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Chesapeake’s Korean Congregation Ministers, Grows Churches in Africa

Story by Samantha Young
Published 8/1/2012

Seon Wook Yang, a member of the Washington-Spencerville Korean church (Md.), visits with a local woman and her infant on a recent trip to the mission site in Congo.
Members of Chesapeake Conference’s Washington-Spencerville Korean (WSK) church are spreading the gospel and making a measurable difference in the quality of life for people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo), a country in central Africa plagued by hunger and malnutrition.
The congregation got involved in 2009, after a missionary sponsored by the Northern Asia-Pacific Division visited the WSK church in Spencerville, Md. Since then, members have made annual trips to Congo for evangelism.

They plan to send a missionary there for one year to focus on children’s ministry, according to David Kim, WSK associate pastor.
The project, based at Rafiki Mission in Butembo City, North-Kivu, is multifaceted says Hyo Su Jung, the missionary on site who reports frequently on the progress of the various projects. The WSK church provides funding, which has helped educate students of all ages—including 26 theology students—as well as purchase amplifiers for public evangelistic meetings, build churches and schools, and operate an orphanage, a bakery and a poultry program. Recently, the church partnered with Adventist World Radio and donated more than 100 audio recorders to lay missionaries for personal evangelism.

“The impact on our WSK congregation is immeasurable,” says senior pastor Jonathan Hong. “It has given members a focus and an evangelistic mindset.”
The church has 21 “cell groups” that each have a sister cell group in Congo. These groups connect regularly for Bible study and training. New members are integrated into the groups and the groups on both continents grow.
The church plants in Congo are growing fast. Due to WSK’s work in the region in 2009 there were 253 baptisms; 769 were baptized in 2010; and, last year, 1,060 new members joined the Adventist family.
Pastor Hong has a vision where other congregations can get involved to equip and educate people. It costs just $100 per month to support a local missionary family. They are also trying to raise $500,000 to build a technical school on land donated by Butembo City. Hong says WSK has developed a good model for missions, and the church is ready to share it with other churches that want to be engaged in finishing God’s work. For more information, visit

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James E. Callan, M.D.
2012-08-04 5:48 PM

The  recent special contituency session definitely included the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Union leadership is to be commended for their courage in finally bringing this issue to the people and for being willing to take the risk of moving forward  despite the years of inertia and opposition. We should always be at the forefront of doing what is right, regardless of the predicted fall-out. Our prayers are with the Union leaders as they continue to lead under the auspices of the Spirit.