Much of the influence for the ministry of Korea Baptist WMU (KBWMU) began in the 1950s, shortly after the division of North and South Korea, with female missionaries who came through the International Mission Board and WMU.
Soonsil Back, KBWMU executive director said, “Among the many missionaries, Lucy Wagner is especially remembered. After entering Korea in 1955, for about 36 years as a cooperative missionary and cooperative executive director, she devoted herself to laying the foundation for all KBWMU’s missions, literacy missions, women’s education, children’s education, and long-term planning. Missionary Wagner’s dedication is echoed in the words of missionary Goodwin at her retirement service.”
“[J. G. Goodwin said,] ‘Lucy, as you go to the United States, I don’t think there will be a stone or metal monument left here in your memory. But there will be thousands of Korean women and young people who will always be your monument to the work you’ve done here.’”
“Missionary Wagner herself said one of the most meaningful parts of her missionary work in Korea was the opportunity to see Korean young people come to Christ and mature into Christian leaders,” Soonsil added.
With this strong foundation, KBWMU has continued the work of these women for more than 70 years, sharing the gospel and shaping the faith of countless people through intentional discipleship.
A Heart for Reunification
Since the division of North and South Korea more than 70 years ago, God has been using the work of KBWMU to foster a desire for reunification in the hearts of the people.
Soonsil said, “Some Koreans do not want to unify. They feel burdened with the cost of reunification. They say they don’t want to get involved in the North Korean situation because it’s their business. But reunification is what God wants.”
The KBWMU intercessory prayer ministry has prayer teams continually praying for the reunification of North and South Korea, as well as the politics, economics, society, and education involved. Will you pray with them for this desire to see Korea restored?
Sharing the Gospel and Making Disciples
KBWMU has four main ministry facets (intercessory prayer, missions, education, and social service) that exist under its three core values of love, holiness, and unity. Through these facets of ministry, members prepare to share the gospel whenever they get an opportunity at home, work, school, or anywhere else. KBWMU also publishes a magazine called The Holy Light that is shared with prison inmates and hospital patients.
One demographic KBWMU puts a significant focus on is the elderly. Soonsil said, “Korea has a serious aging population. Rural areas are even more so. The number of elderly people in each village is increasing, and there are not enough people to educate them in Scripture. It is urgent to evangelize the next generation, but it is very urgent to evangelize the elderly.”
In order to share the good news with the elderly, KBWMU has created “Grandmother Bible School,” which conveys the gospel to the elderly in these rural areas and invites them to become children of God and prepare for heaven. KBWMU makes Bible school materials that are easy to understand and recruits and trains volunteers to serve as teachers at the rural churches that host these events.
Will you join KBWMU in praying for the elderly to know the Lord before they pass away?
How You Can Get Involved
KBWMU puts a high priority on training its members to live a lifestyle of missions and would like to challenge you to be involved in God’s mission. Soonsil shared her desire for her members and said, “As God’s fellow workers, KBWMU seeks to fulfill [its] part in extending His kingdom. Our desire is to be God’s hands and feet wherever we go.”
She continued, “The Korean Baptist churches and KBWMU were able to grow here through women who practiced God’s love beyond the country and the nation … We look forward to the day when every nation, tribe, people, and language will stand before the throne together in one accord praising our God and Lord Jesus Christ.”
Join us in praying for the members of KBWMU as they reach Korean with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Lyndsay John has spent time in South Korea and in the US working with Korean people, and she loved writing about what God is doing in and through the ministry of KBWMU.