1,000 Koreans will be spending their Chuseok holiday flying to the UK to join a prayer mission. The missionaries will divide themselves between 40 locations across the land before gathering in London from 15 September. They return to Korea on the 18th.
The Mission will be led by Pastor Choi Namsoo of the Kwangmyung Presbyterian Church, one of the largest Evangelical Presbyterian churches in South Korea with a membership of around 10,000 people. According to the Mission’s website,
Pastor Choi and his church, along with many churches in Korea, feel a deep sense of gratitude to the early British missionaries who went to Korea, the first of whom, a Welshman by the name of Robert Jermain Thomas, laid down his life for the Gospel and the Korean people. This has created in many Korean Christians a strong desire to bless the Church in the UK in return.
Thomas was a missionary in China who decided to turn his attention to Korea. According to Wikipedia, “Thomas made his first visit to the Korean coast in 1865, making him the second known Protestant missionary to Korea (Karl Gutzlaff, a German Protestant missionary, had visited Korea in 1832).” He joined the General Sherman on its voyage to Korea. “As the ship sailed up the Taedong River loaded with cotton goods, tin and glass, Thomas tossed gospel tracts onto the riverbank.” He died during the hostilities that occurred after the ship ran aground near Pyongyang.
This year’s Mission follows a successful mission last year. Here’s a comment from a pastor in Poole, Dorset, on the impact the team had there:
The visit of the Koreans prompted us to organise several ‘churches together’ events. The church in Poole has never been particularly good at working together, but during this week we had many times of praying with/for other church leaders. I can’t describe to you the sense of God’s presence on the Thursday night when 8-9 churches from across Poole packed out a local church hall and cried out, together with the Koreans, to God for His Kingdom to come… Wow!”
The 2013 Mission covered a lot of ground – with teams in Belfast, Aberdeen, and down in Porthleven, Cornwall, where a traditional fan dance provided some colour on the quayside:
Keep an eye on their website for details of their itinerary, and extend them a warm welcome if you see them. I know that there will be a team at Ford Baptist Church in Plymouth, but that leaves 39 churches I don’t know about.
The big London event will be two prayer meetings in Emmanuel Hall, Marsham Street, on 15 and 16 September (click for a larger version of the poster):