Some of you in the PC(USA) world have heard the news of the budget shortfall from 2014 that is going to affect our employing department, Presbyterian World Mission. You may have seen an article in the Outlook. You may have also read and signed in support of the letter written by past moderators of the denomination. If you have not, the basic gist of the situation is that if financial support for mission co-workers does not drastically change in the next two years, we will have to drastically change the way Presbyterian World Mission looks.
Many of you are strong supporters of us already. We cannot thank you enough for all that you have given to keep us going in this position. We have received prayer shawls from you, care packages with coffee, cards from Sunday School classes, and also financial contributions. Many of you already know that Presbyterian World Mission has quite a history of amazing feats. We are also trying to redeem some mistakes of the past and transform into a more aware participant in the globe that is truly helpful to our global partners.
Our Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) Program continues to bring in young adults from around the US and send them to sites all over the world including here in Korea. More than merely providing helpful “services”, these YAVs learn about the experiences, suffering, and hope of communities around the world. They go back to the US with a better understanding of how we in the US sometimes increase the suffering of others without being fully aware. They go back to the US with a better understanding of how to transform that relationship so that our government’s foreign policy and our community relations reverses our mistakes and instead build an environment for peace, shalom, and life in abundance for all. Next year Hyeyoung will also connect them to the Glocal Multi-Cultural Leadership Program of Hannam University so that they better understand the needs and hopes of the immigrant and migrant community in Korea.
My job with the NCCK is building bridges across the division of conflict in Korea. For the most part they have been focusing on reconciliation between North and South Koreans, but they hope to include US Americans in more of their efforts as well. The North still considers the US as its number 1 enemy. The US responds with derision and dehumanization throughout our media such as movies like The Interview. Most US Americans have not heard the history of the Korean Christian Federation, and thus assume they are “not true Christians” based on how much they lack resemblance to our limited understanding of Christian identity. I hope to build more bridges alongside the NCCK, and I hope to bring many of you with us to raise awareness of how this conflict came about, our role in it, and hope for re-humanization of each other and reconciliation. If anything, at least we can push together for a peace treaty to replace the armistice agreement. Read an overview of that work on this NCCK post, past activities, and also a current program here.
If this is the kind of work that you believe is important in this world, then I challenge you to affirm that significance with a financial contribution to make sure we can continue here, learn even more, and share that will all of you for years to come. If you have been supporting us already, thank you again! I also challenge you to consider whether you can increase that amount this year and to consider how to make it a recurring gift throughout our assignment. You may click on the donate button to the side or follow this Donate Link. The church as we know it is going to look very different in the coming years, but if we can put our energy and resources together in new ways, we can continue accomplishing amazing feats.