The Land With No Donors

Getting ready in a few hours to do the first day-long Mission Increase Foundation Transformational Giving seminar…and the first one we’ve ever done in Korea. I so feel like Bon Jovi.

(The stateside TG seminars are coming up in rapid succession: SEA, PDX, AZ, CO, SFO, and LAX. Click here to get yourself all registered.)

The most fascinating part about preparing the material for delivery here in Korea has been working on the translation with my wife and fellow Seoul USA co-founder, Hyun Sook Foley.

What I discovered, blissfully, is that there simply is no word in Korean for ‘donor’. On the one hand, that renders a fair portion of my presentation entirely unintelligible, in that Koreans simply don’t have the concept of making a donation for the sake of supporting someone else’s work.

On the other hand, it delights me to discover that the closest analog in Korean is the word, ‘giver’. Because Korea is a gift-oriented culture, they are hard-wired in the belief that of course it is better to give than to receive, and it makes perfect sense to them that one gives in the context far wider than the transaction itself. It would be anathema for them to consider giving a gift to be the completion of a cultivation cycle. Giving, of course, must be reciprocated by other giving. There is thus not a giver and a recipient but rather two givers who are each sharing things of tremendous value and worth which each other.

That’s why the Korean translation of ‘Transformational Giving’ is ‘Giving that draws transformation’, i.e., one ‘attracts’ transformation through making a gift in a certain spirit or with a certain character.

I have the feeling I will learn a lot more than I teach today.

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is also the International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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1 Response to The Land With No Donors

  1. Pingback: Ethnic fundraising: more TG resonance than majority population fundraising « Transformational Giving

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