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Dear Partner,

I recently returned from a weeklong ministry trip to South Korea. I had never been to Asia before and had no idea what to expect. For all I knew, I might have been holding services outdoors in rice patties. What a surprise it was when I saw the prosperity of South Korea. Most people in the USA have no idea that the city of Seoul, for example, is a gleaming metropolis that consists of modern, high-rise skyscrapers. Even though Seoul has a population of twelve million people (larger than New York city), the streets are so clean that it reminded me of the feeling I get while walking through Disneyland. I didn't so much as see a bubble gum wrapper on the sidewalks.

Instead of the streets being full of rickshaws, they were full of late model automobiles manufactured by the South Koreans themselves with names such as Hyundai, Kia, and Daewoo. One of the first things I learned was that South Korea is the world’s number one user of the Internet. Nearly every business and household has access to high-speed Internet service. And to top it all off, the crime rate in South Korea is extremely low.

As I continued to see this thriving economy I was informed of certain facts that made it seem even more unlikely that South Korea could be prospering so abundantly. For example, the entire nation of South Korea is smaller than the state of Florida. It has few natural resources. It has no oil, gold, diamond, silver, or platinum deposits. It has to import all of these things from other countries. The more I learned about South Korea, the more improbable it seemed that this small nation could be so abundantly blessed.

One day I asked the pastor who was hosting the meetings, "Pastor Kim, why has God so placed His hand of blessing upon South Korea?" Without hesitation he answered, "Because of the missionaries." Pastor Kim continued, "Even though South Korea is a very small nation, we have a minimum of ten thousand missionaries preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in other countries at all times. Because of our Asian appearance, it is less dangerous for us to preach Christ in Moslem, Buddhist, and Hindu nations than it would be for Americans. We have missionaries in Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan, India, China, Mongolia, Eastern Siberia and many other lands constantly. God is blessing South Korea for the same reason He has always blessed the United States of America. With all of her problems, the USA has always been the nation that has sent the gospel around the world more than any other country. In proportion to the size of our nation, South Korea is sending many sons and daughters to carry the gospel of Christ to other nations."

As He shared these words with me, I could not help but remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ when He said,

Mat 6:31-33   Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

I was witnessing with my own eyes the very manifestation of these words in South Korea. What made it even more abundantly clear was that only a few miles away was the DMZ that separates South Korea from communist North Korea. With virtually the same land mass and natural resources, the people of North Korea can't glean enough to even feed themselves. They are heavily dependent upon foreign aid in order to survive. Communism forces atheism upon the masses and the inevitable result is misery and poverty.

I hear the words of King David rising up in my spirit as I meditate upon these things,

Psa 144:9-15   I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee. It is he that giveth salvation unto kings: who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword. Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood: That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace: That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets: That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets. Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.

As I write this letter, North Korea is rattling the saber of war against South Korea with many threats. Please remember to pray for the wonderful people of South Korea. Pray also that North Korea would become a free nation where the gospel of Jesus Christ could have free course. And continue to pray for the United States of America. Pray that our leaders have wisdom from the mind of Christ regarding every decision they make.

Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!

Your friend and co-laborer,

Gary Carpenter


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