[LETTERS TO THE EDITOR]If church goes, a hole will remainWhat a surprise to open the paper during my flight to Chicago today and find the article about the Yongsan Baptist Church (Nov. 24).
Although I am not an official member of that church, I attend it from time to time in order to attend an English-language service. My wife and I, in fact, attend a Korean church also; this for me is interesting but it does not give me what I need ― understandable preaching.
I was just behind your reporter and the editor of your newspaper on Sunday.
I am glad that you wrote the article. The church provides not only a service to the U.S. military and other U.S. citizens, but it also provides a service to others, including a large number of mixed Korean-American families and people like me from other countries (Great Britain in my case). What is nice about the church is that they are intolerant of anything that is not taken from the Bible’s teaching, and it is this that attracts me and, as you saw and heard, others.
My reason for writing this is that in the same edition of the paper you report that the United States had offered to give up all of the Yongsan military site except for 16 acres. What will happen in such a scenario (although not immediate and not certain) to this pleasant little church community? My worry and probably the worry of other non-military people is that the church will follow the troops. This would leave a hole that would not be easy to fill.
I am not a Baptist, but this way of preaching and being true to the word of God has made a difference in my thinking. In Seoul there seem to be more English-speaking churches than I thought, but none like the Yongsan Baptist Church.
by Peter Furey