by Haemin Lee, Associate Director
I grew up in Seoul, South Korea. It’s a megacity full of all types of churches: Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian and more. I didn’t realize how blessed I was to begin my faith journey in such a place. I always had a loving church community that taught me about God’s love in Jesus Christ. I remember reflecting on the following verses years ago:
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” —Romans 10:14–15 (NIV)
This scripture logically made sense to me. But after growing up in a such a strong Christian environment, I had a hard time envisioning a context where people hadn’t heard the Gospel. It wasn’t until I began traveling to places in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Central Asia and South Asia that I began to understand the importance of these verses in Romans 10. During my travels, I met with hundreds of local Christian leaders and mission workers living in places where many people don’t have access to the Good News and those who do follow Jesus are regularly persecuted because of their faith.
Pakistan is one of those places. In this predominantly Muslim country, my Pakistani friend, CJ, has been faithfully sharing the Good News of God’s Kingdom through his work at three primary schools. When I visited him last year, temperatures were nearly 130 degrees, living conditions were challenging and Pakistani intelligence agents were scrutinizing our every move. In the midst of this difficult environment, I was encouraged to see hundreds of students who have learned about the saving grace and love of Jesus. Many of them have chosen to follow Him.
Hurricane Irma was moving through my hometown in Florida during my visit to Pakistan. When the students learned that I was worrying about my wife and friends back home, they began to pray for me. I was there not only to encourage my Pakistani brothers and sisters but also to be encouraged by them.
I’m grateful for CJ, and so many others around the world, who are selflessly proclaiming Good News to people who haven’t yet heard it. And I thank God that people who are now hearing the Gospel for the first time are choosing to believe it and follow Jesus. May God continue to send His people to every nation, tribe, people and language of the earth still waiting for Good News.