South Korea

[St. Louis—Pr. Kim, Hyo Jun (editor of Church Compass)] Pastor Yo Han Kim, the newly elected president of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division, revealed in an interview that the projects on which he will focus during his service would include “Mission First,” digital evangelism, the empowering of children and youth ministry, and the strengthening of North Korean mission.

In particular, he praised the “10/40 Mission Project,” promoted by the Korean Union Conference as a “very timely and excellent mission strategy,” and stressed that “we will continue to form closer cooperation for the expansion of global mission.” The following is the content of the full interview:

You received the call to be the new division president? What are your feelings?

I was surprised at the unexpected and sudden decision. Not only when I was working as a departmental director in the division, but also when I was working as the director of the 1000 Missionary Movement and as the president of the Mongolian Mission in the past, my motto was to always have fun and to engage in a delightful ministry. Our workplace should always be like that, and I have attempted to create that environment.

I don’t think it’s right for one to be working under stress or while facing difficulty in fulfilling one’s duties and responsibilities. As president of the division, I would like to help every member, whether in the local church, institution, or in the mission field, to enjoy their work atmosphere. It is better and necessary to work in such an atmosphere.

Which projects do you wish to focus on during your term in office?

The direction that our division must take is clear: It is “Mission First.” Mission is our number-one priority. Digital evangelism is important as well. As it is well known, modern society is the age of digital media. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, digital evangelism work has become more important. This must be strategically activated, and the Northern Asia-Pacific Division is carrying out practical ways to strengthen our digital media mission work. The Communication Department has taken over the responsibility of supporting the development of digital evangelism in Korea, Japan, Mongolia, and Taiwan in various ways and by training professionals. Practical training in various countries within the division has already been started.

The strategic empowering of the children and youth ministries cannot be left out. Particularly in Korea and in Japan, the decline of population is serious. It should be considered that these generations are disappearing. Surpassing the level of demographic decline, we are to worry about the demographic extinction. In a situation such as this, it is necessary for us to think about how we can invest and implement projects for the development of mission work for the upcoming generation.

The Northern Asia-Pacific Division established the North Korean Mission Department last year. It’s an area that we have always been interested in—a barren land deprived of the gospel. I am thankful and grateful that Pastor Beom Seok Oh, the director of the department, is doing his best on the project. In the new, upcoming session, we are determined to make more efforts for our mission work in North Korea.

All of these projects will be focused on and implemented according to the “I Will Go” mission strategy of the General Conference.

What do you think is the most urgent issue in the Northern Asia-Pacific Division at the moment?

“Revival and reformation.” I don’t think it is necessarily a problem, but I believe that it is something urgent.

The church in Korea is important in terms of mission, as it dispatches the second most number of missionaries in the world. The Adventist Church as well has been active by dispatching numerous missionaries through various routes, such as the Pioneer Mission Movement and the 1000 Missionary Movement. What is the role of the church in Korea within the division?

Korea is very advanced and excellent, not only in terms of the number of missionaries dispatched, but also in terms of the management of programs. It is never inferior to other divisions. It plays a vital role in various mission projects through the PMM, PCM, and 1000 Missionaries. It is expected that these projects will continue to be the main strategy of the Korean Union Conference.

In particular, the Korean Union Conference launched the “10/40 Mission Project” to take [the] lead in global mission work. This project is a very timely and excellent mission strategy. The Northern Asia-Pacific Division and the Korean Union Conference are cooperating with each other, but I would like to have closer cooperation with the Korean Union Conference.

I fully agree with the intent of working hard on overseas mission projects that we have been developing, and at the same time, collecting tangible and intangible resources such as manpower, finance, and programs that have been scattered sporadically. The Northern Asia-Pacific Division will consider specific methods to achieve this and will show active cooperation.

Lastly, what would you like to ask or emphasize to the church members in the Northern Asia-Pacific Division territory?

For 17 years, I lived as a missionary in a foreign land. What I felt and experienced personally is the fact that I gain great strength when the church members mention my name in their prayer. Perhaps, it may sound like a cliché, but the most essential and practical aspect is the prayers of the members. A person with shortcomings has been given a large burden. As a leader, it is possible to face many temptations and challenges. I solicit your prayers that I may not become vulnerable.

I’ll heed to the voices in the frontlines. I would appreciate it if you could tell me what you need to tell me, at any place, at any time. I would also appreciate it if you could share with us what the Northern Asia-Pacific Division has to hear. When you give me unhesitating advice regarding God’s church and evangelism, I will humbly receive and implement it. I would like to solicit your prayers and your advice.

You can read the original article here.