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Fragility, Faith and Freedom

A Letter from Myoungho Yang and Jiyeon Yoo, serving in Hong Kong, China

November 2019

Write to Myoung Ho Yang
Write to Ji Yeon Yoo

Individuals: Give online to E200521 for Myoung Ho Yang and Ji Yeon Yoo’s sending and support

Congregations: Give to D507584 for Myoung Ho Yang and Ji Yeon Yoo’s sending and support

Churches are asked to send donations through your congregation’s normal receiving site (this is usually your presbytery)

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We have returned to Hong Kong from our IA (Interpretation Assignment) in the U.S. We thank God that Jiyeon was able to make the long trip without any difficulties. We were not sure whether we would be able to visit churches in the U.S. since she suffered a stroke last year, but your prayers made it possible. Some told us that they had never prayed so earnestly in their whole lives. Many also said that our visit itself was an answer to prayer. We believe that prayer works. That’s why we are still praying, remembering that Jesus taught disciples to pray always and not give up.

While Jiyeon feels that her condition is getting better, her recent test results show that her medical condition is pretty much the same as before. Results fell short of our expectations, but we are not disappointed because we are praying and we know our invisible faith cannot be controlled by any visible things, just as an old hymn sings, “Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory! Oh, glorious victory that overcomes the world” (From “Encamped along the Hills of Light”). We would like to ask you to continue praying for Jiyeon.

Whenever we come back from the States after an IA, we remember your warm welcome, loving care, talking over a cup of coffee, phone conversations, thoughtful words, and pats on the back. As the Psalmist says, “How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along” (Psalm 133:1, The Message). This memory encourages us and gives us the strength to keep going in our ministry in Hong Kong because it reminds us that we are walking together with you.

Jiyeon praying.

I would like to also ask you to pray for Hong Kong. As you might have seen and heard from the news, the people of Hong Kong are going through a crucial time in their history.

Five months have passed since almost a million people took to the streets, triggered by the now-withdrawn extradition bill. Their protest was peaceful, rational and without incident when it started, but the situation has worsened. Protesters felt the government was ignoring their voice and just waiting for the movement to lose power. Their voice has not died away, and violence has escalated because the people believe that it is the only way for them to be heard. They don’t want Hong Kong to become like Xinjiang or one of cities in mainland China. They think that this could be their last chance to stand up for their freedom. They shout, “Now or never,” and “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our time!” The situation has become more severe since the government introduced an anti-mask law on October 4th. Citywide clashes between protestors and the police have intensified and are affecting safety and daily life. Jiyeon and I couldn’t go to church and worshipped at home last Sunday because all subway lines were closed for the first time in the subway’s history. The subway system is still not fully restored, and closes early. Malls are also closed.

In the eyes of people who took to the street, we saw a desperate desire to protect their fragile freedom. It is heartbreaking to see powerlessness and loss of hope in the eyes of those who were arrested. Reportedly, more than two thousand people have been arrested so far. In this crucial moment of Hong Kong’s history, we remember what God said through Ezekiel: “And I sought for anyone among them who would repair the wall and stand in the breach before me on behalf of the land” (Ezekiel 22:30, NRSV). We may not apply this passage directly to the current situation in Hong Kong, but Jiyeon and I stand, as, “anyone… who would… stand… on behalf of the land,” on the hill of the school from where we can see a small part of Hong Kong and pray for this land. We believe it’s a part of our calling as God’s mission co-workers sent to Hong Kong at this time of the city’s history. We pray that the peace, freedom, and justice that God gives will fill this land, that God will have mercy on this land and its people, and that God’s kingdom will be firmly established here. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow in Hong Kong. But we do believe that God is in control of history, and that God is “doing a new thing! Now it springs up” (Isaiah 43:19). We would like to invite you to join us in the call to prayer.

We greatly thank you for your prayers and support of our ministry, which keep our ministry going. We will update you with news and prayer requests in the coming days. Please continue to walk with us.

In Grace and Peace of Christ,

Myoungho and Jiyeon

Please read this important message from Sara Lisherness, interim director of Presbyterian World Mission

Dear friend of Presbyterian Mission,

Greetings in Christ! As the interim director of Presbyterian World Mission, I am grateful to have the opportunity to thank you for your continued support of PC(USA) mission co-workers.

The enclosed newsletter bears witness to some of the many ways in which God is at work in the world through long-standing relationships between global partners and the PC(USA). These partnerships are nurtured and strengthened by the presence of mission co-workers in over 40 countries; you are an important part of this partnership too, as you learn about and share how our church is involved in global ministry; as you pray for our partners and mission co-workers; and as you take action to work with others for God’s justice, peace and healing.

I write to invite you to continue joining us in partnership in three ways. First, your prayers are always needed. Please pray that God will continue guiding the shared work of the PC(USA) and global partners as we engage together in service around the world. Pray, too, for mission co-workers, that they may feel encouraged in the work they are doing under the leadership of global partners.

Second, please consider making a year-end gift for the sending and support of at least one mission co-worker. There is a remittance form at the end of this letter and an enclosed envelope so that you can send in a special year-end gift.

Finally, I encourage you to ask your session to include one or more mission co-workers in your congregation’s mission budget for 2020 and beyond. PC(USA) mission co-workers’ sending and support costs are funded by the designated gifts of individuals and congregations like yours; your gifts allow Presbyterian World Mission to fulfill global partners’ requests for mission personnel.

Faithfully in Christ,

Sara Pottschmidt Lisherness
Director, Compassion, Peace and Justice Ministry
Interim Director, Presbyterian World Mission

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