My dear American Friends:
We are yellow. That is, we are yellow race. There are some disadvantages being yellow, but I feel that there are many advantages. Particularly in the field of mission, because we are yellow, we can reach both white race and black race easily. In fact, there are many Korean missionaries in Europe such as Russia as well as in Africa. We are also sort of middle in stature. I am small even among the Koreans, but we are usually bigger than Guineamen and smaller than most westerners. Therefore we can easily reach out both races in stature. (I remember baptizing some big westerners. I was afraid that I might drown them or baptize myself, but they raised themselves all right). Besides, our country is both cold and warm weather-wise. That is, we can adjust to any climate in the world. (...if we are younger. I recently spent two weeks in US for speaking, meeting etc., and I was sick of American flu all the way.) We have some Korean missionaries in Iceland and some islands directly under the equator. In fact, I am sending you a picture of one Church which Korean missionary started in Africa. It has tin-can roof under the burning equator sun.
We feel that our Korean language, that is, characters are also made convenient to spread the Word of God around the world. Korean alphabets are made of 14 consonants and 10 vowels, and with the combination of them, we can make 140 sounds at least. Some of them are sounds in middle of R and L, G and K etc. And some of them are so strong that they can not be spelled in English except using double consonants such as KK or SS. Therefore we can speak most any languages of the world without much difficulties...in fact, even the language of the animals. One of our missionaries went to one of the Southern Pacific islands where they didn't even have characters. He helped them make characters, somewhat similar to the Korean characters, he said, and translated the Bible into that character. He said, some of their sounds were so strong that he had to use three KKKs to express it.
Our children of Geon Christian Children's Home have a language of their own. There are so many children that they actually don't have to have words to communicate... that's why I feel that their language development is rather slow. I call it "Geonese" and it is even more complicated. One of these days, I think I will make a dictionary of it, but then there is a world language called "smile," and it needs no dictionary. In fact, you can conquer the world with smile. I probably sent you a picture of smiling Jesus, a statue of Jesus I was given by a North Korean Christian. This statue was carved by a North Korean Christian secretly. (He said that, if someone ask him what he is carving, he answered "Lenin.") And the statue has big smile. I asked him "why the smiling Jesus?" and his answer was that "if a frozen country like North Korea is to be saved, the Savior must have a smile."
I am planning another evangelistic trip to a communistic country called Viet Nam this coming summer... and I am taking lots of smile. I shall be preaching at several secret Christian gatherings and speaking to a secret Bible College commencement. There are also not a few Korean missionaries there and I know some Korean missionaries expelled by the government several times, but they are still working hard. I believe that the communistic countries such as China, Viet Nam and Mongolia have much more possibilities of evangelization, and I feel that the responsibility is on us -- Korean Churches. First of all, we are surrounded by these communistic, atheistic countries and they are our neighbors whether we like it or not. Secondly, these countries have so much more population, perhaps the most populated, crowded countries of the world, and this task was given to us.
Our first concern is, of course, the evangelization of North Korea. Our son, John Wook Chae, just graduated from the University of California and is planning to go to Fuller Theological Seminary, where missionary emphasis is very strong. And by taking some units at Pacific Christian College (now Hope University, where I taught one time), he is working for his ministerial degree. He is much interested in the evangelization of North Korea in future and I am, I have been praying.
Yours because of Calvary,
YOON KWON CHAE
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