When a Korean pastor comes to Australia to learn English to go to Lebanon to minister to Syrian refugees who speak Arabic – that’s multiculturalism in massive proportions.
The pastor’s name is Yeongmin Hong. With his wife Narae and three-year-old son Yejun, he has become part of the ministry team at St Peter’s Church under a remarkable program that St Peter’s has set up.
The plan is to offer a 12-month place to a Korean trainee pastor to enable him to improve his English and experience some western-style ministry. The church supports and helps train the candidate.
While on a mission trip to Tanzania, Yeongmin had a powerful personal encounter with Jesus that ushered a new direction into his life. As he gazed at the poverty and bloodshed around him, his heart cried out to God for answers. There arose a powerful determination to work for Jesus among the people who needed Him most.
He came home and trained as a pastor, then served as a pastor. But that was not enough.
He and Narae joined the mission agency Interserve, who recommended overseas study. One thing led to another and February saw the Hong family welcomed into the community of St Peter’s.
“We want to learn practical things”, says Yeongmin. “We had prayed for this for some months. St Peter’s has organised accommodation, visas and furniture for us. The people have been so kind.”
But their eyes are still firmly fixed on Lebanon. Syrian refugees make up 20 per cent of the population and they are struggling.
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