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Minute for Mission: Season of Prayer and Reflection in the Korean Peninsula

Beautiful wildflowers are blooming all over the place with warning signs of land mines. It speaks the reality of the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) and the Korean Peninsula. Since my wife, Jieun, and I came to Seoul, Korea, as Regional Liaisons for East Asia in 2020, we have visited the DMZ area twice: inside the Civilian Control Line and inside the DMZ.

Minute for Mission: Day of Prayer for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula

Protest! Why would a 74-year-old retired PC(USA) pastor join in a protest in South Korea? The answer will come later. First, I must tell you I was part of a study group organized by the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and World Mission in November 2018. What an eye-opening experience. Along with my wife and nine others, we spent 12 days traveling from Seoul to the southernmost part of the Korean Peninsula and then north to the “demilitarized zone” (DMZ) where the 39th parallel divides North and South Korea. We learned about the so-called “forgotten war” in Korea. We were appalled to hear about the atrocities committed by all sides. We learned about the continuing tensions on the peninsula because the war ended with a truce and not a treaty. We heard about the hope of a peace treaty being signed this year, the 70th anniversary of the start of the “conflict.” Such a treaty could reduce tensions, making the outbreak of war much less likely.

On Hiroshima Day, pause to remember the bombing

Two years ago, I had eye surgery to restore my sight. As I glanced at the bottle that I use to put in contacts that give me my vision back, I noticed the writing was in Korean. It was a bottle that I had purchased in Seoul, during our Presbyterian Peacemaking Travel Study Seminar, and once emptied have used for these drops. It reminded me how easy it is to also lose sight of major issues facing our world today.

‘May the Lord Christ keep us in his hands’

The room was filled with sounds of praise and joy as the National Caucus of Korean Presbyterian Churches (NCKPC) celebrated the opening worshiping service at its 46th annual meeting in April in Seoul, South Korea. More than 500 people were welcomed to the “motherland” by the Rev. Byeongho Choi, caucus vice moderator and pastor of Bethany Korean Presbyterian Church near Atlanta.