In the summer of 2009, my two-year love relationship with the Korean peninsula came to a halt when an emotional illness ravaged my mind, much like a virus can attack and overwhelm a body. I am not sure to this day whether Korea is still in my own future, but I offer these thoughts to those who may consider loving the Koreans in a committed way.
One way to get to know a people group is to read about them. There are many good 18 moa histories of Korea. They all reveal the agony of a nation caught between world empires, most of the time wanting to be left alone, but finally shoved into the world arena, to experience varying degrees of success. South Korea is a major economy in today's world. We all know of the North.
For personal experiences there over the last one hundred years, read Ten Thousand Sorrows or Home Was the Land of Morning Calm. Read of heroic missions during the war Years and thereafter: The Christ of The Korean Heart. Read the story of Japanese invasion in When My Name Was Keoko. Or the valiant stories of Korean heroes like Admiral Yi, from his own journals. Oh yes, much to love about Korea. Much over which to weep.
Her greatest tragedy is of course still being played out before the world. During the days of Communist oppression, Russia and China and the Koreans of the North formed what is still the most repressive regime on the planet. Northern and southern Korean families were torn apart, untold amounts of blood were shed, and a bitterness was planted in the hearts of an already too bitter land.
Through all of this, the work of Christ lives and prospers. The capital of North Korea, Pyongyang, once called the Jerusalem of the East for its abundance of believers in Jesus, has been supplanted, but only by another Korean city, Seoul, where live the largest churches in the world. These are congregations that count their numbers in tens and hundreds of thousands, far beyond our comprehension.
While the Chinese import restaurants and laundromats to our shores, Koreans are sending missionaries and churches. It is what they do. It is who they are. Though the North has been temporarily hijacked by evil men, there is still much fertile ground for the Gospel even there. The Gospel has been going into this "closed" region for decades, and will continue to do so. God's Word cannot be bound.
I have often prayed for the demise of the Northern monstrosity on the Korean peninsula. It is understandable. Maybe you have done the same. But it is worthy of note that Paul never prayed for the ruin of Rome, that we know. He asked believers only to remember the prisoners there. And then he offered his life to that place, so he could preach the Gospel there.
Let us who are so caught up with wanting a righteous nation in the North remember that our great commission extends especially to unrighteous nations. To utterly lost nations. Perverted nations. Dark places. Places no one wants to visit, let alone take up a residence. By the grace of God, let us go there and finish His work.