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Dayton Korean Members Help Treat, Baptize Maasai in Kenya

Story by Ohio Conference Staff
Published 6/4/12

Pastor Yoon treats a Maasai during his mission trip to Kenya.

Earlier this spring, five church members joined Young Hwa Yoon, pastor of the Dayton Korean church in Dayton, Ohio, and his wife, Victoria, on a trip to Kenya. The group met other Korean-American missionaries there to help the region’s Maasai people. “God did more than expected,” Yoon said of the trip.

During the day, Yoon, his team and the director of Health for the Central Kenyan Conference, helped the Maasai with basic needs like medicine, vitamins and glasses. Yoon, a former optometrist, and his wife, a nurse, addressed eye conditions caused by excessive smoke in inadequately vented homes. While he administered the eye drops, he would counsel the Maasai to return to the local pastor for additional treatment, which enabled pastors and residents to establish relationships.

During the evenings, the group evangelized. Simultaneous evening meetings took place at 10 sites within central Kenya. According to Yoon, these meetings helped empower local lay leaders, encouraging them to “make a bridge between the community and the church … and obtain contacts for local pastors to follow up.” By the end of the trip, the missionaries had treated more than 1,000 Maasai, baptized 83 locals and converted another 139.

While there, Yoon also met 45 pastors within the Central and South Kenyan conferences, only seven of whom are financially supported by the church. The rest are voluntary lay pastors. Seeing an opportunity to assist, he united them for a pastoral meeting. For the first time, all area pastors had contact information for each other and could encourage each other.

There is still much to be done. Yoon and his congregation share his global mission vision, outlined best by Ellen White: “When the members of the church of God do their appointed work in the needy fields at home and abroad…the whole world will soon be warned and the Lord Jesus will return to this Earth with power and great glory” (Acts of the Apostles, p. 111).


Pastor Young Hwa Yoon and his missionary team from the Dayton Korea church mingle with some of the Maasai they helped.


Members of the missionary team host an evangelistic meeting.

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