The Joy of Doing Three-Way Mission

A Letter from Choon and Yen Hee Lim, with Choon serving as Regional Liaison for East Asia, based in South Korea

October 2018

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Elias and Gilbert walked around the library at Severance Hospital, stopping at the urology section, picking up a few books and flipping through some pages. When they took out “Campbell’s Urology,” a textbook regarded as the Bible in the field, their eyes sparkled with longing. Though Dr. Rev. Chin Yong Pak, director of the Medical Mission Center of Severance Hospital, told them they could borrow books from the library, they politely declined. He felt sorry to see them turn away from the bookshelves.

Dr. Pak and Gilbert.

Elias and Gilbert are medical doctors from Kenya who had come to Korea to be trained in the urology department at Severance Hospital. It is not easy for medical doctors or students in countries with few training resources to purchase medical textbooks, as the books are frequently unavailable or they cannot afford to buy them. E-books are easier to access these days, but e-books cannot replace paper books in which you can mark and make notes.

In mid-September, I accompanied Presbyterian World Mission Director Rev. José Luis Casal on a visit to Korea. During the trip, José Luis and I visited our partner institutions, Yonsei University and Severance Hospital in Seoul. Severance Hospital is a part of Yonsei University. We were given a tour of the hospital campus, a complex of buildings where around 15,000 people receive outpatient care each day. When Dr. Pak introduced their programs to us, we were surprised to hear that they are already doing three-way mission. Three-way mission refers to a form of mission in which a mission agency works with a global partner, which in turn, works with other global partners. I’d like to share with you the wonderful history of the hospital and how Dr. Pak started the book program through which doctors who graduated in other countries have received highly specialized books through financial support from the PC(USA).

From left: Dr. Kim, Yen Hee, Rev. Casal, Choon and Dr. Pak at Severance Hospital.

The first mission activity in Korea was medical service. In 1884, Presbyterian missionary Dr. Horace Newton Allen, a surgeon, came to Korea as the only medical doctor with expertise in Western medicine in Korea at that time. Dr. Allen eventually established Jejung Hospital, the first modern medical facility in Korea, which later became a school of medicine. Jejung Hospital changed its name to Severance Hospital because Mr. John Long Severance in Cleveland, Ohio, donated a huge sum ($45,000 in 1900) to build a new hospital building in Seoul, and his son, also named John Severance, left his inheritance to the hospital, as well.

Contributions from the PC(USA) to Severance Hospital have been continuous since Mr. Severance made the first donation in 1900. In 2017, the PC(USA) launched a small program to help medical personnel from countries lacking training resources receive training at Severance Hospital and get professional books with funds from the PC(USA). The textbook program, the “PC(USA)-Severance Professional Development Award,” provides up to $500 in medical textbooks to each person receiving the award. So far, 20 doctors, dentists, and nurses have been recipients.

Three months after Elias and Gilbert looked longingly at the textbooks in the library, Dr. Pak asked them to choose the books they wished to purchase with their awards. Both chose “Campbell’s Urology.” When the books were handed to them, their shining faces reflected their grateful hearts. At that moment, Dr. Pak was able to fully understand Mr. Severance’s words: “My joy of giving is greater than your joy of receiving.”

Presbyterian World Mission will continue to work with Severance Hospital of Yonsei University through sending funds for the textbook program. With this new program, we are setting an example of what mission can do to bear much fruit. I pray that God’s mission extends through this partnership program more powerfully and effectively as we work collaboratively with our global partners. Thanks for your prayers and financial support for our ministry of working as bridge-builders and mediators in Korea, East Asia and beyond.

Yen Hee and Choon Lim

Please read this important message from José Luis Casal, Director, Presbyterian World Mission

Dear partners in God’s mission,

We near the close of 2018 inspired by the hope of Christ. God is transforming the world, and you are helping to make it happen.

Thank you very much for your support of our mission co-workers. The prayers and financial gifts of people like you enable them to work alongside global partners to address poverty, hopelessness, violence and other pressing problems in the name of Jesus Christ.

Every day, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission co-workers are blessed to be able to walk alongside their brothers and sisters across the globe. Listening to each other in faith and in friendship, they learn from each other how to work towards a world in which everyone flourishes. Acting upon what they discover together, PC(USA) mission co-workers and our global partners strengthen the body of Christ.

Because you are an integral part of God’s mission, I invite you to become more deeply committed to Presbyterian World Mission. First, would you make a year-end gift for the sending and support of our mission co-workers? The needs in the world are great, and World Mission is poised to answer God’s call to serve others.

I also invite you to ask your session to add our mission co-workers to your congregation’s prayer list and mission budget for 2019 and beyond. Your multi-year commitment will make a great difference in our involvement with our partners. The majority of our mission co-workers’ funding comes from the special gifts of individuals and congregations like yours, for God’s mission is a responsibility of the whole church, not a particular area of the church. Now more than ever, we need your financial support!

In faith, our mission co-workers accept a call to mission service. In faith, World Mission, representing the whole church and you, sends them to work with our global partners. In faith, will you also commit to support this work with your prayers and financial gifts? With hope and faith, I await your positive response!

At God’s service and at your service!

José Luis Casal

P.S. Your gift will help meet critical needs of our global partners. Thank you!

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