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Korean children, youth, women also get spiritual uplift

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Jung Soo Know of Corpus Christi Korean Baptist Church received an appreciation award and extended applause during the 24th annual meeting of the Korean Council of Southern Baptist Churches in America.

For a dozen years, the Texas pastor’s wife has led activities from dawn prayer until the close of evening services for the children of those attending the council’s yearly sessions. This year, she supervised the care of about 100 youngsters, from toddlers through age 20.

“It is my pleasure, my privilege,” Know said.

In addition to age-appropriate activities for young people Monday through Wednesday, the Korean council provided a Tuesday morning women’s conference while the men were in a preaching seminar.

Children’s activities included Bible stories, swimming, a field trip, “The Incredibles” DVD, singing and dancing, painting and a multitude of games.

“God’s telling me to spend more time with my parents,” David Ahn, 20, a pastor’s son from Unity Baptist Church in Joliet, Ill., said of his participation. Ahn recently returned home after serving with the 101st Army Division in Iraq. “I kind of figured I’d be the oldest, but I wanted to spend time with my family and it’s always fun to come here.

“Being around these people makes me happy,” Ahn said, waving his hand over the table around which a dozen teens sat. “Seeing my mom smile makes me happy.”

Thirteen-year-old Ju Eun Hang of Lawton (Okla.) Korean First Baptist Church said he learned anew during the sessions for teens to care about his parents, and to respect his father and try not to stress him out.

“I’m going to be a better son,” Hang said. “I’m going to start praying more, start obeying more, stop arguing, say, ‘Yes, Sir,’ to my dad.”

The women’s conference, at Forest Hills Baptist Church, was led by Grace Hwang, pastor’s wife from First Korean Baptist Church of Philadelphia. The event included two hours of Woman’s Missionary Union awareness-building and two hours of ministry to pastors’ wives.

“I wanted to challenge them what we are doing for the missions,” Hwang said. “Even myself, I had a lot of misunderstandings about WMU. Now I see how great and good WMU is for the local church, how they can be useful and connected in mission work.”

Many Korean women understand “WMU work” to be kitchen work and other helping-type work, Hwang said. But when she went through leadership training and saw all that WMU has to offer, she became the WMU director for the Korean council.

“As a pastor’s wife, we have a lot of work,” Hwang told the participants. “It’s a sacrificial life, a painful life, but don’t give away your self-identity…. God doesn’t want you to. You are your own precious life to the Lord.”

It’s important for a woman to know her husband’s character, so she can trust him when there is conflict, Kim said.

“Don’t too much try to control him; you will get tired,” Hwang said. “Make your life happy because ‘rejoice evermore’ is what God said…. He tried to encourage us to give to the refreshment of our hearts. A person with a depressed mind is unsatisfied in their own heart.”
Sue Choi contributed to this article. For more information about Koreans in the SBC, please visit www.bpnews.net/bpcollectionnews.asp?ID=62.