KOREA Project | 2019
(From Abby L.)
Korea—I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it was amazing. Staying with LDI really challenged me to recognize the power of the simple gospel (and learn the importance of discipline in Christian living). As soon as we got off the plane, we took a bus to the LDI center where we were welcomed and in the next few minutes, ended up in the subway station where we followed LDI staff to their respective campuses. We prayed—then the outreach began.
I was expecting outreach to be similar to handing out flyers, or striking up a conversation with students using a broad question. But the way LDI does outreach is going up to students with a gospel tract and asking if they’ve heard the Gospel. At first I was skeptical if anyone would even listen, but this is how most of the LDI members actually started coming out! I was reminded that the gospel is a universal necessity, and the point of outreach is to be able to share the good news.
The sister I followed at Hanyang University went up to every student that passed us, crossing the road even to talk to the one student on the other side. At first I was shocked by her dedication, but then I realized this should be my attitude as well if each and every soul is eternal. At Berkeley, I flyer to people I think will listen, and when someone ignores me or says no, my disappointment is clear. Despite rejection after rejection, she never stopped smiling and as someone walked away, she would say “God really, really loves you.” I feel very inspired by the boldness of LDI and the way they do outreach.
While in Korea, we met different students at Seoul National University, Korea University, and Yonsei University. I talked to some Christians, a few Buddhists, quite a few atheists or agnostics, and many who left church prior to college. Outreach itself was difficult as many students are weary of cults or closed off relationally. However, we gave it our all at the Take 2 and Tough Questions events at the three universities. Students that did come, whether Christian or non-Christian, seemed genuinely interested in the apologetics booths and it was awesome to be able to encourage the Christians on campus that there is actual evidence for the faith. While doing spiritual surveys, many students wondered about the problem of evil, or reliability of the bible. At SNU’s Tough Questions event, I was surprised because I presented my apologetics poster to only Christians, yet they were engaged, asked questions, and took pictures of the poster to show their friends. It was so encouraging to see students that take their faith seriously!
That being said, while in Korea my heart broke for the Christian students doing Christian life on their own. Some said they go to church on Sundays by themselves and that's it, some said they have no friends at their church, others even said they’re afraid to do evangelism, and don’t even want their classmates to know they’re Christian. Part of the reason I continued to come to Klesis was because the community of a Christian fellowship was unlike anything I’ve seen, and it’s sad they too don’t get to experience doing life with peers and leaders.
Leaving Korea, I was really comforted by the fact that LDI is still there, continuing to faithfully go out to those campuses every Saturday if not more. The students we met through our events or flyering we connected to LDI so they can continue seeking and see what Christianity is about. Despite the language or cultural barrier, LDI really became our brothers and sisters in Christ, and I will take back to the US all the faces of the people I’ve met, as well as the lessons I’ve learned.