Prayers for Northeast Asia Gathering
Next Monday here at Duke University, hosted by the Center for Reconciliation, 28 Christian leaders from China, Korea, Japan, the U.S., and Duke will gather to engage “Northeast Asia, Christian Leadership, and God’s Ministry of Peace and Reconciliation.” Three days of worship, sharing stories of pain and hope, wrestling to see the challenge more deeply, and visioning what is needed to strengthen Christian witness. On a personal note, having grown up in South Korea and studied Chinese in college – and after long years flourishing in Mississippi and in Durham – this gives fresh life to a precious part of my hyper-hyphenated identity. I ask for your prayers for the participants and for our listening to God next week. The synergies between local and global movements for peace and reconciliation seem all the more important in our changing time.
You might ask, “Why this gathering at Duke Divinity School (DDS)?” Good fruit of the Center’s 8-year work intersecting Duke, Durham, the U.S., and East Africa (in January in Uganda, our 7th year and 3rd institute in collaboration with key partners will occur) has inspired us to explore if there may be a call to serve another global region of historic conflict and Christian witness, together with other partners. The highest number of international students and alumni at DDS are from South Korea, Duke University is putting a major focus on China, and there appears to be significant interest in the region at the intersection of theology, peacemaking and reconciliation, and Christian faithfulness – as well as intensifying challenges. A year ago I was in North Korea (see Seeing Hope Even in NK), in the spring my colleague Gann Herman and I engaged an 18-day “listening” journey to the region (see The Pulse of Pain and Hope in Northeast Asia: A Photographic Journey), and several Northeast Asian leaders attended our last Summer Institute.
I’ll be following up with posts on this blog. Please pray for us!