Starting a church is never easy; starting a church in a foreign land is even harder. Nevertheless, that is precisely what Rev. Myungjoong (Andy) Yong is attempting to do by God’s grace.
But wait – frequent readers of the Missions Banner will ask – isn’t Andy trying to start a church right here in the United States? Yes, indeed. And though he has been here a few years as a student, to him America is a foreign land. The same holds true for thousands of Koreans who have immigrated here, or study here. Once the first generation of immigrants is settled, and the second or third generation begins, America becomes less “foreign,” of course. But language and culture are not so easily laid aside.
It may seem strange to those of us that have long, if not always, called North America home to think of ourselves as being a foreign land. But that is exactly what we are to the rest of the world! In fact, it may surprise you that the number one nation receiving missionaries to work in its borders is the United States! (Christianity Today, July 25, 2013, “The Surprising Countries Most Missionaries are Sent From and Go To.”)
Rev. Andy Yong is one such missionary to our land. Here, he is focusing his labors on the Korean and Korean-American populations of Western Washington, beginning his campaign for the Kingdom of Christ in the cities of University Place and Tacoma.
Wikipedia finds Tacoma to be number eleven in its list of medium-sized cities (population between 100,000 and 250,000) with a Korean-American population of at least one percent of the total population. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._cities_with_significant_Korean-American_populations).
The statistics are similar for University Place (a smaller city of about 30,000). Many Korean-speaking folks live in the proximity of Heritage Christian School, where Pastor Yong is holding services. Many speak little or broken English; others are bi-lingual but maintain strong ties to Korea and the culture and customs that are often barriers (because of lack of understanding) which make it difficult for non-Koreans to engage these precious souls with the gospel.
Therefore, we are grateful that Rev. Yong has come to this “foreign land” to reach a vibrant and growing segment of the population here as only a native can. His goal is to help the BPC in its efforts to plant faithful Reformed and Presbyterian churches among the Korean-speaking peoples of Western Washington. Please partner with him through PMU to help him accomplish this ambitious goal, by God’s grace.
Dr. Len Pine