Sarah Barry’s secret mission reports prior to UBF’s split from the church– part 15
There is much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day. A Thanksgiving dinner of rice, seaweed, octopus tentacles, Kemchi, etc., might even be included! And on this cold, cloudy day (typical football weather) it’s very nice to be sitting on the warm floor of my room here in the Mok Chuk Inn. I’m thankful for life and health and the privilege of being back in Korea. Although it’s been just four months since I arrived, still I haven’t been able to settle down and unpack at a permanent address. Missionary mobility has its price!
Right after my arrival I spent a little over two months in Kwangju. How good it was to have fellowship again in prayer and Bible study with our students and staff there. I spent much time getting to know the new Christians, born into the kingdom during my year of absence – and knocking rust off of my Korean.
I’m very grateful to God for growth in faith and numbers in the Kwangju U.B.F. One clear evidence of real growth is the sharp increase in student giving for pioneer work on other campuses. Our Kwangju students, citizens, of the Province in Korea with the lowest per capita income, are giving from $80 to $100 per month for “missions” – to pay pioneer staff workers on other university campuses. Some 150 students have made monthly pledges and almost all of the 600 students engaged in campus group Bible study contribute something.
I was also grateful to God when our student leaders, after a time of prayer and discussion, agreed that I should leave Kwangju to pioneer elsewhere. So when Dr. Crim invited me to come to Taejon to give temporary assistance to the University Bible Fellowship there, I felt that this was God’s open door. We continue to pray that an on-campus student witness through prayer and Bible study may be planted on every campus in Korea. We are grateful for the small but alive groups in Cheju, Chunju, Taejon and Taegu.
As you may remember, before I left America, I felt a burden for the thousands of students in Seoul and I requested the mission to assign me there. These are days of transition in our mission, for major responsibility for budget and the assignment of workers is in the process of being transferred to the Korean Church. Because of this, it is taking a long time to work out a satisfactory assignment. All problems should be cleared up at the December meeting of the Department of Cooperative Work, however, and I should be able to go to Seoul by the time the new term begins in March. There is no Presbyterian missionary doing full-time student work in Seoul and there are more students there than in all the rest of Korea combined.
There is something far more important than my going to Seoul, however. If campus work in Seoul is to be pioneered, God must raise up the Korean worker(s) of His choosing – and faithful students who will accept responsibility to pray for and witness on their own campuses.
We are grateful for a group of about 30 students who live in Kwangju but study in Seoul, who have been meeting regularly in Seoul for prayer and Bible study and Christian fellowship. Most of them are new Christians, converted during vacation through the Kwangju U.B.F. Kwangju students have been faithful to pray for them and write them letters, and some of us have tried to be on hand for their monthly meetings in Seoul.
I hope you will help us lay a foundation of prayer for evangelistic student work in Seoul. Our work in Taejon also needs much prayer. I’ll write more about this later.
One clear evidence of real growth is the sharp increase in student giving for pioneer work on other campuses. Our Kwangju students, citizens, of the Province in Korea with the lowest per capita income, are giving from $80 to $100 per month for “missions” – to pay pioneer staff workers on other university campuses. Some 150 students have made monthly pledges and almost all of the 600 students engaged in campus group Bible study contribute something. This is around the time that Lee starts to abuse UBF finances