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2024.05.24 23:34

6423_Lay Missionary Expedition

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By Soccom Korea

Seoul, Korea, 24 May 2024 -- A missionary dispatching Mass was held at 3 p.m. on 22 May at the Salesian Historical Hall Chapel on the 3rd floor of the provincial house in Seoul. The three lay missionaries are Moses Kim Yang-seok (60) and Paul Ahn Jae-run (60), who will be going to Lilongwe, Malawi, and Francisca Hyun-joo (61), who will be going to Poipet, Cambodia. Prior to their departure, they completed a three-day intensive course on Salesian lay mission offered by the Mission Office and will depart respectively on 28 May (Malawi) and 7 June (Cambodia).

Moses Kim was already invited to Malawi when Alex Kim Dae-sik, was a Salesian priest serving as a missionary there, so he is a 'veteran' with about seven years of local experience. In particular, he has been listed as a Mission Office employee for the last two years. He has been working locally for several years on a project called the Sunshine project, which is an initiative to help rehabilitate disabled people, but is carried out within the Salesian community of Lilongwe, with financial and administrative support from the Korean Provincial Mission Office.

This is the first overseas expedition for Paul Ahn, who has many years of experience as a lay missionary in rural areas of Korea. However, he has travelled to Malawi several times with Kim. For the next year, he will be a Salesian lay missioner, assisting the Sunshine Project, and will be in charge of all matters related to the outreach program, especially for homebound disabled.

Francisca Lee will be assigned to the Don Bosco Centre in Poipet, Cambodia, where Fr. Mark Yang Jungsik is a missionary, where she will teach Korean language. Francisca has many years of experience as a volunteer in Korea, but this will be her first missionary assignment abroad. In particular, she will be able to provide a good educational presence to the children of Poipet with her rich experience in Waldorf education, a kind of alternative education system.

"I think we could categorise the way we accompany missionaries and missions territory into three levels: firstly, we accompany them in prayer; secondly, we accompany them through financial support; and thirdly, we share life with them on the missions field. Our Mission Procure tries to accompany them in various ways in different places and in different situations. In line with the growing importance of pastoral work with lay people, I feel that the participation of lay missionaries is becoming more active in the mission field. In that sense, I think that the Korean Church, which started as a lay-led effort, has greater potential, and I think we need to make good use of it." Br. Mark Choi, Director of the Mission Procure, explains the significance of the lay missionaries expedition.

"We are not NGOs or social workers, but ones who prioritize evangelization. May we be missionaries who assimilate into the local life, become their friends, and accompany them to taste the love of Christ, just as Fr John Lee Taeseok did," Fr Timothy Choi Woncheol, the provincial who presided over the expedition, Mass, said.

The Korean Mission Office has been organizing lay missioners expeditions since 2012, and 41 lay missioners have been sent since then. However, the number of lay volunteers in the mission field at the personal invitation of Salesian missionaries is difficult to estimate, and the Mission Office has not been able to systematically respond to these cases.

We wish the three lay missionaries well in their new assignment that they will be able to adapt well to the local environment, live joyfully in the spirit of Don Bosco, live the Word of God, and feel and spread the happiness of true neighborly love.






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