Coming to Korea, technically under the label of “missionary” nonetheless to work while getting paid enough to pay back my student loans, i didn’t really know what to expect as a servant of God. Many “friends” on Facebook didn’t hold back from mentioning either, how I would only be considered a missionary once I was in countries where Christians are being persecuted for their faith. Therefore, if I wasn’t having to hide the fact that I was a Christian or if I wasn’t outwardly calling myself anything else but a missionary then I really wasn’t being a real missionary.
While this hit me hard, I realized I started believing it. “I’m not a missionary” I started telling myself. “I’m getting paid, I can travel,” missionaries can’t do that. However, each Friday night I’d get together with a group of students wanting to practice their English or simply make up an absence from class, I started realizing the need for a real true missionary in a fast developing country such as South Korea. No, I do not have to hide the fact that I believe in a living God. No I do not have to fear for my life as a Christian. I do however, see that more than 50% of the students are not happy. They have admitted to their lack of self fulfillment and their lack of peace, as well as their unbelief in God. While I have never been one to force anything upon anyone, whether good or bad, I can only see myself doing the best I can. And that is to share what I know to be true, God has been the answer to everything in my life.
Growing up in a Christian home did not guarantee my belief in God. It most certainly did not stir up an undivided love for Him either. In fact, it was what I felt pushed me to the opposite edge, seeking a life where there was no God. I do not know with certainty what choice in my life caused the domino effect that led me to wander in darkness; all I know is that at my lowest God called me and I listened. I came to know God. Not for what I had been told my entire childhood, and not for what I had learned in church. I came to know Him because I was willing to get to know Him.
Sometimes I look at my life, and I look at us called Christians, and I realize if we truly lived in harmony with God’s will we wouldn’t need to preach. We wouldn’t need to convince anyone that God is real. It would simply just come to show. Many people are unhappy. Unsatisfied. Miserable. There are things going on in the world that are devastating to any human heart. And since some can’t come up with a clear, logical answer as to why so much evil, so much suffering, they choose to blame it on God.
“Religion causes wars,” they say. It makes me wonder, how much of our worldview is subjective rather than objective? We are in this world together. As a true believer of God I am not automatically granted with a perfect, loving nature. It does however give me the knowledge I need to represent the character of the God I believe in. My job here in Korea is not to convert atheists to a religion, it is not to point wrong from right, but rather to glorify God in everything I do. The rest will simply follow.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
*Aida Coria is a student missionary from Southern Adventist University, serving in South Korea through the Office of Volunteer Ministries and Adventist Volunteer Service. This was originally posted on her blog and is shared with her permission.