By Ruth Whorton
Jinjoo Oh is a university student. She works two jobs, has a curiosity for new cultures, and she is active in her local church. She has a deep love for God and missions with a smile that radiates. She feels lonely sometimes, but clings to prayer. She had an experience this summer that redefined and expanded her view of our God.
While she is a college summer missionary serving with Go Now missions, she is not from Texas or even from America. Jinjoo is from South Korea.
Jinjoo traveled 6,777 miles from South Korea to Texas, arriving in Austin on May 29. Through the summer, she served with youth and children at Woodlawn Baptist Church. Jinjoo accompanied the church on their annual summer mission trip to the Rio Grande Valley and also served with them at Mission Arlington, among other summer ministry efforts.
As Jinjoo’s first time to America, the trip vastly expanded her view of faith, the church and God. She remarked, “We have different languages, but believe in the same God. Your God is my God. I no longer think about God as only Korean.”
Jinjoo was first informed of the trip through a flyer she saw at church. Intrigued, she asked her pastor and he explained the trip and encouraged her to go. Knowing her heart for local missions, Jinjoo felt God calling her further from home into the uncharted waters of ministry across the Pacific.
Jinjoo is faithfully serving God this summer in America, and she is not alone in this work.
Go Now Missions, a Texas Baptists mission sending program for college students, has partnered with the BSU in South Korea, under the direction of Dr. Myungsu No, to send students from Texas to South Korea and South Korea to Texas since 2016.
This year, a team of 14 came from South Korea to serve people all across Texas.
Heeyoung Im, a student at Korea Baptist Theological Seminary, shared her desire for the broken to come to know Jesus regardless of their circumstances. She expressed her heart for people in America to receive salvation despite the fact that America is a country of wealthy individuals.
“People need Jesus no matter if they are rich or they are poor,” Heeyoung said.
Through the partnership with Go Now Missions, the team is serving in various capacities highlighting their strengths. Part of the team will serve at Mission Arlington, while Jinjoo and others are in Austin working with Woodlawn Baptist. Additionally, there will be team members serving at Highland Lakes Camp and Conference Center, and a worship team providing a Korean worship experience at five locations throughout the state.
“We can learn from serving together,” said Brenda Sanders, Go Now Missions consultant. “Our students bring home new ways of doing ministry and the Korean students take home new ways of doing ministries. As we serve together, we see how the Body of Christ is made up of people from all nations, tribes, peoples and languages. A true partnership is when we share both ways.”