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Harvest Is Plenty, but the Labourers Are Few

In 1980, my parents and I moved from Los Angeles, California to Portland, Oregon.  It was, to say the least, a shock to my young life.  In Los Angeles, the benefit of being in the largest Korean community outside of Korea itself, sheltered me from the reality that I was a minority.  Now, all of a sudden, I was in an unfamiliar place where I was teased heavily for my slanted eyes and accused of being either Chinese or Japanese—when I protested that I was Korean, no one did not seem to have a clue of where Korea was.

Fast forward to the 2000s, I witnessed the strangest phenomena.  That being Korean was actually trendy.  Because of the so called Hallyu Wave and the proliferation of Korean dramas and music, people have a growing awareness of Korean culture.  It seems evident when I go to Koreatown here in Los Angeles, that more and more non-Koreans are frequenting the stores and restaurants.  In fact, one day, I noticed a huge line of teenagers, most of them White and Hispanic, at one of the malls in Koreatown and I asked a storeowner what was going on, and he told me that they came because of some Korean boyband.

Indeed, Korean culture has strangely become a trendy worldwide phenomena.  This has bled over to my Korean American colleagues who are engaging in evangelism.  A ministry hyung of mine, Emanuel Baek, who was an evangelist for Amazing Facts held meetings in Hungary, a few years ago.  He said there were crowds of people that sought to attend his meetings because he is Korean American and there was a K drama that was shot in that location.  My friend, Pastor Bryan Choi, who serves in the Michigan Conference traveled to the Philippines with his wife, to hold a evangelistic series and there too, many were drawn to the fact that two Koreans were holding the meetings.

Another example is in the small city of Fresno, nestled in the farming community of the Central Valley in California.  There, the pastor of the All Nations Korean Church was preparing for an evangelistic series with then Central California Conference Evangelist, Taj Pacleb.  He brought a group of Bible Workers from Korea, who were part of a Bible School called Compass, and they began to go to the local community college offering Korean language classes to the student body.  Through their efforts, students came to the series and nearly 20 precious souls were baptized after attending the evangelistic series, covering the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation.

In looking at the historical big picture, South Korea is the only Protestant nation in Asia.  It is a nation with strong roots in Adventism.  Many missionaries come from Korea to the rest of the world.  And perhaps because of this legacy, a door is opening for those of Korean descent to fulfill our end time gospel commission of preaching the three angels messages to all the world (Revelation 14:6-12).

Never before has there been an opportunity for Koreans to do evangelism and missionary work.  It is quite an advantage when people are willing to listen to what you say just because you are of a certain ethnicity that is trending worldwide right now.  But as Jesus said, the harvest is plenty but the labourers are few (Luke 10:2).  A door is currently wide open and I pray that more Korean American young people will get involved in literature evangelism, bible work, and begin to hold their own evangelistic series, both here and abroad.

For the past few years, there has been a growing movement of more and more young people desiring to be trained to do evangelism, and have decided to attend Bible Colleges such as Amazing Facts, Emanuel Missionary Institute, the NEW START HEALTH program, TEKOA Missions, or SOULSWEST.  But my desire is to see also more Korean Americans desiring to pursue this most worthy calling.

Ellen White once said: “And each nationality should labor earnestly for every other nationality. There is but one Lord: one faith. Our effort should be to answer Christ's prayer for His disciples, that they should be one (Special Testimonies Bulletin, Number 4, page 29).”  Indeed, there is a great blessing to be part of this great work, and my prayer is to see more Korean American young people bring forth the true Hallyu Wave, which is to declare the everlasting gospel to all the world to hasten Christ’s return (Matthew 24:14).

Peter Chung currently teaches History, Government, and Economics at San Gabriel Academy in San Gabriel, California.  He has been engaged in ministry for the past 15 years as a bible worker, revivalist, evangelist, organizer, and youth pastor.  In his free time, he serves as the associate evangelist for Revelation of Hope Ministries, a ministry of youth and young adults from Asian/Pacific Island descent who declare the end-time gospel message.

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