Mission life: THE KUKMIN DAILY

“Come visit the cafe at our church when you’re out for the night or on holiday”

2018-05-10 11:08

Free coupons are inviting frontline military personnel to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The coupons are distributed by Sanseong Gunin (fortress soldiers) Church (photo) at the 8191st Army Unit in Munsan-eup, Paju City, Gyeonggi-do, to connect new believers to local churches, utilizing their cafes. The slogan is “Like dew, your youth will come to you” (Psalm 110:3).

The church issues free coupons to soldiers going on vacation. The coupons are for cafes operated by the churches nearby the camp or in the soldiers’ hometowns. The local churches receive memos about their potential visitors, pray for them, and welcome them.

The mission was begun by Rev. Cho Dong-seob, who has led worship services at this base for nine years. “Two years ago, an elder from a church in Seoul came to encourage the soldiers. At the end of his visit, he left some free drink coupons, saying that his church had a cafe on the first floor and he wanted the coupons to be distributed to the soldiers going on vacation so they could visit the cafe.”

Thinking about this, Rev. Cho realized it was a perfect opportunity for new believers, having begun their faith journey at the military base, to visit local churches comfortably during vacation and nurture their faith. Rev. Cho visited the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK Tonghap) Division of Military Mission, and presented his idea.

Rev. Cho made a list of all churches with cafes. When he called them and explained how the “coupon mission” worked, most churches were positive. Some churches had no cafe of their own, but had members who ran cafes and said they would welcome “visitors” there and give them food and drinks.

Rev. Cho sends this text to local churches: “Let us use the cafes to ease entry into the church. I have distributed free coupons. Please share much love with our new believing brothers. If you are able to give them a small gift, that would be wonderful. I’ll pray for these precious lives to settle well in your church.”

Rev. Cho also sends texts to vacationing soldiers with good wishes for their vacations and contact information for local church pastors.

A few days ago, Rev. Cho received a text from a soldier saying, “I’ve completed my mission, pastor.” With it was a photo taken with the pastor of the church he’d visited.

Local churches, too, send texts to Rev. Cho to greet him and “report” on their new encounters. On such occasions, Sanseong Church members and Rev. Cho, full of love for each soul, shout together, “This is the best!”

Reporter Yeong Dae Yoo (ydyoo@kmib.co.kr), with Yeara Ahn-Park (yap@kmib.co.kr)

Original Article in Korean:
“외박·휴가 때 교회카페로 오세요”: 8191부대 산성군인교회 휴가나가는 장병들에게 교회카페 무료 쿠폰 배부

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