Seoul, capital city of South Korea, has more than 7,000 churches, including 10 of the 20 largest congregations in the world. The spirit, fervor, and commitment of South Korean Christians to spread the Gospel have moved them from being a missionary receiving country to a significant missionary sending one. Korean missionaries now serve with various mission agencies around the world, including SIM.
Korean missionaries began serving with SIM in 1980 under the administration of the SIM East Asia office. Increasing numbers made it feasible to establish a separate branch in Korea in 1997. SIM is well received in Korea among those who know about various agencies, but many Korean churches are still unaware of SIM. SIM Korea is, therefore, actively seeking to establish links with additional evangelical denominations, even as they strengthen relationships with the home churches of existing SIM missionaries.
The relationship between North and South Korea has improved greatly, allowing for brief reunions among long-separated South-North families. North Korea and Afghanistan are the only countries in the world closed to missionaries from South Korea. South Korean believers continue to ask God to open ways for those living in the north to freely hear the Gospel.
These special initiatives are in process:
- SIM Training Institute—SIM Korea provides a training program for missionary candidates and those who are interested in missions. It provides teachers from English speaking countries to teach English and subjects related to missions to interested students and missionary recruits. Classes meet for three months every spring, fall, and winter at the Korea office.
- Focus on Asian Countries—to provide more missionaries for Asian countries and raise up supporting churches and participants.
- MK Education—Korean MKs face unique difficulties due to differences between the school system in Korea and the English-based system on most fields. SIM Korea hopes to have a teacher on-site in Korea to help MKs on home assignment as they continue their grade work in English while catching up on the Korean language and culture.