Mission Crossroads

SPR 2017

Mission Crossroads is a three-time-a-year magazine focused on worldwide work of the PC(USA). It offers news and feature stories about mission personnel, international partners and grassroots Presbyterians involved in God's mission in the world.

Issue link: https://missioncrossroads.epubxp.com/i/776898

Contents of this Issue


Page 15 of 23

14 Spring 2017 photo at my uncle's home: former Egypt President Anwar Sadat. During that same year in Egypt, I learned about another country called Chile, through the experience of meeting Juan Lopez. He was from France but spoke Spanish. As a mission volunteer with Action Chr├ętienne en Orient, Juan taught French at New Ramses College. He also tutored young girls at Fowler Orphanage, created by missionaries with the Board of Foreign Missions. In French and broken English, Juan shared how his family was affected by Chile's military coup in 1973. We also talked about the differences between communism in Chile and Korea. He seemed to know more about Chile than I knew about Korea, and this made me want to learn more about both of our countries. I am a Korean-American Presbyterian, but that does not define all I am," were the opening lines of my seminary application essays, ordination process paperwork and grant applications. ose lines came at a turning point aer serving as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) in Eg ypt in 2003. ose applications helped me re-evaluate my 20-something years of life, with special focus on short-term mission experiences as a high school student, college student and young adult. I sensed the stirrings of ministry that might look more multicultural than the boundaries of my familiar upbringing. At the same time, Korea was becoming more than a place to visit my extended family, a reason to wake up early Saturday morning for language school. As I learned more about my history, heritage and faith, I began to recognize and appreciate my calling to mission. I grew up in central New Jersey with fond memories of visiting my uncle's home filled with many books and faded pictures. Right around that time, my maternal grandparents moved to Stony Point, New York, from South Korea. is is when I first heard stories about my mother and how her family fled from communists. Had it not been for an aunt who insisted that her niece (my mother) stay with the family, my mother would have been left behind during that harrowing journey. Somehow in those difficult times, my mother's family managed to escape and to survive. My maternal grandfather was a well- respected church elder. eir family was Christian and Presbyterian because of the efforts of a Presbyterian missionary. As early as those 'tween years in my life, my uncle emerged as an important presence. He introduced my parents to each other in the early '70s, and almost 30 years later, he introduced me to the PC(USA) through the YAV program. Serving in Egypt as a YAV, using survival Arabic, it was my uncle's name that created an almost instant connection. With the simple introduction of "She is the niece of Syngman Rhee," many older church leaders in the Synod of the Nile treated me with the same respect, as if he were right there with me. Having served previously with Presbyterian mission workers in the Middle East, my uncle still had many colleagues in the synod. Flashbacks to my childhood had come full circle after having lived in Egypt, when I realized who graced one prominent Fanning the flames of faith Missionary journey spans generations to reach migrants and victims of human trafficking Cathy Chang Rosaline Maria Front row (far right), Cathy Chang's mother, Haewon Lee, with her parents and siblings in Korea (1950s).

Articles in this issue

view archives of Mission Crossroads - SPR 2017