On December 12, 2015 we celebrated the graduation of seven North Koreans from our UU program. Five of our students finished one-year of studies (they will return for another year of training), but two of our students finished the full program. Our two graduates are not the typical “seminary graduates” that you might think of when you picture graduates being sent out as missionaries. One graduate, Mrs. K, is in her eighties and she often experiences health challenges related to her age. The other graduate, Mrs. L, is in her seventies and is almost completely deaf. And yet, without reservation, we can say that these two students are truly the best of the best.
Despite their age and physical limitations, these two ladies are almost always the first to clean and cook at our office. They are also the first to go on any of our missions trips. They are the first to launch gospel balloons into North Korea, they are the first to spend time with orphaned NK children and they are the first to meet NKs as they cross the border into Thailand. In fact, over the last few weeks on Mrs. K’s vacation, she has been evangelizing her daughter’s company . . . about eighty employees in all! These two ladies have exemplified lives of service, evangelism and care for all those around them.
In fact, right before our graduation service, Mrs. K took time to pray for and minister to one of our newest staff members. This is pretty typical for Mrs. K, in that she is always thinking of others even when the focus should be on her!
Just days before graduation, Mrs. K also hand-delivered God’s word to a group of NK women and orphans. Despite her severe leg pain, she still went on the missions trip saying that she wouldn’t miss this UU trip for anything. While on the trip, she experienced a complete healing and she was able to spend a considerable amount of time with the children both teaching/preaching and having fun.
This is the reason why we’ve asked them to be interns at VOM Korea. They will be instrumental in preparing and bringing food to North Koreans who are lonely and hurting through our ministry to brand-new defectors. They will also play an important part in coming alongside of our current UU and UT students to disciple them in evangelism and discipleship. They will also still accompany us on our UU mission trips in order to help train some of our newer UU students.
Graduation day represented one of the largest crowds we’ve ever had at VOM Korea, with family, friends, former UU graduates, and South Korean ministry leaders gathering to celebrate Mrs. K. and Mrs. L. What’s most exciting is that they finished UU, not simply because they finished two years of study, but because they were faithful in evangelism and discipleship in their household and beyond.