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Korean Mission celebrates

Korean Mission celebrates

Korean Mission celebrates

As seen in this photo from last year'...

Some Korean families come to the States speaking no English at all, and many arrive with only a small grasp of the English language.

But the Korean families who make Statesboro their home are welcomed with open arms and much-needed support at Korean Mission, sponsored by Statesboro First Baptist Church.

Sunday evening at 6:30, the congregation of Korean Mission will celebrate with a colorful, lively performance of cultural music and the arts in the sanctuary of First Baptist.

Established in 1999, the Korean Mission began with just six attendees. That number has multiplied tenfold, reaching more than one hundred at times.

Korean-born Lee Carroll, the wife of Doug Carroll and mother of four, was instrumental in the founding of the ministry.

Speaking with much humility, Lee Carroll said: "I want to give God all the glory for this; I don't want it to be about me."

She and her husband moved to Statesboro in 1993 when he retired from the military and began a job teaching Junior ROTC at Statesboro High School.

Lee Carroll met with a group of Korean families for Bible study, but most did not have a church home, and some traveled to Hinesville for a Korean service.

"I saw the need for a spiritual leader to lead these people," Carroll said. "God placed it on my heart, but it took me two years to have the courage to talk to the pastor about it.

"I would pray, pray, pray, but then, say to myself, ‘It's not me,'" she continued. "But, God kept putting it on my heart. I felt like He said, ‘Just be the messenger for me.'"

Finally, she mustered the courage to speak with the Rev. Bill Perry, a First Baptist minister at that time, and she said he loved the idea. Within a short amount of time, the Korean Mission was born.

Yuong Park served as Korean Mission's first pastor, followed by Barnabas Choi. Taekgoo Kang now leads the congregation.

"The Korean Mission would be impossible without First Baptist Church's financial and prayer support over the years and their continued support," Kang said. "The congregation is eager to learn more about God. They are growing spiritually and as they learn more about God, they want to serve. That makes me very happy."

That serving nature shows throughout the year, as the Korean Mission members reach out to in an effort to give back to the very community that has blessed their lives in so many ways.

For example, the mission hosts the International Conversation Hour at Georgia Southern University to make foreign students feel comfortable here. Members provide meals for needy families at Thanksgiving. And they collect money at Christmas to donate to Safe Haven, an emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence.

Besides serving those around them, members of the Korean Mission strive to meet the needs of their own families. Whenever a new family moves to the area, others, especially Carroll and Mira Kang, the current pastor's wife, help the newcomers with such necessities as housing, getting utilities connected, finding doctors and registering for school.

Often, Carroll or Mira Kang will attend a school conference with parents, offering interpretation when needed.

With help from the Korean Mission at First Baptist Church, many new Korean families have become a thriving and active part of the diverse community they now call home.


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