Professor Shan Ik Moon, Korean Missionary to America
"Mission is messy." Sooner or later everyone who begins a new mission discovers that this is true. This also describes the way Professor Shan Ik Moon came to be a Missionary to America. Professor Moon, one of the original staff that began Concordia University in Irvine, Ca., never could have imagined where the Lord would lead him, or even that there was a "Lord." Born in 1936, Moon grew up in the savage morass that was Korea in WW II and the Korean war. His father dead, his mother lost, at fifteen he was homeless, scratching for food in garbage dumps.
Several times he was near death, from starvation, and from soldiers on both sides of the war(s). Not a Christian, with little knowledge of Jesus, he was pulled from the "mess" by an American Army chaplain. From there the Lord led this young Korean with scant English skills to a Christian college in the US, then to seminary, then to Washington University. As an ordained pastor he served as a professor, sharing his joy and his surprise, sharing his faith in Christ, with thousands of young women and men. No one would ever have guessed this could be possible. Life is messy.
Mission is messy. When we begin a new mission or ministry the first phase is joy, excitement, "We are actually doing it!" The next phase is fear when things get messy. The wrong area is picked to begin; the ones we thought we could depend on turn out to be not so capable, or wise, or hard working. We say the wrong things, pick the wrong leaders, run out of money, and then - the miracles begin. We learn what Zerubbabel was told, " 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty."
Mission is messy because we are sinful, broken beings. When I directed missions for the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, I discovered we could put all the money in the world into a new start, all the most informed planning, with the best people, and it could still struggle, and fail. And there were times we had no money and the mission reached untold numbers of people.
Mission is messy. The cross was messy. Jesus entered that mess and died to take the consequences for our short sightedness, for our stupid mistakes, for our weakness in staying with it, trusting only in Him. "By My Spirit" cuts through the mess. And then the next mess comes. As long as we live on this earth, mission is messy. That is when the miracles make His love known.
Read how a young orphan boy survived the Korean war and became a renowned American Professor. "The Bulletproof Missionary".
Rev Moon shares the answer to the question- "why did God keep me alive" in this short introduction.
Listen to Rev Moon's entire testimony for inspiration!