Sarah Barry’s secret mission reports prior to UBF’s split from the church– part 17
During the past few months there have been events which have turned history, which have left marks upon us all. There have also been personal events in the lives of us all that have brought joy, sorrow, deeper faith, understanding and love.
The attempted assassination of President Chung Hi Park by 31 terrorists from North Korea has resulted in a tightening up of national defense. Many army reservists have been called back for a month or so of retaining. Policemen armed with rifles direct traffic. Piles of sandbags surround police boxes. Censorship and spy control have become more strict. These and many other things silently and eloquently witness to the fact that we live in an uncertain and insecure world.
The tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and the resulting shock-waves of violence and destruction that have rolled through America have also been felt here. For the people of Korea again are reminded that there is no real security in the elusive friendship of “great” powers.
There has been much positive change in Korea – new roads, new buildings, generally rising standards of living for some, growing stabilization of the economy. Leaders and thoughtful intellectuals are seeking to face realistically problems of education, labor, agriculture and industrial development, etc.
It is a privilege to share in the task of bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to the young men and women who must shoulder major responsibility for their nation’s future. It is my prayer that God will raise up from among the hundreds of students all over Korea, who are a part of the University Bible Fellowship, a few men and women who can live by faith in the midst of the insecurities of our time.
Although UBF is only 7 years old, UBF graduates are serving in the army (as officers and as enlisted men), in hospitals (as doctors and nurses), as teachers in rural and city schools, as college lecturers, as housewives, office workers, engineers, etc. Many have become deacons in local churches, some are in seminaries. Five young men turned down lucrative professions to become UBF staff. They heard and accepted the call of God to continue the work of pioneering an evangelical student movement in the Universities and colleges of the nation, encouraging a strong student witness to Christ on campus.
Dr. K. H. Chung, chairman of the University Bible Fellowship Board, and his wife, a UBF graduate, are expecting their first child soon. They are married in Kwangju last spring. He is a deacon in Suh Suk Presbyterian Church and leads a doctors’ Bible study in Kwangju Christian Hospital. They both became Christians through UBF campus Bible studies while they were in college.
We are seeking to encourage the graduates to continue personal quiet time and personal daily Bible study. To help them in this, we are translating Scripture Union (Australian) notes and hope to have the first months of daily Bible readings published and in the hands of graduates by May 1.
As for University evangelism in Seoul, the first stage of pioneering is ended. A group of about 15 students in Seoul National University (the top University in Korea) are praying together for the campus and have begun Bible studies with interested non-Christian students on their campus. The students, through pledges and offerings support their own staff worker, Mr. Syng Jang Rhee – and his bride. They also are supporting the staff worker in Chunju, Syng Yong Whang. Some 70 students attend the Sunday afternoon Bible study meeting and from 30-40 new students come for English Bible study each morning at 8.
The Second stage of pioneering Seoul has begun. A room was rented near Korea University in the East gate section of the city. Mr. Kwang Ok Ko, a prayerful and fruitful staff worker, is working there. Suk Tae Sohn, a senior in Korean University who became a Christian through UBF contacts during his high school days in Kwangju, is working with him. Many freshmen are coming and going, taking part in English conversation and Bible classes which I am teaching daily in the center there. Miss Young Ja Choi, a senior in SNU college of Education, is sacrificially giving her time to work with the Korea University Co-Eds. Mr. Ko, Mr. Sohn, Miss Choi and I need much prayer.
The third stage of pioneering has not begun. We are praying to know the Lord’s time and the Lord’s man to begin pioneer work in the West Gate Section of the city – near Ewah Woman’s University (8000 women) and Yon Sai University.
My time is filled with Bible teaching – in English and in Korean, some writing, counseling students who drop by my “hot floor” room or the center, and occasional visits to UBF student groups in Kwangju, Chunju, Taegu, Taejon, or Cheju Island.
It has been a long time since I wrote you, so I hope this letter will help make your prayers for me and for Korean students and staff more specific.
To help them in this, we are translating Scripture Union (Australian) notes and hope to have the first months of daily Bible readings published and in the hands of graduates by May 1.
It is here where Barry and Lee start to plagiarize from the scripture union shortly afterwards