A letter from Choon Lim in South Korea (Regional Liaison for East Asia)
Dear Friends in Mission,
Advent is the time to wait for God each year. God came into human history in the person of Jesus when God’s time was right. During Advent, it is time to make a space where God can be born anew in us. So again this year we wait for God, who comes to us always in any situation and renews us to overcome all the difficulties and issues.
Waiting is not easy to do in the real world. If you have a project to carry on and then get into difficulties, you will wait for it in frustration. I wanted to reconnect to the Amity Foundation (AF) in Nanjing, China, our longtime partner institution. After the initial visitation last year (I attended Bishop Ting’s Memorial Service in Nanjing on December 8, 2012), I waited for an invitation again this year, but there was none issued to visit there.
Finally I received an email from the AF after they received our Newsletter for East Asia, saying they wanted to meet me and discuss with me their programs. Without hesitation, I answered ‘yes’ and on October 11-13, I went there to learn their programs, which were prepared very well to introduce their projects to me. It started with the General Secretary Zhonghui Qiu’s welcoming word, and then the four directors introduced their programs with PPTs and videos. After that, they took me to their work field such as the Bible Printing Co., the Elderly Care Center, the Physically Challenged Young Children Care Center and the AF Bakery. Their hospitality and care were more than I expected, and I believe I was able to finally make reconnection with the AF in China.
But this grace came through the Senior Research Consultant, Soowee Chang, who was helped by the PC(USA) in the past. When she became a director of the AF in Hong Kong, the AF requested us to help with her salary. Several years ago, she retired and moved to Nanjing and now works half year in Nanjing as a consultant. The other half year she goes to the Philippines to see her daughter and takes care of grandchildren. She deeply thanks the world mission of Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) and feels indebted to us. So she has decided to be a mediator between the AF and me. I truly enjoyed fellowship with her and thanked her Presbyterian mission spirit. She hopes we can work together next year, and has invited us to participate in Summer English Program (SEP) and The Amity Easter Tour 2014.
Another Presbyterian helper I met in this China trip was Rev. Sungnam Chen. I have prayed for a new mission co-worker (MCW) or a helper to work between China and North Korea since our MCW will retire at the end of December, 2013. After the AF meeting, I went to Shenyang to meet the pastors of Seotop Church, our longtime partner church in Northeast China. The church has more than 1,000 Korean Chinese Christians and 1,500 Chinese Christians in Sunday worship service. This church also had a strong relationship with us before, but I need to rebuild this relationship with them.
While meeting with pastors, I shared the issue of a helper with them, and Rev. Myungbong Oh, senior pastor and the chairperson of China Christian Council (CCC) and Three Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) in Shenyang, suggested that since Rev. Sungnam Chen had worked for the PC(USA) many years ago as a helper, he could do it again. Rev. Chen enthusiastically responded with his willingness to serve until his retirement. On November 14, 2013, they will celebrate 100th Anniversary. As I participate in the big event, we can build a strong relationship again so that we may do God’s mission together.
One of World Mission’s latest slogans is “Better Together” because each entity of a mission partnership relies on, and complements, the gifts of the others. If you aren’t already directly involved in the support of a mission co-worker, we invite you to join us with your prayers and support.
In visiting two places in China this time, I saw God’s grace that had already prepared for me and waited for me. While we wait, we remember that we all belong to each other because we all belong to God. Let’s prayerfully wait for God’s goodness with patience. God waits to be born into your world this Advent season.
I finally send a special word of thanks to all of you who support our ministry with your prayers and your giving. Your support for World Mission of PMA is an expression of “Better Together.” Have a special holiday season!
Together in Mission,
Regional Liaison for East Asia
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