A Letter from Myung Han and Jieun Kim Han, serving in East Asia
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Greetings from Seoul, Korea!
Relationships are the key to the mission in East Asia. We learned this when we ministered in China as diaconal workers in the 1990s. Establishing good relationships is the highest “law” for Chinese people. In fact, good relationships are the key to any successful ministry in any country but are especially important in East Asia. The region has welcomed many western mission co-workers who have provided support to a particular agency or group in the past. Now, ecumenical partnership is essential as the churches in the region are growing strong.
Despite the powerful influence of the Korean Church on society, there are challenging issues of diversity and equity in the church. Since we arrived in Seoul, Korea, on August 8, 2020, we have tried to build up relationships with many different groups of people through Zoom meetings, preaching, lectures, newspaper interviews and meals. We are surprised by the stalwart faithfulness of the Korean Church, while Korean Christians, especially the younger generation, are surprised and encouraged by our inclusiveness and equity. We are humbled to hear from those young ministers that our presence in Korea empowers them. They want to experience the ministry of PC(USA). And we believe that ministers in PC(USA) can learn from the dynamic witness of the Korean Church.
It is just one example of why we need ecumenical collaboration, not only for witnessing to Christ around the world but also for the developing congregational vitality in both Korea and the U.S. There are many things that we can learn from each other.
We recently met a Chinese woman we had taught when we were ministering to a church in China in the 1990s. She has since married a Chinese pastor and is studying Christian education in Seoul, Korea. It was a joyful reunion. Our former student has become a Christian scholar and leader of the church. It gives us hope in what we do. The Spirit of God is working in mission through difficult situations.
Jieun is involved in the plan for the solidarity of islands for peace conference/action/event, in which the young people in the islands of Hawaii, Okinawa, Jeju and Taiwan join together to promote peace. There are U.S. Marine bases on all those islands, except for Taiwan. Earnest prayers and efforts are needed to overcome the lines of division that were drawn during the Cold War still remain between North and South Korea, between China and Taiwan, and between Japan and Russia (the four Kuril Islands).
There are many ministries for peace and reconciliation in East Asia. We have seen the light of Christ’s peace, as the political tension is escalating in this region. We are glad to join God’s ministry in East Asia.
Thank you for your prayers and support, which allows us to participate in God’s mission for peace and reconciliation in East Asia. We will continue to introduce you to and share about the ministries in East Asia.
Peace of Christ be with you all!
Myung-Sung (Martin) and Jieun Kim Han
Please read the following letter from Sara P. Lisherness, the interim director of World Mission:
Dear partners in God’s mission,
I don’t know about you, but daily my heart grows heavier. News about the pandemic, wars, wildfires, gun violence, racism, earthquakes and hurricanes cloud my vision. It’s hard to see hope; our world is in a fog. Yet we trust that God’s light and love transcend the brokenness of this time.
God is at work transforming the world, and you, through your prayers, partnership and encouragement, are helping us share this good news. Thank you for your faithful and gracious support of our mission personnel.
How can we see through the fog? What will the church be after the pandemic? Could it be that God is doing “a new thing” and is inviting us to perceive it? Through all the uncertainty we know that God’s steadfast love and care for all creation will prevail and that God’s Spirit is at work in each of us.
We all have an integral part to play in fulfilling God’s mission. As we seek to grow together in faithfulness there are three important steps I invite you to take in supporting our shared commitments to God’s mission:
Give – Consider making a year-end financial contribution for the sending and support of our mission personnel. Your support helps mission personnel accompany global partners as together they share the light of God’s love and justice around the world. Invite your session to include support for mission personnel in its annual budget planning.
Act – Visit The Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study to delve deeper into the work God is doing through the PC(USA) and its partners in ministry around the globe: pcusa.org/missionyearbook.
Pray – Include our mission personnel, our global partners, and our common commitments to share God’s grace, love, mercy and justice in your daily prayers.
Thank you for your faithfulness to God’s mission through the Presbyterian Church. It is my prayer that you will continue to support this work with your prayers, partnership, and financial gifts in the coming year. We hope you will join us and our partners in shining a beacon of hope throughout the world.
In the light of hope,
Sara P. Lisherness, Interim Director
Presbyterian Mission Agency
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
To give please visit https://bit.ly/PCUSAmission
You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16
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