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“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.” —Acts 2:4

Saturday, August 22

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South Korea

 

Rev. Sootaek Kim Photo buy Kurt Esslinger

 

Rev. Sootaek Kim

 

Photo by Kurt Esslinger

 

Rev. Sootaek Kim founded Saenaru Church, which also houses a children’s center and a soup kitchen, in the city of Daejeon 20 years ago. I have come to know Rev. Kim, as Saenaru is one of the locations where our Young Adult Volunteers serve for a year. After graduating from college in 1978, Rev. Kim worked in the Korean civil service, participated in the democracy movement of the ’70s and ’80s, and eventually studied theology, which connected his sense of justice to God.

The neighborhood around Saenaru Church includes Daejeon Train Station and many people living in poverty, most of whom are elderly or part of single-parent households dealing with homelessness or on the verge of it. Rev. Kim found that he needed to study social work in order to better minister to them.

Around 20 children regularly participate in the children’s center programs, and every day the church serves 170 meals on site and delivers another 40. Our YAV community worshiped one Sunday morning with the Saenaru congregation and witnessed a very holy occurrence. Most in attendance were from the homeless and hungry population in the neighborhood who are part of the minjung, the name given to the outcast, the downtrodden, and the ignored in Korean society. Rev. Kim showed us how he encounters Jesus Christ among the downtrodden.

Kurt Esslinger, PC(USA) YAV site coordinator and mission coworker, South Korea

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) People in Mission

Rev. Choon Lim, regional liaison for East Asia, Presbyterian World Mission, Yen Hee Lim, team ministry • Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK): Rev. Kurt Esslinger and Hyeyoung Lee, YAV site coordinators and partnership facilitators for peacemaking

Partners/Ministries

Presbyterian Church of Korea: Rev. Dr. Hong-Jung Lee, general secretary, Rev. Chang-bae Byun, executive secretary, planning and ecumenical relations • National Organization of Korean Presbyterian Women: Elder Kyung Ja Min, moderator, Rev. Yoon Hee Lee, general secretary • Women Ministers Association Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK): Rev. Tae Jin Bae, general secretary, Rev. Min-heui Cheon, executive secretary, ecumenical relations •National Council of Churches in Korea: Rev. Young Ju Kim, general secretary • Christian Literature Society: Rev. Ji Kang Chung, president • Hanil University and Presbyterian Theological Seminary: Rev. Dr. Duck-ho Oh, president

Young Adult Volunteers

Jordan Bailey and Kalyn Stevwing

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Carla Miller, PMA
Emily Miller, PMA
Elder Martha Miller, OGA

Let us pray

God of warmth and compassion, let us be filled with the light of Christ that Rev. Kim and prophets like him reflect so brightly. Lead us out into the world, where the lost, lonely, and hungry can be the face of Jesus for us. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 56; 149
First Reading 2 Samuel 23:1-7, 13-17
Second Reading Acts 25:13-27
Gospel Reading Mark 13:1-13
Evening Psalms 118; 111

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