Korea 2011

South Korea

Dates:  March 31 - April 10
Ministry Partner: Talbot School of Theology
Ministry Focus:  Training of church leaders in Care Ministry

The Grace team will support Talbot School of Theology’s ongoing ministry among churches in South Korea by providing a team to lead seminars that will teach church leaders how to set up a Care Ministry in their local church.


Updated Sunday, April 10
The Korea team has returned home safely from their Care Ministry training in Korean churches.  Thank you for praying them through this wonderful experience.  They are eager to share with you how the Lord answered your prayers!

Updated Saturday, April 9
E-mail from Dave McKean
Wednesday and Thursday we had two great days with the counseling students from the Duranno Bible College, which is a ministry of Onnuri Community Church.  Here are some team insights:         

Carol and Dan interviewed a married couple as part of married and spiritual care training. Asked what they did with their pain, they said they each go to God but do not tell their partner, so as not to burden them. It came out that they were modeling their parent who did not share with each other. This couple did not want to pass this model on to their children because they knew it was harmful but did not know how to break this cycle. Dan was able to get them started on this process.         

Lilium did her session on divorce care.  Again, there were those who asked for information on starting a kid’s divorce care, a real need here in Korea.  Getting adults to acknowledge that their children also experience loss is one of the great challenges.         

When Dan Broyles went up to close out the day he called me (Dave) up for a spontaneous interview.  I shared that we can all learn to listen better to others. The better we can understand someone the better we can help them.         

Colleen expresses her gratitude to the Lord to be able to share and help comfort several people to who came with stories of lost mothers, fathers, children and mates.         

Dr. Rex Johnson, Dr Sunny Song, and Dan Fetter all expressed great excitement on how well the material was being received and the desire of the students to learn how to help others.  They could see the excitement on the faces of the attendee and their eagerness to learn.         

Tomorrow, Sunday for us, we will take a 3 hour trip back to the airport in Seoul. We leave about 4:30 pm Seoul time for our 13 hour flight arriving back in LAX arriving about 11:30 am Sunday morning April 10th.         

Again, as we finish up the last of our mission trip, each of us wants to thank all of our supporters who have upheld us in prayer during our days in South Korea. We eagerly await the opportunity to share personally our experiences and the many ways God has moved in our lives and through our lives.         

Thanks and God bless,          2011 South Korea Team

Updated Friday, April 8
E-mail from Pastor Dan Fetters
We are completing our Care Ministry training in Seoul.  Onnuri church has given us a wonderful opportunity to provide training with some of the Onnuri Bible School students. 

Allow me to give you an idea of what it is like to work with such dedicated pastors, missionaries, and local church servants.  Try  to imagine the last time you were sharing a very important story and the listener was completely engaged in your story.  It was if they were living your story with you.  This gives you a clear picture of the responsiveness of our new friends in Christ.       

On a very personal level I had the great pleasure today to share a very simple yet very effective Marriage ministry plan for each person in our training. It was exhilarating to watch faces change while I was speaking. During translation there are some great moments of watching faces transform from stoic expressions to tearful and joyful acknowledgment.  Wendy Mchaddad shared a very well thought out plan for helping women injured by sexual abuse as children.  Colleen Sando gave a compassion-based presentation on how a local church can help bear the burdens of grief for one another. Lilium Jones introduced the Korean ministers to a helpful approach to helping men and women and children harmed by the growing number of divorces in South Korea.      

The marvelous truth of "Bearing one another's burdens and in so doing fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2) permeated the training provided by our "equipped saints." (Ephesians 4:12)  Once again, Dan Broyles, along with Carol McCabe, provided a look at how to create safe conversations about any of life's challenges. The couple they counseled was so responsive to thinking of a few biblical ways to open their hearts to one another as husband and wife.  We are so sensitive to cultural differences we are aware of that are unique to Korean culture. Still, it  was refreshing to hear the couple talk about their cultural differences between themselves.  In some ways, marriage issues are marriage issues wherever you are.  Christ is a brilliant shepherd to each generation, and to every nation.      

Tonight we will travel to a city about 2 hours from Seoul.  We will train at another church on Saturday.  Soon we will return home.  However, please give us permission to be wonderfully transformed by God as we pour out compassion from Christ shaped hearts here in Korea.   

G2U,   Dan

Updated Thursday, April 7
E-mail from the team
Wednesday was such an awesome day.  Dr. Rex Johnson, Dr Sunny Song, and Pastor Dan Fetters brought home the principles of God’s personal care to the people attending the conference.            

We also provided two different up-front presentations where people of the church were asked to join us and to share in a one-to-one couple’s conversation. It is a very risky thing for a Korean to share a personal matter or say something embarrassing or that might be considered “wrong” by others.  Dan Broyles did a great job in affirming them and keeping the conversation positive. They did open up and share and the people saw that we are all in need and we can all use some help.            

We were in a side room waiting for the next session to begin when a man came in to talk with Colleen. His 30-year-old daughter had died of cancer a few months earlier and he was very angry at God and could not cry. It was awesome to watch God use Colleen show God’s comfort and love to a very hurting man. She was also able to connect him to the grief pastor at the church.            

Wendy had a lady come to her abuse care group that told her if she shared what had happened to her, she would have no place she could go. Victims of abuse consider it their own shame, not that of the abusers.            

In the Spiritual Care workshop, we had to stay 30 minutes after the session was done to answer questions! A retired Korean pastor from New York was called by his wife and told to come to the classes. He made the hour-long trip to come, and is coming back again tomorrow. He shared how happy he was with our coming because Korean people need to learn how to help one another.            

I would like to share with you how your prayers have helped in our team unity and bonding. God has been so gracious to help us bond so well that we have been able to joke and laugh hysterically about some of the stupidest things. We have seen God’s hand of protection and guidance so very clearly. We attribute this to our gracious God and our supporters’ wonderful prayers on our behalf.  Please continue!  We see God doing a great work in breaking through years of tradition and helping leaders see the need of the church members helping other church members with their pain.            

Again thank you and God bless.

Updated Tuesday, April 5
E-mail from the team
On Monday we had our first full day of ministry at the conference. Dr. Rex Johnson of Talbot began by teaching on the importance of equipping God’s people to be an integral part of transforming ministries within the local church. Pastor Dan Fetters shared passionately and persuasively about how to minister to hurting and suffering people.  

In the afternoon the Grace Care Team provided well-attended Workshops on Spiritual Care counseling, Grief, Divorce, and Abuse.  We each had 20-25 people in attendance and are expecting more at our next training on Wednesday. At our team meeting we were all overwhelmed at the wonderful things the Lord had done through us on Monday.  Here are some of the stories:             
    Colleen Sando shared how in her first workshop on Grief a woman said that her husband had passed away 10 months before. Colleen was able to minister to her and share God’s comfort. According to Colleen, “This is why God sent me to Korea, to help share God’s love and care.”
    Dan Broyles said that he was able to talk with a woman who was a Christian author and publisher. She said she wished there was a spiritual care ministry where she could talk with some one because she was lonely. Dan said even though she is a woman of influence she needs compassion and care.
    Carol McCabe related the following:  “I was very impressed by the courage of a pastor and at another time a pastor’s wife to share in an upfront conversation concerning the pain they were going through in front of people they knew and loved.”
    Wendy McHaddad shares: “While doing my session on abuse a lady asked how to treat non-Christians who come for help.  I told her a Care Group is for both saved and unsaved individuals. I also told her that non-believers are hurting just as much as believers and we need to show them God’s awesome love and his concern for their hurt. Many in the audience were nodding their heads in agreement.”
    Lilium Jones writes: “I experienced what it means to be “flexible” in that a good portion of what I had planned to present was shown and modeled in the previous hour before my workshop.  Thinking “what now?”, I was able to share about how children also need to be cared for and experience compassion after a divorce.  There was an overwhelming acknowledgment from the audience that children should not be forgotten as they too, experience the emotions of pain and hurt from divorce.”
    Pastor Dan Fetters - If you were here with us you would see how each of our Care team “ministers” are making a valuable impact.  Each conversation and training feels like one small step for us, yet one giant leap for the Korean church.  I am immensely pleased with our concerted efforts as a team.  God is receiving any and all glory, yet He is generously allowing us to experience great joy in serving Him.  

We will be in full ministry mode until we leave on Sunday. Please pray for our spiritual and physical strength and the spiritual battles we will be facing. Our Grace Care Team is experiencing great unity. We are looking forward to helping these churches. We will write again when we can.  

Thank you for praying for us.   Your South Korea team.  

Updated Tuesday, April 5
Pastor Dan Fetters writes:

We enjoyed an amazing first day of training churches how to create Care Ministries. Each presentation allowed each member of our missions team to establish a solid foundation of biblical truth complemented by real life application.   

Hospitality now has a deeper and richer meaning to our team.  On the receiving side, hospitality now means we will be received with honor, treated as sons and daughters of The King of Kings and Lord of lords. 

Our current hosts oversee a missions and marriage retreat center.  The mission of this ministry, as an extension of the local church where we trained on Monday, is to refresh, rebuild, repair and provide rest for missionaries, ministers, and marriages.  Missionaries can stay free of charge for up to 2 months in one of over 100 apartments provided for them.   The senior pastor reminds me of Michael J. Fox, not in character, nor in appearance, rather because he has been afflicted by Parkinson's disease the past 18 years.  Humble in spirit, humbled in body, mighty in faith, and compassionate in countenance he reflects the beauty of our God who delights to reveal Himself in our weakness.  His wife is a woman of deep mercy. She had the vision from the beginning of their church to create a culture of Compassion and Care. Her husband has joined here in these mercy endeavors.  It is their complimentary partnership in Christ that reassures the people of the church "righteousness and mercy have kissed" (Psalm 85:10).  

Updated Sunday, April 3
E-mail from the team

We arrived safely in Korea Friday night and have had 2 interesting days exploring new sights and connecting with Korean friends.  Saturday's adventures involved visiting a 14th century Presidential palace, touring the Korean war museum, being received in the home of a Korean family that entertained us with music and worship, dining at an authentic Korean restaurant, and shopping at a local street market. 

Today, we visited a LARGE church that had a Talbot graduate as one of the assistant pastors.  Later, we prepared for our presentations which begin tomorrow.

Highlights from team members:
Pastor Dan Fetters: Communicating with an 87 year old woman and her caretaker at church. She was asked, "Do you love Jesus?"  She smiled in reply.
Dan Broyles: Visiting the family which hosted the team at their home on Saturday and praying for their desire to do missions work in their retirement years.
Lilium - Listening to a breakfast prayer song of a 6 year old girl.
Dave -  Experiencing Mr. Toad's wild ride in a taxi to church.
Carol - Joining the Korean congregation in singing the Lord's prayer

Prayer requests:
- Pray for us as we start our training of church leaders in Care Ministries at our first church tomorrow
- Pray for us as we use interpreters and for clarity in our presentations
- Pray for travel safety and health

Thank you for your prayers for our team!

Updated Friday, April 1
Pastor Dan Fetters writes

Grace family, your Grace Care Team is safe in Seoul Korea.  It is 5:38 a.m as I write this update:  Which means I now know what Pastors David Hegg and Geoff Beckwith experience everyday! Early!  

We are grateful to be workers in the vast Kingdom of God.    While our body clocks are tasked with adjusting to being on this side of the International Date Line,  our Body members (team) are enjoying finding ways to synchronize into one heartbeat.    

Our attempts at April Fools jokes were weak. Oh well.  Last year I sent around a fake email of an alleged auto mishap involving me and a Cadillac Escapade, sinking into the sand of Newport Beach.  Some, not many, were tricked.   Near the end of our flight yesterday, we did try to convince team member Dave McKean that while he slept, we enjoyed hanging out watching a big screen video in the Business Class (upper deck) with our friend Dr. Sunny Song.  He didn't take the bait.   

What is our missions trip like, so far?  Briefly, my primary sense is surprisingly much like the feeling of being home. I will not try to explain that. Yet what I do realize within this sense of belonging here to bear burdens is a heightened awareness of purpose.  More pervasive than even a sense of being called to be here for ministry purposes these next several days, is an easy awareness of pleasing God.  It is certainly true, where the Spirit of God is, there is peace.    

Pastor Dan Fetters

Updated Friday, April 1
Phone call from the team

The Korea team has arrived safely in Seoul.  Please pray for them as they acclimate and prepare for their training ministry.

Updated Thursday, March 31
The Korea team was prayed off this morning in the Grace parking lot, and will be heading to Seoul this afternoon.  Thanks for praying for a safe and fruitful trip. Enjoy this flier about their ministry printed by one of their host churches.