100+ Years of Ministry in Korea Continues

December 13 2017

More than 100 years ago, One Mission Society missionaries discipled, trained, and sent out two young Korean students, Kim Sang-jun and Jung Bin, from the OMS-established Tokyo Bible Institute in Japan back to Korea to share the Gospel with the Korean people.

From the beginning, OMS has been intentional about training the sons and daughters of a nation to reach their own people. This dedication has helped in the phenomenal growth of the OMS-founded Korea Evangelical Holiness Church (KEHC), which today has more than 3,000 churches and nearly 1 million members!

Before the division of North and South Korea, there were also about 3,000 churches in the north, with 132 of them being OMS related. And then the Korean War came, and those churches were laid waste while most Christians fled south to safety. Those that didn’t were most likely martyred.

Today, evangelism in North Korea (NK) is impossible. For the last 16 years, Open Door’s World Watch List has ranked it number one for persecuted Christians. Over 70,000 Christians live in prison camps as a result of their faith, suffering forced labor, starvation, and sexual abuse.

More than 20 million North Koreans live in darkness, having NEVER heard the Gospel.

North Korea is indeed a dark place, but OMS, along with our South Korea partners, is piercing the darkness of NK with the light of Christ. Here’s how:

1. We are equipping North Korean defectors.

Koreans have been a divided people for decades, but a gradual reunification process is taking place through the arrival of North Korean defectors in

South Korea. These refugees face numerous obstacles to integration into South Korean society, but they also provide valuable insight into the issues Koreans will face after reunification.

Our ministry partner, Sarangnaru, reaches out to North Korean refugees and helps them integrate into South Korean society by providing group homes for teens and young adults and after-school tutoring for elementary children and their parents, among other ministries. In this way, North Korean defectors and their families are evangelized, discipled, and prepared to make a valuable contribution to reunification.

2.We are equipping North Korean transients.

Risking their lives for a better future, an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 have crossed the border into neighboring nations. With discretion and care, we are evangelizing, discipling, and training North Koreans who travel to nearby nations to return to share the Gospel within their family groups and, when feasible, help plant underground house churches.

This holiday season, we are taking the light of Jesus into the darkest place in the world, North Korea. Will you join us in this initiative?

A small gift of $34 will evangelize, train, and disciple one North Korean to reach his or her nation for Christ.

Please help us give light to North Korea by giving online here.

Tags: north korea, south korea, ministry to defectors, give light, legacy,

English Opens Doors for North Koreans

December 7 2017

Most of us have never had to flee starvation and oppression in our homeland. Currently, South Korea hosts about 30,000 defectors who have escaped North Korea in the last 20 years or so since the famine of the 1990s. Most of them had never heard of Christ while in North Korea, but during the process of passing through China and other countries, many have now heard the Gospel. Some have become Christians and even have been trained as pastors to reach out to their own people, as well as to those around the world.

Adventures in English for a United Korea (AIE4UK) started with a vision to help pastors and young people who came from North Korea to be able to communicate with the church around the world. It also helps prepare people domestically and internationally for unification, raises up workers who can fill the basic need for English education, and helps Christians from North Korea share their testimonies and the Gospel in English to bring spiritual awakening and revival to the Western, English-speaking church.

From July 17 - 19, 2017, we held our fourth year of camp at Seoul Theological University with the theme “A New Thing” (Isaiah 43:18-19). Susan Truitt, OMS missionary and English professor at Seoul Theological University, directed the camp, and a team of eight native English speakers sent out from OMS served as teachers.

This year, 10 North Korean defectors participated in AIE4UK, so they were matched one on one with the native English speakers from the United States. About half of them were pastors serving in ministry in South Korea, and the other half were young people preparing for their future. One activity they did together was going to the Yanghwajin Foreign Missionary Cemetery to learn about some of the early missionaries who came to Korea over 100 years ago and be challenged by their lives of obedience and service. In the evenings we heard the testimonies of some of those who had come from North Korea. It was a tearful time to hear of how God has been faithful through all of the terrible suffering they had gone through.

We believe that God has sent North Korean defectors to South Korea not only for the unification of the Korean people but also so that through their living testimonies of how God has guided and preserved their lives in the midst of danger, they can be used as instruments to awaken Western, English-speaking churches. We believe that if Christian North Korean defectors can share their testimonies and the power of the Gospel in English without having to depend on interpretation, God will use them in valuable ways.

For over 20 years, One Mission Society (OMS) in Korea has held Adventures in English camps every summer with volunteer native English speakers. These volunteers, devoted to God’s kingdom, raise their own money to participate. Through AIE4UK, jointly sponsored by OMS Korea, the Prayer Network for North Korea and the Nations (PN4N), and Sarangnaru, we hope that North Korean defectors may be raised up in a wonderful way to serve as missionaries in cooperation with OMS. The next AIE4UK is being planned for August 8-10, 2018.

By Susan Truitt, OMS Korea field director

Tags: north korean defectors, english ministry, unification of korea, english camp, south korea, oms,

Hospitable Love for Defectors

November 27 2017

Since the mid-1990s, more than 1 million North Koreans have died of starvation from famine and economic collapse in North Korea. Because of this, many desperately attempt to cross the border into South Korea every year. In fact, each year, more than 1,000 people enter South Korea. As of March 2017, 8,848 men and 21,642 women (more than 70%) defectors live in South Korea. Many of these women were trafficked in China, where they had children that they brought with them to South Korea.

Although the number of North Korean defectors is only about .1 percent of the North Korean population, each life is valued. We believe that interacting with those from the north gives South Koreans a foretaste of what an integrated society after unification will be like. We also see that when those who defect adjust successfully to South Korean culture, they become indirect missionaries to family and friends in the north.

North Korean defectors now enjoy better economic stability and are enthusiastic about education opportunities for their children to live a better life. But unfortunately, the drop-out rate for North Korean defectors is 1.4 percent in elementary school, 8.8 percent in middle school, and 14.4 percent in high school, over 10 times that of South Korean students! For most children and teens from North Korea, the hardest part of the school is adjusting to using English.

Many North Korean defectors experience discrimination and inhospitality, so they are tempted into crimes such as sex trafficking, and some even return to North Korea. The reason the over 30,000 North Korean defectors are not adjusting well to South Korean society and have degenerated into failures, lawbreakers, and vulnerability is that they have not been embraced with love and acceptance.

For this reason, Sarangnaru, a ministry partner of One Mission Society, run a group home and after-school classes, which show compassion and can be effective tools to maintain continuing relationships with North Korean defectors for missions. The ultimate goal of this ministry is to share Christ and build disciples for Christ.

Resources are needed to prepare for the coming unification and the evangelization of North Koreans.

To give, click here.

By Rev. Yoonhoe Koo, Sarangnaru director

Tags: north korean defectors, ministry in south korea, compassion, share gospel, persecution, famine, cross borders,

Piercing the Darkness in North Korea

November 7 2017

A few years ago, mission researchers produced a map contrasting well-lit areas of the world with dark ones. Based on the best data available at the time, dots of light were imposed on an otherwise dark map of the world. Each pinpoint of light represented a certain number of evangelical followers of Jesus. The result was a compelling portrayal of the areas of the world where there is relatively rich access to the Gospel in comparison to the areas where access is critically low.

South Korea has a heavier concentration of light than any other nation. In contrast, North Korea is strikingly dark. Knowing the Lord of the harvest does not desire for any to perish (2 Peter 3:9), what can we do to help more people in, and from, North Korea have access to the light of Christ?

Along with many other partners, One Mission Society is deeply concerned for the people of North Korea. Christ loves them and died so that they could have life. Yet, so few of them have ever had the opportunity to hear and understand the truth of Christ. By God’s grace and with his help, OMS is seeking ways to make the Gospel available to North Koreans. May the walls keeping it from them come down. And when they do, may God’s people be ready to blanket this dark nation with light!

~Bob Fetherlin, President, One Mission Society

Editor’s note: This is the first in a six-part series on our outreach to North Koreans. Stay tuned for stories of about changed lives and how God is piercing the darkness. If you’d like to donate to this ministry effort, give here.

Tags: south korea, north korean defectors, ministry, light in the dark,

​Rice Planter to Church Planter

April 25 2017

Jose Nunez, from San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija, Philippines, grew up helping his family on their farm. He learned to prepare the field, chose the right seeds, water, prune, and harvest the crops. As he learned the family trade of how to farm, he also learned how to gamble and drink alcohol at a very young age.

“I helped my family in the field in the morning and once we were done, I would gamble either by playing cards or cockfighting. This all changed when I went to South Korea in January of 2006 to work in a manufacturing company,” Jose related.

During Jose’s first month in Korea, he met a pastor from Pakistan who told him about Friends of All Nations and that he could meet other Filipino there. So, he went and met the pastor and some other Filipino workers. From that day on, Jose continued to go to FAN. As he learned more about God’s Word, a hunger to know more grew in him. Jose shares, “I kept reading the Bible and attending the Bible studies in people’s houses. Not long after that, I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior and was baptized on June 7, 2007.”

The changes in his life were not sudden, but as time passed, he noticed there were drastic changes compared to his life before. His perspective on life changed, and all his vices disappeared. “My desire now is for my entire family, my friends, and relatives to come to know the Lord,” Jose said.

Jose met his wife at FAN in 2009 and got married in September 2010. They both grew in their spiritual walks through the ministries of FAN. In 2011, they returned to the Philippines and with the help of a pastor from FAN, Jose and his wife started a Bible study in their community and some of Jose’s relatives accepted Christ. They are now part of the local church in their community. My whole family is actively involved in our church.

In 2012, we returned to South Korea for work. Now his job is not located near a FAN branch. The company is located in a remote area and there are no churches nearby so Jose and two of his coworkers started a Bible study. Jose shared, “Now, we are about a dozen people who attend the study. Some are just listeners for now, but some are on fire as they study God’s Word.

“God allowed me to learn how to be a rice planter in the Philippines who cares for his crops and knows how to make them grow. Now, I use those things that I learned in planting rice to plant churches!”

Tags: philippines, south korea, farmer, rice planter, church planter, immigrant ministry,

​From Darkness to Light

April 18 2017

My name is Verrose Nunez, and I’m from the Philippines. I moved to South Korea in 2001 to work as an entertainer. I worked as a singer in a bar in Seoul, along with six other women. We worked from 7 pm to 3 am daily. Eventually, I quit my job and worked as a factory worker in Incheon to have a better salary and work environment.

In June 2009, friends invited me to attend a Friends of All Nations (FAN) meeting. My friends wanted to show me how God was faithful in their lives. The first time I visited, I felt the power of God and the love of the Christians that I met. After a few months, I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, and I was baptized on October 19, 2009.

My life was transformed from darkness to light. Since then, I have felt something different in my life. I learned the things that God doesn’t want me to do and also the things that he wants me to do, especially during rough times in my life.

I became a worship leader at FAN, and I was so happy that I was using my gift of singing to worship him and not to sing for men at the bar. God also led me to FAN to meet my husband José, who was a leader in the Filipino community. We got married at FAN in September 2010.

Just as the Bible says in Joshua 24:15, I promised God that my family and I would serve the Lord.

Through FAN, I felt the love and support of our pastors and brothers and sisters in Christ. I was far away from my family, but I didn’t feel alone because they all considered me as part of their family.

In 2011, I returned to the Philippines. My family noticed a big difference in my life. They noted that I was calm, content, and full of joy … totally different from the person that I was when I left the country. I am so thankful to God that he took me out of the darkness and brought me to light, and he also gave me the strength to love others. We soon started a Bible study through which my younger sister and her family accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Even though my husband still works overseas, we are in constant communication with each other, and we always make sure that we are encouraging each other to grow more in the Lord. My husband, daughters, and I talk as a family through Skype. José and I want to make sure that our daughters understand the Bible and know God. As a family, we pray, read the Bible, and memorize and recite verses. It is hard being far away from my husband, but God strengthens me daily. I lead the youth and serve as a worship leader at our church, where my two daughters love to sing and learn Bible stories.

Tags: immigrant ministry, diaspora, south korea, philippines, outreach,