Written By Eliz Yong, Malaysia
Korea is a place that I’ve always wanted to visit—I’m a major fan of Korean dramas. Some would therefore say it’s a pleasant coincidence that I was sent to Seoul this year for a company meeting, but to me it was God answering my prayers. “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13–14).
When I first learned that my company was sending me to Seoul, I immediately said a quick prayer asking God to bless my finances for the trip. The very next day, I was sharing with a friend about travelling to Korea when she suddenly presented me with RM2000 in won. Truly, I thought, God’s provision is fast and amazing.
I recalled that some time ago, I had returned from a mission trip to Uma Kulit, Sarawak, with a vision of sharing the love of Christ at an orphanage in a foreign country. This became a really exciting goal for me. I decided that after my company meeting was over, I would visit an orphanage in Seoul before returning home. Although I doubted my own ability to arrange this visit on such short notice, I remained confident that God would help me in accordance with His will. After all, as Jesus says in Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”.
While praying for God to open doors, I did some research online regarding suitable orphanages in Seoul and started to email various Seoul churches about my intention to visit a local orphanage. Thankfully, I quickly discovered that the Koreans were very mission-minded: they had many Facebook pages set up for like-minded individuals to coordinate visits to orphanages.
One of the remaining biggest hurdles was the language barrier. Even though I had taken a few one-to-one Korean language lessons, I was only able to converse at a very basic level in Korean. I needed a local willing to help me communicate with the children.
Still, I was reminded of what Psalm 32:8 says: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you”. I was sure that God would not have given me this vision without making it come to pass. I continued to research, pray, and wait patiently for God’s provision.
And His answer came quickly. I was suddenly reminded of Miyoung, a Korean lady I had met during a company event on Bali some time ago. I still had her Facebook contact, but it had been five years since we last spoke. I was hesitant to approach her after so long, but God’s prompting convinced me to take the step of faith and get in touch with her.
Guess what? Not only did Miyoung remember me, she was living in Seoul and was willing to help me look for a suitable orphanage to visit. She quickly found one named “Eden I Ville” and even agreed to bring my colleague and best friend, Mary, and I for a one-day tour. She was truly a helper sent by God.
When I finally arrived in Seoul, I prayed that God would help me decide what presents I should get for the children. Immediately the idea of color pencils came to mind. I quickly set aside some of the RM2000 I had been blessed with to purchase the pencils. Miyoung recommended a local stationary shop, “Alpha Mongo”, located in the Namdaemun market.
Searching for this stationary shop proved to be quite an adventure in itself. I went around the market, asking the shopkeepers for directions. Most did not speak much English, but with God’s help I managed to say in Korean: “May I know where is the Alpha stationary shop?” One old grandmother was very impressed by my basic Korean and pointed me in the right direction.
When I arrived at “Alpha Mongo”, I thought I had made a mistake. It didn’t look at all like it sold stationary: only pairs of spectacles were featured in the display windows. I hesitated, but then I remembered Proverbs 3:5–6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all you ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths”. Thus I started looking around for someone who could help.
Help appeared in the form of a friendly lady, who not only insisted that I was at the right place, but held my hand and guided me through to the stationary section of the store, just past the optical section. God will never forsake us—he will definitely send us helpers in our time of need. I picked up 20 packs of colour pencils, and Mary offered to cover half the cost. Mary even decided to accompany me to the orphanage.
I again had reason to thank God for His provision when we finally reached the orphanage: nobody there spoke English and we had to rely completely on Miyoung to interpret for us as the orphanage staff brought us around for a short tour. The place was well-funded, with canteen, playground, classrooms, computer room, and administrative offices. Unfortunately, most of the children were out on an outing, so we left the color pencils for them. Those who were present were happy to receive us and thanked us for the gifts.
Afterwards Miyoung showed us around Seoul for the rest of the day. It was the best reward for the successful completion of my goal. I was reminded of Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength”.
It was a really unforgettable trip and I am thankful to God for giving me this opportunity to show His love to others. I was filled with joy, and the best part was that I experienced God’s guidance and provision in arranging this visit.