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PMM Pastors’ Education for North Korea Mission
July 03, 2018

After the two summit meetings between North Korea and South Korea at Panmunjom on April 27 and May 26, 2018, Korean Union Conference (KUC) convened a special meeting for pastors who are willing to serve in North Korea when the door opens. This education meeting for NK PMM (Pioneer Mission Movement for North Korea) pastors was held in Yanji, China, from June 4 to 7, 2018. Pastor Lee ByungJoo, KUC director who is in charge of North Korea mission, hosted the meeting. He reported that 24 pastors from KUC have volunteered to serve in North Korea in the future, and 17 out of them attended the education meeting held in Yanji, China.

On the first day, the participants visited Tumen City, from which we can see Namyang City of North Korea across the Tumen River. In the distance, there were trucks being driven, stirring much dust. In North Korea, 97% of roads are unpaved. We hear that in the night there is no light in that city because of the lack of energy. In 1904 Korean Adventism started taking root in what is now North Korea and was eventually delivered to the South. After the liberation from Japanese colonial periods, the Korean peninsula was split into two: the North Communist country and the South Democratic country. Under communism, Adventism went underground as did other religions.

On the second day, the participants visited a place where the border of three nations, Russia, China, and North Korea, converge. There was a railroad bridge over Tumen River connecting Russia and North Korea. All of us dreamed and hoped that some day we might travel to Europe via North Korea and Russia through that railroad.

Before the participants left for the border, they had a chance to hear from a Han Chinese member who is doing North Korea mission through his business. The principle of his business is to give sellers more than they should receive at the regular price. He has been showing the compassion and character of Jesus to the North Korean people. He has many companies in North Korea, and a substantial number of North Koreans are working in his companies. The participating pastors were able to learn how to approach the North Korean people when the door is open. Showing the love of Jesus through our lives and meeting their felt-needs are the methods which we can use to touch the hearts of people.

On the third day, most of the participants climbed the famous mountain of the Korean peninsula called Mt. Baekdu in Korean or Mt. Changbai in Chinese, which is occupied by both countries. Its altitude is 2,744 meters. We climbed this mountain from the west side with the dream that someday we would be able to climb this mountain again from the North Korea side.

This time, from the Northern Asia-Pacific Division, Dr. Joo Minho, Adventist Mission director, and Pastor Kim SunHwan, associate director, attended this meeting and encouraged the participants to prepare for North Korea mission with much prayer for their fitness for the ministry and their fullness of the Holy Spirit. Dr. Joo stressed that while people are seeking suitable methods, God is seeking the suitable person. He also said that there was a need for humanitarian work, such as orphanages, clinics, schools and food factories, to meet the needs of the people. Then the gospel might be easily accepted in the hearts. There are many human resources, including Korean pastors, voluntary lay members, Korean Chinese, Korean American, and immigrants from North Korea. When their efforts are united, the mission for North Korea will be accomplished rapidly.

Joo MinHo, NSD Assistant to the President, PMM Director