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          • 이동주  2024.05.18  12:45


          • Pilgrimage to Martyrs' Sites

            I am visiting Korea to participate in the International House Church Council and the Korean House Church Conference. The International House Church Council brought together international House Church directors, as well as directors from three countries, missionary representatives, and various directors from each country to introduce and report on their respective regions and discuss key issues for the future of House Churches.
            During this council, we also had a special time to pilgrimage to the martyrs' sites around the hosting region and were deeply moved by the experience. We visited BubSeong Church in the town known for many martyrs from JeolLaDo, the martyrdom site of Pastor Moon Jun Kyung in JeungDo in SinAnGoon, Sorok Island, which was a colony for patients with leperosy, and the EhYangWon founded in honour of Pastor Son Yang-won.
            BubSeong Church of Glory was built on the blood of martyrs who were collectively massacred by communists during the Korean War for refusing to renounce their faith and preserve their belief. Today, it is striving for local evangelization as a House Church.
            JeungDo in SinAnGun, a renowned holy site among Christians, reportedly had a Gospelisation rate of over 90%. Listening to the martyrdom story of Pastor Moon Jun Kyung, we could understand the reason behind it. Missionary reports before the Gospel entered this region described it as full of superstitions, heavily contaminated with filth, where women were abused and neglected, men wasted their lives with alcohol and revelry, and the illiteracy rate was nearly 100%. The reason this place became a holy site through the Gospel was precisely because of the sacrifices of martyrs like Pastor Moon Jun Kyung.
            EhYangWon was established to honour the martyrdom of Pastor Son Yang Won. The name "EhYangWon" (Place of Grace) was bestowed by the patients with Hansen's disease who were abandoned but tenderly cared for by Pastor Son Yang Won with love. Although leprosy was thought to be a heavenly punishment at the time, patients with Hansen's disease who heard the Gospel from Pastor Son Yang Won's love didn't call their condition a punishment but rather a privilege (the most surprising grace of God).
            Listening and witnessing the sacrificial martyrdom stories of Korean church history was a time of realising what it means to live according to the Bible.

            Word of the week
            Today, I hope you can express gratitude to the pastors, shepherds, and teachers who have worked hard and prayed for your spiritual growth but to whom we haven't expressed our thanks before. “Thank you. I am grateful."

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