A calling to be a Missionary-Part 2

This is the final part of the interview with Grace Lee, a young South Korean missionary, about her journey and experiences. In this part, she talks about her missions in detail.

  • This is the final part of the interview with Grace Lee. You can find the first part here.

What were your everyday tasks as a missionary?

Whether on short-term or long-term missions, we have a daily routine. Early in the morning, we start by meditating on the Bible together and then share what God has spoken to each of us. After that, we have breakfast and prepare to go out. Before we leave, we spend a couple of hours in worship and prayer.

From morning to evening, we go out to evangelise, preaching the Gospel and meeting people. The way we approach people and talk about Jesus depends on the country and the situation. In the evening, we have dinner and take a little break.

To conclude the day, we have another session of worship and prayer, sharing our experiences and the grace we witnessed during the day’s mission. We then pray together for the people we met. It’s a tight schedule, but it’s not exhausting at all!

Could you give us a summary of your missions? What were the similarities and differences between them?

I would roughly break it down into four parts, each representing a step along the way.

The first place I went on a mission was China. After receiving a strong calling from God in Canada, I went to China with the intention of staying for a year to begin a church. However, the Xinjiang region, where the Uyghur people live, is heavily controlled by the government. The Uyghur people are originally Islamic, but they are not free to express their identity and are even forced to adopt communist ideology. It wasn’t easy for me and my team, but God showed me a suffering nation, which is just a small part of the persecution in the world. I was deported after less than six months, so I moved my ministry to Turkey to fulfill my promise to God of a year-long mission.

The second country I went to for the mission was Turkey. As you know, Turkey is the largest Muslim nation in the Middle East. The people there were very resistant to the Gospel. In Istanbul, where I lived, most young people were secular and not religious, so the Gospel didn’t seem to reach them very well. Despite this, the Turkish people were very welcoming to us as strangers. The six months there were challenging due to the spiritual atmosphere, rigorous training, and community life, but I can’t imagine what my life would have been like if I hadn’t been there. On subsequent short-term mission trips with my companions, we saw the Gospel seeds we had sown take root. We planted, but God provided the growth  (1 Corinthians 3:6).

The third place I visited was Wales, in the UK. Honestly, I never thought I would go to the UK for a mission, considering there was a revival and many churches there. Over 100 years ago, missionaries from the UK planted churches in what was then barren Korea. However, the situation in the UK is completely different now. Cynicism toward religion prevails among the majority of young people, not just in the UK but in most European countries. Secularism is also widespread. There are many broken families, drug use, and other social problems in the UK. Thankfully, some people are still coming to Jesus. I’ve met young men who were once extremely violent and addicted to drugs, but their lives took a complete 180-degree turn when they encountered Jesus. The darker the world, the faster people in darkness encounter the truth.

I was also grateful that we could serve the people who had once served us. The first martyr in Korea was the missionary Thomas Jermyn from Wales. I lived with a mission organization in Wales, worshipped His name, and evangelized there. Unlike the previous two countries, in the UK, we were free to evangelize and worship on the streets. God pushed me to go out every single day to hand out leaflets about the Gospel, helping me slowly overcome my fears. In a quiet city in Wales, I also deepened my personal relationship with God.

Finally, Israel. I went there last January after nearly finishing my MA degree. I packed my bag right after submitting my thesis. Everyone asked if it was safe because it was just after the Israel-Hamas war began. For me, there was nothing to fear as long as I could enter the country. Some people continue their lives even in places where war is ongoing. I know if something happens, God knows, and with His permission, things happen. Moreover, I think it’s a great privilege to be there during such a difficult time.

I met Jewish and Arab people. They are all suffering, and they are both God’s children. Regarding Jewish people, I want to quote a missionary who has lived there for a long time. He said Jewish people are very solid and cold outwardly, but inwardly they are very soft and sweet. I saw the opportunity to form true friendships with them. As for Arab people, it goes without saying that they are so sweet and generous. They open their hearts quickly to strangers. In the short time I was in Israel, just three weeks, I began to dream of living in Israel one day and befriending people in both Israel and Palestine.

Thank you for the interview! Would you have any messages for the readers?

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share all my grateful memories! I want to encourage young people to go out on missions. It is not sacrificing your time and money, but privilege and treasure in your entire life. Anything you spend in the name of Jesus is never going to be in vain. For us young people, we only have time. Don’t say I don’t have money, time, and passion for God, who gave up his only child to us, if we think of his patience and love for us. “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of his suffering”. The Moravian missionaries were willing to become slaves in order to reach that land. I also want to keep this in my life, wherever I am.

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