Kukmin Daily Newsletter (Issue 18)

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Kukmin Daily Newsletter (Issue 18)

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Kukmin Daily Newsletter
Issue 18
December 29, 2019
Seoul, Korea

Greetings to all!
In our last issue of the year, we share two stories of Korean Christians working abroad, and one about a Chinese church in Korea. We hope the year 2019 has given our readers many things to be thankful for, including peaceful space to grow stronger in God’s love.

Korean American citizens campaign for “Adoptee Citizenship Act”

The Korean American Grassroots Conference (KAGC) is an organization of ordinary citizens working for the rights and interests of Koreans in New York and Washington, D.C. They frequent the Capitol Building of the U.S. Congress, meeting and lobbying members of the Senate and House of Representatives. KAGC Executive Director Kim Dong-seok (photo) recently visited Korea to publicize and raise funds for H.R. 2731, the “Adoptee Citizenship Act,” which was proposed to Congress last May. Among the overseas adoptees to the U.S. during the years 1945~1998, approximately 50,000 never received U.S. citizenship, due to their adoptive parents’ neglect of their responsibility to apply for it. And half of those adoptees are Korean.

“The reason I’m working so hard to get this law passed is purely because of my faith. Korean churches in the U.S. carry out active mission programs in U.S. prisons. They have naturally met many Korean prisoners, and discovered that a large number became illegal residents as a result of being abandoned by their adoptive parents. It makes my heart ache.”

Making a new law is not easy, and Kim was inclined to turn away. “But every time I prayed at dawn worship service, I would see the faces of illegal resident adoptees who had sought us out. They were abandoned by their birth parents in Korea, and abandoned again by the parents who raised them in the U.S.; don’t we share in this responsibility? I couldn’t shake off the thought of how their faces would light up, and how happy God would be, if this law were passed. I put my trust in God and plunged into the work.”

He began by meeting those members of Congress who were most opposed to the law. “If we really want to make a law, we have to persuade its opponents to take a neutral position, and persuade those in a neutral position to support us. In the process, compromise and revision are also needed. We are getting one Republican Congress member to sign in support, then one Democratic member to sign, and so on. Our goal is to obtain 200 signatures from Congress people in support of the new law.”

Dail Community of Siem Reap shares rice of love in Cambodia

Photo provided by Dail Community

The Siem Reap branch of Dail Community in Phnom Krom, Cambodia, located about 20 minutes southwest of Siem Reap by car, provides free meals for starving children every weekday at 11:30. On the menu for December 6 were bread and rice, chicken curry and two mandarin oranges. Rev. Choi Il-do (right in photo), who chairs the board of Dail Community, knelt and handed out food trays to the barefoot, grimy-faced little children. In response to his “God bless you,” a skinny kid smiled and said, “Arkoun, Preah Yesu (Thank you, Jesus)” as he took the tray. 100 dollars supports the cost of one meal for 300 starving children.

Hanging on the cafeteria wall is a Dail Community photo of the old Cheongnyangni Station with the inscription “God is present in places where love is shared.” Rev. Choi said they had not written it themselves. “It was written on the right side of Ssanggul Bridge at Cheongnyangni Station, where we scooped and shared rice for 14 years, without a building, come rain or snow. Someone came and wrote it secretly. It brought a lump to my throat. The miracle of feeding 5,000 people with five barley loaves and two small fishes, with 12 baskets of food left over, started at Cheongnyangni Station, and is continuing at 17 branches in 10 countries, feeding more than 5,000 people every day.”

Exhibition: 107-year history of Overseas Chinese Christian Church in Seoul

This December 6, the “Yeohan” Overseas Chinese Christian Church in Seoul (Hanseong Church), a worship community of Chinese people in Korea, opened a public exhibition space illuminating its 107-year history. “Yeohan (旅韓)” means “sojourner in Korea.” The church began in 1912, when a young Chinese man, Cheh Tao-hsin (車道心), together with U.S. missionary Ms. C.S. Deming, started a gathering for Chinese people at Gyeongseong YMCA. Cheh Tao-hsin later became an elder of Hanseong Church. Hanseong Church and the Chinese people share their history and life in Korea. The church moved in 1958 to its present address at No. 8 Jeongdong-gil in Jung-gu, Seoul.

박여라 영문에디터 yap@kmib.co.kr

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