeon, Korea. After several months of preparation, our four Young Adult Volunteers (YAVs) have arrived and have begun their year with us in Daejeon.

We have just wrapped up two weeks of on-site orientation with them, and we have now set them on their own to continue their Korean language class and attend their volunteer sites.

Tasting tea at So San Won tea makers.

Tasting tea at So San Won tea makers.

One of our orientation activities was to visit a local tea maker to learn about tea culture. The tea maker noted, “Drinking tea [in Korea] is not so much about how you drink it, but that you share it with other people.” That is maybe an easier lesson to learn that speaking the language! Korean can be a very difficult language to learn, especially when such a higher value is placed on speaking English in the global market place. Most Koreans will assume foreigners have no interest in speaking Korean. This can lead to many missed opportunities in creating relationships. That is why we have our YAVs attend a college level course of Korean language five days a week from 9am until 1pm for one semester in addition to their volunteer assignments. This is a grueling schedule, especially for young adults who just graduated from college with only a summer to pretend they had left all classes behind them. Not only will this help the YAVs create relationships where otherwise there would be none, but it will help in the effort to form deeper relationships and deeper understandings of cultural nuance.

One of our YAVs, Quantisha Mason, reflected on the struggles of learning Korean that, I believe, contains a special insight into Christ-like living. Quantisha is a very outgoing type of young adult. When I met her at the YAV Discernment Event, she comfortably moved among the crowd of prospective YAVs communicating excitement, humor, and emotions articulately. She just graduated from Warren Wilson College, a Presbyterian college in North Carolina, where she was one of a few African American students. She showed initiative in engaging this situation head on helping to create a support group for other students from non-white backgrounds. She experienced quite a bit of social success in the past four years. Now she enters Korea where she is unable to interact with most Koreans articulately because she has just begun learning their language. She writes, “[Korean] is not something that one can simply pick up. I have found myself having to tell others to ‘Go slow…please..I am so new to this….’ Swallowing your pride and asking someone that does not speak fluent English to take their time with you because you want to understand them in their native tongue sure makes your ego want to curl up and die under a rock somewhere. AHHHHHH!!! Scary, but hey, I did it and I’m alive and even doing better.”

Indeed, her effort on the “Struggle Bus” of learning Korean has been paying off, and she, along with the other YAVs have made huge strides in grasping the language. They all are living into a powerful example of incarnational ministry, considering their native English ability not as something to be exploited. Instead, they empty themselves of pride and ego (Philippians 2:6-7). They are allowing Christ to transform them and allowing Koreans to teach them so that when they bring their new leadership skills back to the U.S.A., they will be leaders working from a global perspective.

Now, however, our YAVs have finished their orientation time, talking about culture, trips out to orient them to the City of Daejeon, and saying hello to their volunteer sites. They have begun their volunteering responsibilities at their Children’s Centers. Molly volunteers at the Sae Um Neighborhood Children’s Center, with Eric and Quantisha at the Bop Dong Neighborhood Children’s Center, and Bennet at the Sam Sung Neighborhood Children’s Center.

Quantisha and Eric being introduced at Bop Dong Center.

Quantisha and Eric being introduced at Bop Dong Center.

I was able to join Eric and Quantisha on their first day at Bop Dong Center. Both the YAVs and the children were filled with some excitement. I took part in helping introduce the children to Eric and Quantisha with Myung Ju, a teacher at the center. I left soon after the introduction to let them all get acquainted with each other. As I left, however, they just began a riveting game of Kawi Bawi Bo (Paper Rocks Scissors). It was a solid first step in building trusting relationships.

I also visited the Sam Sung Center with Bennett on a different day. He was able to join the youth and children for a presentation on medicine use and abuse, tips for visiting the doctors, as well as maintaining health in an intelligent manner.

Presentation to youth on use of medicine at Sam Sung Center.

Presentation to youth on use of medicine at Sam Sung Center.

After the presentation, Bennett and I spent some time getting to know the older group of youth a little bit better. I helped to do a little translating between Bennett and the youth. We started with some basic name and sharing activities, but the passion really started when we played a hand-tap game. This is a game where you cross your hands over and under the hands of the people beside you at the table, and you attempt to tap your hand in the proper order sending a sort of “tap wave” around the table. The tension around the room loosened, and much more laughter could be heard when they could communicate through the language of games, rather than having to stumble through a foreign language introducing themselves. They opened up to share a bit more of themselves during the game as well, once they trusted that Bennett and I were both still human, having humbly crashed out of both rounds of the game. Bennett tells me that each session he spends at the Sam Sung Center gets more and more comfortable as the youth trust him more and more, knowing that he hopes to learn even more from them than he could ever teach. Watching the YAVs begin this journey of immersion into Korean life is a wonderful gift.

Hyeyoung, Sahn, and I would like to thank you for following our journey! We invite you to join us as participants on our journey, if you have not yet already come aboard, please donate to our Mission Co-Worker account linked here. If you are a congregation hoping to connect to a Mission Co-Worker, send us an email and we will try to plan a visit to your community when we come to the States this spring!

Peace and blessings to you all,

Kurt Esslinger