We recently had a group of candidates come through the Pioneers office for a week of orientation. At the end of the week we usually have a time with an “open microphone” for people to share what the week meant to them as they begin their missionary journey.
One young woman, of Korean-American background (I will call her Joy) read a powerful letter from an American missionary to Korea. She was writing to her parents back home.
This land, Chosun, is truely a beautiful land. They all resemble God. I see their good heart and zeal for the gospel, and I believe that in few years it will be a land overflowing with the love of Christ. I saw children walking over 10 miles on barefoot to hear the gospel and the love of God in them encourages me.
But the persecution is getting stronger. Two days ago, three or four of those who have accepted Christ less than a week have been dragged away and were martyred. Missionary Thomas and James were also martyred. There were orders from the mission board to return, but the most missionaries are in hiding and worshiping with those whom they have shared the gospel with. It seems that they are all planning to be martyred. Tonight, I have strong desire to return home.
I remember you mom who resisted to the last moment of me leaving the port because of the stories of the hate of foreigners and opposition to the gospel.
Dad, Mom! Perhaps, this may be the last letter I will be writing. The seed that was sown in the backyard before I came out here must be filling our neighborhood with flowers. Another seed bear many flowers in the land of Chosun and they will be seeds to other nations.
I will bury my heart in this land. I realized that this passion for Chosun that I have is not mine but God’s passion toward Chosun.
Mom, Dad! I love you.
Joy read the letter and then said, “I want to thank Americans like this young woman who gave their life for Korea.” She went on to describe the incredible privilege of being able to bring Christ to yet another culture. Joy wants to “bury her heart” like the woman in Korea did.
It was a great moment of reflection on God’s sovereignty as his Spirit filled the room.