Dear friends and families around the Globe,
It’s been a long while since the last time I wrote to you. My apologies. But it is also with deep gratitude that I write to you now to thank you for all your support and prayers for us this past year! As SeungHee and I went through many ups and downs in 2022, the grace of God has held, enabled, and built us up all the more through it all. We could not have found such grace without you standing with us. It was a tremendous blessing to see the last day of the year and be able to say it. Thank you!
Now, as we move into this significant new year, I ask you to keep praying with us and fueling the endeavors God has placed in our hands. We shall see the end of 2023 awaiting us with the increasing dominion of the Lord and a greater future in His Kingdom for the world!
Let me fill you in on our stories from 2022 and what we anticipate in 2023. I’ll start with the most recent events and then go back to the earlier times in 2022 to recap.
We just finished the 2022 DTS in December, which was our first DTS in three years because of the pandemic, so hopes were high, and it was terrific to serve the students and train them for the Kingdom once again. Yet, it was a particularly challenging DTS in many ways. Initially, a good number of students from five different countries were expected to come. But long story short, all with very last-minute changes, most of them didn’t even make it, and we ended up with only three students. The biggest problem was visa denials for the internationals, not only for the students but also for other missionary staff to come and join in ministry. That alone was dramatic enough, but we went ahead anyway.
Throughout the 12-week lecture phase, although sometimes it was rocky, the students still learned and grew, which is always joy in our hearts. Then, coming toward the outreach phase, each of them had to leave for different reasons before the DTS could be completed. It was odd, very odd! We pushed the limits to help it continue on to the outreach, but the DTS ended halfway without an outreach. It was highly unusual. After all, we do thank God that He brought each of the students to us, and we could share with them much of what God had entrusted to us and grow together through the adventure-packed three months!
The pandemic has put us back to re-pioneering in ministry in a major way. (At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a prophetic word for YWAM globally that we were in a season of sabbatical, pruning, breakthrough, and multiplication, and it has been coming true in our ministries, too.) That was part of the challenge for the DTS as we were coming out of it. It may sound discouraging, but it makes us evaluate what we do and build it again better and stronger for this rapidly and vastly changing world. That’s how 2022 was in a nutshell. Probably 2023 won’t be much different that way, but there will be more to it. Lord willing, we’ll be able to lay much more concrete foundations in the ministry. So please pray that we’ll continually and quickly learn and be guided by the Spirit to do it, and our students and staff will have the favor of the government for entry to Ireland!
Cars Come and Go
Before it all began last year, realizing the rents in town were so high, we decided to accommodate the DTS in our house this time. Then, someone donated a 7-seater vehicle for the ministry so we could take the students back and forth between home and the classroom in town. Thank God it was perfect! However, the vehicle had served us only for six good weeks, then suddenly died to be scrapped. We could still use our own small car which everyone could squeeze into every day. That way it still worked for this smallest school we’d ever had. But about a month ago, on a cold morning, SeungHee had a car accident on black ice, which totaled our car. Thankfully she didn’t get any serious injury, and no one else was involved in the accident. Now we lost the two cars during the DTS. Such a thing has never happened in our ministry years.
All of the above left us quite exhausted in the end, so we really enjoyed our quiet Christmas break and got some rest. Well… I had been busy again dealing with the insurance company and searching for another car. (For these reasons, I have procrastinated writing to you till now – apologies again, and I ask for your understanding.) The good news is that last week, God led us to a well-maintained car that still fit in the write-off cheque from the insurance company – an even better car than the last one overall – and we just got it this Monday. Another great car story, thanks to God’s amazing provision!
Medical Trips, Magical
After I was diagnosed with the liver disease over a year ago, I needed to take two more trips to Korea for further exams and treatment in March and August last year. Both times the doctor was happy that I was showing progress which confirmed that the treatment was effective. Thank you so much for all your prayers and help that made the trips possible and the treatment successful! Also, thank God I am now transferred to the Irish medical system for continual exams and treatment here in Ireland!
During the March trip, SeungHee and I enjoyed having Kevin with us for a few weeks when he finally finished serving in the Marines. He was ready to pursue further training in international relations and security, which leads to the following.
Back To School… Again!
Yes, all our kids are back to school after all those years. We are so grateful that last summer, Kevin was accepted by George Mason University in DC for his master’s course with the largest possible amount of scholarship from the school. He just successfully finished the 1st semester. And, I will tell you what’s even more exciting for him below.
Hyejin’s just admitted to Colorado School of Mines to transfer to a bachelor’s course in applied math and statistics this month. Exciting! I believe she’s ready to rock-n-roll there. Last week, Kevin was there for her to help her move to the school housing. We deeply thank every friend of ours who has helped her with housing and more for the last four and a half years! You’ve helped her come this far, and she will, of course, go much further because of your help!
Yujin is also back to school for the spring term to continue in musical theater training at ArtsEd in London. He loves what he does and works very hard every day even though it’s not easy at all. We are proud of our youngest! Go, Yujin!
The financial challenges were enormous for their schools last year, but God was so faithful that all their needs were met in different ways. We are grateful to Him and everyone who helped. Would you pray with us for their needs continually this year?
In the meantime, they all came home last summer, which we loved, but only one at a time, not altogether for their own circumstances. And this last Christmas time, we didn’t have any of them coming home, mainly for our own circumstances in the ministry. So as a family, we started 2023 with a collective new year’s resolution. For next Christmas, we will be home together, everyone all together! After all, we are a family widespread around the Globe in four different States.
2022 Top News
Ok, this deserves its own section here. What’s even more exciting for Kevin? He and Emily are engaged now! Yeah!!! It was last October. Emily has already visited us in Ireland a couple of times in the last few years, and we love her. She’s a beautiful, lovely, smart, mature girl who loves the Lord. We can’t wait to have her officially in the family next year! She’s also doing her master’s course in international relations and foreign services at Georgetown University in DC. We are well pleased with her and proud of our boy!
As I began to seek God to speak to me personally for 2023, He spoke with a couple of passages from the Bible – first with John 21:15-19, and then Matthew 16:18. The key phrases from the passages are “Feed my sheep” and “I will build my church,” both Jesus Himself says. It seems He wants me to focus on nurturing young leaders, and He will build them up. So I guess I will once again focus on the DTS this year and pray that He will build up young key leaders for the ministry. That would be quite a strategic move for me!
So now I’ve got a few important projects to hurry and finish for the DTS by next month. In the spring, SeungHee and I need to have a trip to the States to see Emily’s family, our kids, and hopefully, some of our friends, then to Korea to see our folks (while we still can) because we’ll get busy with preparing and running the DTS later in the year.
Coming out of the crisis caused by the pandemic was not straightforward and smooth in 2022. And the world is becoming increasingly uncertain and more vulnerable in 2023. Yet, we serve a wonderful King who’s above all and have His Kingdom in us, and He has us in the Kingdom. So, in 2023 we’ll continually give ourselves to expand the Kingdom in and around us and to the ends of the earth, and we’ll grow stronger and bigger with His Kingdom!
May His will be done and His Kingdom come in our lives and yours as in heaven in 2023 like nothing we’ve ever seen before!
Until Jesus is worshiped everywhere by every nation in every language,
JooYoung for family
Prayer Points for Some of Our Crucial Needs:
- For a place for the DTS housing by September.
- For visa/entry approvals for international staff and students.
- For the spring trip to the States and Korea to be fruitful.
- For provision for our children’s schools.