Remember Foreign Missionaries

Being in Korea on Memorial Day is a little different than being in the States. Though it is not a recognized holiday here, Donald and I took the opportunity to recognize with honor a special group of great men and women from the past during a recent fieldtrip to Yanghwajin Foreign Missionary Cemetery in Seoul.

2606_Canon EOS 40D, 31 mm, 1-125 sec at f - 5.6, ISO 200

He that loseth his life . . .

Among the graves found in the cemetery, 145 belong to foreign missionaries and their families who dedicated their lives to the uplifting of the Korean people during the late 19th and 20th centuries. Abandoning promising careers back home, they came to share the light of the Gospel, establish hospitals, and begin schools. Some who came shared in the many sufferings and hardships brought about during the Japanese occupation, and many willingly exposed themselves to much danger in fighting for Korea’s independence.

2637_Canon EOS 40D, 17 mm, 1-200 sec at f - 7.1, ISO 200

. . . for My sake and the Gospel's . . .

Thank you, Lord, for these great men and women of faith who are little known, if even known at all, who sacrificed their lives for the benefit of others. If it is great love to lay down one’s life for his countrymen, how much greater is it to lay down one’s life for a unrelated people and a country practically unknown to the world at the time? And yet today, because of their efforts, Korea sends out the world’s second largest number of Christian missionaries and contains 11 of the world’s 12 largest Christian churches!

Let us never forget the impact that a few individuals wholly dedicated to the Lord can make on the world for good!

2654_Canon EOS 40D, 93 mm, 1-200 sec at f - 5.6, ISO 200

. . . the same shall save it!

“I would rather be buried in Korea
than in Westminster Abbey.” –Homer B. Hulbert.


  1. Esther Staddon May 28, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

    Incredible! I didn’t know Korea sends out the world’s second largest number of Christian missionaries! Second only to the United States, right?

    Thanks for posting! Great to hear from you all over there!

  2. Donald May 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    Yes, at that point in history it looked as though Korea would even surpass the US in its missionary-sending fervor. Even today, considering its size, Korea is very much a “light on a hill” for much of the world. More recently, Brazil (which is the fifth largest country of all) is second. It sends about 35,000 missionaries compared to about 125,000 from the US. Oddly enough however, a Reuters article came out in February saying that the US not only sends but receives more missionaries than any other country! Interesting indeed.

  3. Michael May 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    Very fitting post for a time set aside to remember and honor true American heroes! There is a reward for sacrifice. “Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.” (1 Cor. 3:8)

  4. Joy Hynes June 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    The most phenomenal cemetery I’ve ever visited—it was like catching a glimpse of the joys of heaven while standing among the earthly remains of this “cloud of witnesses”. I’ll never forget my visits there. Thank you for posting!

    “If I had a thousand lives to give Korea should have them all” – Ruby Kendrick’s tombstone

  5. Carol Chung September 21, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    Thank you for this discussion.We’re eternally grateful for all American missionaries who’d come to Korea sowing the seeds of salvation for Koreans.If without them, there wouldn’t be any Korea today. May the Lord keep watching over America.

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